Photographer Nate Gustafson of Artisan Life Photography, a company focused on creating a positive portrait experience for pictorial directories, is offering a series of tips for achieving the ideal photo shoot for church directories this summer.
Tulsa-based Artisan Life uses a team of artisans, designers and print experts to create one-of-a-kind church directory portraits with the goal of taking away the stigma of bland directory photos. In addition to utilizing the Artisan Life team of photography experts, Gustafson says there are certain steps clients can take to prepare for the photo-shoot in order to enjoy the experience and get the best results possible.
“Stepping before a camera can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you know how many people are going to see the results,” said Gustafson.
“At Artisan Life, our goal is to create beautiful, memorable church directories the families will love, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help clients look slimmer and take their best shots, so they can have directory pictures they will cherish for years to come.”
Gustafson coaches clients in how best to present themselves in front of the camera by choosing the right colors and clothing lines to flatter their figures. Rather than choosing baggy clothes to disguise trouble spots, clients can opt for more tailored and form-fitting clothes and clothing that features vertical lines.
“Baggy clothes make it harder for photographers to create an attractive silhouette, so I suggest clothes that fit the body well with close fitting sleeves and pieces that draw the eye into seeing a more slender figure,” said Gustafson.
“Think V-neck shirts, a long necklace or vertical stripes, or you can go with dark colors on the outside and light colors on the inside, such as a dark blazer and white shirt.”
According to Gustafson, playing with colors can offer an easy way for clients to achieve the slim look they desire. The human eye goes first toward red, then toward other standout shades, instinctively sliding past darker hues. The result is when a client wears dark clothing the eye does not linger as long and the figure reaps the benefits.
When it comes to posture, Gustafson says there is an art to sucking in for the camera. “I tell clients not to over think their posture. Instead, just pretend you are posing in your bedroom in front of the mirror and pull in your stomach, moving the way you would if you were trying on clothes, so you can avoid unnatural bodily poses.”
The goal for the photo is for clients to look as natural as possible. This natural look is achieved when clients wear their hair and makeup as normal, avoiding drastic changes right before picture day.
Other tips include shaving the night before to avoid skin irritation and redness and taking off eyeglasses at least 30 minutes prior to the shoot to avoid indentations.
When it comes to choosing a theme for photos, there are guidelines to help. According to Gustafson, clients should limit the palette to three colors, mixing patterns with solids. Families or teams should dress in the same one or two shades.
“Our photos are all about capturing the best in our clients, so we also encourage them to bring with them other outfits and accessories, such as hats, pets or musical instruments,” said Gustafson. “Even more important is to bring their imaginations and to have fun with the shoot because people look their best when they are genuinely having a good time. This makes for better memories of the shoot and also creates better pictures in the end.”
Gustafson’s last piece of advice is all about attitude: “A great attitude is as attractive as a great smile, especially after a good night’s sleep. And, hey, we have massage chairs to help you feel even better!”
Clients who choose Artisan Life Photography for their next photo shoot will receive a complementary full-color 8×10 photograph and a pictorial church directory.
For more information about achieving better photo sessions or to schedule a church directory session with Artisan Life Photography, call 918-955-7993 or visit http://www.ArtisanLife.com.