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Friday, May 28, 2010

How To Look Good in Pictures

First of all, the firings are over and I'm still employed. YEAH.  Second, the looks of this blog are going to be fixed this weekend, or those of you on the west coast will be able to hear me shriek.

Alright, as a wedding photographer, I've seen it all.  So here are my hints on how to look good in pictures that are taken of you.

1.  Always and I mean always wear pantyhose or shapewear to a function where there will be a photographer. I can hear the protesting from my office in Maryland, so first I'll deal with group one.  Group one consists of the "I don't look like a 19 year old stick insect with breast implants so it doesn't matter what I wear, I'm always going to look the same."  WRONG.  Without control top pantyhose or shapewear, you're going to look like a lumpy sack of potatoes, or worse yet a lumpy sack of jiggling, wiggling pudding.

Then there's group two. Group two consists of the "I ride, workout, run, ect, ect everyday and I have a body like a rock, so I don't need those things."  OK, here's what we're going to see on your rock hard body, visible panty, thong, or God forbid all together lines. You have no idea how adorable a dress/skirt looks bunched up in your patoot, and trust me, if you are not the bride, hostess, or event chair, the photographer will not take the time to clone it out. 

Remember, a few hours of being mildly uncomfortable is preferable to years of being embarrassed whenever you have to look at that picture.

2.  If everytime you laugh hysterically, whatever you're drinking comes out of your nose, or you have a migraine. feel sick, had a fight with your date/husband/ significant other, or generally are in a bad mood; do not position yourself anywhere near the bride, hostess, or event chair, because when the picture is shot, there you'll be clearly visible in the background looking ridiculous or just  plain God awful.

3.  Wear makeup.  The camera washes you out.  If you normally don't, do it anyway.  A little lipgloss, blush and mascara will make you look 100 times better, younger and more refreshed. Trust me on this. Putting a little paint on your face, does not mean you are not a bright competent woman.

4. The mistake that most people make when they know they're having their picture taken is to squinch up their eyes and tighten their mouths.  This action makes you look like you're about to be sick or you're a really mean person.  Open your eyes and relax your mouth. Think to yourself, you know a delicious secret about the photographer and then smile. 

So there you have my best advice.  Hopefully, by Tuesday the blog will look good again,


  1. Glad you're still employed!

  2. I recently attended a small wedding with both amateur photographers and one "professional" photographer who hid in a back room video taping the proceedings. The slip under my dress had creeped down and not one single person let me know. I was asked to stand up with the bride and groom for pictures, placing my arms around people, which just lifted my dress hem higher to show more of my slip. In every picture, my slip was showing, so we had to crop everyone off below the knees. I was horrified. I don't even want to think about that video that was given to the bride and groom. I wish the professional photographer could have come out from his hiding spot to inform me of this issue.

    When I photograph people I always let them know if their mascara is smeared or a thread is hanging from their hem or their hair is messed up and I help them fix it. A friend recently took my picture and let me know that my sweater was poofing out and making me look pregnant, so I unzipped it. I can imagine your frustration with someone who chose too tight of a dress and there's nothing you can do to fix it, because I feel just as frustrated when I ruin pictures due to being unaware of something about my appearance that is glaring and unflattering. There are fixables and unfixables.

  3. I would have told you and the photographer should have. What I see a lot is the hottie in the dress with the visible thong or the large woman with the panty lines, who looks like a bag of potatoes. Or more unfortunately, the poor person in the backgroud looking weened on a pickle, and that person I generally don't see until I'm processing the pictures.

    When you ask someone to pose, you should, if there is something like a showing slip, or smeared makeup take them aside and mention it. A spot on the clothing, I always clone out. But when the issue is the pantylines, there's nothing anyone can do, so I try not to make the poor person embarrassed.

  4. Great tips. I especially like the one about thinking of a secret and smiling. I try to think, 'Oh I just LOVE this guy'- when the picture is taken it doesn't look so forced!
    This is why I hardly ever have my picture taken- I hate to wear panty hose, or heels. I only wear boots- even with a dress( I actually own one dress!)
    But how does a person look good on a horse in photos? I'd really like to know! I always look awful!

  5. That will come after I come back from vacation. I'll corral some friends of mine into being models and show you what to do.