There are no rules that say portrait sessions have to be formal affairs. Quite the contrary, getting your portrait taken by a professional photographer can be an opportune time to let your creative side show. Both individuals and families can get in on the fun of choosing a theme for their portrait and selecting the outfits and props to help them play the part. If you want to add some spice to your next portrait session, consider using one of the following four themes as inspiration.
Whether you are a fan or an athlete, dressing the part of your favorite sport or team is a great way to express your passion or pride.
- Wear your uniform, favorite team jersey, or go-to athletic apparel.
- Pick a prop or two to accessorize your outfit. Footballs, basketballs, baseballs, and bats are all obvious choices but you can also get creative with your props. Swimmers may choose to don their swim goggles, or track athletes may wish to bring their running shoes or cleats.
- Have your portrait taken with a framed photo of your favorite athlete.
- Show off your athletic prowess by including medals or trophies you have won in your photo.
Our hobbies tell a lot about who we are as individuals, which is why they make great themes for portrait sessions. When consulting with your photographer before the shoot, discuss the types of props and/or backdrops that are feasible for the photo shoot. He or she may be able to photograph you on location (such as in your kitchen if your passion is cooking or baking). Regardless if your photo shoot is in the studio or on location, limit your use of props to keep the scene simple and focused on you, the star of the portrait. A few prized dolls from your porcelain doll collection, a cake pan and a rolling pin to show off your baking chops, or your award-winning watercolor painting will speak volumes about your personality without overwhelming the final shot.
One of the reasons children love to play dress up is the opportunity to assume a completely different personality. As adults, we continue to wear costumes for Halloween and role-playing games, so why not for a portrait shoot? This theme works especially well when you are taking a group portrait. Here are a few ideas:
- Dress up as characters from your favorite TV show or movie.
- Pose for a vintage shot by dressing up in period clothing.
- Wear identical matching outfits, from head to toe.
Have a child who is not excited about having his or her picture taken? Allow them to choose a costume to wear for one of the shots. Who knows? It might end up being the best picture of the bunch!
Holidays may be a no-brainer for portrait themes, but they are timeless and a great way to gather family together for a portrait. Some great tried and true ideas include:
- An ugly Christmas sweater portrait or coordinating pajama portrait
- A family Halloween portrait (with mom and dad in costume too!)
- Getting your green on for St. Patrick’s Day
- Donning red, white and blue for a patriotic Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day portrait
- Dressing up as characters from your favorite holiday movie
- Wearing your spring best for an Easter portrait (bonus if you pose with a basket or two of Easter eggs and a stuffed or live bunny)
Whatever theme you choose, have fun with it! Your enthusiasm will shine through in the final portrait and make it that much more special for you and your loved ones.
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