The Best Clothing for a Black Background Portrait

By Lissabeth Ross
For a perfect portrait, pick the right outfit.

A photo shoot can be expensive, and even if you hire a professional photographer and make sure that details like hair, makeup and teeth look perfect, you may be disappointed with the results if what you choose to wear doesn't do your photo justice. If you have already settled on a black background, you will want to take some steps to make sure what you wear looks good against a black background.

Stick With Solids

Patterns can take the focus of the viewer away from the face, and may make the portrait look too busy. A solid color shirt works best. Avoid overly bright colors like yellow and orange which can give your skin an unpleasant hue in a photo. Against a black background, a darker color such as royal blue or green works well. A darker gray or a denim shirt will also show up well against a black background.

Try a Variety of Necklines

If you will be able to change outfits during the photo shoot, bring a few different shirts with different necklines with you to see which works best with your own face. While V-necks or turtlenecks can work well, if the V-neck is too low or the turtleneck too bulky they will probably not work well for a portrait. A button-down shirt can also work, but stick to darker solid colors so that it will show up well against the black background.

Wear Long Sleeves

Both men and women are advised to wear long sleeves during a portrait session. This is especially true when dealing with a black background where arms with paler skin will stand out too much against the dark background and draw the viewer's attention away from the face.

Coordinate Outfits

If you are planning a family portrait or a portrait with multiple subjects, try to coordinate the clothing that is worn. The different people in the picture do not need to wear matching outfits, but should try to wear clothing of similar colors so that one doesn't stand out more than another. Against a black background, try denim shirts in varying shades of blue or shirts in slightly different shades of gray.

About the Author

Lissabeth Ross began her career in journalism in 2005 as a staff writer for the "Journal of the Pocono Plateau." In addition to writing for several different newspapers, she served as the editor of the travel publication "News of The Poconos." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University.