How to look great in pictures, even without an amazing photographer.
If you're like me, you probably have one or two areas of your body that you're self conscious about in every picture. For me, I blame my belly on my children. In actuality, I simply love Neopolitan pizza too much to give it up. Luckily, I'm rarely taking profile pictures of myself. But that doesn't change the fact that some poses will either highlight or diminish the appearance of some of my physical attributes. So there are some things that I can do to make myself feel better about the way I look in pictures.
If you're not quite sure why you look great in some pictures but not so great in others, it most likely has to do with one of three things:
- Camera angle
Since it's my job to take care of lighting and camera angles from behind the camera, let me give you three tips on posing so that you can feel more confident when you're in front of the camera.
Tip #1 - Pull your arms away from your body
The arms add thickness to my body. If I pull them away, we can see the curves of my waist and hips. That's a good thing.
Tip #2 - Cross your feet
People ask all the time about what to do with their hands. When taking pictures, all of a sudden, people get very self-conscious about their hands and nothing feels natural. As long as your fingers aren't stiff, anything that you do with your hands will look completely natural if you just cross your feet. Crossing your feet creates more bends and curves, which looks more dynamic and natural, and less stiff.
Notice how every pose looks better simply by crossing my feet.
Tip #3 - Lean towards or away from the camera, depending on your body type.
Whatever is closer to the camera will appear larger. Lean your upper body towards the camera to de-emphasize your hips.
Bonus tip - open yourself up to the relationship between you and your photographer
Taking great portraits is a bit of a dance between photographer and subject. This is why models have their favorite photographers and vice versa. There has to be trust between my portrait subjects and me. When I talk to my subjects, I'm not simply analyzing the light and their facial structure (did you know that was happening in the background?), but I'm trying to help her feel at ease so that I can get the most natural look and expressions. By opening yourself up to the relationship with your photographer, you'll feel more comfortable and she'll be able to capture the best images of you. Your images won't simply be a flash of likes on your instagram or facebook feeds.
They'll be true pieces of art that you'll proudly display on the walls your home and in family albums for many generations to come.
I hope this gives you something to work with when you're taking pictures. Meanwhile, take a look at some real examples of some of my clients. What posing techniques do you notice?