Portraits that are the Picture of Health
Of course you’ll look your best in your Portraits…
I am often asked, “what should I do to prepare for my portraits?” This is a great question and something I take a lot of time in answering.
There are simple things to quickly consider such as wardrobe, hair, and make-up. Then there is the topic I suggest people take a little more seriously. Health and Wellness. Yep, how you feel on the inside has a dramatic effect on the outside and is easily transferred to your portrait. The good news, there are simple steps you can take, today, tonight, tomorrow, to get yourself feeling and looking great for your portrait. Modest changes in diet, water intake, and rest can have immediate, and lasting, changes. Not only on the inside, but the outside.
To further this point, I asked friend and colleague, Dr. Katie Corazzo, to share a little of her knowledge in the area of Health and Wellness:
10 Tips to Picture Perfect Health By: Dr. Katie Corazzo
What do I mean by “picture perfect health”? After combining the definitions of picture, perfect, and health, I came up with the following definition: A representation of a complete and desired state of being. A snap shot, if you will, of a moment in time in which you are living YOUR most desired state of being. What does your most desired state of being look like though? What if you could do something to make that happen?
Studies have shown that our diet, sleep, and even our stress can impact how attractive others think we are. First impressions are critical in your professional and social life and are often in the form of a photograph. “The impression you create may affect future job opportunities, collaborations or other important matters,” said James Uleman, PhD, a psychology professor at New York University and researcher on impression management.
So what does health have to do with photography anyway?
Let me give you a few examples:
While in medical school, I met a 40 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We asked her how she discovered the cancer, and she replied by telling us that she noticed a change in a picture of herself with a low cut shirt on. She noticed some dimpling in her left breast that didn’t look the same on her right side. She checked it out in the mirror and decided to ask her doctor about it. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Talk about a powerful picture.
But I don’t have any hair
I am sure you have seen inspiring pictures of people laughing and smiling, only they are missing one thing. Their hair. Chemotherapy can cause hair loss, and I think these pictures are a great example of beauty. Beauty is not about your hair style, but about the joy and light you feel on the inside.
If you google “health” and look at the images that come up you will see people laughing, smiling, exercising, fruits and vegetables, and doctors. When googling “unhealthy” you will find quite a different perspective. Unhappy, overweight, french-fries, hamburgers, fast food, doughnuts, and even a picture of a pregnant woman smoking and holding a glass of wine. Which one do you want to look more like?
What do your pictures say about your health?
Here are 10 tips to help you find your picture perfect health.
1. Smile! and don’t fake it!
“You never want to give people an inauthentic impression — many people can intuitively feel if someone is being fake immediately,” said Vanessa Van Petten with the Science of People.
2. Care for your skin
Caring for your skin can mean several things, so let me give you a few specifics. Witch hazel is great for more oily skin to reduce inflammation and redness. Aloe Vera is great for dry skin to hold the moisture in and repair damaged skin. Exfoliate. Studies show that the evenness of your skin color impacts your attractiveness and estimated age.
3. Drink water
Hydration is critical to your skin health. Water helps eliminate toxins and prevent dry skin. Divide your body weight by 2 and that is how many ounces of water you should aim for every day.
Endorphins are released while you work out which leave you feeling happy and energized. Exercise has also been shown to help treat depression, improve blood sugar regulation, and can result in weight loss.
5. Eat your veggies and fruit
Studies show that an increase in vegetable and fruit consumption improves caucasian skin color within 6 weeks. Foods that are high in carotenoids seems to improve skin color the most. Carotenoids are high in vitamin A and help fight against free radical damage. They are found in orange, red, and green fruits and veggies. Carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and green leafy veggies to name a few.
Cleansing can improve your skin, help you lose weight, and leave you feeling better…if you do it the right way! This does not mean go online and buy the next fad detox out there. You don’t need to buy $500 worth of products to do a detox either. I have developed a 21 day detox plan that includes eating foods and cleaning up your diet. Products are only used when needed and on an individual basis. This can increase your energy, clear up your skin, and help you lose weight.
7. Relieve your stress
Stress can impact your health by taxing your adrenals and liver, decreasing your sensitivity to insulin which can lead to diabetes, impacting your cardiovascular health, and can result in weight gain in your abdomen. Make a list of ways you decrease your stress and make sure you use one every day. Read, meditate, exercise, yoga, drawing, taking a bath, or calling an old friend are just a few examples.
At least 7-8 hours. Dark circles and bags under your eyes do not make you camera ready. Need I say more?
9. Accept compliments
When someone gives you a compliment or tells you how great you look in a photo, say “thank you” and believe them.
10. Quit smoking
Did you know that cigarettes decrease and deplete your vitamin C? Vitamin C is important for you immune system and cell regeneration. Stop smoking and increase your vitamin C.
I Hope you look picture perfect! Cheese!!
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are several things you can do today that will have a wonderful impact on not only your portraits, but your entire being. Thank you so very much for contributing to this post Dr. Katie.
Want to learn more? Dr. Katie would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to connect with her via email at: Dr. Katie Corazzo. She can also be found online by visiting: