Your face is awesome. How do I know this? Because everyone’s face is awesome! We all have such unique characteristics in our faces, and I love to highlight those parts of who you are. Of course, I know we are our own worst critics, and it can be pretty tricky to feel confident in a photo session when you struggle not to fixate on the things you feel are flaws. I understand, because I’ve been there! Often I’ve had clients express dismay over something I truly didn’t even consider an issue or flaw, so keep in mind how you see yourself isn’t necessarily how the rest of the world sees you.
So all that said, time and time again, I’ve run into some small details that can really impact how you feel about your face in your photos. Here are some tips to help you feel awesome about the results of our shoot.
Emily here is 100% indentation-free, and that made this shot super flawless!
01.Don't wear your shades
I’ve learned this the hard way. On the day of your shoot (yes, the whole day), avoid wearing sunglasses at all. Consider squinting instead if you can. Ever notice that pesky little indentation in your nose when you take off your shades? Do you really want that in your photos? If you want to rock yer sunnies ’cause we’re in the sun and that’s the style you envisioned, it’s better to keep it brief and deliberate so that you never have to deal with shades-nose. I usually will shoot with sunnies at the end of the shoot instead of the beginning in order to avoid this very issue. If you absolutely must wear them, then at least consider taking them off at least 30-min-60 mins before we start shooting so your skin has time to bounce back.
I enthusiastically recommend anti-reflective coating for your glasses. It dramatically improves photos!
02.DO wear your specs
Okay, so I’ve voiced my firm opposition to your sunglasses, but I absolutely love it when people wear their glasses. If you wear glasses most of the time but then take them off for your portraits, you won’t feel like yourself! Glasses are more like a haircut than an accessory for many: they are a constant part of your look, something that truly defines you. Don’t worry too much about reflections, I’ll worry about positioning you best for those.
Conversely: If you don’t normally wear makeup, then DON’T WEAR MAKEUP. Looking like yourself will make you feel most comfortable and that’s the priority!
03.Waterproof makeup is your friend
If it’s hot on the day of our shoot and you get sweaty, or if it’s chilly and it rains, or if it’s humid… whatever the case, waterproof makeup helps your face stay looking sharp without any smudging! I recommend drawing attention to your eyes. Another helpful makeup tip: dabbing on some facial powder and bringing some plotter paper (even napkins can double as blotters in a pinch) can help if you tend towards greasier skin, especially if it’s warm or sunny outside. Note: if you have a blemish on the day of the shoot that doesn’t normally belong, let me know so I can work on shooting around it/avoiding it. I don’t want to assume anything about your features and what you are or are not comfortable with.
Blemishes are a lot easier to edit out than gajillions of tiny hairs. Photographers are good, but we’re not magicians!
04.Tame the flyaways
Most frequent issue people have with their appearance? Their flyaway frizzies. Tame those troublemakers simply: if you have smooth hair, a quick fix is to breathe into your hands, rub ’em together, and smooth them over your hair. If your hair tends to get up to no good often (curly girls, y’all know what I mean), bring a smoothing hair product and mirror along to reapply if needed.
This isn’t really a post about makeup, but it’s always a good idea to have any other essentials you’re wearing on-hand, just in case of a smudge or something.
05.Soft lips look good
Soft lips, yes! Cracked lips? Not so much. Close ups feature these tiny details more clearly. Wear lip balm in the days leading up to your shoot, not just on the day of the shoot. Your lips will not only look great, but they’ll be highly kissable, and we love to encourage kissing! If you plan on wearing lipstick, please bring it with you to the shoot! That stuff wears off fast, especially if kissing is involved.
Oh, and without a doubt—wear sunscreen in the weeks leading to your session. Show up with a sunburn and there’s nothing I can do to help with that. And don’t forget that sunscreen on your lips!
Of course, above all, please don’t worry too much about this… allowing yourselves to have natural fun together is by far the most important! I’ll worry about focusing on your best angles. You worry about having the best time.
06.Raise your head up high
But not THAT high. That confidence that comes with raising your head up helps prevent generating the appearance of a double-chin if that’s something you’re feeling sensitive about. Easy to feel at your best by jutting your chin forward a smidge. Mostly that just means keeping your head up straight ahead, so good posture is a good start. Now this is a fine art, remember. Raise your head too high and suddenly I’m getting an up-the-nose shot that nobody wants. Just pop your chin up and out the slightest bit, and you’re golden.
07.Get bulgey stuff outta those pockets!
So, this isn’t necessarily a ‘close up’ issue but it is a major issue. A lot of people keep things like keys and wallets and phones in their pockets, especially front pockets. Where they appear to be a strange bulge and disrupts the smooth line of your profile. So for your photos, either leave items in your car (if safe), move any slim items to back pockets, or just let me hold them for you during the session (just don’t forget to retrieve them from me). I promise it will have a huge impact on your pants fitting better and just a general better result in the end. Every session I mention this, but often without thinking about it, people will move stuff back from their back pocket to their front (as seen above, after we pit-stopped at a bar for a cocktail, these items magically found their way back to the front pockets). So the best option is to leave them elsewhere, or let me hold them in my camera bag for you.
Some couples will bring a big tote bag with spare stuff or to hold these items, and then set it to the side whenever we’re shooting. This is an ~okay~ solution, but honestly 99% of the time at the end of our shoot, my couples will say “I don’t know why I even brought this bag.” You almost certainly won’t need whatever’s in it and it disrupts the natural flow of fun together if we have to constantly pit-stop to set aside your bag. Better to only bring things that are pocket-sized that’ll fit in my camera bag.