Most of the cameras will “expose” better if a contrast can be found. If possible, try to control the ISO and Aperture of your camera by taking photos in “manual mode”.

QuinceaÑeras and Black Dresses

Tips to Black Quinceanera dress Photography

Over the last few years I have seen an increase number of quinceañeras choosing to wear black dresses. While a great percentage of quinceañeras may love wearing black dresses, it’s safe to say it doesn’t photograph well… Black quinceañera dresses are notoriously difficult to photograph, so here are some recommendations…


tips to photograph black quinceanera dresses successfully


Shoot on brighter days

Light is, and will forever be, your best friend when shooting anything. Get the light right and you’re 80% there.

I ALWAYS recommend shooting black quinceañera dresses on brighter days; if you have a very dark, gloomy day and no light coming from anywhere, I’d say don’t bother. Very rarely will there be much you can do to “resuscitate” a dull picture of a black Quinceanera dresses  taken with little or no light. If available try to use a flash or  external camera flash even when shooting outdoors.

Extra tip: face the light source. If it’s bright but overcast, still face where the sun is – you will pick up so much more light and therefore the details of the dress will show more.


Shoot against a light background

Try to have a contrasting background. A quinceañera with a back dress looks infinitely better when the background is light. It will creates a contrast that will enhance the details of the dress.


Strike a pose!

Try to use the body, hands or flower bouquet to create a contrast. Most of the cameras will “expose” better if a contrast can be found. If possible, try to control the ISO and Aperture of your camera by taking photos in “manual mode”.  So when I say “strike a pose”, what I really mean is “create a contrast between the dress, the background and the quinceanera.


Get in closer to see detail

Most quinceanera dresses have beautiful designs details. Quinceañeras black dresses tend to photograph better with close ups, as details and textures will show up more. If the fabric is matte, then create “movement” if you can and bring in other details. Not all the photos need to be the full dress. Don’t be afraid to cut off heads or other body parts to show design details in the photos – look for the interest in the details.


Lighten shadows in post-production

Finally, if all else is lost, you can sometimes rescue your too-dark black clothes by tweaking your photos in post-production. Almost all the pictures taken by professional photographers are edited and colors are enhanced. If   you’re editing photos on a computer, I’d always recommend getting professional editing software like Adobe Lightroom.

The main thing to” tweak” are shadows: always lighten them to stop black looking like a big black hole with no highlights or texture. You often only need to lighten them a tiny amount (lighten too much and you’ll end up with a quinceanera dress  that look grey or over-washed) to make a big difference.



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