The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 November 2003

On being photogenic, or not

Dear Lynn:

There is nothing at all wrong with the way you look. Most people's self-portraits are something less than flattering.

Of course, they say the camera adds ten pounds; on this basis, it would take thirteen people to photograph me.

(Do digital cameras add ten megabytes?)

Posted at 10:55 AM to Outgoing Mail


A few tips for Lynn (i do some photography)

One, there is a setting on your camera that turns the flash always on, use that for window shots.

two, right before the camera takes a shot close your eyes and reopen them fresh for the picture so you dont look strained.

three, never shoot a portait at wide angle unless you want to look funny on purpose. use a slight telephoto if possible for better proportions.

four, digital cameras are great for self portaits, set up a tripod, focus on a surface where you'll be and use the self timer. Check, repeat until you get a good result. Better yet, get another person top take the shots.

five, when using a flash, makeup can be bad because the way that makeup reflects light is different than your skin, so you might look blotchy on camera but not so in real life.

six, you are not ugly, and neither am I. Agreed?

CG, the digital camera adds ten megapounds!

Posted by: bruce at 4:14 PM on 14 November 2003

Bruce knows what he's talking about WRT digital cameras.

However, an alternative, for those (like me) who have had -- shall we say mixed? -- results with self-portraitry, is to go to the photo studio in many Wal-Mart stores (sorry, Bruce, I know their evil capitalists...) and have it done there. You can get all your proofs on a floppy disk and play around with them on your computer while you wait for the bargain package of prints to come in.

Getting a digital camera was supposed to relieve me of doing that, but I may go back.

Posted by: McGehee at 5:55 AM on 15 November 2003

oh lastly, if your using a flash, dont look directly into the camrea, look slightly up and over, to reduce red eye.

wal-mart, is just evil.

Posted by: bruce at 2:30 PM on 15 November 2003

Just in reply to that.... I always seem to waste alot of film on bad photos of myself, but lighting conditions usually have alot to answer for, however, I was listening to a pro-photographer who does the giant promotional billboard poster photos for the likes of Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) and other celebrities at their premieres etc. He can take 4000 photographs in one shoot, and often only picks one that is any good to actually use.
His advice was to buy a digital camera....3 megapixel upwards guarantees you good sizes and top quality sharp resolutions, and just take, or get a friend to take loads of photos of you. After you've taken many, then the fun is reviewing them. Review them with intent to root out most of them, and keep the ones you prefer as a shortlist. Eventally you will have found the better photos of yourself, which you can further enhance brightness.contrast/redeye/cropping etc using software. Alot of digital cameras come with photo editing/graphics software included.
He said that most people who take photos of celebrities are just as easily able to make the celeb un-flattering looking, as themselves....so dont worry. The beauty of digital cams is that you can take photos/delete/or keep to your hearts content. We never had that second chance before with film...but now the chances are unlimited. It's alot of fun. Morgan Great Britain (South Coast)

Posted by: morgan at 5:10 AM on 10 January 2004