How To Look Your Best in a Photograph
There's a reason I am behind the camera and that's because I really hate being photographed. I don't usually tell my customers this but I have always been so critical of how I look in pictures and all my worst bits seem to be spotlighted. However, I have learned a few things about photographing people over the years. Firstly is that you see yourself very differently in a picture to how others see view the image of you. It’s kind of like how we hate to hear our own voices. We might cringe but it doesn’t mean that others are reacting the same way. When we look at ourselves in a picture we see all the little bits – the bags under the eyes, the imperfect nose, that crooked tooth etc but when others view the image they see the sum of the parts – and that’s you. They see the YOU that they know and love. They see the familiar expression, the glint in the eye, and a moment in time. If you are camera shy I would really encourage you to practice being photographed. Get over the fear and get in to lots of pictures. As you practice, my suggestion to you is that, for just a moment, you become just a little bit selfish. Give yourself permission to adjust yourself in to a flattering position, if you don’t want to say “cheese” – don’t . Be self aware and don't think about the person taking the picture.
The smile – try smiling your biggest widest smile. Notice how your eyes crinkle up and your cheeks push up any puffy-eyes that may be there. We often instinctively give our widest smile in a picture and that is fabulous for a natural interaction or moment in time. However, if you are posing for a picture and looking at the camera, try soften your smile a little. Practice bringing it to the full beam and then dialling it back to half beam. Notice how it allows the eyes to open back up and the cheeks to relax back down.
Body Position - Relax the shoulders and try tilting the head just a little. Play around with various angles, many people look best if they tip the crown of the head to the Twenty to Two Position (think of the hands of a clock – tip the crown of the head to the 2 )
Double chins. Ah the double chin… the dreaded double chin. This is where we need to be really self aware. If we hate pictures we tend to recoil backwards in to the safety of the double chin. Don’t do it!! Stand with one foot behind the other and put your weight in to the front foot. Now lead your nose and face forward. Imagine there is someone right in front of you and you are leaning in for a kiss. It will feel a bit odd to extend towards the camera like this but it is MUCH MORE FLATTERING. Double chins disappear.
So to sum up – for posed pictures where you are looking at the camera…
Smile full beam then take it back to half beam. Soften around the eyes. Play around with open mouth smile and closed mouth smile. I generally prefer open mouth smile.
Be self aware and practice getting it right in a picture. Forget about the person taking the picture. Their opinions are fleeting, the picture will last a lot longer!
Tilt the head a little . Try the twenty to two position.
Relax the shoulders and try angle the body a bit towards or away from the camera.
One foot should be in front of the other and let your weight settle in to the front foot.
Don’t lift the head – you should not be able to see up the nostrils!
Instead extend the neck forward as if you are leaning in for a kiss.
Breath out and relax.
Remember, you will judge a picture of yourself very differently to how others see it so keep that in mind
Finally, try not to shy away from the camera. The more pictures you are in the more likely you are of getting those flattering pictures. Remember, your own kids will absolutely cherish every picture of you, regardless of how you think you look! Also.. last tip. Ask your partner to take pictures of you with your children when you are not looking at the camera. People often prefer images of themselves when they are not looking directly at the camera. Any questions, give me a shout :-)