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Secrets to Taking a Great Photo

Every once in awhile you run into some seriously good energy. You know – you walk into a place or hang out with a person and just feel good.

I hit the triple whammy when I discovered The Beauty Lab awhile back. Not only is the space cool, modern and energetically happy, but I got to meet the owner, Kathryn who did me up nice for a photo shoot!

Good energy all around! I totally feel ignited when I’m there – like I’m living my own mission statement!

Secrets of a Great Photo Shoot

Photograph MN
Courtesy of Photograph MN

When a photographer friend, Carissa, suggested we do a photo shoot at The Beauty Lab and have Kathryn do my hair and make-up I did not hesitate.

For one thing, I support local businesses. It’s so important to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Secondly, I love to share awesome resources and tips like this with my readers so you can take fab photos too! If you’re an author, entrepreneur, parent or camera-phobe, it is important that you learn to enjoy the camera.

For another thing, and this is totally selfish, I LOOOOOOVE having my hair and make-up done. It’s so relaxing and fun to see a transformation occur from ponytail/mom persona to glamorous bombshell.

Okay – so bombshell is maybe taking it a little far but that’s what I told Kathryn I was going for with the hair. And she delivered! Check out those luscious curls!! And Carissa somehow made my average mom body look bodaciously curvaceous!

I’ve done quite a few photo shoots for my book covers, magazines, etc. and have discovered a couple of surefire tips for amazing pics.

  1. Find a photographer who you feel comfortable and open with – and who gives direction well. A great photographer can take even the worst model (like me) and make their photos amazing. (Look how Carissa captured the light off the window in the B&W pic above!)
  2. Step up your game. Wear a little more make-up. Step up your outfit and jewelry choices. Amplify your best assets. It might feel overdone off camera but it will pay off in the photos. (Kathryn nailed the make-up!)
  3. Don’t pose. Instead just act natural, laugh and smile, talk to the photographer and be spontaneous. Let them shoot you while you interact and hang out. This makes for much more interesting and fun photos.

Many people get nervous when a camera starts snapping. Remember that a photo is worth a thousand words so open up, smile and have fun! You don’t want your scowl or weird duck face captured for all eternity on film or online!

SMILE! A great photo requires natural, spontaneous interaction with the photographer and environment. Click here to Tweet this quote. 

More Camera-Ready Tips

high schoolCarissa made my photo shoot super easy – despite my inadequacy as a poser. Remember that even professional models go through rolls and rolls of film until that one perfect shot is taken. Don’t expect that every shot that’s taken of you is going to be amazing and gorgeous. Take this amazingly awful shot of me from high school complete with Sun-In blonde hair, Girbaud jeans and a terrible pose! YIKES!

You can minimize the outtakes with a few simple tips:

  • Angle your body to the side. You will appear slimmer.
  • Keep your chin up enough to prevent the double chin effect but not too high you look like a pig in the pic. Be aware of your nostrils!!
  • Wear solid, bright colors. Think about the times people tell you how great you look. Wear that.
  • Wear extra blush. (Men can skip this.)
  • Put your hands on your hips. It makes the arms look slender. And you’ll look celeb-fab!
  • Don’t be stiff. Move around otherwise the photographer only has one shot.
  • Most importantly – listen to the photographer. She/he knows where the light hits you best, what angles of your face look most attractive and what body positions accentuate your positive features.

Photographs aren’t scary and are actually really fun! Even the ones that don’t turn out great will be great for your kids to laugh at when they’re older. When the camera comes out take a breath, smile and have a blast! And if you want a great photographer who will make you comfortable and capture your best self, check out Carissa at Photograph MN. And don’t forget to get dolled up at The Beauty Lab first!

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