Photo Shoot Tips by Anh Volcek

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Photoshoot tips

Look your best in photos with industry modeling tips. by Anh Volcek

November 24, 2012

Whether it is for a big event, corporate headshots or for family portraits, here are some tips that are used by fashion industry insiders to look your best. Save some time, money and headaches with these easy to follow steps. Prep tips: Make up can help camouflage some flaws but looking good starts from feeling good. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and get a good night’s sleep before the shoot. Avoid any salty foods, soda, alcohol and caffeine to help prevent bloating and dehydration. If you wake up with puffy eyes, cool them down with cucumber slices or cold tea bags. Wax any stray facial hairs. If you have dark hair on pale skin and will be showing off your arms or other body areas, you may want to consider waxing them. Bleaching them blonde will still show up in photos if you have a lot of body hair. Keep a clean manicure on hands and feet. Dark polish can make short fingers look stubby so it is better to stick to neutral tones. Sheer metallics are festive for the holidays. While brushing your teeth, brush your lips as well to exfoliate them. On the day of the shoot: Photoshoots often have pizza or salty foods available for the group. If you have an dietary restrictions, it’s best to bring your own food to eat during breaks. Bring a bottle of water if you are doing a location shoot. If you are doing your own hair, spray hairspray onto your hand and use a make up powder brush to keep down pesky stray or baby hairs. Use a tiny amount of hair wax or hair cream for dry ends. Too much will weigh hair down. A lot of split ends can create a halo like effect with certain lighting. Stay mosturized but avoid spf in creams, primers, foundations and powders. It could reflect back and cause your face to be lighter than your body. Make Up Forever HD makes a great line for photoshoots. A good primer will fill in those skin imperfections and give you a great base to start on. Be sure to blend any face make up onto your neck and body parts that will be exposed like shoulders. Keep a clear powder ready to blot shine between shots. Do your make up by natural light especially for outdoor photos. For a bit of sparkle, Gleam makes a good body cream used on the show Dancing with the Stars. There are several shades to choose from to add a tasteful shimmer. Otherwise, avoid glittery make up that can reflect light spots or make you look greasy.

Under beauty: Invest in some great undergarments. Depending on what you will be wearing, these items will get you through most tricky wardrobe issues. A good stick on bra or silicone covers can add some extra curve and hide bumps. Keep some double stick tape handy for any plunging necklines. White sports tape can help add more support by running a strip of it across the chest. Place it from the side of the breast and underneath. If you want to minimize the dreaded back fat, Soma has a Vanishing Back bra that gives you support and will smooth out lumps. If you can’t wear nor need Spanx, Shibue makes a great no line reusable strapless panty that minimizes any panty lines if worn correctly. It works great with satin and jersey dresses. Strike a pose: Know your angles. We all have a “good” side but you also want variety in your shots. Practice in front of the mirror to understand what will look best in photos. Lose 5 pounds in an instant by holding in your belly. Tilting your hips back will also give the illusion of smaller hips. Avoid a relaxed arm against the body. Unless you do a ton of arm reps or have skinny arms, bringing the arm slightly out or the hand on the hip pose will shave off arm flab in photos. This is helpful in group poses when you are on the end as the camera can make you appear wider than you are. A slight turn to a 3/4 pose and a tilt of the head will minimize that effect. If you are short, extend one leg in front to look taller. If you can point your feet, it will make your calves look more toned and give you leaner legs. Think of ballet hands as a relaxed hand can look like a claw shape in photos. Most importantly, express a feeling in your eyes. Think of a memory to attain some emotion in your eyes. A blank look will make you seem stiff or give you a deer in headlights look. However, smiling too hard will give you squinty eyes and might show too much gum. Take a moment to take a deep breath before a pose. Alternatively, yawn or laugh! It will help loosen up your shoulders. Bring your own music or use your favorite Pandora station to get into the mood. Wardrobe: There is a reason why all the Real Housewives wear solid and colorful dresses. Color stands out against a neutral background. Avoid any tiny patterns like mini herringbones as this can cause a dizzy moire effect. For studio shots, cleaning the soles of your shoes will avoid any marks onto the photo backdrop paper. Your photographer will be happy that you won’t ruin the backdrop and they will spend less time photoshopping out the footprints. Ankle strapped heels can be fashionable but they will make short legs look shorter whereas nude heels will help make legs look longer. Be sure to try out new poses, make up and hair styles before the big day.

Emergency kit list: - Use chapstick to prevent blisters with strappy shoes. - Use a travel toothbrush to exfoliate dry and chapped lips. - Non oily baby wipes work great to remove make up and deoderant marks on dark clothing. They also work as quick refresh towels you if you are nervous and sweaty. - Travel sticky rollers work fast to remove dandruff, pet hair, and lint for dark clothes. - Pack double stick tape to avoid fashion mishaps with neck lines. - Keep some safety pins in a couple of sizes from small to medium for cinching in waists or broken zippers. Hotel sewing kits are handy and compact. - A Tide to go pen for any spills and stains. When you are in a pinch: Shoe bags work well to keep make up off of clothes as you change in and out of them but a recycled shopping bag will work too. Avoid plastic bags as they may cause suffocation. Stylists use binder clips to cinch in garments. If using them on sequined or velvet fabrics, fold in tissue paper to reduce any possible damage to the fabrics. The same tissue paper in white also works as a cheap alternative to blot any shine between photos. In a literal bind? The graphite from a wooden pencil will help lubricate a jammed zipper. Use small zip loc bags for any breakable and liquid filled items and large gallon ones as your kit holders. They make it easy to find items as you need them. Disposable tupperware are lightweight and stackable. Keep some magazine tears to try out new looks. With some practice and these helpful tips, you can be armed and ready for your next red carpet moment. Upcoming reads: Make up tips for photoshoots, A model’s kit, and more. Anh Volcek is a California based creative branding director and fashion industry consultant.