Take A More Flattering Photo

Would you like your photos to be more flattering, whether for a online profile or just for fun? It’s all about the lighting.

If you’re like me you have very mixed feelings when a camera comes out. Not all of us take a good photo, or if we do it’s so rare we want to display it for decades. I once had a really great photo taken for my TX drivers license of all things and I wanted to clone it!

How can we be sure our photos are flattering? Seeing ourselves in a better light. Literally. Nothing lifts our spirits more.

Lighting is the key ingredient for a more becoming and flattering photo. My dressing table faces a window which gets indirect light in the morning. One day I noticed how flattering indirect natural lighting was while putting on my makeup!

Some Tips For Achieving a More Flattering Photo:
  • Face a natural light source. Notice the example above. Here I am simply facing a south facing window at a time of day when no direct light is coming in. (You can also get the same effect if the building has a deep overhang)
  • Here’s a photo below taken with light coming from overhead. Not as flattering is it?
    Flattering photo

    Bright overhead lighting casts unflattering shadows.

  • If you face an indirect light source, chances are you won’t need any additional lighting. A bonus: your face won’t be cursed with unflattering shadows.
  • Don’t forget hair and makeup. I’ve missed great photo opportunities because I was having a bad hair day. If you’re outside and can’t touch up your hair, then consider wearing a hat or ask whoever is taking the photo to assess your hairstyle for a more camera friendly look.
  • By all means take advantage of natural light but if you’re outside, try to find a sheltered spot so your face is out of direct light and any wind won’t destroy your hairstyle.
  • If I know I’m going to have photos taken I might add a little more makeup than usual. I have fair skin and light hair. My eyes disappear if I don’t have liner and mascara. Know what works for you and be prepared to touch up if needed.
Don’t obsess about how you look in a photo as you get older.

The best photos are usually captured in the moment. I think the photographer has a lot to do with how we react to the camera! Some photographers give you no clues as to when they are going to point and click. Others make us laugh and before we know it we’re in the mood for a great photo shoot.

Just know some photo sessions won’t work out (feel free to use the Delete button like I do). Be patient and keep smiling! You never know when the camera will love you.
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