Q: When you take a photograph - what story do you want to tell?
A: In my opinion, it’s very important to be genuine. You don’t have to be happy all the time. If you try to tell me that every day you are 100% happy, I don’t trust you anymore. It may seem that you need to be filled with the unwavering positivity of social media, but it’s really not realistic.
For the actual photograph, the most important thing is the light. It should always face you, never coming from the left, the right, or the back. Bright sunlight can blow out the photo, and harsh overhead light will cast unflattering shadows. Diffused light is ideal. Even if someone else is taking the photo, don’t be afraid to control the light! When I have dinner with girlfriends and we want to take a group photo afterwards, I’ll drag them towards good light.
Typically, you don’t want to take a photo straight on, because no one is perfectly symmetrical. Most women’s right side sits a little higher than their left, so move your phone’s camera about fifteen degrees to the right or to the left to see which side you prefer. Always look up towards the light so it hits more of your face. Just this small shift is instantly more flattering – that’s how we ended up with the famous ‘selfie pose.’
Remember to swallow, keep your shoulders down, and push the chin up just a little. Where your chin is dictates the proportions of the rest of your facial features. If your chin is up too high, your eyes will be small. I personally like to cross my legs to make them look longer. The posture of your lower half affects your whole body. Wearing heels can change the entire mood of a headshot, even if they’re not in the frame.
Don’t be too stiff, but don’t be slouchy. You know what drives me crazy? When people hunch over, maybe because someone in the group is shorter and they’re trying to match them. I don’t care how tall or short you are, own your height! There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s yours. Put big bags to the side so they don’t hide your body, and make sure your clothes are well fitted. Even beautiful designer clothes that are loose sometimes don’t translate well to film.
Always breathe– naturally! Don’t hold your breath. Be authentic. That’s really the most important thing.
And if you don’t feel comfortable taking photos…just forget it. It’s not that serious