What Is Recommended to Wear for Black and White Photography?

Wear solid colors for a black and white portrait.

Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Let your portraits focus on expressions -- not colorful clothing. Since your outfit will take a backseat for once, keep your look clean, simple and classic when getting photographed in black and white. Leave the hottest trend of the season in your closet. You can do it! Don't date the images with overly styled clothing. Instead, let your natural beauty dominate the picture.

Color Choices

Stick to solids. You don't want a bold logo or novelty printed tee to draw attention away from your face. Choose clothing with a medium tone such as red, royal blue or green. When photographed in black and white, these colors appear as various shades of gray, which flatters the majority of skin tones. Wearing solid white can wash out your portraits if you have porcelain or fair skin. Likewise, don't wear black clothing if you have an ebony skin tone. You want to stand out, not blend in, when the camera focuses on you.

Clothing Style

Show off your silhouette. Since color can't draw your eyes into a black and white photo, let shapes and curves work some magic. So flaunt it! Opt for fitted tops, A-line skirts and tailored pants. Although that off-the-shoulder oversized sweater feels cuddly and warm, it will look baggy and frumpy on film.

Types of Outfits

To keep the focus on your face, avoid showing too much skin. Long-sleeved tops, cascading skirts and long pants look best. Although baring your shoulders and a little extra thigh look sexy on colorful snapshots, adopt a more modest approach when experimenting with artsy black and white photography. Try donning a simple turtleneck sweater and skinny jeans for a casual shoot. Remember, place focus on your expressions and posing, not your clothing.

Picking Accessories

Accessories can make or break a black and white photograph. For a dramatic appeal, accessorize with an oversized floppy hat, chunky bangle bracelets or statement piece of super blingy jewelry. Then, blatantly work this piece in the photos. Peek from behind the hat or twirl an opera-length necklace on your finger. If you're doing black and white headshots for work use, keep your accessories simple and understated. Stud earrings, a pendant necklace and a ring or two look feminine and classic.

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