Some people…. they just got it. Take a photo of them any time, any place and they always look great. The camera seems to love them. WHY……. It’s just not fair! If you’re anything like me, you run for the hills any time anyone waves a camera around (and be assured, this is not good news when you run a fashion blog!)
If you’ve cringed at one photo of yourself too many then help is at hand. Having a few simple tips and tricks up your sleeve will make ALL the difference to your confidence (and the resulting photo) next time a happy snap opportunity comes your way.
Most of these tips and techniques are drummed into models and celebrities so that they always look “effortlessly perfect.” However, learning just a couple of these techniques will have a drastic impact on how you look in photos, (and more importantly how you FEEL about having your photo taken.)
Prepare to get your confidence back!
1. Take the shot from slightly above. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid a double chin and suits everybody.
2. Lean in toward the camera slightly. Elongate your neck by pushing it forward slightly (think “turtle head”) and tilt your chin down a little (again, must avoid that double chin!) NEVER angle your head back.
3. The most flattering pose for women is to stand at a 45 degree angle to the camera, with the front leg crossed and the weight on the back foot. Head and shoulders toward the camera. This makes the thighs and torso to appear slimmer
4. Pull your shoulders back and extend your chest slightly. Slouching is not attractive– and it will look even more exaggerated in the photo.
5. Put your hands on your hips to square up your shoulders.
6. To make your waist appear smaller place the hands more toward your front, bending the elbows in a little. If done correctly you can’t see this illusion in the photo, your waist will look smaller!
7. Don’t allow your arms to touch your body anywhere as it will flatten your arms and create the dreaded “arm flab” Put your hands on your hips or the arm closest to the camera on your hips. Alternatively, just let your arms float closely beside your body.
8. Make sure all your joints are bent a little bit. Nothing too stiff.
9. Relax and smile. Think of something REALLY good. (your partner… a happy memory) The eyes and smile will be genuine and carry across into the photo.
10. Avoid being photographed whilst sitting, but if it’s unavoidable, slide to the edge of the chair and lean slightly forward, Do NOT lean back and cross your legs! If your legs are visible, cross your ankles.
11. Don’t wear busy patterns. Dark colours and nothing too clingy is best. If the photo is planned, wear heels.
12. The things that are closest to the camera will appear LARGER. Anything you don’t want exaggerated? (ie bottom halves) … keep them “behind” your face.
13. If you’re having a group photo avoid being on the end. Try to stand in the middle and slightly turn your body toward the person next to you for your slimmest angle.
14. Avoid harsh or severe hairstyles. Whereas some updos can make your neck look longer and thinner, tightly pulled back buns, braids, or ponytails that are too severe can create harsh angles, causing your face and torso to look larger.
If you are the photographer, you may find this article from Photobox really helpful (click here) which I came across whilst researching this piece. It is directed toward photographing children, but the principles and tips are generic enough to be incorporated into any style of portrait photography. Definitely a must-read!
Do you have any tips or techniques to share that help you to take a better photo? Please let us know in the comments below and earn BWA Dollars for your comment!