If the renowned classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen has taught us anything, it is that first impressions can make all the difference. In the case of online matrimonial profiles, this first impression is centered around the individual’s profile picture.
In the first part of this series, we have talked about how you can take a professional looking photo. You would be surprised to know how a bad quality photo can cause someone to instinctively scroll past your profile. Face it, if you aren’t bothered about uploading a noteworthy image of yourself, it goes to show that you aren’t really invested in making an effort.
So, the question is, what should you do to capture the perfect photos for your matrimonial site?
We all have that friend with a DSLR, and this is the time to be that friend in need. If you don’t have such a friend, don’t hesitate to hire a professional photographer. They have the skill to bring out your stronger features in the most flattering light.
Although it is ideal to use a DSLR, you may also take the photo using your phone camera as long as it is up to the mark. Nowadays, most smartphones have great cameras, however, choose one that is at least 10 megapixels so that the raw photo quality is good. Please don’t rely on filters to make you look good (more on this later).
Here are some tips when taking the photo using any type of camera.
Portrait photo composition can be tricky. It is advisable to keep the composition simple, and always remember that you are the main focus of the picture. Any background, foreground, or object should only be there if it enhances you in any way. You may read this article that gives advice on 3 Steps for Better Portrait Composition.
The distance should be such that the subject should not take up more than two-thirds of the frame. This is specially relevant for close up upper body/head shots. You don’t want to overwhelm the viewer with the pores on your skin (even if you have fabulous skin).
For full body shots, try to be at a distance that incorporates the surroundings and tells a story. Don’t ever zoom/crop your photos to bring the subject closer as it may deteriorate quality. Instead, take the picture close up.
It is recommended to use natural light as much as possible. Camera flash usually creates harshly lighted photos, while fluorescent light may fall at odd angles.
Early morning and late afternoon light is softer and a great time for outdoor photoshoots. Although the noon time light is harsh, it can be used in ingenious ways using reflections and shades, as you will find from this video. However, try not to over do it as the rule is to be as natural and authentic as possible. Also, there’s no use of great lighting if you don’t know how to use it. Direct light on the face can make you look daunting, while certain angles may cast wide shadows. You have to be careful about the shadows you yourself cast as well, especially if you are in front of a wall, as this may show up in the photo. Play around with different angles until you find a good position.
Do NOT use any filter or photoshop editing to enhance your photos. If you have noticeable blemishes, let it be. They will find it out anyways when they meet you in person. Honesty will go a longer way than hiding with the intention of duplicity. Be confident in how you look, and noone will ever point out your natural beauty as though they are flaws. Avoid any filter that changes the tone of your skin and makes it unnaturally flattering.
These are some photography tips that can take your photo a long way. Please avoid uploading selfies and passport sized formal photos. Both are inappropriate for matrimonial sites.
Stay tuned in the upcoming week for the next part of this series where we will talk about how you can tell a compelling story with your profile picture.