I don’t think there is any increment of doubt that you’ve probably taken a photo of yourself at some point in time. If not, then you just have the bad luck of looking like your high in every photo, like I do. Either way, regardless of how photogenic you may or may not be, there are ways of making your photos look absolutely amazing, without taking photography courses, putting your house on mortgage to buy a good camera, or even hiring some Italian fashion photographer. All you need is a camera, your face and someone to hopefully take the photo. (Yes, I know selfies exist, but let’s all be adults here, shall we?)
Please do understand, this is not a session on photography, these are just tips for looking good on camera, in a very casual and everyday manner. If you want to travel the world and become a famous model, well, I’m not the person you want to be talking to.
The Skin. Oh God, The Skin!
Look, unless you’re going for some kind of post-modern art gallery photo, you probably don’t want you face to look like a warzone, with all the trenches and craters. No, you probably want a completely smooth face, and you want your skin to look its supplest and freshest. If you’re going for a headshot, even if you’re not putting on any make up around your lips or eyes, it would still be wise to put on a little foundation.
The foundation isn’t really there to make you look good, but rather to even out your skin, to keep it from showing visible signs of damage.
It’s also important to make sure the skin is as clean as possible, since good cameras can pick up on every dirty pore, trench and flaky skin that you have on and around your face. Using some moisturizing cream could help give it that shiny surface and soft texture, however, you may require heavy duty tools for the bigger loads.
Skin cleansing is always a good idea. Even if not for taking photos, it is an incredibly effective way of keeping your skin healthy, cleaning those hard to reach places, and simply making sure your skin layers remain strong and tight. But for taking photos, this is especially vital, since you want to have clean pores, so that the camera won’t show all the dirt inside of them.
Put a Smile on That Face
Ok, so you don’t have to smile. In fact, you can have any facial expression that you want. It’s not the late 19th century, where taking one photo takes the same amount of effort as giving birth. Back then there were no redo’s, so if you screwed up your face in the photo, that was kind of it. You had no other chance to take another one. Even if you did have the money for it, it would still take too long.
But nowadays, we take, what like 10 photos at once just to make sure that everyone is jumping in the air at the same time (but there’s always that one person who’s jumping too early, and so you have to do it another 25 times).
Anyway, as I was saying, you can make any facial expression you want, but to highlight this expression, if you want to highlight it, that is, you need to know how to put on the make-up and what to use. Now, I’m not a make-up consultant. In fact, I’m not a consultant of anything, but I think that many would agree, that there are many important things to take into account when putting on make-up for a photo. My simplest and most basic of advice would be to not overdo it. Can’t tell you how weird it is seeing someone with layers upon layers of make-up, when you their face has actually grown by several inches. Put on just enough, so that you can highlight the best parts of your face (and hide the worst. Ok no I’m just kidding.)
Light Your Face
Don’t light your face. Instead, CAST light on you face. Big difference, less 2nd degree, more light on your face. Ask any photographer what’s most important in a photo, or a cinematographer about making films, and they’ll tell you it’s lighting.
Lighting can change so much about any photo. Adjust it correctly and you can get the best looking photo of yourself you’ve ever seen. Adjust it incorrectly, and you’ll look like something from one of those old black and white horror movies.
Anyway, obviously, if you’re not a professional photographer, setting up lights for a photo is probably not something you do every time before taking one. However, do ask the person who’s taking the photo to make sure that the light works well with your facial features. Don’t settle for drab, white lighting of a room, try to get some natural lighting.
Either way, keep this in mind, and you can make your photos exponentially times more attractive.
Snap, Snap, Snap
You probably take a lot of photos throughout the day. I don’t, but then again, I don’t do a lot of anything. You probably do a lot more. But if you are a perfectionist, or if you simply want to look good for your friends and loved ones, then you have to remember to take photos with these few tips in mind.
Now, obviously, you’re not going to follow each and every one of these tips every time you take a photo, but these can still come in useful if you need a photo for something more important, but simply don’t have the time to go to a professional photographer.
Either way, do make sure to keep your skin clean, put on the right amount of make-up, and pay attention to that lighting. Now get out there, and take photos with every breathing or non-breathing, thing, item, place, building, car, tree that you find. Don’t act like you weren’t going to do it.