Secrets to Looking Great in Photos & Videos


In This Article:

Even supermodels need a little help (and sometimes a lot of help—meaning extensive use of Photoshop in fashion magazines) to look their best in photos or on TV. As for the rest of us, whether you're updating your Facebook profile pic or gearing up for a video-conference or Skype call, there are certain techniques you can use to accentuate your favorite features while downplaying those you'd rather not spotlight.

Secrets from a Pro Photographer

Check out these secrets from the pros for looking great on any type of film:

"Nothing beats a well-rested face," says Darryl Bernstein, owner of Bernstein Productions. "Get plenty of sleep, don't drink alcohol, at least not a lot, and, if possible, avoid being in front of the camera first thing in the morning."

Give yourself time to let the overnight puffiness fade...walking around a bit before the call can do wonders to reduce puffiness.

What to wear: Bernstein advises sticking to solid color garments with classic cuts. "Pay special attention to the necklines and avoid modern patterns," he says. "You don't want the face to be upstaged by a bold pattern, and the photos will have a longer shelf life."

And gentleman, listen up! "Even guys can benefit from using a fine, translucent powder to cut down on glare of the face that is sometimes brought about from the extra lighting necessary to get a good photo or video," says Daniel Fergus, Media Specialist/Videographer at the University of Nevada.

Paula and her team agree: "If you typically wear moisturizer under your foundation, cut back or don't wear any at all. Powder more than you normally would or use a more absorbent powder, especially around the nose and forehead."

Why You Need to Wear More Makeup Than Usual

You also may need to wear more makeup than you usually do. "In pictures and videos, eyes often get washed out and disappear," explains Begoun. "Contouring the crease with a soft or deep brown eye-shadow will also create subtle but elegant drama that will get you cover-girl quality pictures every time."

Eyeliner, not overdone, but a definite line along both the upper and lower lashes, along with extra mascara or even false eyelashes, will make a beautiful impact. Visit Beautypedia for top makeup recommendations in every category.

Our final piece of advice: Practice your facial expression and your pose. Don't be embarrassed, it's just you and your mirror. If your expression in photos makes you look bored or disingenuous, try gazing downward, and right before the shutter clicks, look back up to the camera and smile. For video, ask a friend to tape you so you can find your best angles and to make sure your clothes are flattering on camera. And, most important, relax and have fun with it!

Bonus Tips to Be Camera-Ready

As a bonus, here are a few other tricks for looking great in photos:

  • Avoid outdoor photographs when the sun is directly overhead, as this casts unattractive shadows and makes you look harsh. Late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, is the most attractive outdoor lighting.
  • Get to know which clothing colors best complement your skin tone. Try on some tops in bold warm (yellow) and cool (pink) colors and note how they affect your skin tone. One will look better than the other (and you can always try neutrals such as beige).
  • Know your best side (everyone has one) and put that forward when being photographed.
  • Got a double chin? Make sure the camera is a bit above your eye level, and tilt your head slightly up. Try resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, as this subtle action helps reduce the appearance of a double chin.

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! Learn more at Shop Paula's Choice.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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