Top 5 Tips for Looking Great in Your Photographs

As a wedding photographer in the San Francisco area, I photograph a huge variety of people. Big & small, short & tall, shy & bold, young & old. Regardless of who you are, you will look best in your photos if you follow these 5 simple tips for looking great in your photographs.

Tip #1 – Closer is Bigger

If you don’t want your butt to look bigger than it actually is, shift your weight to your back foot and push your hips away from the camera.  This tip applies to any body part.  Whatever is closest to the camera will look bigger!

 

 

Tip #2 – Slimmer from the Side

Turn your body so the camera sees the side of your waist – it is much smaller from the side than straight on.  This is true not only for your waist but also for your shoulders and hips.  Guys may want their shoulders square to the camera so they look bigger but most women don’t want to look broad so remember to avoid facing your body square to the camera.

 

 

 

 

Tip #3 – Lean in to look Lean

Leaning back can make anyone look like the Michelin Man!  So, to get rid of the extra chins, you need to slightly lean forward from your waist up.  This also makes your chest bigger than your hips which most of us want.  Lean in to look Lean.

 

 

 

Tip #4 – Roll ’em Back to remove the Rolls

If you’re wearing a strapless gown, then you run the risk of looking like a snow cone or the top of a muffin if you don’t roll those shoulders back!  Only the super skinnies can get away with that high fashion forward shoulder roll.  So, make that expensive dress look its best by rolling your shoulders back.  This will also accentuate your bust line – just in case that’s of interest to you.

 

Tip #5 – Show them Big Sexy Eyes!

Your eyes will look bigger and more beautiful if they are open a little wider.  To do this without looking like someone just pinched your bottom, I suggest lowering your chin slightly while doing the Lean (Tip #3).  When you lower your chin, you’ll be looking up a bit to the camera which opens you eyes and makes them look much more bright and sexy.

 

Bonus Tip – Relax!

If you can’t remember any of the Top 5 Tips above, just relax and think of the camera as a good friend who’s trying very hard to flatter you –  you beautiful thing, you!

 

Do you have friends who would benefit from these tips?  Share this post on Facebook with the link below.

Here’s to looking amazing!

San Francisco Artist Valerie Orth Rocks the City

I recently had the pleasure of honor of making images for an amazing San Francico musical artist, Valerie Orth.  Before the shoot, I met up with her and her rockstar hair stylist, Tracy Shelor, downtown at this cool salon on Sutter Street called Echos.  Valerie walked in and I was floored!  She looked amazing.

I had only been contacted the day before so we didn’t really have a plan and were largely  playing it by ear.  Sometimes that’s the best way and this was no exception.  It was a very organic and fun shoot that yielded some awesome images!

We started in the lobby of the building which the security guard found quite entertaining.  (Thanks for letting us shoot there, dude!)  Then we went to a nearby parking garage which turned out to be a fantastic location.  The light and textures were very cool.  We also hit some interesting alley ways, a pub (photos + whiskey), a hotel lobby and of course, the street.

Valerie was so much fun to work with and I’m proud of these images.  Keep an eye out for this rocker chick on the charts sometime soon.  Check out her new album, Faraway City on iTunes.  I think you’ll LOVE it!

 

Alcatraz II: Back to the Rock with The Travel Channel

You may recall my post from December when I spent the night in an Alcatraz jail cell.  Well, someone over at the Travel Channel noticed the blog post and contacted me for an interview.  This led to an invitation to participate in the filming of a segment for the upcoming show “Unpacked” on Alcatraz which will air this summer as part of a series they are doing on little known local attractions in iconic destinations.

Alcatraz may be well known but very few know that you can sleep there overnight or that it is a bird sanctuary and a botanical marvel.

So, I called up a few of my buddies who did the overnight with me and asked them if they wanted to be on TV.  It wasn’t hard getting them to make the trip back to San Francisco for this rare opportunity.

Not only did we bet to go back to Alcatraz, we went over there with an Alcatraz inmate who spent five years there in the late 50’s.  Robert Luke was his name and he was full of riveting stories of his days on the Rock.

I don’t yet have an official air date for the Unpacked series but it should really be interesting…and it will have me and my boys in one of the episodes so you know its gonna Rock.

I’ll post to my Facebook Fan Page when I know the show schedule.  Go click my Like button so you can stay tuned.  www.facebook.com/jimvetterphotography

Thanks for visiting!

A Firefighter’s Engagement: Inverness, California

Jim Vetter Photography did a somewhat unconventional engagement session yesterday for a wonderful pair of Firefighters from Marin County, California.  David is a fireman in Ross, CA and Elizabeth is a volunteer firefighter for the Inverness Fire Department.  They met at a training event and ended up talking for hours afterward and knew they had stumbled across something special.

When Elizabeth told me that she and her fiance were both firefighters, I just knew we would have to get the truck out!  They were so playful all day and the firetruck shots were a blast.  Oh, and special thanks got Fire Chief Jim for getting the truck out and even assisting me by holding my reflector!

After the fire station, we headed up to the spot where David proposed to Elizabeth up on a nearby fire road (of course).  This is a speical spot where they often take long walks together and stop at a little bench with a beautiful view of the valley below.  We did a little reenactment of the proposal as you can see below.  Elizabeth was nearly in tears again – so sweet!

