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8 Tips for Looking your BEST in EVERY Shot: A Photographer’s Secrets to Posing like a Pro
Posted By Victoria WoW April 1st, 2014
Few of us actually like getting our pictures taken. We feel awkward and uncomfortable. How should I stand? Where do I put my hands? What do you want me to do? As a professional photographer, these are questions I am often asked. As business owners and in this era of social media, it is important to have flattering images of ourselves. We do business with those we know, like and trust. The images we put out there is often the first impression we make to our clients. Here are my eight tips to help you look and feel your best in your photographs.
1. Have your hair and makeup done professionally. - A professional knows how to bring out the best in you. Even if you don't wear much makeup day-to-day, a professional makeup artist can create a natural look that accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative. They know what types of makeup work for portraits. This goes for hair as well. Go to someone you know and trust to do your hair. Meeting with the stylist before you have your portraits taken allows you to feel comfortable with the look you want to create and remember. Everyone wants to feel beautiful in their pictures, and hiring a professional makeup artist and hair stylist will give you that confidence.
2. Dress nicely yet comfortably - We all feel better about how we look when we make the effort to dress nicely. And it shows in how we present ourselves to others. This is especially important for your professional image. Structured, well-fitting clothes can help create shape to your body. Think hourglass, which is the most flattering shape for women. Wear something you are comfortable in too, something that is true to who you are. Solids look better in a photograph. Patterns or stripes will draw attention away from your face and to your clothing instead. A pop of colour is great, adding dimension to the image and it makes a statement. Avoid thin, clingy fabrics for your professional image.
3. Stand at an angle to the camera - No one wants to look bigger than they actually are. Even the skinniest person in the room feels that way. Standing with shoulders and hips square to the camera will do just that - make you look bigger. Turn your feet and shoulders to a slight angle to the camera and turn your face back towards the lens.
4. If it bends, bend it - Straight arms and legs look stiff and unflattering. Hold your arms slightly away from your body, with a soft bend in your elbows. This creates space, making your arms and waistline appear thinner and more hourglass shaped. Bend the knee closest to the camera, putting your weight on the back leg and pushing your hip away. Objects that are closer to the camera look bigger than they actually are, so pushing your hip away gives you a more flattering look.
5. Stand up straight then be a turtle - Listen to your mom on this and stand up straight. In addition to being flattering, good posture makes us look and feel confident. It helps us look alert and less stressed. Try it right now. Imagine you have a cable attached to the crown of your head and it’s lifting you up. Don’t you feel better? Once your back is straight and tall, then stick your neck forward so your whole head moves, not just your chin. This feels weird but does wonders for the look of the picture, and it helps stretch out that double chin.
6. Smile - Your image will be approachable and you will physically relax. One trick for a relaxed, natural smile is to breathe through your mouth, and place your tongue behind your top front teeth. When we smile or laugh naturally, we tend to pull our chin towards our neck, creating the dreaded double chin look. There’s that turtle move again. Be aware of it with smiling and you will avoid the double chin.
7. Hire a professional photographer - Let’s be honest. No one looks great in a selfie, and it certainly isn’t professional. Good photography is more than just a “nice” camera. A professional photographer knows how to get the shot predictably. She will spend time getting to know you, your preferences and requirements. She brings the knowledge and experience to create images in the style you are looking for to reflect your business and personality. She will light you, pose you and help you to look your best.
8. Be Yourself - A good photographer will help your personality to come out. Unless you are a professional actor, it is best to be genuine for your portraits. If you are playful by nature, let that shine. If you are more reserved, let that shine too. If you try to be something you are not, you will feel awkward and it will show.
Spring is a great time for a new look. Why not give your profile picture an update too? Get in touch with a professional photographer and create the impression you really want online. With these simple tricks and the guidance of a professional photographer, your portraits will look amazing.
Thanks to guest blogger and WoW Elite Member Deanna McCollum for these illuminating tips and great examples of what and what not to do! If you need to update your professional photos, you know who to call!