Several years ago I attended a Photographer’s seminar where Greg Gorman was speaking. Greg shoots celebrity portraits and photographs people like Johnny Depp for movie posters and ad campaigns. He shared some insight with those of us who don’t make $20,000 an hour. It was something like this: “when people see photos of themselves that they don’t like, they don’t think, bad hair, bad makeup, bad lighting”, “they just think, bad photos.” For this reason Greg includes hair, makeup and photo retouching in the price of his photo sessions. If you’re the average Bride, you won’t have $20,000 to spend for that type of treatment, but you should budget for it on a smaller scale. In particular, makeup, professional makeup. Why?
The truth is, people look at each other with eyes that are influenced by emotion. If they like you, they’ll see you as being attractive, if they don’t like you, you won’t seem as attractive to them, regardless of the reality. A camera, unlike a person, sees you through a lens made of glass, flips you upside down, breaks you up into dots of color, smashes you back together and shoves you into a memory card (sort of). It does this all without any emotion; it just records what it sees with its cold staring eye. And if what it sees is a Bride who tried to look “natural” on her Wedding day by passing up the makeup chair, then you might as well just wear a burka hood and sunglasses because what the camera will see just ain’t gonna by pretty.
If you want to have tears rolling down your washed-out face when you see your Wedding photos, just forego having makeup applied on your Wedding day. If you want to have proof of your “hot Bride self” then have makeup professionally applied so you can trick the camera into thinking it has emotion. It will like you, and see you as the beautiful Bride that you really are.