Thursday, April 17, 2008

How to prepare for and do your best on a photo shoot

One question that I get asked a lot is how to look better in pictures. How to prepare, what to do, etc. Well, first of all, basics...drink lots of water for a week before the shoot. Get a good night's sleep before the shoot, don't answer the phone or open your door to anyone who might make you mad before the shoot. Try on and objectively look at yourself in the mirror before you shoot...make sure that nothing makes you uncomfortable or makes rolls in your back, and that it fits well and looks really good on you. Iron or steam your clothes before you come, and hang them on the way to your shoot: When you get to the shoot, try to feel as comfortable as comfortable. If it's too hot or cold or if you would like a drink, let the photographer know.
Then while you're shooting, know that the less comfortable you are, the better it looks. pull your shoulders down and back. Suck your stomach in, stick your chest out. Also know that even though the photographer might be far away from you, if the lens is long, they are right up there looking up your nose, so you shouldn't be chewing gum, rolling your eyes, or talking, because you'll be able to see it. If the lens is short, like two inches or less, do NOT, under any circumstances, allow anyone to stand within two feet of you...your face will be super distorted and weird. You can ask any of my clients...they aren't necessarily in love with me while we're shhooting. I take them so ridiculously far out of their comfort zone that they have no choice than to give me natural reactions, which is what I'm known for...YAY, it works! Also, remember, that every click of the camera is a new day, which means that even if you're positive that you really looking like a goofus, and feeling bad about it, don't worry, get out of your head, and thinking about something, truly doesn't matter what you think about, as long as you're thinking of something.
Take Katie, an absolutely physically gifted
Nordic beauty. I don't think I have ever met someone with a better face or upper body than Katie. Her symmetry and jawline are unsurpassed. Her eyes were these deep pools of expression, except when we started shooting. It wasn't that she didn't take incredible pictures. Au contraire, they were always stunning; I just wanted more from her because I knew she had it in her. But a lot of the pictures she took looked like the one on the left, pretty, beautiful really, but lacking somewhat in soul. So we were on a shoot on Kaua'i, and, having shot Katie about 100 times by then, and knowing her, I asked her if she wanted to play with getting emotional. She was game, so we tried some stuff like thinking of someone you hate, or having something in her mouth that was disgusting, and then we pulled over some other models, and I had them pull her arms and legs and not let her go while she tried to get away. The winners got to go on a shopping spree, and Katie won, as you can see on the right. Can you see the difference in the eyes? In the demeanor? In the confidence? After that, the floodgates opened, and that girl was FIERCE!Anything you think, except, "just take the picture," will work. It's what is going on inside that makes the picture. The last I heard, Katie made it to the finals of America's next top model just before television...I REALLY hope that she makes it to the show and takes it all. And I REALLY hope that you take those words of advice and love your pictures when they come back, especially if I was the one taking them. :)