We all generally hate our driver's license picture and often refer to this image as a "mug shot" because we tend to look as haggard and drawn in this picture as a hardened criminal. Unfortunately, as much as we dislike this picture of ourselves, it is one we must show often to verify our identity. Taking a good driver's license picture that we aren't ashamed for any close friend to discover in our wallet requires a little planning, but it can be done.
- Skill level:
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Give some serious thought to the outfit you want to wear, even though it's only a head-and-shoulders shot. Make sure you're wearing a flattering color up around your face. Choose a bright or deep color to keep your face from looking washed out, and something with a flattering neck line. Generally, collars are best because they hide many unflattering neck conditions.
Use a tooth whitener or brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste such as Rembrant for a few days before your photo appointment. This will ensure your teeth stand out as strong and healthy.
Wash your hair and style it in a way that adds body and mass so it won't look flat and greasy in the photo. If you color your hair, make sure you visit your colorist before your photo appointment. Any bangs should be trimmed so that they do not obscure your eyes or hang so long that they drag your face down.
Apply any make-up you want to wear a little more heavily than you normally would. Pay special attention to eyebrows, eyelashes and lips as these features tend to look diminished in photos unless you really play them up.
Wear earrings that are substantial enough to show up through your hair to widen a long rectangular or oval face. Wear short, fat earrings if your face is heart-shaped to balance out your narrow chin.
Pay attention to where you are in line and do not hesitate to take a few minutes when your number is drawing near to recheck your make-up and hair. Bring your own mirror along in case the bathrooms are inconveniently located. This is one time you should allow yourself to primp in public.
Apply pressed powder to your face just before your photo to remove shine. This step is helpful for everyone regardless of gender or make-up habits.
Turn your shoulders away slightly from the camera. This will keep your shoulders from looking bulky and minimize any extra pounds the camera adds to your frame.
Hold your head up and keep your chin at an angle greater than 45 degrees to your neck. Holding your head up and slightly back will allow gravity to pull the skin of your face back slightly thereby minimizing wrinkles and jowling, and, through the optical illusion of foreshortening, will appear to shorten a long face and soften a strong jaw.
Smile: It lifts the face and adds animation to a photo that would otherwise appear deadpan. Personality often makes the face, and even the most beautiful face can look lifeless without some personality showing through to give it sparkle. Let your personality show in your smile, and try to let your smile reach your eyes.
Shut your eyes for a few seconds right before the photo is snapped. This will help keep you from blinking with the flash and being caught with your eyes closed, or worse, half closed in the photo.
Tips and warnings
- Brush your teeth with straight baking soda to remove stains quickly. Just a couple of brushings with straight baking soda will improve the whiteness of teeth considerably.