Lynn Wyatt at the 2016 Houston Ballet Ball (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Richard Flowers, honoree Lynn Wyatt at the 2020 Asia Society Tiger Ball (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lynn Wyatt in her home where entertaining is done on an elegant and intimate scale. (Photo by Gittings)
Tony Bradfield and Lynn Wyatt at the 2019 Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Saks Fifth Avenue luncheon (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lynn Wyatt in a gown by Alice + Olivia at the 2019 Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala Ball(Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lynn Wyatt recharges at The Lancaster following the 2019 renaming ceremony at Jones Plaza. (Courtesy photo)
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Lynn Wyatt at Houston Ballet's 50th anniversary season gala in 2019. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Lynn Wyatt at Tiger Ball 2019. (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Lynn Wyatt makes a rare champagne toast for photographers at the 2018 Trees of Hope gala benefiting the Star of Hope Mission for the Homeless (Photo by Al Torres Photography Inc.)
Lynn Wyatt dazzling in a Talbot Runhof gown at the 2018 Housotn Grand Opera Ball.
Lynn Wyatt a the 2017 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala Ball
Lynn Wyatt at the 2017 Salvation Army Auxiliary Reflections on Style luncheon at River Oaks Country Club.
Honoree Lynn Wyatt at the 2017 Texas Medal of the Arts Gala in Austin
Lynn Wyatt, Leigh Smith (Photo by Sarah Austin)
Over a recent lunch with Houston diva Lynn Wyatt, the international best dressed honoree who has surely been photographed more than any other woman in Houston, shared her invaluable tips for making sure that your party pictures are a cut above.
A few other femmes at the table had useful input as well — in addition to this social scribe who has handled thousands of party pics in my career.
La Wyatt had our table at The Galleria/PaperCity Luxe Spring Luncheon in stitches as she related her playful mantra for good photographs. She quipped that she told all society photographers, “Back up, I look better from three blocks away.”
With that said, here are 11 tips for assuring you get the best, most publishable photos at your next soirée.
1). Place at Least One Hand on Your Hip
This elongates the upper arm and adds a note of elegance to the image as you will see in the collection of Lynn Wyatt photos included with this story.
2). Make sure That the Photographer is Using a Flash
Wyatt always insists, even to those with smart phones, to use the flash. It guarantees that overhead lighting does not cast aging shadows across the face.
3). Avoid Placement on the Edge of a Lineup
If a wide-angle lens is involved, the people on the ends are going to appear to have gained unattractive weight.
4). Watch Your Feet Placement
Think model poses. Do not stand with your feet apart facing the camera. The look is trés clunky. Place the heel of one foot at the arch of the other with toes pointed at 45 degree angles from the camera. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.
5). Avoid Photos With Masses of People
These seldom get beyond the cutting room floor. In my days as society editor at the Houston Chronicle, we had a rule that there could be no more than four people in a photo. That stands today as a good rule of thumb.
6). If You Are Not the Chair, Co-Chair or Honoree, Avoid Photos With Them
Unless of course you want it for your memory book. Good publications don’t often run photos of the same person over and over again. The three headliners will have guaranteed primo photos but a publication is not going to run their photo over and over again with different individuals.
7) Extend Your Neck
“This is going to sound weird, but: Extend your neck and turn your head slightly away from the camera,” advises PicMonkey.com. “Bring your forehead a wee bit forward a bit and tilt your chin down. It might feel awkward, but the pose helps define the edges of your face.”
8). Practice, Practice
We all share a bit of vanity so go ahead, practice that smile and pose in the mirror in your party clothes, focusing on your best look. Example: My eyes tend to go to slits when I smile, so for photographs I make sure to open them.
9). A Little Trickery
My husband has difficulty delivering a genuine smile in the presence of photographers. Candids reveal his best smile. In recent years as a solution, he has suggested that I pinch his fanny when we are being photographed. It results in an instant laugh or smile.
10.) Avoid the Overheads
Never be photographed under a direct overhead light.
11). Perfect Posture is Important
“Chin up, shoulders back, best points forward,” reminds Leigh Smith, who joined us at the luncheon table. And as another guest Phoebe Tudor put it, quoting The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: “Tits up girls!”