Making Up Wardrobe As We Go

When I had my senior portraits taken for the yearbook, I?m not even sure what I brought in for clothing. What I do remember was the photographer humored me, the novice portraitist, in explaining all the lenses and filters (this was in the heavy-handed era of Cokin soft focus and diffusion). The last set of images he took, he draped a blue piece of fabric around my shoulders and I tucked the shoulders of my t-shirt out of sight. ?With the in-camera crop, suddenly I was ?wearing? an off the shoulder gown! ?No matter than outside of frame I was in my regular clothes and had a giant piece of fabric clipped around my back. ?It worked. And looking back at it now, it created a lovely neckline for my portrait.

Wardrobe, what to wear to your glamour or boudoir session, is nearly always a concern when I talk with clients before their shoots. I have a few things in the studio that can be paired with what you bring in – but the most versatile things aren?t exactly clothing – they are pieces of fabric.

Ivory crepe de chine – I bought this piece of fabric at the terribly missed Winmill Fabrics that used to be in Chinatown. I love the way this fabric looks draped on a body. ?

Black muslin – this is unreflective fabric and it?s inexpensive. It?s great for hiding a chair or raping over the couch if I want just the body to emerge from shadows.

Black spandex – I created two long back spandex pieces, with the help of my neighbor and friend painter Kelly Kerrigan and her serger. I can use these pieces to create a variety of ?dresses.?


Black lace – Lace is nearly always a crowd-pleaser. ?Here I?ve created what looks like a bodysuit out of a piece of lace and a belt.

Tulle – I love tulle for the bridal boudoir. ?Sometimes clients come with their own veils, but if they don?t I have yards and yards of tulle that can be used to envelop the body. ?

When a client shows up with a small bag and a few pairs of undies, I reach for the fabric. ?While I have some clothes (bodysuits, silk slips, robes), we can fashion what looks like more from the fabric, some clips, and a little imagination. ?Many DIY solutions come out of problem-solving at the moment. ?

I also use fabric, especially upholstery fabric, as backdrops. The thick upholstery fabric hangs well and doesn?t need as much steaming as other types I have worked with.


And then, of course, there are pearls!

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