Spit out your gum.

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There’s nothing worse than an amazing photo of yourself where your smile looks so perfect, your eyes sparkle, your head is titled in just the perfect angle that makes your nose look so cute… but there’s one little hair sticking straight up. Or one little fingerprint on your glasses. Or one little fuzzy from your sweater resting on your lip.

Or one little glob of bright pink chewing gum mashed between your teeth.

Sometimes we can stress ourselves so much about having our photo taken- timing the next haircut and color perfectly or when to trim or shave the beard so it’s just perfect at the appointment, or choosing just the right shirt that brings out those itty bitty little blue highlights in your eyes…

For me it’s generally about seeing the forest instead of the trees. People are drawn to portraits of friendly faces that catch your attention because of the warmth of the smile and the natural, confident, comfortable ease in their face. It’s the overall tone of the image that’s the most important in making it successful in grabbing and holding someone’s attention.

But something that distracts from that will ruin it and cause the viewer’s eyes to go to that one spot in the photo- instead of to the whole photo. Something like a huge, sparkly piece of jewelry, or bright purple polkadots on a tie… or a piece of pink gum poking out of someone’s mouth.

So before you have your portrait taken, spit out your gum.

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