The Skinny of Being Photogenic
"Oh no! It's only three days 'til my appointment at the photographers! I don't even know what I'm going to wear and what about the makeup? The person who made the appointment didn't suggest a thing." It doesn't come up too often, but when it does, a little knowledgeable advice would be greatly appreciated. Generally, the same kind of makeup appropriate for an evening date will also photograph well.
A little darker base prevents your skin from washing out in the lights and extra cheek color is a must. Lipstick photographs on the rich side, so pick a more muted shade. Lip liner is not a good idea and be sure to follow your real lip shape. Lip gloss is a plus. Some things to avoid are pearly eye shadow, lower lash liner and a too shiny look.
Proper lighting will take care of any bags under your eyes and a good surface hair spray will eliminate any stray hairs. In the clothing department, try to go for a simple, dramatic effect: no intricate patterns, round necklines, mismatched color sets, or dull, wrinkled materials. Rather look for solids or two tones, V necklines, three piece outfits (for business), and one bright color among subtle shades of neutrals.
Shiny materials show up well under the lights and textures like cable knits, heavy sweaters and linens add interest to the photograph. Always bring an alternate outfit just in case one will photograph better than the other. Every good portrait photographer will introduce some level of soft focus along with large reflector for soft lighting. A pre consultation is useful for finding out whether a soft filter is used and the effect it has on your skin. Try to observe an appropriate sample of the exact filter and lighting to be used on you. What you see is what you get is not just a saying.
Lastly, prepare yourself mentally for the portrait session. A willing attitude toward the photographer has a beneficial effect on the success of the session. Pay attention to any instructions and be patient. The photographer has a lot to do and think about in the process of creating that wonderful portrait of you, so help him all you can. Remember, you're doing this for your loved ones, so don't be shy and above all, have fun.