How to look great in a photograph

Don’t like your photo being taken?  Complaining that no-one has ever taken a good photograph of you?  Feel all coy when someone pulls a camera out?

As a photographer who constantly comes up against this in all sorts of shoots (commercial, private, celebratory) I can tell you that the only way you’ll ever look great in a photograph is to loose your self consciousness.
Easy, right?  šŸ˜€

I ALWAYS without fail get people pointing out their double chins, telling me how much weight they’ve put on in the past few months, complaining about their wrinkles or just saying how they never look good and sadly, it’s mainly women though some men do it too.

BUT the only way you’re going to look great in a photograph is to lose the shackles that bind you ~ self consciousness ~ and look at that camera and give it your all!

Lose your inhibitions.  We are all human and therefore we are all plagued by uncertainty and insecurities.  Even the most successful and famous people are not always sure of themselves as we know.  Some incredibly talented people out there have shown us that they’re full of self doubt.

When I look at you, I may not know you.  I don’t know how you looked six months ago.  I didn’t know you a year ago or how you looked.  What I see is a person and what I’m going to try to do is capture the person I see in the very best way for them.

Personally, I like to connect with the person I’m photographing.  A while ago, when I was shooting a commercial job, this lady sat in front of me absolutely frozen.  I asked her to tell me about her husband but she got more uptight.  Wrong!  Then I asked her about her kids and she just relaxed on the spot.  In a few seconds we were sharing stories about our children and having a laugh.. and we came out of that session with some fabulous shots.  I honestly don’t think I can take good photographs of someone who appears to be frozen and unhappy in front of the camera.  It never works.
So if you can lose your inhibitions for a few seconds and connect with your photographer, then the photographs are going to be great.

Now whilst I’ve asked you to do this huge thing, I’m going to give you a few tips for looking good in a shot.

  • Wear make-up… don’t wear make-up… It’s really up to you.
  • Be natural… be yourself… Be the person you are normally.
  • RELAX!  Take a few deep breaths in and out and let all your stress go.
  • Try and keep your posture good.  Even when I’m taking a headshot, having a straight back with shoulders back will make an immense difference to your face. 
  • When the photographer is shooting, breath in through your nose.  This will make your pupils larger.  Large pupils make you look friendlier and less fearful!
  • If I asked you to breath in, you’ll have forgotten to smile, so smile!  Everyone, without exception looks better when they smile.   I know you don’t believe me, I know you hate your teeth, but just relax and trust your photographer to get the shot they know they can get.
  • Trust your photographer.   They know what they’re doing. 
  • Trust yourself!   You chose the photographer, hopefully.  You checked out their photographs.  You know what you asked for.
  • Final tip… Don’t look at the photographer!  I always ask my clients to look straight down the lens, not at me.  This way, everyone’s focus is on a very small point and this gets great results.

Happy shooting!