10 Tips To Look Better in Portraits


Follow these 10 easy tips and you’ll look better in your next portrait. Whether it’s a business portrait for advertising or a family portrait doesn’t matter, these tips work for any photo shoot. If you are nervous about having a portrait taken or have questions about how to prepare, talk to your portrait photographer a few days before the shoot.

  1. You want to look your best, so pay extra attention to your grooming before your portrait session. If you need a fresh haircut, have it done about a week ahead.
  2. Facial shine is detrimental to a great portrait. If your skin is oily, shiny, or perspires heavily, you should dust it lightly with cosmetic powder. This goes for men, too.
  3. Men, if you have an afternoon photo shoot and a heavy beard, shave at mid-day to avoid the “five o’clock shadow” look.
  4. If you wear a beard or mustache, trim them neatly and raise some money for Movember next year by joining my team, MovemberYYC.
  5. Women, wear your normal makeup and lipstick.
  6. Even if you prefer a natural look, a good foundation can smooth out skin tones, and a little lipstick and mascara can bring out your features.
  7. Ladies can apply makeup slightly heavier than normal to add some color to their cheeks and lips. This enhances their appearance and minimizes any imperfections.
  8. If you normally wear glasses, they should be part of your portrait. Photographers control the reflections to the best of our ability by adjusting your pose and the lights.
  9. If your glasses have thick lenses or you have had severe reflection problems in the past, ask your optometrist to loan you a frame with no lenses for your portrait.
  10. Drop by the cosmetics counter at the mall before your shoot and get a make-over. Tell them you are heading to a portrait session and ask them to use make-up that works well with photographer’s lights.

Brett Gilmour is a commercial photographer with extensive experience photographing people for editorial and corporate clients. He has been awarded the Gold Nugget Award for architectural photography 3 times. He is the Past-President of the CAPIC, Prairie Chapter; a former Co-Chair of the Calgary Marketing Club and was on the Film Selection Committee for the Banff Mountain Film Festival.  Contact Brett, Toll Free 1-866-686-3453, by email: [email protected] or by using his contact page if you have ANY questions.

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