What kind of pictures do want to represent you? A selfie, a shot by your friend on a windy day with your hair messy?
Why look ordinary, when you can look special, glamorous and create a once in a lifetime photograph. Everyone has selfies and everyone looks alike. But a unique picture will stand out and be remembered. Whether the photo is for a friend, spouse, yourself or on your webpage or Facebook.
When you think of great portraits, who do think about? Many of the most recognized photos of the last hundred years are of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood movie stars.
Why classic photography? Did the stars of 50 years ago look better than the stars of today? Most of today's photography and the media is focused on "reality". We have reality TV and reality TV stars. Yes, many people look ok without retouching or other tools of the photography business.
But, let's be honest, what do YOU want to look like in your photographs? Like you just got up in the morning? Do you want your pictures to look like the reflection, you saw in your mirror, this morning? Or do you want to dress your best, have someone capture you at your best, and use the most flattering lighting and camera techniques? Then retouch you, to your specification, to minimize any flaws, blemishes and "problem areas".
You might have a pimple the day of the photo session. Perhaps your skin is a little rough. Do you panic? Cancel the photo session? Live with the result? Is that how you want to be remembered? As a person with awful skin.
I often am asked how the stars look so great on magazine covers. For example, how can Nicole Kidman look so fabulous? Isn't see 49? (as of May 2017). She looks 20 years younger, in so many photographs? Is she different from you and I? Almost everyone I know over 40 has a few lines and wrinkles. Is it the makeup or skincare? I am sure that helps, but great photographers take great pictures. And great Photoshop artists and retouchers polish the pictures to perfection.
Most of the stars today, just like 50 years ago, demand top photographers and high end retouching. They know their image is important and that how they look in their photographs may help or break their career. How many unretouched, selfie pictures of Meryl Streep have you seen on the cover of Vanity Fair, Vogue or Cosmo? I doubt the magazines would even allow it, people would not buy the magazine.
How can you get the Hollywood Glamour treatment? Pick a photographer who had years of experience. Many of the newer photographers do not know about using lighting, real film, posing, etc. I just talked to a new photographer who said he did not need any of that, he took candid pics with his phone.
Make sure you consult with the photographer before the photo session. It takes time to get to know someone and make yourself comfortable around them. And it takes experience to know what kinds of fashions, photograph the best. An experienced photographer will also carefully choose lighting setup, bring out the best angles and help you to feel relaxed in front of the camera and get your best expressions.
If possible, it often helps to choose a fashion photographer who has worked with models. They often know the secrets to making models (and other people) look great. Whether it's for a cosmetic company, magazines or framed photograph for your home.
If your photos are for business use, it's still important to get the best pictures possible. Even if you are not a movie star, the picture you have on your Linkedin or Facebook profile may determine if you are hired for that great job. A great picture on the dating site helps you get the best dates. A commanding portrait makes your annual report stand out and helps the company get the investment it needs to thrive. First impressions, often a photograph, can make a decision difference.
Maybe it is a cliche, but it's been said for a long time, that people shouldn't judge a person by their appearance (or photograph). However, it's plain to see, that many people judge other people by their looks and their photographs. In the book industry, everyone knows that the front cover of the book, has a major affect on whether someone buys that book. The cover is the first thing someone sees. For electronic books on Amazon, that may be the only thing they see.