We finished the session by heading down to Abbotts Lagoon for sunset.  What a gorgeous sunset it was too!  The entire day was beautiful with the best weather of the year so far. If you’ve never been to Abbotts Lagoon – check it out sometime.  Its a breathtaking flat hike.

Thank you to Elizabeth and David for being so much fun!  People like them make my job so fabulous.  Now I can’t wait for the wedding on May 26th.  Watch for that blog post at the end of May!

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Baker Beach Engagement Session: Jenny & Santos

Baker Beach is a favorite of Jim Vetter Photography with its iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and gorgeous coastline.  Lots of couples really want this location for their engagement session because it gives a strong sense of location (San Francisco) and its a very romantic spot.

Jenny and Santos were very sweet and we had a fantastic time capturing these images.

Thank you Jenny & Santos for making it easy to create these lovely images!

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Bridal “Sweet” at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, California

As a San Francisco Wedding Photographer, there are so many great locations to do engagements and weddings.  We have the most beautiful city in the world, wine country, the coast and so much more.  And speaking of so much more, I’ve recently discovered a real gem in Berkeley – The Hotel Shattuck Plaza.

Please enjoy this brief animated slideshow from the day.

We were treated so well by the Shattuck staff.  I highly recommend checking them out!

The presidential suite at the Shattuck is so awesome!  It has a large bedroom with french doors opening to a private balcony with incredible views and a large bathroom with lots of natural light.

The suite also has a very large living space plus a huge dining/meeting table.  A great place for the bridesmaids to hang out on the wedding day.  This side of the suite has its own entrance which is quite grande.  I loved it so much that I shot a series of images there that make use of the clasic styling of the tile and pillars.

The gowns featured in this shoot were designed by Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture in San Anselmo, California.  Her gorgeous, timeless designs are a perfect match for the Shattuck interiors.

The ballroom of the Shattuck is so cool with its arched, mirrored walls.  This give a lot of dimension to the space and makes the most of the modern lighting accents provided by DJ Jason Mitchell.  This room was also a fantastic canvas for Tamiko at All Thing Simple who created the lovely sweetheart table and king’s table.

I was fortunate enough to have StyleByLana do the hair for this project.  She is as good as they come and has never let me down.  My makeup artist was Tracy Shelor from Los Gatos.  Her work speaks for itself – impeccable.

I’d like to thank my entire team for making this experience and these lovely images possible.  I look forward to creating more art with you again soon.

If you’re a bride and you’d like to have images like these from your wedding day, please reach out to Jim Vetter Photography today.  We’d love to hear from you!

For proper credit, here are the vendors who contributed to the project:

Photography: Jim Vetter Photography, www.jimvetter.com, Fairfax, California

Videography: AVR Films, www.avrfilms.com, San Jose, California

Photographer’s Assistant & 2nd Shooter: Brian MacStay

Venue: Hotel Shattuck Plaza, www.hotelshattuckplaza.com, Berkeley, California

Bridal Gowns and Accessories: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture, www.etsy.com/shop/AmyJoTatumBridal, San Anselmo, California

Hair Stylist: Lana Orca, www.StyleByLana.com, San Francisco, California

Makeup, Skin, Airbrush Artist: Tracy Shelor, www.tracyshelor.com, Los Gatos, California

Ballroom Lighting: DJ Jason Mitchell, www.jasonmitchelldj.com, San Jose, California

Ballroom Design: All Things Simple, www.all-things-simple.com, Hercules California

Floral: Lidia at Grand Flowers, www.grandflowersofoakland.com, Oakland, California

Ballroom Rentals: Hartmann Studios Rentals, www.hartmannstudiosrentals.com, Richmond, California

Bride: Rosanna Salois, San Francisco, California

Groom: Greg Vogel, Walnut Creek, California

Jim Vetter Photography at A Soolip Wedding, San Francisco

Jim Vetter Photography Bay Area Weddings (that’s me!) is so excited to be exhibiting at the posh A Soolip Wedding event!

On Sunday, February 26th from 11am-3pm at San Francisco’s Bently Reserve, there will be an incredible wedding planning event.  I’ll be exhibiting along side a collection of California’s most respected bridal resources. including Bloomingdale’s and Williams-Sonoma as well as many wonderful local boutique businesses.

Come and enjoy the fashion show, food tastings, cake & champagne as well as panel discussions with the Experts.  Also, be sure to stay till the end for the luxury raffle and gift bag!

Please get your tickets today at www.asoolipwedding.com or call 310-360-1055.

See you there!

Video highlights from 2011

 

Golden Gate Park Engagement

Golden Gate Park is such a great place for Engagement Sessions. As a Bay Area Wedding Photographer, I love to take couples to the Conservatory of Flowers and photograph all around that area.

There is a great little tunnel under JFK Drive right off of the big flower bed in front of the conservatory.  Gorgeous light falls into the tunnel and makes for dramatic, romantic photographs.

Also, just next to the gardens is a little grove of young trees that also make a great photo setting.

Here is a slideshow of Jennifer and Mark’s engagement session.   Thank you two so much for braving the San Francisco elements to make it happen!