Can we talk about nails for a second? If you want to polish off (see what I did there?) your senior pictures with picture perfect nails, go with nude. Time and time again I have seen senior pictures circa 2002 (NO…. not mine…. maybe… NO) where the senior thought it would be a grand idea to slap on neon pink/orange/yellow/green/insertothergodawfulcolorhere on her nails and rock them for her senior shoot. Ummmm…. no. Bad idea. Trust me.
See, now that I’m photographer I can guarantee you that I am going to pose you with your hands by your face. It’s called framing the face. I’ve written a posing guide for photographers that has been touted as “best in the industry” that teaches all about using hands in senior pictures. If you book me for your senior pictures… it’s gonna happen. If you have chipped, missing or neon nails, it’s not going to be good. Let me tell you why…
So, let’s get down it, shall we? Nude nails are great for your senior pictures because they go with everything and they won’t draw attention away from your pretty face. If you have full blown neon nails and I use your hands to frame your face, all of your friends are going to go straight to your nails when they see your pics. So lacquer them up with gorgeous nude tones. Slap on a clear coat on top for some shine and you have a polished look (oops, I did it again).
Let’s say you want to play it safe and keep your hands clean… keep it simple with nude nails across the board. Some of my fave polish brands are Butter London, OPI and Essie and I’ve listed some fab nude colors below:
OPI: Did You ‘ear About Van Gogh
If you’re feeling a little fancy, give ‘em a little shimmer and glitter. It can always add a nice touch when you throw a little glitz into the ring (finger). Heh… get it? (If you don’t, I was alluding to the huge trend right now when you glam up your ring finger nail as an accent). There. See?
And finally, for all you crazies out there, I decided to throw you a bone and let you in on a little something. Yes…. as long as you keep NUDE as the foundation color, you’re pretty much good to go. It’s like a parachute… you’re a complete nutjob for jumping out of an airplane, but bravo for keeping it safe with your parachute.
Nope… I don’t have links here, sorry. You’re going to need to research Pinterest for some of these amazing tutorials.
I recently met with and interviewed Ashly Covington, one of North America’s top 5 hand models, and let me tell you… she has done some amazing work! She has been the hands for Brooke Shields, Adriana Lima, Charlize Theron, Dina Manzo, Doutzson Hous, Elaine Irwin and even Andy Samberg (spoof shots of him with lady hands)! She has also been interviewed and featured in Women’s World, Allure, CNN, New York Mag, Newsweek, etc! She is the REAL DEAL people!
She has been super generous to give us the TOP FIVE tips of how to get your hands camera ready so get out a pen and some paper and take some notes! Woo!
Hands are the tools you use to reach into the world and realize your dreams. Amanda’s use of hands in her images is beautiful, she creates images that showcases who you are and gives a glimpse into all the incredible things you are going to accomplish. When your hands are looking beautiful it just completes the image and the story of you told through her incredible photography.
And not to worry – there is plenty of time to get your hands in tip top camera shape before your shoot!
1. Drink lots of water. Great for your face AND for your hands. Water just nourishes the skin and the more you drink, the more your skin will radiate. While water works great internally it does not act the same externally. Water is very damaging to the nails. Nails can absorb 20 – 25% of their weight in water!! This weakens the nails causing dry and damaged nails. So here is your excuse for not doing dishes for the month before your shoot. Of course you could wear latex gloves…but why go there?
If you are going swimming, put Chapstick on your nails before you go into the water. This will help form a waterproof coating to seal in the nails moisture. Do this if you will be out in the sun as well. *The Chapstick tip is for when you have no polish on your nails. Nail polish is a good protector though you should leave it off for a few days before your manicure to let your nails ‘breathe’.
2. Olive Oil: The wonder moisturizer. I use Extra Virgin and whatever brand I grab. I haven’t noticed a difference between types. It is great. Absorbs quickly and is my secret for super soft hands. I use this throughout the day and then at night I rub in some olive oil, then a layer of a hand butter followed by a thick layer of Vasoline. Stick your covered hands into fuzzy socks and go to bed. You will wake up with the softest hands EVER! Try it. Do this as often as you can in the weeks before your shoot.
***The day before your manicure for your shoot, a little OO boost can feel great! here is my recipe:
Olive Oil Wrap (natural nails – no polish on) – 20 mins to super soft gorgeous hands
– Warm up a little olive oil in a bowl. Just a few seconds in the microwave. Test it with your finger before you apply it generously to your hands, nails. Really focus on rubbing it into the skin around your nails. Then slip your hands into gloves. Plastic gloves (like the ones used for hair dying) are the best. Watch some tv for 10 mins and then remove the gloves and massage the oil into your skin for another 10 mins.
3. SPF!! Don’t forget your hands when you are applying the SPF. You can save yourself from age spots and wrinkles later by starting to do this now. Best to avoid the sun as much as possible before your shoot.
4. Get a professional manicure. Amanda has great tips on the shapes and colors of your nails and I must stress than a professional manicure will perfect your shot. Best to get it the day before your shoot so the manicure really has time to dry. Use only q tips to clean under nails. I’ve found the ones designed for babies are the best. They are the perfect size to swipe away and bit of dirt that gets under the nails or smudges on the nails. Using something sharp or metal under your nails will damage them and can break the seal of the nail bed. OUCH!
5. A great thing to have with you on your shoot is Solar Oil. You can put this on your cuticles and the skin around your nails while you are getting your hair and makeup done. That last little bit of moisture is key for nailing your shot!
So there you have it seniors!
To check out Ashly’s work (which is AMAZING), see the links below: