If you really want to wind up with pictures that sizzle, Brad Mariage, professional portrait photographer at Gittings.com, strongly recommends hiring an experienced photographer. “Just because someone has a camera doesn’t mean he or she knows how to use it correctly,” he says. True, true.
Award-winning photographer and videographer Toni Nelson says that it’s important to find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. “The key to producing the best possible photoshoot where you are the star is to first to act like one,” she says. Confidence will no doubt shine through in your images, and your photographer can have a lot to do with engendering this.
Ever notice how celebrities always strike a pose with one or both hands resting on their hips? Well, it’s for a good reason. According to Getty Images photographer Jamie McCarthy it accentuates your waistline and can make you appear slimmer. “Also, it’s more natural and animated, as opposed to just standing there with stiff arms at your sides,” he notes. “Position your fingers facing outward and your palms facing behind you. This gives you the chance to show off any rings or other jewelry you may have on.”
Seriously, you don’t have to starve yourself to look great in photos. Lone Morch, premier photographer and founder of Lolo’s Boudoir, says that black and white photography is actually very generous. "It loves curves and accentuates the lines and features of your body.” Staying hydrated is key however. "I always tell my clients not to starve themselves, or they’ll look tired and gaunt in their photos.”
To look slim and trim in your photoshoot pics, Shelley Goodstein, Ford model, beauty blogger and author of Face This: Real Advice from Real Models, Photographers and Makeup Artists on How to Become Picture Perfect!, advises wearing fitted clothes. "This is best even if you’re not a size zero,” she notes. Why? "Because it’s important to see a space between your arm and body, as well as to define your waist.”
As far as colors go, Shelley suggests avoiding monochromatic looks since these can make you appear larger, and opting for jewel tones or medium tones, like blues and flattering brights. "Black is great in high fashion, but it can suck the life right out of you in a photo,” she adds. "White is also nice, but can take on the color of the background around you.”
Lighting is critical to making your skin look gorgeous, or just so-so, points out Goodstein. "You want to tilt your head toward the light, not away from it.” If you’re outside, you should be able to feel the warmth on your face. Never stand under canned, overhead lights for a photo, she warns. "It will create harsh shadows under your eyes and cause you to resemble a raccoon, regardless of how much concealer you put on.”
Alyse Liebowitz, owner of 3 Chicks That Click Photography, recommends rocking slightly more makeup than an average daytime look, and definitely include lipstick. “It doesn’t have to be a screaming red, but your smile needs to stand out. Earth tones are great for eyeshadow colors. Steer clear of bright, electric shades or any dramatic styles that look too trendy or dated though,” she says.
Never, ever, ever cut your hair before your photoshoot, warns Nelson. “Make sure the style is one that is consistent with who you are and the image you want to portray. I've seen several clients come in in tears because they hated the way their hair now looked.”
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