Jesus used words pictures to carry His message so, to follow in His example, in today’s media culture, a photo is often “worth a thousand words”. Getting a great promo shot that captures you and your brand can feel nearly impossible – especially if you have a shoestring budget.
Here are a few tips for getting that W.I.N.N.I.N.G. photo:
Wear what you LOVE- and what loves YOU: Test clothes ahead of time with simple snaps on your cell. You will soon see what colors, lines and fabrics look best on you. It is also helpful to know what mood or purpose your photos will be used for so you can plan wardrobe and setting accordingly. For images your graphic designer can easily trim around for web or graphic design, then shooting in front of a plain white back drop or green screen might be advantageous. If you need casual shots, wear casual attire. If you want to show you can function and minister in the world of high finance, leadership, business or politics, then wear clothes you would wear for those activities.
Invest in a professional image consultation. My friends Jill Swanson and Manda Hall are two fashion wonder women who have helped me grow in this area. Consultants help you look up to date, in style, and can help you discern what best reflects your style and personality. Often image consultants can give tips on make up, poses, and jewelry and clothes to bring out your best and cover your flaws. For example, I have even trained my family to take photos from higher than my face (shoot down) to make me look thinner and younger! For example, my friend Jill gave me simple advice selecting “Your best colors” – your best colors will be the color of your eyes, your hair and natural lip colors. For me, just the simple decision to wear long pearl necklaces have a slimming impact that help me be more
confident of photos taken of me.
Notice what photos of others you love: scan Pinterest, magazines and other websites. Make a file of images and ideas you love. Make note of creative uses of themes or images, like these two of my friend Linda Goldfarb. Bill and I discerned that we like photos that captured a feeling not just an image. The last shot of a family Christmas photo shot when I yelled, “dogpile daddy!” (Ken Hansen) or our son, daughter in law and kids had a “tickle fight”—or the sensitive moments of a private kiss (above) have become some of our family’s favorites(Rebecca Friedlander). Make a shot list so you can efficiently get the photos you desire and not forget a vital one.
Note the time of day (like sunset) that you might want to capture a mood. Time of day will also help avoid harsh shadows. A certain season may give the result you are hoping for, like a walk in the fall leaves, or this shot where my top matches the hillside of flowers that only bloom for 2 months each winter in our yard. Various weather options can capture a need or a unique moment. For example, the little bit of rain actually produced a fun and favorite candid I can use for retreat PR. (Carl Cramer)
Investigate photographer options. Professionals can be worth the financial investment if you need very high end mass media photos. But for most of us, a local photographer who knows you and makes you feel confident and comfortable will work for your needs. Also, often photographers who are new are might be open to free or discounted sitting fees to build their portfolio. Student photography students or amateur photographers who you have seen and loved their work might be able to catch great shots because he or she is willing to shoot longer to offer multiple choices. Some photographers might be willing to barter for one of the skills or talents you possess in exchange for photos (We have traded relationship coaching for great pictures!)
Go for the unique. Contrast high fashion against a very casual setting (like wedding clothes on the beach, or bright red against a natural wall or background); Use props that are a contrast to the setting . For example, our talented photographer, Rebecca Friendlander, encouraged us to haul an old wing back chair to the beach. We then took glamour photos sitting right IN the waves. I also grabbed a red umbrella and dress for that pop of color against a rustic sea wall cliff.
You are unique—so lighten up! No photo will be perfect because, “we are all in the PROCESS of becoming our best selves”.
Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 44 books, including her newest 7 Simple Skills for Success for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together. www.Love-wise.com