Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to take your Best Halloween Photos

It's hard to believe, but Halloween has now become the most photographed holiday in America so here are some photo tips to make sure you are camera ready!

My best advice ... Shoot first and ask questions later!
The secret in getting an amazing quality photograph is in the quantity of photos you take! So when you think you got it, shoot some more. Also, try shooting the same photo in different modes. One in automatic and another with a different exposure. This concept works for the flash too. Take some with it on and some without, being careful that you aren't shooting into a reflective surface with your flash like mirrors or glass. For an eery effect use candles or a flashlight to illuminate.  If you don't know how to use the settings and dials on your camera now's the time to figure out how to use just one. If you have lost your manual, google it to get your one lesson or watch a tutorial on You Tube. Who knows maybe you'll get bitten by the shutterbug after you see what you are capable of creating.

When you're shooting kids you should kneel down to their eye level, zoom in and Get Closer! Don't spend a lot of energy making your subjects pose a certain way. Rather, take advantage of the spontaneity in the character of their costumes and encourage everyone to act their part by flying, groaning or squinting while adding in the action of their guise. Make sure you're talking, joking and keeping it natural looking all the while you click! You should shoot fast before you lose the enthusiasm and fun, or the light. 

Shooting at twilight will be the best time to get the right lighting. Remember to take advantage of side lighting from the sun and if you backlight your trick or treater make sure to force your flash on so that the faces don't look muddy or dark.

When you are shooting a group, keep the background simple and make everyone invade some personal space to get closer together. Keep them interacting, laughing and then shoot several photos quickly. Sneak around and get some candids after everyone thinks you've put your camera away. These shots are usually the all time faves!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Special Effects for A Hallowed Night!

Here's a few tips for a girl heading out to the local Haunted House!

To give lips the picture perfect pout I just ordered Violent Lips Glitteratti for some added sparkle. They are a line of glitter, rainbow,"wild side" to fishnet themed, temporary lip tatoos that are vitamin enhanced and last for 4-8 hours. You can even buy them to express a single word on your lips like Fiesty, Poison or XOXO. ($15 for 3 sets)

To do a glitter lip yourself using gloss and craft glitter watch this easy DIY video to know how. 

Just in time, Make up For Ever recently launched Fluo Night Black Light Pigment. They are not only eerily fluorescent but they also show up under a black light. Glowing in the dark and body painting has never been easier! The white shade, available at Sephora for $31, is invisible in normal lights, but surprises brilliantly under UV.

Dior's Multi-Wear Adhesive Patches may have been the norm on the runway in Paris this year but decked out with Swavroski crystals and velvet they will definitely help indulge your costume in a dramatic eye look, the easy "press-on" way!

Don't forget your nails as you hand out your treats...This year there's OPI's Black Shatter which will create a crackled, shattered look on your nails. Or maybe you'll want to freak your friends out with an all white nail splattered with red, blood-like tips!

Happy Halloween and remember:
"Sometimes GORE is not more ... add some pretty to your BOO!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Family Photos - Tips to Capturing the Moment

It's that time of year again for families everywhere to endure the process of dressing up and looking happily into the camera all for the sake of the holiday card! This video will help inspire you and give you some things to think about so you can all really sparkle without putting makeup and gloss on Dad or the kids!

Basically, kids should dress like kids, and adults like grown ups. But leave the super hero t-shirts at home! Solids are best but one person in a small stripe or plaid will be ok. Mid-tones work great, like blues, but if everyone is dressed in denim it will look like a sea of blue so add some complementary colors in the same tone, or go all pastels/vivids or a variety of earth tones. You want to think coordinating, not matchy. Lay everything out ahead of time and make sure it all fits, the better the planning the easier to relax on picture day! This is not the time to try out a new hair do because you will hate it later on if you do something that you wouldn't normally do.
And what about including the long time boy-friend in your portrait? Well, families are constantly changing with additions and exits so I say include them if it represents the snapshot of your family at the moment. Just make sure they are placed somewhere on the end so if need be you can crop them out later on! After you get the money shot where everyone is perfectly positioned and looking at the camera, let everyone relax and be themselves. Posey posey pictures will never be the ones you love because they don't illicit any real emotion when you look at them and do people really ever say cheese when they smile? 
Honestly, don't be overly concerned about the messy hair or skinned knees, these photos are for you, to document your life. And if you decide to send out holiday cards ... well, your real friends don't judge! Be yourself and let the love for your family show through genuinely ~ These are the shots people talk about!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Skinny Fat - Ideal Body Weight Will Not Make You Immune!

Your dress size just may be luring you into a false sense of security when it comes to this subject.

Skinny fat seems to be a contradictory term, after all its what’s on the inside that counts - Right? Well, being thin doesn’t mean you're healthy! And this skinny girl, is here to tell  you that just because you are close to your ideal body weight does not mean that you aren't suffering from skinny fat ... models included! 

What is
skinny fat? Although not scientifically defined, here are some urban dictionary quotes to help you understand this concept:

“Skinny fat is a self induced syndrome where an individual is fairly close to their healthy weight, or even at their healthy weight, but they have little if any muscle definition. The sufferer generally doesn’t exercise regularly or is a habitual on and off again exerciser. The sufferer also generally doesn’t follow any type of healthy nutrition plan, rather they eat anything and everything they want.”

“This term is used when a person is thin, yet does not eat healthy or take care of themselves. They think they don’t need to watch the junk they eat because they are thin. They can be more unhealthy then an overweight person.”

And finally for the visual we have all seen (Yikes) too many times:

“Skinny-fat girls usually wear clothes that are TOO small for their 'not so skinny' bodies. A skinny-fat girl usually may wear a pair of low-rise jeans that are WAY too tight causing her fat to spill out of the top of her pants.

