Society / The Seen

Grande Dame Lynn Wyatt’s Best Party Photo Tips — 11 Ways to Take Your Event Pics to Another Level

Go Ahead and Strike a Pose

BY // 03.24.22

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.

Lynn Wyatt dazzling in a Talbot Runhof gown at the 2018 Housotn Grand Opera Ball.
Lynn Wyatt dazzling in a Talbot Runhof gown at the 2018 Housotn Grand Opera Ball.

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.

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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.

Houston Ballet 50th anniversary Mayor Sylvester Turner, Lynn Wyatt; Photo by Wilson Parish
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Lynn Wyatt at Houston Ballet’s 50th anniversary season gala in 2019. (Photo by Wilson Parish)

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!”

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