God am I grateful that I no longer have to stand around and look good, smile and laugh like I mean it. HA. Yes, the bills were paid, I travelled first class, but my oh my that life is so overrated. Grateful that I can sit in economy plus and feel like a normal human being, grateful that I don’t have to force myself to smile. BUT wait, what is this article about, oh yes how to smile and look good on camera.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with women or been with a group of people and a camera is pulled out, all the women say, “WAIT, let me check my…” they pull out their mirrors and adjust. Then as soon as the picture has been taken they want to see it to make sure they looked okay… Seriously. You know what I am talking about — this drives me crazy.
As a result of this neurotic behavior I created an entire workshop about this very subject called, “On Camera”. I was horrified to see what would happen to my clients when I pulled out a camera and asked them to smile. I wanted to shoot myself in the foot.
When I was younger I worked with this incredible designer his name was Tom, he would say to me, “Lane you’ve got this… Don’t sweat the small stuff… The camera sees all of you.” He knew I was nervous and I had never been on set, let alone in front of a camera. I think it was at that point that my “small stuff” must have melted away from me? Since then it’s never been difficult, I’ve simply smiled, laughed, and a photographer snaps the shot. It’s done, I walk off set, usually early. I feel like when he told me that the camera sees everything, I had an epiphany, which was: I didn’t want to hide. Now, after years of being in front and behind a camera I know how to work a camera, thank goodness!
Today with technology everyone needs a profile, from dating to Linkedin, you NEED a picture, and a good one at that. NOT A so-so one, not one that is all business… or all play. An image speaks a thousand words and let’s hope that they are speaking the right thousand. I want you to look confident, and crazy, and cool. I also want you to look bold, brave and beautiful, but most importantly I want you to look like you, and look comfortable. You know why? Because a comfortable you tells the world that you are confident and that you can do anything.
1-When you are sitting in front of a camera — please oh please look into the center of the lens, not the top of the persons head. Look directly into the deep black hole! If you are looking into an iphone look at the tiny camera hole, you know where that is…
2-Please don’t overdo the makeup. You may think the makeup is going to look better, but honestly it usually doesn’t. If you are working with a photographer who has lighting equipment, then yes bring extra mascara powder, light concealer, and lipstick. If you are working with someone shooting in natural light, lipstick is good, as well as mascara. Again, please don’t overdo it… Unless you wear sparkly blue eye shadow everyday I DO not want to see that on your profile! (Unless of course you are some super fashionista punk rocker hipster, but then again, I still don’t want to see it…)
3-Don’t wear white. Don’t wear red. Don’t wear crazy patterns that are so distracting that I miss your gorgeous self because I’m so caught up with the fashion. A piece of tape is good to have around if you have fuzz, or stray lint pieces that need to be removed. Also a stain remover pen is a bonus for you, just in case something spills.
4-Wear your hair as you would normally. This is not the time to invent some new hairdo, or do highlights the night before, please. Hairspray is always a good thing to have on hand when shooting… the fly away hairs can be managed with a quick shot to your hand and then hand to the hairs that are being unruly.
5-Listen to music dance and laugh. Seriously, I have found this to be the best way to move in front of a camera, turn off your head and listen to the words of some fun music. I will say this again, TURN OFF your head. Jump up and down, twist and shout, let it go, sing it good lookin’ you got this. Music can and will change your mood, let it seep into your body. Once your body has it, your smile will come!
6-Don’t take yourself so seriously, or think that your sexy look looks good. I will tell you right now, it doesn’t look sexy promise, it only looks sexy to your signif. other or someone you are in bed with, seriously. When you are in front of that camera I want you to remember that being “Cool” or trying to look a certain way will always lead you to a screwed up, crappy picture and we are avoiding that.
7- The number one tip I want you to take to heart is this… HAVE FUN! When you are having fun the image will represent and share that — remember the camera sees everything. When working with the photographer, please oh please let them drive the ship, and please be the co-captain. In other words, listen to him/her, they see you in their lens, they see you, all of you! Let them help you, let them bring out your best self, along with the music and your inner fun-fantastic self! Pay attention here, I did say be the co-captain right? Don’t lose your self in the shoot, be present, if you are not feeling “it” with the photographer ask to see the shots just to see the background, what the photographer is seeing and work from there. Be bold. Be your brave self and get that badass self portrait done.
I can’t wait to see your before and after photos send ‘em on over to the Facebook page or #tag ‘em on twitter and let me know how it goes! #howtolookgoodoncamera I am excited for you, no more bad, boring shots of you!!!
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