By: Lynn Herrick
As a professional photographer I'm often asked by people how they can look good in photos. Some people think they're unphotogenic or become anxious at the very idea of facing a camera as they've had unflattering shots taken before and assume they can't look great in a a photograph.
While there may be no substitute for the results that can be acheived in a studio with professional lighting, it IS possible for anyone to look good in their pictures!
Let's take a look at some of the techniques professional models use when posing as well as some of the common "mistakes" anyone can make when suddenly faced with a camera.
My top tip for great headshots or head and shoulder portraits is to remember what I like to call the "3T"s - Turtle, Tuck and Tilt! Often, people who feel a little nervous about getting their photo taken will pull their head back and thus create the dreaded double chin effect. The best way to avoid this and look fantastic is to push your whole head forward (like a turtle) then slightly tuck your chin down and finally a tiny tilt of the head (to the side for girls, to the front for boys). Try it in the mirror a few times and you'll be ready next time a friend wants to grab a snap.
The eyes are the window to the soul, and when we look at photos we are drawn to them in others. For this reason, it's a great idea to use a little bit of flash when taking a picture. Even on bright days, flash can put a sparkle in the eyes and brighten up a face!
As humans, we're all drawn to "big" eyes (it's why the Panda is so well loved)! For this it's always a good idea to be looking UP at the camera. Just a bit, but enough to show the bottom of the whites of your eyes. They'll look big and beautiful this way. This is also a much more flattering angle for the whole face. If at all possible, never have a photo taken from below!
Want to look slimmer in photos? My best tip here is to stretch and separate anything that can BE stretched and separated! This means standing or sitting as if there's a string pulling you up by the middle of the top of your head and stretching your whole body up, creating as much space as possible between your head and shoulders (without straining of course, this is meant to look relaxed). Once you're there, remember to keep your arms away from your body, as they'll look loads thinner this way.
My final tip for fabulous photos is to remember to bend and curve. A photo where the subject's body is completely stiff and straight won't look half as good as one where there's some fluidity in the pose. Try to keep hands, hips and head slightly curved and not aligned to create a much more flattering pose.
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