Primarily associated with the female gender is another pesky problem of fat distribution called cellulite. According to a study by Neutrogena, 70 percent of women have cellulite. Improving your diet and exercise is a perfect way to start repairing this uneven skin appearance. If your tummy, butt and thighs are flaccid and subcutaneous fat is layered on top of those muscles, it will contribute to the hail damage you see there. Losing weight and Resistance training or Pilates is a definite must for minimizing the appearance of cellulite.

When it comes to being fit, experts say there is no short cut! (By the way, save your money because cellulite creams don’t work.) If you want to be healthy you need to incorporate weight bearing exercises into a low fat diet and go for the burn!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Tutorials - Best Makeup Videos for that Spooky-Sexy Vibe!

Halloween brings out the kid in all of us but gone are the days when a sheet with two eye holes or the face painted cat whisker/nose combo will get you much notice. The Wicked Witch of the West even needed a green face and warts to get her scare on. Here are some of my favorite makeup tutorial videos that can help inspire any girl to rock a Halloween Bash.

Costumes require a mesmerizing look to complete their effect so you'll need to decide if it's going to be a Good Witch, Bad Witch or Mistress of the Night kind of Halloween. Adding the oompf with makeup will guarantee a boost from your normal yawn worthy idea to that lasting, searing impression. Bewitch your friends and arm yourself with a little tube of Latex from Party City to re-create X-Men's blue Mystique above and become a little more creative this year for a bloody-good finish!

Me? I am going as a BEE this year ... just trying to decide if it will be a QUEEN Bee, Honey Bee or KILLER Bee. Yep, the costume stays the same - the difference will be made with the makeup!

TO stay in the know and learn a model's secrets to looking your best Every Day ... check out my new book Face This: Real advice from Real Models!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lesson #2: Flattering Angles- Tips on How to Take Your Best, Most Gorgeous Photos Ever!

Models and photographers both know that angles are what will make your photos look Shelltacular, whoops, Spectacular! An angle can illuminate, confuse, disorientate, and can turn a boring photo into an emotionally powered shot full of drama! 

My book, Face This, will give you all the tricks to creating the right look and angle for yourself in front of anyone’s camera for perfect photos every time, but what you can do when YOU are the photographer, to make interesting pictures involving angles? Here is your monthly, get-better, photography tip!

EYE-LEVEL. The traditional way most of us take our pictures and view people is head-on, eyes straight forward, at about shoulder level. It conveys reality and represents the moment just as we remember it ... beautiful, but ordinary. Since digital photography is FREE why not change it up a bit with a little more creativity?

LOW-ANGLE.  This  photo is created by the photographer crouching down and angling the lens upward.  These photos convey superiority & power. It can have the added benefit of creating height for the subject by exaggeration. If your angle is strong enough, you can get cool photos with just bright blue sky or trees as a backdrop, eliminating an otherwise distracting background.

HIGH-ANGLE. This is when you elevate your camera over your subject. It tends to make your subject seem smaller, at times almost swallowed up by their surroundings, making them feel more approachable and less intimidating.

CLOSE-UP. This is the classic way to get your best ever photographs of children. Many times it involves laying on the ground, with no angle at all, and using a zoom or getting really close. This technique magnifies a subject and creates a very intimate image of significance with the background just a blur.

Changing your perspective or the angle that you are taking your photo can change the feeling of your photos altogether, so get up on the chair, lay on your back, down on one knee, hover overhead and get in someone’s face for a photo that will be framed and cherished for years ahead!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Calling all goddesses - Fun Birthday Party Ideas with Girlfriends!

Along the transitions in my life, I have been empowered by many great goddesses that have surrounded me in a protective bubble of love, harmony, unity and wondrous kindness. This year for my birthday I called out to my ethereal friends and their demi-gods, to merge these energies to celebrate my birthday and nourish my soul with laughter at a local Hookah lounge.

I asked my girlfriends to come dressed in whatever made them feel goddess-like, flowers in their hair, glitter, draping chiffon … time to play dress up! I selected goddess names for each, framed as a keepsake
 and requested that if they wanted to extend gifts that they be hand made from the heart. I received a wondrous poem, art, and jelly! We were nourished with hummus, entertained by exotic belly dancers and enticed by the pineapple hookah!

Birthdays. Love em or hate em … they are inevitable. Why is it that we dread celebrating or wait until the milestone big-0 to commemorate them? It’s normal to feel reluctant about a change in your chronological age, but I encourage all of you to put away your expectations that you should be checking off a list of accomplishments. Life unfolds for us in such awe-inspiring ways and if you are too caught up in a scheduled path you may miss it!

Birthdays are good for you! A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people get happier as they get older! Have you stopped celebrating your birthdays? How old would you be if you could decide your own age? Personally, I think you have to be over 40 to finally be REALLY happy! I read about a woman in Florida who celebrated her 100th birthday on a treadmill … She said she “feels good after exercise!”

Here are a few ideas:
  • An around the world party
  • High tea
  • Gratitude party
  • Diva Safari ~ night on the town!
  • Karaoke room
  • SPA Shindig
  • Street shopping ~ Walk down a quirky street for a trip down memory lane. Try on outrageous hats, check out an old bookstore, bargain shop at a vintage/resale store, visit a wine bar or funky bistro!

This is what I know:  One bite of birthday cake is never enough, I am the only one like me in the world and I want to live my life from the inside out, celebrating with the people I love most every year – at dinner with my kids, on a long weekend getaway with my husband or throwing a goddess party ... Singing happy birthday every year, right on key!

I would love to hear your birthday ideas!

from the 47 year old celestial brunette!