The Ann Taylor square neck luxe tee kept showing up in my FB feed, and when there was a super sale, I bought three in Petite Large back in May. Of course I was looking for a perfect tee for a large chest to share with you. These tops have a deep neckline and my favorite sleeve length, and the fabric feels substantial. I was hoping for something I could throw on without thinking and always feel and look good in. But the neckline doesn’t lay flat, and something feels “off”.

However, even though I don’t reach for these tees like I thought I would, they have had a big impact on the colors I shop for. Can you see why??? I took these photos within minutes of each other.

Clare Fisher, a personal branding photographer with the perfect process for bringing out the best in her clients, explains what’s going on in these photos:

Some cameras, especially those on our computers, are pretty basic and their job is to get an image where everything is lit and recognizable and it does this by evaluating the scene and making an average exposure to create something that is a middle gray. Since most computer cameras are designed for one person to be in the image, the area will be center weighted, meaning that it assumes you’ll be in the middle of the image and will base its calculations on that.

Unfortunately it doesn’t know what is really in that scene. If you are wearing all black in a dark room, it will try and make the image fit into the gray area, taking away the richness and darks of your black clothing. The inverse is true as well, if you are wearing all white in a white well lit room, it will still try and make your image fit into that middle gray area and your image will look dull and flat.

In Darlene’s sample images you can see how the camera has averaged things out between her skin tone, the top she is wearing and the background. The brightness of the white top is being compensated by darkening the image which results in Darlene being too dark. With the dark top image everything is lightened, the difference isn’t as bad as the image with the white top since Darlene is sitting in a light colored room which in combination with the top averages out to gray.

Luckily our smart phones are smarter and some have face recognition and will base the exposure on an average face. In this day and age of Zoom calls, it might be worth playing around with what you are wearing to see what will make you look your best and whether your smart phone or computer camera gives you different results. Even though Darlene looks great in both the black and the white top, the black top makes Darlene’s skin tones look better for her room, her lighting set up and the camera that she is using.

Bonus tip: clean your camera lens. The camera lens gets dirty pretty quickly from being used in multiple locations and from contact with human skin. Cleaning the lens will create a sharper image, since the dirt and grime diffuses the light and contrast in the image.

So I’ve been gravitating to dark colors on top ever since. No wonder I prefer my black Campbell & Kate shirt these days!

It’s also why I chose the Miriam Baker Aarti shirt in navy that you’ll see here soon, and why I’m still thinking about a couple of Bravissimo dresses that I tried on in the store last Thursday that you’ll also see here soon.