We’ve all been there – those horrendous group photos at a party where you look like you hid a swimming ring under your top or worse still, when your face gets swallowed up by your chin. Make that two chins. Obviously, we all want to look great in photos with a photogenic 100-watt smile but most of the time we filter the crap out of our pics before they get a sniff near social media. Although we’re not massive fans of the selfie, pouty generation, at the same time we’d like to have at least one photo of ourselves looking vaguely reminiscent to the image we saw in the mirror just before leaving home.
And don’t even talk about the photos our other halves have taken of us on holiday – they try to cover their bases by keeping their finger on burst for three minutes with a vague hope we’ll be happy with at least one of them. As if. However, we do have a neat little trick up our sleeve to help them get that sun kissed money shot (read on for this).
To look great in photos there are a few tips and tricks that you need to know to help you work the camera. Good pictures don’t just happen you know. Well not for most of us anyway.
Top tips to look great in photos
Study yourself in photos.
First things first: you should familiarise yourself with how you look in photos. Have a flick through your camera roll or old albums and critique yourself. Work out what you like and dislike. What are your best angles and features? How do you angle your body? Do your clothes accentuate your figure in the right way? Look the photos of yourself that shine – what is working and why?
To look great in photos lighting is really key. Avoid photos under the brash midday sun because you’ll squint and scrunch up those dreaded wrinkles.
Tip #1 If you absolutely must pose for a photo in bright light or if you have a habit of blinking just as the flash goes, then close your eyes, look up to the sun (or a bright light if indoors) for about 5 seconds and look back to the camera. Your pupils will dilate and you’ll be prepped for the photo /flash. We promise you won’t squint or shut your eyes.
Tip #2 Overcast days are your friend, as are shaded areas. You can always up the exposure in post edit if you feel it’s a bit dull. An hour after sunrise or sunset is a great time of day for soft lighting which is also kind to lines.
Tip #3 If you are outside always make sure the sun is at the back of your head, not the front.
Tip #4If you are indoors always face a natural light source directly (like a window). It’ll reduce shadows and cast a lovely glow on your face.
Tip #1 Avoid take a photo facing the camera straight on. It will rarely be complementary (unless you are Naomi of course).
Tip #2 Physically turn your torso at about a 45 degree angle from the camera for a more flattering shape.
Tip #3 create angles with your body. Whether you are sitting or standing, separate your limbs from your body. And by that we mean physically lifting your arm away from your side – ta dah, you’ve created visual lines and have removed those bat wings. No one will physically see you doing this by the way.
Tip #4 make subtle triangles in your poses – an hand on your hip, an arm resting on a friends shoulder. If lying or sitting down, create a triangle by bending your knee at a right angle.
Tip #1 engage your core. Suck in those tummy muscles and push your shoulders back without being rigid. Be confident and aware of your posture.
Tip #2 sit into your hips, so push all your weight into one hip (the one furthest from the camera) with one leg in front of the other. Crossing your ankles whilst standing or at an angle whilst sitting also does this trick.
Tip #3 Chin forward and down: to get rid of double chins you need to elongate your neck so it is visible by jutting your chin forward and down a little.
Tip #4 You want to have a super relaxed face to look great in photos – so no crinkly foreheads, raised eyebrows or goofy teethy grins. So stand in front of the mirror and smile just with your mouth, don’t take the rest of your face with it, except your eyes of course. We all know how important it is to smise.
Want a foolproof way to nail tip #4? Push the tip of your tongue being your teeth as you smile (with your mouth closed obviously) and believe it or not because your body is concentrating on getting the smile right, it relaxes the rest of your face. Go on, try it.
Tip #5: Don’t cross your arms. Not only does it diminish definition but it also adds bulk to your chest and stomach. Move them to the side, on your hip – anywhere away from your midriff.
Other great tips
# Tilt your head in photos. We naturally tilt our heads when we talk so bring that natural posture into your photos. This looks good in group photos also as it separates you physically from those in the photo huddle.
# Invisible heel: for anyone who is vertically challenged (or even if you’re not) you’ll love this one. Just before a photo is taken stand up on the balls of your feet. Not only will it perk you up a couple of inches it will elongate and lengthen your body.
# Body weight: always put your body weight on the foot furthest away from the camera.
# Camera tilt: make sure that your phone or camera is aligned with your body. If it’s tilted the wrong way your body will be snapped out of distortion,
#How to make sure your other half takes a good photo of you: Half the battle is making sure you are in the frame and you don’t have 70% sky! So take a snap of the frame you want on your phone, hand it to your friend/husband tell them where to stand and all they have to do is click. That gives you enough time to get back into the frame and get that money shot.
# Sitting on your knees? no one wants a thigh pancake spread in a photo so use your core to slightly raise your thighs away from the back of your legs.