Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fashionable decisions...and "perfect" photos.

 If you ever have the opportunity to have your home photographed for a magazine, trust me, the second thought to pop in your head after "Oh no, I need to get cleaning!" is probably "What will I wear?"

Don't pretend this isn't true. 

But in the case of putting your best foot forward in such a photo the choice of fashion does not entirely depend on what color looks best on you.

When I contact a individual who is being featured in the magazine and the topic of wardrobe comes up (if they don't bring it up, I do) I am always armed with directives from Matthew and Jenny. Many, many factors come into play such as:

  • What is the background setting like? If it is a simple palette, the subject can wear a little more pattern than they usually advise. Because a very interesting setting calls for more subdued fashion. Remember, the star of the show in this case is the home!

  • Stick with light colors. You will look all dewy and sweet if you do and won't be like the big blue dot that everyone's eyes are drawn to if you drape yourself all in dark clothing.

  • If wearing color, the colors used throughout your home (and the layout) need to be considered. For example, I have a feature in the upcoming issue ( a fun kid's summer celebration!) and the colors are soft blue, gray and white, with accents of yellow. So, guess who's on the hunt for an awesome yellow dress?!

  • Also, if there are a group of people in a shot, even though they might be secretly competing to stand out from the others they cannot leap from the pages and/or contribute to a noisy mix of pattern and bold color. This is not technically a fashion shoot. You are an accessory, not the main course!

And my personal tip is not to wear anything that will make you cringe later on. For example, if you never, ever put rubber boots on to water your flowers, now is not the time to pair a pretty dress with your welllies for a shot! It will look least to all who know you! And do your hair and make-up...but naturally! Because no one wants a reader to be distracted by your unruly do or the fact that you put waaaay too much blush on, instead of your gorgeous home. Some photographers might be bold enough to suggest a touch-up before pressing the shutter, but others are usually too polite. Let's face it, you don't want your photo to end up on the cutting room floor! 

Oh, and this is a tip for any photographic moment: reduce a double chin by pressing your tongue very hard against the roof of your mouth while you smile. Instantly slimming! Also, angle your body slightly sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot. Another slimming tip worth trying in a pinch!

And how to get that perfect smile? Try the look away maneuver. To do this, look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh and natural. Matthew has made me do this before and I felt foolish and we busted a gut feels very silly. Here is the result:

(I think this ended up in a childish game of peek-a-boo...I am a terrible subject!)

No matter what the reason, standing in front of a camera and saying "cheese" is so difficult and anxiety provoking for some people, myself included. But keep your eye on the prize: it is a moment in time that will remind you of a fun event, memorable occasion, and/or special time with the ones you love. 

So, go ahead and SMILE!

(And be sure to reserve your copy of Summer with Matthew Mead and see what fashionable garb NieNie, her sisters, and Meg and her family will be wearing, among others. Because that's part of the fun, right?)


 Summer with Matthew Mead is sold only via this website. 
Have you ordered your copy yet?


  1. Love the double chin advice! Thanks.

  2. I so loved the Christmas issue of Matthew Mead Holiday I can not wait to feast my eyes on the Summer pages! Awesome pointers on how to look natural in a photo shoot I will make a mental note not that any magazines will be coming to our home but at least for our family Christmas card shoot :)! Keep up the amazing work everyone it's just gorgeous!!!

  3. Great tips, Linda. Although I could have really used the color wardrobe tip last month when Better Homes & Garden was here. Oh well! Love that photo of you by the way.


  4. What an interesting post Linda - not that I need the advice since I'm not having a magazine visit my home any time soon. I love that sweet photo of your daughter and Matthew managed to get some fantastic ones of you too.


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