Now that it’s the holidays it’s that time of year again where we’ll all be taking tons of photos and posting them to social media. Which means it’s also that time of year where at least one of your friends or family members is going to get upset with you for posting an unflattering picture of them! 🤣 Hey, it happens to the best of us! Earlier this week we talked about beauty tips from the makeup pros in the TV industry and now I want to share some tips from my TV lighting guys to make y’all look and feel your best when taking photos! I also got some tips on poses, the best equipment, and presets so you girls will really be covered! These tips will work whether you’re taking group photos with the family or taking photos of yourself for the gram! Now go tell all your best girlfriends too so no one has a dreaded awful picture of them posted to social media for all of eternity this holiday season! 🤪 Alright let’s dig in!
My lighting and camera boys came through and gave me some GOOD tips for taking a great picture. Shout out to Andrew and Renato! 💛 Here’s their best tips:
- Indoors vs Outdoors: You can take your photos indoors or outdoors but outdoors will always give you the best natural lighting so outdoors is always preferred!
- Try and take photos during golden hours: There are actually two golden hours! One is in the morning when the sun is rising. If you’re taking your photos this early in the morning you’ll want to take them before the sun gets too high. You usually have about thirty minutes after sunrise before the sun gets too harsh! The other golden hour, which you have probably heard of is right before sunset. This is prime picture taking time! You can really take great looking photos 2-3 hours before sunset but 30 minutes before the sun goes down is the best!
- Time of Day: If you’re trying to decide whether you and your friends should take pictures indoors or outdoors just follow this simple rule about time! If it’s sunrise or sunset shoot outside. If it’s midday shoot indoors. Shooting indoors during the middle of the day is very flattering, especially by windows with natural light! Shooting outdoors midday will look very harsh and unflattering, magnifying any wrinkles and blemishes. The sun is basically at it’s highest point beating down on your face at this time of day. In addition to the photo looking unflattering it will also be more difficult for you to take the photo: think sweating, squinting, etc!
- Don’t overlook overcast days: Overcast days are great for photos because the lighting is even which means there won’t be any super bright spots and there won’t be any really dark spots! The lighting during overcast days is also very soft aka more flattering!
- Make Sure Lighting is Even: Don’t take photos in half sun and half shade. It’s always better to be either completely in the sun or completely in the shade. If you have to take a photo mid day try and take it in complete shade. This is one rule I knew about! I know on set our directors HATE when they would have to shoot in a location that was half shade/half sun!
- Color of Clothes Matter: If you’re taking pictures in a light place wear dark clothes and if you’re taking photos in a dark place wear light clothes. You never want to look washed out! Also, no crazy patterns! That’s a rule we use in television as well but just in general crazy patterns never look great on any camera!
- Clean your lens: Obvious but overlooked right? How often do I complain about my pictures not being crystal clear? All the time! How often do I clean my iPhone lens? Never! 🤣 I will now though! Cleaning your phone lens before snapping photos can help give you clearer pictures since we’re always touching our phone!
POSES AND TIPS:
- Look at Old Photos of Yourself: Study old photos of yourself and decide what you like and what you don’t like about them. Find patterns in photos that you like about yourself so you can try and recreate that in future photos!
- Practice Poses: Once you look through old photos and find pictures of yourself that you like you can practice different poses in the mirror. It’s going to make you feel like a fool so do it when no one is around! 🤣 It definitely helps though when you’re taking photos. Find what poses feel natural for you and what looks good to you!
- Find Your Best Side: Working in the entertainment industry we hear celebrities talk about their best side all the time! It makes you want to roll your eyes! 🙄😆 But these celebs are on to something! Our faces are not naturally symmetrical so one side of your face usually looks better than the other. If you don’t know which is your best side ask a few close friends. They’ll definitely be able to tell you!
- Perfect the Natural Smile: To give a natural smile start by thinking of something that makes you happy. You can also put the tip of your tongue against the back of your two top teeth. This will definitely help your smile look more genuine and help avoid those goofy grins! 😁
- Avoid the Double Chin: This is the one your girl struggles with the most! The double chin runs in the family. Thanks Dad! 🤦🏻♀️ To avoid the double chin elongate your neck and tilt your chin down just a tad! Make sure to also stick your head out slightly. This is going to feel so awkward but trust me it works and it will look great! This is the only trick that works for getting rid of my double chin!
