Take A More Flattering Photo

Filling out an online dating or job search profile? Here’s how to make sure your photos are flattering. 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!

Drivers license photos being flattering are a rarity but there’s no reason why you can’t have a profile pic you’re proud of.

Here’s how to take a more flattering photo

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 below. Here I’m looking out 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)
  • This photo below was taken outside with all the light coming from overhead. Not as flattering is it? Too many shadows.
    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 camera friendly look.
  • By all means take advantage of natural light. The most flattering is an overcast day as direct sun will lead to those pesky shadows. Find a sheltered spot so your face is out of direct light and hopefully 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.

When you’re prepared for some sessions not working out you won’t be disappointed. Feel free to use the Delete button like I do.

Get a feeling for which angle of your face the camera loves the most, but be willing to experiment. Be patient and keep smiling!
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