When you know there might be a camera around, do you "go Hollywood" and wear dark sunglasses
? Do you break out into a cold sweat? Does your body shake? Do you duck behind the nearest bush or crawl under a desk? You're not alone!
In fact, unless you're one of those gorgeous magazine models, odds are you're one of the millions of people who just hates having his or her picture taken! And if it makes you feel better, just remember that even those models need help. Before the photographer ever snaps the shutter, you can bet a hair stylist and makeup artist have worked their magic.
Since we can't always have professionals around to make us look our very best, should we just continue to duck and run? No way! If we just pay a attention to a few tips that professional photographers give their clients, we can avoid the camera's "exaggerations" that can turn a double-chin into a visit to the badlands!Makeup - Less Is More
Women should usually wear more makeup
for photographs than they might typically wear in the day, but not as much as they would put on when going out in formal dress.
Digital retouching has all but removed any need for men to use corrective makeup, but for everyday personal photographs, a little makeup for men
is not a bad idea. Just don't make your guy look like Mrs. Doubtfire, and if he has a heavy beard, keep a razor handy!Clothing - Don't Let the Packaging Dominate
If you tend to look heavy in photos, it's good to remember that darker colors recede and lighter colors attract attention. So, dark is good. For everyone else, muted colors and subtle prints work best.
Long sleeves and classic styling will almost always look best from just about any angle. Avoid round necklines and "cap" sleeves. Whenever possible, go with collars which frame the face.
Unless you're a bride, avoid white. White clothing will almost always draw the eye to places you'd rather not see. Jewelry
can be an important addition to a portrait, but the "less is more" rule is even more important with things that sparkle!Lighting - Soft is Best
Harsh sunlight can be tough on people. Few people look good in photos when they're squinting. Also, the sun's hard light will show more texture and form unattractive, deep shadows.
Open shade or soft window light will usually produce the best photographs of people. As long as the light casts soft, pleasing shadows that show the shape of the face, you'll get a pleasing result.Camera Angles - Not Too Low, Not Too High
The general rule is that the best camera angle is the one that keeps the facial plane parallel to the film plane. There are times when you want to deviate from that rule, but only slightly. For example, someone with a double chin might prefer photos taken with the camera a little higher. On the other hand, someone with a long nose or large forehead might prefer to have the camera shoot slightly upward. Props - Optical Illusions and Natural Expressions
Last, but not least, props can be used to accentuate the positive and hide the negative. A girl with a good figure should show it, but if a woman's waistline isn't what it used to be, it's easy to give the illusion that it's smaller than it really is by using a prop. For instance, holding a hat with nice curves near the waist can suggest there are nice curves underneath. Last but not least…RELAX!
Faces reveal a lot about what is going on inside. Someone who is stressed will transmit that stress in a photograph. So, before that shutter is snapped, take a deep breath, close your eyes, relax every muscle in your face, and then picture yourself in a favorite vacation spot! It may sound crazy, but people are almost always happier with their photos after performing that quick and easy relaxation technique.
If you remember these tips the next time a camera will be around, you'll find it's a lot easier to smile and be happy!
Do you still have questions? For more help on this subject, visit the Photography Forum
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