Some people love having their photo taken – many of us don’t because we always feel we look awful – so I’ve gathered some tips together to help make your next photo opportunity a little less stressful and a more positive experience.
1. To look slimmer wear darker colours on your largest body parts.
2. Consider your background – if you’re wearing dark clothing and the background is light – then the background will outline your size.
3. Avoid wearing clothing with any texture or sheen – matt and fine fabrics are best to slim you.
4. Avoid fussy patterns, as it will draw the attention away from your face to the garment.
5. Consider your neck length – if it’s shorter than average – an open low neckline is best and no short or chocker style necklaces. If it’s longer than average – a higher collar and wide opening is great. For men – ensure that your collar is not too tight or loose and that your tie knot is the correct size for the spread of the collar.
6. Don’t stand or sit front-on to the camera – ensure that you’re positioned at an angle to the camera – if standing – the trick is to angle one foot to the side, whilst the other is forwards which will twist your hips away from the lens and make you look slimmer.
7. Wear sleeves that cover your arms if it’s a business photo, if a wedding or other occasion when bare arms are to be seen, lift them away from your body, either onto your hips, place them onto furniture or if holding champagne – in a ‘cheers’ pose as this will make your upper arms appear smaller.
8. Keep your chin slightly raised and don’t pull your head backwards as this will give you double chins and a fatter neck. A gently tilted chin will erase some lines on your neck and make you look more elongated.
9. Ensure that the lighting is either from slightly above and in front of you rather than the side or beneath you as this will be much more flattering.
10. Be aware of what you’re wearing when being taken with a flash – fine or loose weave fabrics can make your clothes appear see-though – we’ve all seen those celebrity photos where we can see their underwear as the flashes go off and turn the fabric translucent. A closely woven fabric will help this to not happen.
11. If you’re wearing a jacket and sitting down – ensure that the shoulders aren’t riding up – many newsreaders sit on the tails of their jackets to ensure that their shoulder line is smooth and even and not around their ears.
12. Wear face powder to ensure that your face doesn’t shine (if the photo is being taken with a flash), or look pasty – this applies to both men and women.
13. If you’re a blinker when the flash goes off – ask the photographer to count to three – on two blink and on 3 the photographer takes the photo – you’ll be guaranteed to have your eyes open.
14. Smile, starting at the eyes!
Remember – when a professional photographer is taking photos of a model – they take rolls and rolls of film for just one shot – and then it’s probably been computer enhanced as well before it’s published. So don’t expect the first photo taken of you to look great.
© Imogen Lamport 2010
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