Clothing Advice When Shooting Portraits

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

wear1I  think that client communications is the most important aspect of portraiture. That dialog begins with the initial contact and then moves through all of the communications that happen during a session but to make the best possible portrait, you should  start before a shoot.

One of the most important things I always suggest is that the subject wear solid colors. Unless I’m going for some kind of retro look, that means mo prints, plaid, and especially checks. Nothing detracts from a subject’s face more than clothes covered in busy patterns and prints. The time to wear these kinds of clothes is for fun, not during a portrait session when the emphasis should be on the their face.

But this is real life isn’t it? And things don’t always go as planned. Although you might prefer a portrait subject wear solid colored clothing for a shoot, that doesn’t always happen in the real world, so for the portrait at right, I got in close and suggested this hands-on-face pose that accentuated this subject’s smile.




Copping tightly helped the portrait somewhat but it won’t always work to minimize the busy pattern of a subjects clothing, so I switched the camera into Monochrome mode and tried a completely different pose (left) producing a totally different look while using the almost identical lighting setup.

It’s not a prefect solution but it is one possible solution, when a session doesn’t quite go as planned.