Autumn is officially here and it got me thinking about all the holidays just around the corner. From Halloween to New Years Eve, it’s one of the most photographic times of the year. And the reason I love holiday photos are because they are a chance for families and friends to get together and celebrate. It is a chance to capture special moments that you can look back on for years to come. Here are a few simple steps to help make sure you look your best in any season’s photos.
1. WHAT TO WEAR
The big question we get from most of our clients is what to wear to a portrait session. Before getting in front of the camera, think about not only what you are going to wear but also what the others in your group will be wearing. You can’t go wrong with layered solid colors and a small pop of color or personality with an accent piece. Avoid patterns or use them sparingly since they are distracting to the eye.
Most people think holiday photos have to be posed in front of a tree surrounded by presents. More and more people are opting for photos that showcase them outside enjoying the changing color of leaves or playing in the snow. Whether you opt for indoor or outdoor photos, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing the best location.
OUTDOORS: The best time to take photos is at “golden hour” as the sun is setting or rising. If you’re like me and the thought of waking up early enough for a sunrise shoot doesn’t sound appealing, sunset is your best bet. The light is flattering because the sun is closer to the horizon line and it becomes more even. The worst thing you can do is shoot directly in the harsh sunlight of midday. If sunset is not an option, look for “open shade” where the light is even on your whole body and even behind you as well. Just make sure the light is not dabbled as it will add shadows and hot spots in unwanted areas.
INDOORS: If you do decide to have your photos done inside, look for a window with enough light. You want enough light that it is even but not a direct beam a light. Remove anything distracting from the background, such as decorations or clutter so your photos look clean and elegant.
3. HOW TO POSE
Unless you are a professional model, you probably have not given posing much thought. Something as simple as standing up straight can make you look not only thinner but younger as well. The following are a few of my favorite posing enhancements to make you look your best in photos.
- Lean your chin and forehead slightly forward. This will elongate your neck and prevent double chins.
- Place one foot further back than the other and put your weight on the back foot. This is instantly slimming as your hips turn slightly and angle your body in a flattering way.
- Move your hands away from your body. When your arms hang at your sides, it adds to the waistline. By placing a hand on the hip or on something nearby it adds dimension and movement to the photograph while also slimming your figure.
- Roll your shoulders back and stand up straight. Most people are a little shy when they stand in front of a camera and they tend to shrink into themselves. By standing up straight and rolling your shoulders backs makes you look more confident and open.
4. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL…
Have fun. If you are trying to do a “Blue Steel” face or look like a bored model it will almost always look false. Be yourself and have fun with your photographer. If you have fun during a shoot you will almost always look good in your photos.