How To Look Good In Photos

Dear Brandy,

Long-time stalker…er reader, first-time writer.¬† I’m recently engaged and I want my wedding pictures to look amazing.¬† What helpful tips do you have to share?


Soon-to-be-Real Housewife


No need for the nom de plume, I know it’s you, Bethenny Frankel. First, let me say that you’re the funniest Housewife. In fact, the tv powers that be should grant you your own television series based on your wedding planning.¬† I’d happily serve as your wise-cracking wedding photographer / cake taste-taster.¬† I love cake!¬† It’s a symbiotic relationship made in cable tv heaven.

As for the answer to your question: Don’t worry.¬† You’re happy.¬† Your pictures will be gorgeous.

I know some readers will gnash their teeth if that is all I contribute to this topic…so allow me to elaborate.¬† As the daughter of a hair stylist, who grew up reading a LOT of beauty magazines I can speak with authority* on looking one’s best.

1.) Be a slightly more fabulous version of yourself.
Your wedding day is not the time to experiment with M.A.C.’s Gold Lame lip color.¬† In fact, save yourself $9…trust me, it’s not pretty.¬† Just be you!¬† If your look is a bold eye and a pale lip, do that or better yet….

2.) Have someone professional apply your make-up.
You’ll be slightly more fabulous just by trusting the professionals.¬† They’ll be able to apply those false eyelashes that you’ve been too intimidated to try or too clumsy to master.¬† They’ll make your eyes pop.¬† A make-up artist knows that camera flash will wash you out.¬† They’ll apply a touch more liner than you wear to the office…while not giving you Crazy Panda eyes….unless you’re Little J from Gossip Girl and Crazy Panda eyes ARE the slightly more fabulous version of yourself.

3.)  Beauty Routine
Eyebrows: Don’t wax the day before photos. Also, I speak to you from personal experience, at-home microwavable wax can scald you.¬† Leave waxing to the professionals.¬† Better yet, try threading.
Face: Invest $4 in one of those battery operated things you find at CVS designed to remove peach fuzz from the face.  Your make-up will go on so much better.
Skin: moisturize!¬† Shine can always be removed with loose powder.¬† Dry skin can’t.
Hair: This can get very expensive.¬† If you can afford to do nothing else, spend $10 on Clairol’s Natural Instinct’s Shine Happy Treatment.¬† It makes your hair pretty!
Body: Get a massage the day before your wedding. If you think it’s too expensive, might I suggest skipping the outer envelope on the invitation?¬† You deserve…nay….NEED a massage.¬† Aunt Madge doesn’t need two envelopes.

4.) Warning to all Carrie types
You know who you are.¬† Some girls are Charlotte types: classic, slightly preppy, identifiable by their glossy hair.¬† Some girls are Carrie types: bold fashion choices that seem odd until a watered down version is spotted in the Chico’s window display.¬† Carrie types are prone to regretting their fashion choices 5 to 10 years later. Avoid cringing and eschew the mocking of future daughters by keeping it simple.¬† Simple does not mean unaccessorized or boring…it means understated.¬† For example: if you’re tempted to replicate Carrie’s bird-in-the-hair craziness…DON’T…choose a birdcage charm delightfully attached to the ribbon of your bouquet. And that my friends is called a motif, a concept which can be played up on placecards, napkins, cake-toppers and everything else that becomes the detail shots of your beautifully orchestrated day.

5.) Engagement Sessions
Consider this the dress rehearsal to the big performance.¬† An engagement session serves many purposes.¬† Couples become comfortable with the camera.¬† You get to practice smiling.¬† Maybe it’s not even for your benefit.¬† Think about it…your future husband did not grow up reading beauty magazines.¬† He did not spend the better part of last weekend watching the America’s Next Top Model marathon on VH-1 reinforcing the importance of smiling with your eyes.¬† He also has no idea what Tyra means when she screams, “NECK.”¬† HE needs the engagement session. You, my dear bride, will be great.

More tips
Real Simple
The Future Mrs. Darcy

*Recently uncovered photographs from the early aughts may disprove this theory.  The lesson we can ALL learn from those is that one should either wear day-glow orange or frosted eyeshadow, but not both.