Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 Photo Tips for You

Many of you may not know this, but I spent five years in the work world with Nikon as my main client. I lived photography and wrote more photo tip articles than you can imagine. I thought I would let my readers benefit from my vast photographic experience and provide you with some photo tips.

Now I know a lot of you are probably moms who take a lot of pictures of your kids. And at some point, I may share my photo tips for kids (if I am in the mood). But this time, I am going to share tips to help you, the mom, look better in photos. No, I am not going to suggest losing weight, getting a haircut, working out or anything like that. These are simple camera tricks that can help you look younger, thinner and more like you think you look.

1) Never let a photographer shoot up at you. On TV, you often see paparazzi crouching down to take a photo (how do you think they get all those unflattering celebrity photos). No, no, no! The photographer should ALWAYS be higher up than you. The bottom of your chin is not your best side, I promise. My father-in-law used to be a wedding photographer and he would bring a footstool with him to shoot weddings. Ideally, the photographer should be a little higher than you are and shooting slightly down. It cuts down on the number of chins that appear in the photo and you will be very pleased with the result. No one has ever been happy with a photo that was taken from below.

2) Fill Flash, Fill Flash, Fill Flash. This is a mantra for anyone who has worked in the photography industry. If someone is taking your photo, make sure the photographer uses a flash. Even if you don't think you need one. Flash will help darken the background, making the colors brighter and will help erase those shadows and lines that make you look ten years older than you actually are.

3) When having your photo taken outside, stay out of direct sunlight. The gut reaction of most people outside is to stand in the sun to get the most light. But the sun is harsh. It makes shadows and lines on your face (shadows and lines are nobody's friend). Don't go deep into the forest, but stand under a tree or in slight shade (photographers call this open shade). This will also avoid the unattractive squint that can't be avoided in sunny photos.

4) Dress Comfortably. One thing I always tell my clients before a television appearance or photo shoot is make sure you think you look good. If you feel comfortable and feel like you look good, you will appear more confident, happier, and even look better. Also, of course, stay away from busy patterns (that may be good advice for every day too). Try to avoid all black and all white outfits. It makes the color balance difficult for the camera.

5) Most point and shoot cameras (camera lingo, probably the type of camera most parents have) these days offer telephoto lenses. Have the photographer move back and use the zoom lens to get closer. Wide-angle lenses distort (and in just the way you would expect from something with wide in the name).

I hope these photo tips will help you feel more comfortable with having your photo taken. Your family will be pleased to have these memories of you and you will be pleased to look so good in your pictures.

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17 comments:

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Thanks for the tips. I did know about some of them but most were new to me, especially about shooting down on a person and not wearing an all black or all white outfit. I'll be mentioning these on my "What I Learned This Week" post on Friday and linking back to your post at www.zemeks.blogspot.com.

Mademoiselle Robot said...

Thanks, this was a very useful post. I wish all cameras had fill flash.

mrsbear said...

I'm so camera shy, I really don't get photographed often. I'll use some of these tips to get myself in to the family albums finally. ;-)

daysgoby said...

What a great article! Thanks!

On The Verge said...

These are awesome tips. Now, how do I get myself in the photos?? lol

Custom Blog Designs said...

Thanks for the tips! I am so bad with photos!

Sandra Foyt said...

I'm going to have to print these tips on a cue card & attach it to my best friend's camera. Although a fantastic photographer, she has an uncanny ability to take my worst shots!

hippos toes said...

These are some great tips to keep in mind. Thank you for posting. Thank you also for visiting my blog and for your kind words :)

Moms At Work said...

Great tips! I need all the help I can get.

Barbara said...

Thanks for #3. I always wear sunglasses because I can't look into the sun. LOL

julie said...

Oh, excellent! I saw Texas Holly's review on Stumbleupon and had to read it, I've been looking for advice just like this! Thanks!

Julie said...

and DUH. I meant SCVbloggirl. Sorry, I was reading a post by texas holly as well and my brain synapsed. :)

Dani said...

Awesome tips that are actually easy to remember and follow!

Linda said...

This is very informative. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Do you have any advice for those of us who wear glasses? I have a family member who always takes her glasses off when being photographed, even though she hasn't had contacts for years. Her kids won't recognize her in photos someday! I think she's trying to avoid glare, but is there a better way?

Leanne said...

Very nice. I'm now madly scribbling all this down. Thanks!

Eryn at HomeSchooledYear.com said...

These are really helpful tips. My husband worked as a photojournalist for a couple years and he's constantly rattling off more tips than I can digest while trying to take a photo, but you've explained these in a way I can actually retain.

Stud Kickass said...

Great tips, especially the first one about the photographers angle.