How To Prepare for A Portait - Introduction: Part 1 of 4

by Mark Jordan ©2011

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got the swing..."

Chances are you probably have not thought of “swing” in terms relating to photography, but in a very real sense it is just as vital to portraiture as it is to jazz. The “swing” we speak of here, however, is emotion.

As a portrait artist, my desire is to create portraits that radiate emotional impact. The ingredients in a portrait of emotional impact are basic yet essential. Three of the elements (composition, lighting and expression) are the most conspicuous. All must be complimentary, natural and genuine. And all three are factors I am responsible in visualizing and manipulating. The same is true for a fourth component as well: clothing. However, clothing is the one integral ingredient where you, the client, have the utmost control and final word.

Before creating your portrait, you will have to decide on the clothing you will wear. In making your selections it will be helpful to remember that clothing simply serves as a frame for the face. As in all fine artwork, our eyes are drawn to the focus of the painting while the frame functions as a support for the image. It’s the beauty of the artwork we admire, not the frame.

Family Portrait at Coto de Caza, CA

A portrait of emotional impact is best achieved when the viewer’s gaze is drawn to the eyes and faces in the portrait. This is why the clothing you choose must not only be complimentary, natural and genuine, but also subdued and unobtrusive. This is crucial to the success of your portrait. So, as you go about the task of selecting your clothing, please keep in mind that ultimately, first and foremost, it is you we want to behold, not your clothing.

The following CLOTHING SUGGESTIONS are provided to facilitate the design of your clothing. Unlike the "Ten Commandments" however, which establish absolutes, our Clothing Suggestions are just that; suggestions. You are under no obligation to conform to our recommendations. You may wear anything you think looks best. Use whatever information you feel is relevant and disregard whatever is not.

Included in our wide array of services is a complimentary Clothing Consultation (i.e. design session). Please feel free to drop by or email me an image of your clothing selections. The brief time it will take will give you peace of mind and will make for a relaxing and stress free portrait session.  After reading this information should you have any questions, remember, no concern is too small. 

As always, should you have any questions or would like to contact me, no concern is too small: markjordanphoto@cox.net. We look forward to seeing what you've assembled.

©Photosical - the photographic and personal observations of Orange County Photographer, Mark Jordan

Mark Jordan Photography specializes in crafting stunning contemporary, traditional, classic, and storytelling family portraits (high school seniors, children portraits, babies, maternity, pregnancy), headshots and pets. Mark Jordan, a Photography Hall of Fame photographer in Rancho Santa Margarita and provides portrait photography throughout Orange County. The portrait studio also serves San Diego County and Inland Empire. Studio Photography Services are also provided in Riverside County and Los Angeles County. Local Cites where photography studio services are offered are in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Costa Mesa, Coto de Caza, Cypress, Dana Point, Dove Canyon, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Northwood, Orange, Orange Park Acres, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda, Corona del Mar, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Quail Valley, Riverside, Temecula, Winchester, Chino Hills, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Montclair, Rancho Bernardo, Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Escondido, La Mesa, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Vista, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, and San Diego Country Estates, Turtle Rock, Shady Canyon. Portrait Photographers everywhere (photographers in O.C. as well) are welcome to contact our portrait studio for mentoring/guidance.