- Tilt Head: The majority of people look their best when their head is slightly tilted to one side rather than completely front facing. Even better if you look slightly above or below the camera rather than directly into the camera. We do the same thing in television. When we interview our cast we sit right next to the camera and they look directly at us! If you’ve ever watched reality tv you’ll notice in the interviews that it still looks like they are looking at you just much more natural!
- Good Posture Makes a Huge Difference: Make sure to pull your shoulders back and straighten your back aka stand tall! Slouching doesn’t look good on anyone! You can also turn your body 45 degrees away from the camera to appear slimmer. I can vouch that this works like a charm!
- Take photos from above: A photo shot from above is always way more flattering than one shot from below. If you’re taking group selfies make sure the tallest person is the one actually holding the camera. Plus if they’re taller they should have the longest arms right?! 🤷🏻♀️
- Avoid being stiff: Bend your arms and legs! You never want your limbs to be straight, stiff, or too limp! If you’re too stiff it will definitely show on camera. So loosen up and move around a bit before taking a photo if necessary!
- Avoid blinking: I’m so guilty of blinking during photos! I’ll take so many photos that would be so perfect if my eyes were open! 🤦🏻♀️ If you have kids that you take photos with you definitely don’t want to blink because you only get that perfect cute as can be photo from them once! If you blink a lot during photos try closing your eyes and then open them right before the picture is taken! If you’re outside and your eyes are sensitive to the sun it helps to close your eyes and face them up towards the sky and sun. This helps your eyes adjust to the brightness without damaging them!
- Fix Red Eye: Red eye in photos tend to appear in low ambient light. To fix the issue look straight at a bright light just before the picture is taken. This will shrink your pupils which will help prevent red eye!
- Take Photos In Low Traffic Areas: If you’re taking photos of yourself use an area with less traffic. It will feel less intimidating if you don’t have people constantly walking by looking at you and your photos will definitely come out more natural looking!
- Use a wall: Sit or lean against a wall to relax the body for a more natural look. You can also use a tree or anything else available to you!
- Move around: Don’t stay in one pose for the entire time you’re taking a photo! Sometimes the best photos come from the natural movements of your body.
PRODUCTS AND PRESETS:
- Tripod: If you’re taking photos of yourself then you’ll definitely want to invest in a tripod. This is the one I use for my photos if I’m taking pictures by myself. Tripods are also great if you want to take group shots and still be able to capture a beautiful background! I love this tripod because it has a remote. Perfect for setting up your perfect pose and then just a click of a button will snap your shot!
- Wrap Around Tripod: I love this tripod because it’s great for when you’re on the go or outdoors. The legs bend and twist so you can basically wrap this tripod around anything to get that perfect shot!
- Fly Away Tamer: I like to think that my hair is pretty darn tame but when I take photos to post to Instagram those little fly aways on the top of my head drive me insane! I use this Fly Away Tamer to keep them down! It does make your hair a little hard like gel would but so worth it for the photo!
- Presets: Presets make a huge difference to your photo! Huge! They can take a photo from blah and basic to beautiful! They are way better than Instagram’s filters. No offense Instagram! If you aren’t familiar with presets they are pre-saved edits that can be applied to any photo. Basically all the work is done for you so you don’t have to do any editing. You can edit or manipulate your photos with presets if you choose but I never do! To use presets you just download the Lightroom App (it’s free) and then download your favorite preset pack. The presets do cost money, usually around $25-$50 for a pack of 4-8 presets but you own them for life. Not bad! Tons of bloggers have their own presets and trust me your girl has tried them ALL! The best presets I have ever found come from a blogger named Daryl Ann Denner. I’ll link how you can purchase her presets here if you’re interested. I have tried tons of presets from tons of bloggers with beautiful photos only to waste my money and find that they don’t work with my skin tone! Daryl Ann’s work with all skin tones and come in a pack of four. If you’re looking to upgrade your photos they are worth the small investment. Here’s an example of a before and after photo of mine using Daryl Ann’s presets! I mean come on look at that… 😍😍😍
I hope these tips help y’all feel so beautiful this holiday season. Remember to embrace the unique parts of yourself that make you all so beautiful and don’t forget that even those gorgeous models take TONS of photos before they find the perfect one! Trust me, I know! I’ve worked with some of them! Hope you all have the best weekend! Sending lots of love to you all! 💕