How To Take The Most Flattering Photo – Plus The Best Camera Apps

How To Take The Most Flattering Photo – Plus The Best Camera Apps

As the official photo agency, Getty Images had a crew of veteran photographers on hand at the Spring 2016 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to capture every moment of the notoriously fabulous New York event.

MBFW Getty Images photog Astrid Stawiarz shoots models, celebrities and for some of the most prestigious newspapers and photo-journals in the country. We asked Astrid for her top tips in taking the perfect photo (hint: invest in quality foundation and a wide-brimmed hat!)

Rule #1: Location, location, location

It’s not just real estate where this adage rings true. The key to a truly flattering, profile picture-worthy portrait is positioning your pretty face in the most attractive of surroundings. “In an ideal world, I’d love perfect soft lighting, no direct flash from a camera and a Beyonce-esque wind fan  (like the one she has in her concerts!) to follow me around,” says Astrid.  “Unfortunately, there will be times where YOU look perfect but the location doesn’t flatter you.” Want softer lighting? Stay out of the sunlight and find a shady area. Sunlight creates harsh shadows on the face and makes makeup melt. You also want to look behind where you are standing. The last thing you want is a perfect photo with a garbage can behind you.

Rule #2: Pose like you mean it.

“Know your best pose and show off YOU! Whether it’s your perfect jaw line, long legs or your favorite outfit, show it off and be proud!  Practice at home with a point and shoot camera in front of a mirror. Ask close friends on what sides or poses work for you.” Don’t be shy!

Pose like you mean it

Rule #3: Turn to expert guidance (in the latest issue of Us Weekly)

“Putting one foot over the other, turning your hip slightly and placing arms over the waist is classic pose for celebrities like Blake Lively. Also a great relaxed natural look for street style photos! Take note on how Angelina Jolie made a typical pose for the cameras all her own by showing off her legs at this year’s Academy Awards.” Astrid does note no Zoolander ‘blue steel’ posing – and that may include the current celeb fave ‘duck lips’ pout as well.

Rule #4: The camera add 10lbs – how to ditch it fast.

“To make the face appear slimmer, tilt you head up slightly while turning it 3/4 — or angle your camera slightly above your head while tilting your face halfway. Never take a photo from eye’s level it will flatten your face.”

Rule #5: Get ready for your closeup with HD-worthy foundation

“I’m a huge fan of Dior skin foundation, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, YSL Touche Eclat foundation and correction pen as well as the Smashbox HD line. You also don’t want to put much finishing powder over your makeup or make your complexion too dewy.” Stick to liquid formulas – spray on foundation looks too caked-on, says Stawiarz. “I like to start with lightly applying foundation in small even layers and accent the eyes, lips and add a touch of blush. Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry and Frieda Pinto do a great job of showing off their natural features by NOT piling on the makeup. Makeup should enhance your look, not hide it!”

Get ready for your closeup with HD-worthy foundation

Have you Instagram’ed so much, life looks too dull without a filter?! Fear not, besides Instagram and Camera +, Astrid likes the following apps for iPhone:

Photographer’s Ephemeris App: it uses your phone GPS to tell you the weather around you and how the light will fall that day. It’s perfect if you plan on taking outdoor photos and want to know the right time for lighting.

Snapped App: can make any photo look great – you don’t need to know how to edit a photo; it’s so easy to use the tools.

Photoshop Express: ideal for Photoshop users to make your iPhone snaps look just like you ran the real Photoshop on them.

360panoram: to show where you are or to remember your surroundings.

Mirror App: great for quick self portraits & also a great way to check your face before photos.

Fast Camera: it can take over 800 frames a minute! Perfect for group photos and events – you wont miss a moment.

Editor’s Pick: How to cover acne and imperfections!

I wish I could be one those Gisele-types. You know the kind of girls that run out the door with perfectly tousled curls and just a smidge of tinted moisturizer and a lick of lip gloss. Alas, like so many others out there, I have dark circles to conceal, acne blemishes and scars to camouflage and a sunkissed complexion to fake!

In another post, I’ll talk about the products and treatments I’ve found to be super helpful in tackling the blemishes and imperfections themselves. But in this post, I wanted to share the makeup & method I use everyday that I think is great at covering even the worst of breakouts and making me feel pretty again

After moisturizing (and letting it sink in for 10 minutes) I always start with a small amount of primer. It makes such a huge difference in how your makeup goes on – and makes it last all day long. I currently use the Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, which I think is particularly good if you tend get an oily t-zone like I do during the day. I’m also a fan of the lightweight water-based Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light & the velvety Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primerin green, which aims to minimize the appearance of redness.

When it comes to covering up the skin on my face, I believe there shouldn’t just be a thick blanket of foundation. However bad you think your skin is, there are always areas that aren’t actually affected by acne (and I like to think as a beacon of hope that one day all the skin on my face will be that ‘normal’!) For me, that is my forehead, the sides of my face and usually my upper cheeks.

I found this amazing how-to video by top celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge in which she shows how to cover up acne in the most effective and yet beautiful way. She has a similar philosophy in which she says camouflage just the affected areas of your skin – and emphasize glowing, natural looking skin for the rest of your face.

She too advocates starting out with a sheer foundation all over just to even out the skin tone and building up the areas with blemishes either with concealer or foundation. I’ve tried a few foundations but I always end up coming back to the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (right now I blend shades 2.0 & 3.0 together for a warm neutral) I like that it’s specifically oil-free, non-acnegenic, non-comodogenic, controls oil, resists smudging & never melts off. I can apply it in the morning and make it through a workday, workout and dinner and never have to touch it up or reapply concealer.

I warm the foundation on the back of my hand and then use a foundation brush to apply the sheer layer of foundation all over. I bought the No.7 Foundation Brush while I was in the UK (which Lisa actually uses in her video too). I then use a damp beautyblender sponge with a gentle patting motion to apply more coverage where I need it and just to blend the edges. If you haven’t tried the beautyblenderyet, I highly recommend it. It is absolutely amazing and I would never do my base without now.Obsessed.

how to cover acne makeup

I then apply concealer under my eyes and just to the more obvious blemishes (with the sponge & foundation, sometimes you don’t even need to add concealer) I like the Chanel Correcteur Perfectionand the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer. After waiting a few minutes for the foundation to settle, final step is to set everything with some loose translucent powder. I use the velour puff to gently press a tiny bit of powder over the blemishes just to set it in place (otherwise a brush might dislodge the concealer) and then dust a little bit over the rest of my face using a large fluffy powder brush. I currently use the Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder. Try to dust in a gentle downwards motion rather than buff in circles as you may get more powder trapped on the ‘peach fuzz’ hairs on your face and make your base looked more caked on.

So that’s the base done and now you start to do all the fun stuff like beautifying your eyes or contouring your cheekbones. More importantly, you can stop worrying about whether everyone is staring at your bad skin (they’re not) and get back to enjoying your day!

I’d love to hear about your favorite products so please leave your comments below!