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As a professional portrait photographer, ensuring the highest quality in your images is paramount. One common challenge photographers encounter, especially when photographing subjects in certain fabrics or textures, is the Moiré pattern or effect. Let’s delve into what this phenomenon is and how to avoid it to maintain the integrity of your portraits.

What is the Moiré Pattern/Effect?

The Moiré pattern is an interference pattern that occurs when two regular patterns overlap or are superimposed upon each other, creating a new, unintended pattern. In portrait photography, Moiré patterns often manifest as distracting wavy or circular patterns in clothing, particularly in fabrics with fine, repetitive textures like herringbone, plaid, or tightly spaced stripes.

Causes of Moiré Patterns

Moiré patterns typically occur when there is a conflict between the regular pattern of the fabric and the grid pattern of the camera sensor or pixel array. This conflict leads to interference patterns that manifest as visible distortions in the final image.

How to Avoid Moiré Patterns in Portrait Photography

Choose Textures Wisely: When selecting clothing for your portrait subjects, avoid fabrics with fine, repetitive textures that are prone to causing Moiré patterns. Opt for solid colors or fabrics with larger, irregular patterns to minimize the risk of interference.


Understanding the causes of Moiré patterns and implementing strategies to avoid them is essential for maintaining the professional quality of your portrait photography. By carefully selecting fabrics, adjusting camera settings, and utilizing post-processing techniques when necessary, you can minimize the risk of interference patterns and ensure that your portraits are free from distracting artifacts.

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