1. Make sure your photo is simple and has no distractions. Taking a photo outside is okay and natural lighting is amazing, but just be sure to take a photo in an area with a simple background or at least have the background blurred so you are the focus.
2. Do not wear something that has too much of a pattern and try not to over-accessorize. Simple earrings with a clean, patternless outfit is the way to go. When in doubt, go simple!
3. Don't choose a shirt that has a really odd neckline or a turtleneck. Odd necklines make it look like you are an alien from outer-space who was born with an asymmetrical neck. Also, turtlenecks make it look like you have a floating head. (You don't want the judges thinking you are in a circus show, do you? ;)
4. As far as submitting black and white or color; I am torn. Call me old fashioned, but I always like a crisp, black and white photo. However, if you have a really bright shirt on or a color that brings out those baby blues or chocolate brown eyes, then choose color. As a person with dark hair and blue eyes, I found that color always worked best for me. My hair always looks really dark in black and white photos and my skin usually looks pale with light, ghostly eyes. So, go with what's most flattering to YOU.
5. Your eyes are the windows to your soul. If you are smiling, and your eyes are not, it will show.
6. Don't overdo the retouching of the photo. Make sure it looks like YOU. You don't want to show up in interview and have the judges thinking you are a different person.
7. If you look good with your hair back, be careful. You don't want to look like you have no hair. Style it in a way that some hair will show in the photo.
8. Hands in a photo can be okay if placed just right and it looks like a natural pose.
9. When taking photos outside, make sure you are in the shade or go out on a cloudy day. Sunlight can make you squint and can cast weird shadows on your face.
10. Make sure you know your best angle. Everyone has a good side to shoot!
Miss Royalty International requires contestants to submit a headshot for the program book. Hopefully, these top ten tips will help you choose the perfect photo for the program book. If you need any help, ask your friends, family, and other pageant enthusiasts for their opinions. Below is a collage of headshots submitted in the past for Miss Royalty International. As you can see, they are all very different, but capture the girl in the photo.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!