We’ve all had that ONE picture. You know, the one that makes you wince every time you see it. Perhaps your eyes were closed, or your hair was a mess, or you weren’t ready to be photographed. Whatever the problem was that caused you to be the subject of an awful picture, remember, it wasn’t your fault.
Even if it wasn’t your fault, you want to be sure that your pictures present you in the best possible way. Sometimes you have to take charge and help a fledgling photographer when they take your picture. Here are 5 tips that make you shine on camera.
#1 - Let the photographer take a lot of pictures. Not even the best photographers take a perfect picture every time. In fact, most photographers keep only 1 -10% of the photos they shoot. Make sure pictures are taken from different angles, and with different lighting and backgrounds. To improve the odds that your picture is one that you will be happy with, here are a few more tips.
#2 - Pay close attention to your face and body positions. The most important way to make sure that your pictures come out right is to make sure you’re presenting yourself in an attractive manner. Whether sitting or standing, make sure you’re not slouching. Keep your head tilted back slightly.
Your facial expressions should be joyful. Don’t be afraid to laugh or smile. Also, don’t look directly at the lens, but look slightly above it. By doing that, you can make certain that your head is tilted back. Take a few pics looking away from the camera. If the pictures are head shots, always keep one ear hidden by turning your head slightly. Above all, to make sure that the pictures won’t look forced, avoid the cliched “Say cheese!” Keep it natural.
In addition to your face and body positions, not being clean and groomed for your photo session can render any tips meaningless. By posing with clean and brushed hair, white teeth, clear eyes, skin, you will help your photographer to make you look your best.
#3 - Wear clothing that flatters you. Unless you’re posing for a heavy metal or punk music album cover, you’ll want to wear attractive clothing for your photo shoot. If you wear ratty looking clothes with holes in them, they will detract from your appearance. Not only will they make you look worse, but they serve as distractions to anyone who sees the pictures.
Now that we’ve gotten you into some nicer clothes, there are a few things to know about choosing clothing that will flatter you, and accentuate your natural good looks. Avoid wearing clothes with crazy, distracting patterns. A blouse that has too many stripes, checkers, polka dots, or multiple loud colors, will only make the pictures much busier and distracting. Choose clothes with only one or two basic colors. When choosing a color, try to find colors that will provide subtle accents to your natural looks (eyes, hair).
Clothing that is baggy, wrinkled, or dirty won’t help your pictures. Baggy clothes can be especially bad for your look because they can make you look heavier than you really are.
#4 - Pay close attention to lighting and background. Lighting is an important part of good pictures. Harsh lighting can cause shadows from one angle, or can wash out colors if the light is directly on the subject. Shadows can age a person because they will accentuate wrinkles. No one wants to look any older than they already are, right? Use softer lighting conditions such as early morning or late afternoon.
A simple background is better. Like flashy, loud clothing, a busy background will detract from the subject. Who hasn’t seen a picture where someone appears to have a tree growing from their head? Also, pay attention to colors that too closely match clothing or hair. A brown background will end up swallowing the brown shirt being worn by the subject. Try to use colors and backgrounds that will draw the eyes of the viewer to the person(s) being photographed.
#5 - Don’t be afraid to use props. We all get antsy if we’re forced to sit in a chair for too long. Imagine posing for picture after picture when you’re sore from sitting in a chair for an hour or two. Change it up. Pose for a few standing shots, some sitting shots, then when that begins to get stale, bring some props into the picture.
Stuffed animals, pets, sports equipment, musical instruments, any of these items can bring life to your photo session. By using props with colors that contrast with your clothing, hair, or background, you can add a little bit more life to an otherwise dull picture.
Remember, pictures are things we use to bring back memories; perhaps memories of a certain time, age, place, or stage of life. Do you really want to look at a twenty year old photo that makes you nauseous? By taking a few simple steps, you can insure that your picture memories will be good ones.