Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to look good in photographs by Rod Howe

I asked my long time friend and photographer, Rod Howe , whom I have worked with for over 10 years for tips on how to look good in photographs. Rod is a very well known beauty/celebrity and lingerie photographer based in London and he knows how to make women look great! Read on for some very informative tips:

I am sometimes asked, jokingly, by female friends if I can make them look as good as the models they see on my website. The natural photogenic attributes that professional models possess are hard to compete with for most women, but of course you also have to consider the skills of the photographer, makeup artist, stylist and other dedicated crew members working together to create 'the look' on a high end photo shoot. Most of us who are not models can often feel uncomfortable about having our photograph taken, but there are some simple rules of thumb you can follow to look your best.
What to wear: Go for clothing that makes you feel natural and comfortable - not necessarily the clothes you think will make you look more photogenic. The photo is about you and not the clothes, so if possible avoid wearing bright colors and bold patterns. Neutral combinations, plain pastel or muted colors work best. Remember that ultra trendy fashion styles will date very quickly, so to avoid embarrassment in a few years time, choose classic styles.
Make up: If you wear make up, its best to keep it simple - less is always more!
Heavy make up will be exaggerated in the photo, so go easy, but do pay attention to blemishes or overly greasy areas on your skin, as these will show up prominently.
Lighting: The inbuilt flash on most cameras can give a harsh and unforgiving effect if not operated by someone with a degree of photographic skill, so I would advise taking the photos outside on an a bright but overcast day - mid morning is best. Daylight on an overcast day is softer and more flattering than full sunshine. Get the photographer to consider the background and keep it simple and uncluttered so it doesn't compete with you for attention. If you have to shoot against a busy background, and the photographer has a reasonable command of the camera, ask him or her to put the background out of focus whilst keeping you in focus.
Posing: The camera lens needs to be at your eye level, or slightly above. When standing or sitting, angle your body slightly away from the camera, keeping eye contact and maintain a good posture - don't slouch! The aim is to portray a relaxed confident look. Don't stare repeatedly at the camera because this will make you look vacant and awkward - try looking away from time to time and ask the photographer to take the picture as you look back at camera. Don't be scared to repeat this several times in order to get the best shot. With a digital camera you can review, delete and repeat until you are satisfied. Do smile, but not a big cheesy grin, just think some happy thoughts. If you know the photographer well you could ask him or her to take pictures as you chat - natural and spontaneous looking images can be achieved in this way, but it is a technique used by professional photographers, so the
camera will have to be in the hands of someone who knows what they're
Photo of Dannii Minogue by Rod Howe, makeup by Melissa Walsh, Hair by Alex Price

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