You see people’s faces drop a little bit when it comes to this topic.
And for good reason – it’s hard to get real with this! But wherever you are on your journey to self-acceptance, here are a few tips and tricks that will help…
1. Solid Colors
Solid Colors are a go-to. Patterns can and should be left to a professional wardrobe designer or stylist. Solid colors are SO much easier to play with and to look great in.
- Play with combinations – The most successful outfits on camera are often mixes of solids that compliment or contrast at various points. Don’t be afraid to mess around!
- No Solid Black and No Solid White – They are difficult to light correctly, and skin tone can be thrown off by these colors. If you want to bring along your favorite shirt in this color because you love it, then do so, but make sure to bring lots of other wardrobe options as well.
- Consider Brights – they actually work on more people than you would think!
2. Tailoring Is Your Friend
Tailoring can make you feel more confident, which translates viscerally on-camera (especially on video).
Afraid to show your shape? Your shape is an asset on camera. Well-tailored clothing makes the difference between an un-memorable image and one that makes people say, “Wow. He/She/They is really dynamic. I’m gonna keep listening…”
- Don’t worry so much about creating an “hourglass” shape as a woman or a “v-sillhouette” as a man. Be more concerned with choosing clothing that leaves you free of wrinkles, discomfort, and tugging or pulling. A good camera-woman/man will be cognizant of choosing their angles wisely and creating a shape that will be flattering for you on camera. Your main concern should always be your comfort and how your clothing assists you in conveying your message.
- Worry less about looking thin and more about looking healthy. The majority of people focus on how many pounds the camera will put on them and how they can combat those effects. The truth is that humans zero in on whether or not the person they are looking at seems strong and vivacious. The determination of weight is a secondary concern for most viewers – one that is determined by the conscious and not the subconscious. We view images first through our fight or flight impulse, absorbing the image as an indicator of safety or danger. We’re wondering whether this person is healthy and full of life and should be trusted, or whether this person is somehow dangerous to us. This is part of the reason imagery is so impactful – it impacts our subconscious first.
3. ACCESSORIES AND DETAILS
This is the last tip on purpose, because this one is subjective. I’ve had clients who want to be as minimal as possible in their appearance, and I will advise them as such.
Then there are those people who are loud and colorful and love their bright lipstick or their neon polo shirts. I know, because I am one of them. And when you tell this person to, “Keep it simple,” they look at you like you’ve mortally wounded them.
What I’ve learned over the years is this – YOU DO YOU, BOO.
If you try to minimize yourself, you’ll FEEL minimized, and that will be evident to everyone who looks at your images.
If your big earrings and your neon green polo shirts distract from your overall message, oh-friggin-well. I am sure that you will find that, over time, you’ll attract a lot of people who love your message and also love big earrings and neon green polo shirts, and they will become your main audience. And that, my friend, is totally ok by me.
- In general, seek definition over aesthetic. What I mean by this is that definition will go a long way toward you feeling and looking good. Go ahead and wear those tassel earrings – but also make sure that they hit your jaw line in the right place and that the shapes of the details are defined enough to be lit well and seen on camera. The “aesthetic” part is this – don’t become so concerned with the “rules” that you forget what works for you. Because YOU are your greatest asset.
- Often times, a defining physical characteristic that is considered a little, “outside the box,” turns out to be a trademark and, ultimately, a major selling-point. This can mean whatever you decide you want it to mean. But internalize it, and let it inform your decisions about how you want to be seen.