Before and After Portraits

Chryseis Dawn Patterson by Michael Broyles

Click. Flash. Turn. Smile. Work the camera. That easy right? Wrong. Posing for a photo is about more than techno music and a great pout. Firstly, it can be quite difficult to relax when posing, and sometimes subjects appear stiff. Overcompensation is a terrible culprit in photo fails. Putting on extra makeup or a bright patterned outfit to showcase personality and falling into trend traps that end up dating photos only hurt you. Don’t wind up on the pages of Awkward Family Photos. Michael Broyles and Chryseis Dawn weigh in with photo examples and great advice to make your stills stellar.

Be Yourself.

Bringing an exaggerated version of yourself to a photoshoot is a disservice to both you and your photographer. Authenticity can be seen, felt, experienced. Allow yourself to be open to let your true essence shine. There is no one like you, which means you are perfectly unique without embellishments.

The experts say: You want to be recognizable, no matter what situation you may be in.

Minimal makeup or day wear is best.

Keep It Classic.

Statement pieces like your favorite sport team earrings, American flag shirts, or your ripped up Ramones t-shirt take away from the subject – you. Classic lines, solid colors, and confidence makes enough of a statement.

The experts say: The point is to show off your face and who you are, not your clothing. Five to ten years from now, don’t hate the stylish top you chose back in the day.

Take Care of You.

This is important all the time however, it is doubly important the night before a photo shoot. Avoid heavily salted foods that will make you puffy. Get plenty of rest the night before to prevent dark circles.

The experts say: Don’t have a night on the town prior to your photo shoot. The last thing you want is for your professional associates to remember you for those bright red, droopy eyes with circles under them. You want to portray yourself as a functional member of society.

Don’t and Do Portrait Images

Michael Broyles by Chryseis Dawn Patterson

Coif Correctly.

Before your photoshoot you may be compelled to try something different with you hair or fall into the trend trap with a highly stylized hairstyle. Again, the idea of overcompensation to cover over flaws or what you believe is boring about yourself is self-misguidance at best.

The experts say: Got a new do? Great! As long as it isn’t the day of the shoot. The best have your hair cut is five to ten days prior to your shoot. Your hair is the best at this time. Don’t just get out of bed and show up to your shoot. Bedroom hair needs to stay where it was made. Walking into work with a mop top isn’t something your colleagues, customers or talent agents will respect.

Heavy Bling? Just Say No.

Flashing your chains, wearing multiple rings or that diamond tennis bracelet paired with your nana’s Christmas tree brooch all cheapen and date a photograph. Does that mean not to wear any jewelry at all? No, it just means that you have to be judicious about the selection process.

The experts say: Keep your bling at home or minimally expressed. Remove any facial piercings or dermals. Your representative facial expressions should be approachable, friendly – not distracting. You want to be able to look back and not think of the era of which gold chains were the thing.

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