Where looking good in a photo is concerned, today’s younger generation is going to be able to write the book. A quick glance through Facebook proves my point. Every 12 year old girl has mastered the “swivel your hips, throw your shoulder back, hand on hip, chin up, and
smile er, pucker!” (What is up with all of these puckered lips anyway? It creeps me out…especially when you are TWELVE.) But, they all seem to do it, and with gusto. By the time they are 21, I’m confident they will have mastered a more natural look and they will have practiced and practiced….
This is what I see everyday on FB from our teens: pucker, twist, shoulders back! WHY? Adults, puckering aside, your waist may look tiny, your boobs may look much bigger, but an exaggerated twist and shoulder pop is not for anyone above the age of 17. It just looks weird.
The point is, we should actually take notes from this teen set and embrace the camera because it.is.everywhere. Picture taking, I mean. And whether you have Facebook or Instagram accounts or not, chances are, you have appeared on someone’s wall looking really bad. I hate it when this happens!
We asked some local photographers (whom we admire for both their skills and their ability to put people at ease in front of the camera) for their advice on how to pose when it’s time to say, “Cheese!”
Tips for the photographer (as in the person holding the iPhone camera):
Place the camera at a higher angle than the subject. If you’re looking up, it minimizes anything that might be – ahem – collecting under the chin, such as extra skin. (Yes, I said it.) This also opens up the eyes.
1. Background! Be aware of what is in yours. Make sure things aren’t growing out of people’s heads, ask people to move a bit to create a better background, or move yourself around to capture the photo from a different angle so the background is better. Background is a very important element of the photograph and can make a big difference in a photo going from OK to GREAT!
2. Try to put larger people behind smaller people to create balance.
3. If you have more that one person in a photo, ask them to close their eyes and open them on the count of three. This helps you ensure that you catch people with their eyes open.
On-camera flash is one of your worst enemies. It’s by far the least flattering light in every way. So if at all possible, move to an area with better window light or just go outside.
Many of us end up looking AWFUL pictures. Don't cross your arms like this. And wipe that "I hate having my picture taken" expression off your face! But, notice the lighting is good. Outdoor light without harsh sun across your face is always a good bet.
Tips for the person/people being photographed:
1. If you can’t look up, move your chin forward and down just a slight bit. Normally, pointing your chin down would show that collection of skin again. But, if you move your chin forward slightly it keeps the extras from ganging up on you. This also opens up the eyes.
2. Angle your body toward the camera and place your weight on your back foot. Push your hips slightly away from the camera. Again, just a slight bit. Anything farther from the camera looks smaller.
3. Tell yourself something funny before the shot so you get a natural smile. If it’s an inside joke with yourself, or you don’t want to tell your child’s latest potty joke, just keep it in your head. It works the same. You can even just say “booty” or something ridiculous or inappropriate to get that cute and natural smile that all the teens seem to have mastered!
1. Think about your posture, either sitting or standing, while being relaxed. Chin slightly up.
2. Smile or laugh, and look out, not down.
3. If in a group of two or more, stand close together.
4. At a table move things (i.e. food, glasses, flowers, etc.) that are not attractive in the shot. You want people looking at you, not all your empty wine glasses!
1. Take off that baggy sweater! In a still photograph, you don’t have the advantage that you have in real life of seeing various angles and movement under a loose top, so opt for more form fitting clothes in your photos.
A loose top and bulky sweater are not your friends when it comes to pictures. Both these photos were taken within seconds of each other. After seeing the image, I took off my sweater and put my hand on my hip to cinch the shirt in. Voila! I've instantly lost 15 pounds from the first photo!
2. Chin up! People often subconsciously drop their chins down in photos, but keeping your chin up elongates your face and eliminates the possibility of a double chin.
3. Rather than facing the camera straight on, try turning your body at a slight angle for a more slimming result.
Ahhhh... this is better. Genuine smile, slight twist, chin slightly up, good posture with shoulders back, elbow bent, legs ever so slightly crossed.
PRACTICE THESE BEFORE YOU TRY AT THE NEXT PARTY. You might feel silly trying them for the first time in front of a camera. If you practice posing at home first, you’ll find it comes more naturally in front of the camera. And isn’t that what we all want, to look naturally cute and fun in front of the camera?
Last tip: Instagram filters can make anyone look better instantly. If you do not have an account, get one.
Thanks to Bridgett Ezzard, www.bridgettezzard.com, for taking these pictures featured today. She was helping us for an upcoming article and happily switched gears and snapped away as I acted the fool… How embarrassed do you think my own 13 year old is? She’ll live.