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Graduation photo doís and doníts

By Bianca Consunji
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Last updated 00:06:00 08/29/2009

EVER laughed at a stranger's graduation photo in someone?s living room?

Don?t. Ten years down the road, someone else might be doing the same thing to you.

Graduation photos, which are often the butt of jokes, usually look awful for the simple reason that many of them look dated. If you want your graduation photo to be a classic shot that your children can proudly show off, follow these tips for both your formal toga shot and your creative photos.

Do have your hair and makeup done professionally. Formal photos require strong lighting, so if you don?t know how to do your makeup yourself, get someone to do it for you.

Visit a makeup counter in a department store (Shu Uemura and MAC are pretty friendly) and tell them what you need.

It?s best to avoid having your makeup done by the parloristas on standby because they tend to rush their work and slap on the same look on everyone (they have to do it on dozens of people, after all).

Also, if you?re fussy about hygiene, you might want to take your business elsewhere, as the makeup artists can?t be bothered to wash their brushes and sponges before each use.

Do use neutral colors. Nix the blue eye shadow and glitter, and use neutral colors for your makeup. Also, don?t insist on eradicating shine from every corner of your face.

?Shimmer adds dimension,? explains makeup artist Tatin Yang from LancŰme. ?It can highlight areas and bring out your features.?

But don?t overdo it as well -- limit the shimmer to your cheekbones and areas where the sun naturally hits your face. Also, too much contouring will not make you look thinner; it can only make you look like you have orange and brown stripes on your cheeks if not done by a pro. Change to something fancier if you must for your creative shot.

Guys, tell your makeup artist to stick to powder and bronzer -- no eye shadow or lipstick, and definitely no eyeliner!

Do stick to the classics. Avoid fancy jewelry and limit your accessories to a small pair of pearl earrings. Fancy ones, such as dangling earrings, will easily date your look within a year or two. This will only cheapen your graduation photo, as the jewelry will seem ostentatious compared to the simple background and dark toga.

Do give your look a run-through. Don?t get a haircut on the week of your graduation photo; instead, have it trimmed a week or two before your photo, and practice the look you want to achieve for the photo. At least if anything goes wrong with your hair or makeup, you can still find a way to salvage it.

Don?t take too long with the shoot. Keep in mind that other people also need to have their photos taken, so have all your props on hand and don?t dawdle, simply because you don?t want other people to watch you pose.

Don?t use the props provided by the studios. That is, unless you want to look generic, as hundreds of other students will have used those props as well. Be original: Use something that really expresses who you are and what you?re interested in instead of posing with a random (and common!) prop such as a cowboy hat or tiara.

Choose a theme that really shows your personality; if you love books, work around that. If you?re a Shakespeare fan, dress up as Juliet (or Romeo). If rock music is your thing, break out your electric guitar and drumsticks. Your candid photo is equally important as your write-up; it shows people who you are.

Don?t leave everything to Photoshop. Sample photos provided by the studios are often deceiving because they?re putting their best foot forward. Each sample photo is styled and retouched to perfection, but they won?t put the same amount of effort for hundreds of other students. They will not have the time to Photoshop your braces away; while they can clean up your eye bags and blemishes, the rest is pretty much left to you.

So make sure that everything is in place: No clothing tags are sticking out, your makeup is perfect, and nothing?s in between your teeth.

     


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