Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You can look good in pictures! - Here's how

I feel kind of funny writing about this, because the truth is, I am NOT very photogenic, however people seem to think I am. They tell me this all the time.  So I decided to share some tips for taking a good picture.

Below is a typical photo session for me. I have found that nobody takes a better picture of me...than me! I keep my tripod and camera set up and ready to go. I also bought a cheap shoji screen to use as a backdrop. It hides the kitchen appliances which used to show up in the background of all my photos.

When I feel like taking a picture. I  just move the tripod out, set the camera timer and start snapping away. Using the self timer also helps me feel less self conscious. I am free to experiment with all types of poses AND, I don't have to settle for just any ole picture (because you know if someone else is taking the picture, you will start to feel vain, if you ask them to keep taking picture after picture. Eventually you will probably just say "Ok", even if you hate the picture)

I hope these tips will help you if you've had problems taking a good photo.
  • Figure out WHY you don't look good in pictures: This might sound silly, but it really works.  Study the differences in the pictures where you look good and those where you don't.  Then take a lot of pictures of yourself until you get more good ones than bad ones. 
  • Look at many types of hairstyles to see which one suits you the best: If you have a wide face, try wearing your hair down. This will make your face look smaller and more proportional. On the other hand, if you have a small face, wear your hair up and out of your face. Bangs can make a high forehead appear smaller. I usually pull my hair over my left shoulder (as opposed to letting it hang down my back) unless I am wearing a headwrap or hat. 
  • Keep your arms by your side, but not glued there: This is where I break the rule. I always cross my arms, usually in front of me (it helps to hide any figure flaws) Experiment with what works best for you.

  • Practice that classic model pose: When you face forward, your body tends to look wider, so turn your body three-quarters of the way toward the camera, with one foot in front of the other and one shoulder closer to the photographer.  You'll rarely see me in a photo where I am being photographed head on.
  • Look good and prepare before taking pictures. Get out your favorite clothes. The ones that look really good on you. I love to take pictures in new outfits. Solid colored shirts are always a good choice. Select colors that look best on your skin tone. Stay away from crazy prints as they will draw attention away from your face. Also, choose your outfit wisely - some outfits will make certain parts of your body look disproportional (I'm sure you get my drift). Photos also exaggerate everything, so go easy on makeup. Use concealer, powder your shiny spots, and check your teeth!
  • Practice in front of a mirror or a camera. During this time, decide what positions you look best in, and the way you want to smile, etc.  For me, the trick to having a good picture, is to take tons of them. Chances are, you're going to look half way decent in at least one of them! Don't get discouraged just keep snapping away. Eventually you'll figure out the best pose and you can instantly go to it. That way, when the camera comes out at a party, you'll look flawless!

  • Focus your eyes just slightly above the camera lens, move your face forward a bit, and tip down your chin. This may be a little awkward at first, but with some practice you'll get better.
  • Put your tongue behind your teeth and smile, which will relax your face. Start your smile with your eyes (smize), then move it down to your mouth. If you are doing video, another tip is to “crack yourself up” just before the video camera starts. It produces a relaxed and happy appearance, even if I you're nervous.
  • To feel at ease, try closing your eyes, then opening them slowly just before the photo is taken.
  • Remember, the best energy comes from the heart. Think of things that make you happiest, and you’re sure to have a twinkle in your eye for that photo, no matter how you are standing or what you have on!

Feel confident. sometimes even though you look great in a photo, you won't think so if you have analytical/self criticizing.

Have fun and don't forget to Smile! A nice smile will work perfectly every time!

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