Clothing Advice When Shooting Portraits

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

wear1 I 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.