Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait, with all other elements being secondary. Against a medium or dark background, colors that photograph best for the portrait and other close-up poses are medium to dark tones of green, brown, rust, wine, or blue. Darker shades are more slimming.

Against a medium or dark background avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white and yellow. These colors not only dominate a portrait and overpower the face, but also drain color from the face and make the wearer appear unusually pale.

Especially bright colors such as red, orange or pink, will ruin a portrait because their intensity overwhelms the face. Bare shoulders or tops with “spaghetti straps” often make the subject look heavier and take the eye away from the face.

Stripes, plaids, checks, and bold prints also draw the eye away from the face and do not photograph well.

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