How to Look Good in Photos: part 2

In the second part of this blog I have some tips from Trondheim-based stylist, Hilde Sveli. I often find that some women seem to have shiny make up, which is exagerated under the flash. I asked Hilde what women can do about it:

“If you are being photographed and you have problem with oily skin, you should consider buying a matte powder without shimmer, that is a notch lighter than your skin tone.”

shiny make up can reflect light, even under weak flash

shiny make up can reflect light, even under weak flash

“Apply this to the T-Zone where reflections from oily skin can be a problem. Concentrate on the forehead and nose, and a little on the upper lip maybe. 

If you absolutely want to cover up dark circles under the eyes or acne, use a concealer without shimmer that is 1-2 degrees lighter than your skin tone. It is important to then remember to use the powder over the concealer to “matt down” the areas you have covered.”


Matte make up is much softer and more natural in photos

I wrote last week about what the importance of preparation, knowing when your photoshoot is and buffing yourself up a bit. This can be a bit of a mine field however. A hairdresser friend of mine told me once that brides and grooms, for example, always want something completely different for their wedding, when in actual fact you would like to look back and see yourself as you really were during that stage of your life. But at the same time photoshoots are great opportunities to look your best and I asked Hilde what the girls can do to go the extra mile:

“When it comes to eye makeup, it is possible to go on a little more. If you are accustomed to using eyeshadow you might like to use a slightly darker color than the everyday. The light in the studio evens out and devours a lot of makeup, so if you’re used to highlighting your eyes do not be afraid to add a little extra! When you’re smiling your eyes will be even narrower, so to accentuate the eyes can be a neat trick to achieve a good image.

If you are not accustomed to using eye shadow, it can be a bit risky to start right before a shoot. Instead you should focus on putting on both mascara and eyeliner nicely.

 A dark lipstick is seldom good in regular photography. It will actually reduce your lips. I’d go for either moisturising balm, lip gloss or natural lipstick.”


Your make up should accentuate your natural beauty


I wrote last week how girls have it easier with clothes as they have more smart options available to them. But when it comes to beauty regime the guys are the winners because whilst girls look best when they are done up, boys often look better with a rough edge. That is not to say that the rough look is easily acquired, or always appropriate. My top tips are:

– If you shave then make sure you take a little longer over it on the day of your photoshoot than you would do normally. Patches of unshaved hair are easily editable but if missed buy the photographer can look a bit funny on the final photo. Also, if you are wet shaving and have sensitive skin then time your shave appropriately to avoid having the worst of your red neck showing during the photoshoot. A good tip is rinse with ice cold water (in abundance during Norwegian winter!) after you shave: this will close the pores and prevent the worst inflammation.

to shave or not shave, that is the question

to shave or not shave, that is the question

– We have mentioned shiny products for women and the same can be true for men: if you use any moisturiser, after shave balm, tanning lotion etc. then do consider whether it is an oil-based product and how this will look under the flash.

– Tanning. This is goes for both sexes; please do not try and get in one last tanning session at the Sol Factory before your photoshoot. You will not look like you have just got back from Greece, you will look like the camera’s colour settings are broken. More often than not your photographer will use an automatic colour setting which will shoot all the day’s models at more or less the same colour. We can then adjust these settings in Photoshop afterwards so that the series of images look in keeping. Different skin tones and colours are no problem, but they are exaggerated on screen.

And, my Scandinavian friends, please spit out the snus before you have your photo taken. It is a subtle difference in the photo, but worth not taking the risk.

You may be asked to participate in a situation photo, so be prepared

You may be asked to participate in a situation photo, so be prepared

Final thoughts.

There is often a lot of talk in the media about how people, often the young, are aspiring to unattainable looks and are obsessed with perfection, as a result of the celebrity-induced, photoshop-enhanced imagery which inundates us on a daily basis. Writing a blog like this I am acutely aware that I could be perceived to be feeding the beast. God knows I have spent more time up close to people’s pores than is healthy; editing  spots, whitening teeth and shading out double chins. I come from the school of thought which says that all photos are edited, digital or film, and that a certain amount of post-production is inevitable.

However, I also believe that technical wizardry can not, and should not, mask the true image at the point of the shutter closing. Your smile, posture, hair-do and clobber in that blink of an eye can all be altered at a later date, but usually to the detriment of the overall effect.  So next time you are having your photo taken, use a few moments to prepare yourself, interact with you photographer and ask him/her where to stand and look, relax and … smile for the birdy.