Whether it’s for personal or corporate branding, a post for your social media profile, or even an online dating app, looking camera‑ready has become a daily routine for most of us. We tapped into some local experts for advice on putting your best face forward.
Professional photographer Nicole Rose
Nicole Rose suggests the easiest way to take a great photo of yourself with any type of camera is to use soft, even light. “The kind of light you find outside on a cloudy day or standing in front of a window when the sun isn’t directly shining on you,” Nicole explains, “or using a good quality, artificial ring light.”
She also offers that no matter how amazing the quality of a good phone camera, it can never replace the guidance and experience of a professional photographer. “We communicate visually, so when it comes to capturing your photo, every detail within the frame matters in terms of what you are communicating about yourself. Camera angle, facial expression, body language and position, light direction, composition, use of colour, style and esthetic, head position, use of hands, photo editing — there are so many different tools a professional photographer will use to help you craft the image of yourself that you want to portray.”
Communicate with your photographer. “Tell them about yourself; why are you looking for professional images? Why now? How do you plan to use the images? What fears do you have about being in front of the camera? How do you envision your final images? Professional photographers are storytellers. They use a camera, instead of words or a paintbrush, to tell your story.”
Nicole suggests taking a few deep breaths to regulate your nervous system. “If you feel ‘disconnected’ from your body at any time during the shoot, pause and breathe.”
And her simplest tip for taking a selfie with a phone camera? “Hold the camera up to see your face on the screen and slowly spin in place. You’ll see how the light and shadows shift across your face, and you can choose the angle that lights you the best.”
Feel-good tips from Nicole
- Time the shoot for when you’re in a positive frame of mind.
- Ask a trusted friend to help choose the best photos from a professional shot.
- Practice makes progress — a great tool for helping you feel more comfortable being photographed is just to do it more often.
- Work with a professional photographer who can guide and encourage you throughout the shoot.
- Choose comfortable clothing that fits your body.
Digital Creator and Amazon Live host Joudel Janoska
Joudel (Jodie) is no stranger to the camera as a digital creator and Amazon live host. She shoots most of her own content in her home studio. She has mastered the art of production, editing, and telling visual stories that connect with her audience across her various platforms.
Jodie offers that the perfect selfie is all about positioning and angle. “Hold the camera or phone at a slightly higher angle than the face, highlighting your jawline and making a face appear slimmer. Tilt the chin downwards and face slightly to the side to add dimension.” She also suggests that practice makes perfect and to take to the mirror before the camera.
Makeup Artist Lyz Plant
Lyz Plant says that the best photo or video on camera session starts with mindset. “Whether it’s a photoshoot, a TikTok, or Instagram Live, nothing beats relaxed confidence in your face.”
For makeup, she suggests that you don’t veer too far from what you do normally. “I show up online without makeup often. Nobody ‘needs’ it. But when you want that extra something, my top go-to includes a glowy undereye concealer to bounce light, your tightline done (a liner placement that makes your lashes look thicker), mascara (lashes curled where needed) and a tinted lip balm for every day.”
Her pro product go-to? Blot papers. “They take the edge off oil-wise and work great for foreheads/temples during summer. It’s just paper; it won’t expire, so leave one in your purse and car; you’ll feel (and look) so much more refreshed, especially during those humid summer days.”
And her makeup no-no’s? “I find that some people can over-powder, depending on your skin type. But in the winter months and as we age, a little glow will do wonders for our skin to look great on camera.” And most importantly: blend, blend, blend.
She offers one last tip: “Pull all of your hair to the front. The camera is upfront, and your hair will look much fuller.”