Top Posing Tips To Look Your Best In Every Photo
…no matter who the photographer is!
I have been planning this post for quite some time. I know a lot of the time the reasons we do not like a photo of ourselves can actually be rectified in posing! Simple little things can make us look leaner, taller, and hide those unwanted chins among other things!
I knew from the start I wanted to show you the difference between good posing and bad and considered different people to be my subject. When it came down to it I wanted a real person, no model, someone with a few qualities although loveable would prefer they were minimised for the camera. So after much consideration and a few no’s I thought really the best person for the job was well… me!
So you will see me, not all glammed up but the everyday me! I had my step daughter, the sixteen year old with the patience of a two year old pry herself off YouTube and press the shutter for me. I hope that you will get the idea and see that these simple steps can really make the difference when posing.
Lets get started!
Have you ever wondered how it is that some people always look good or great in photographs while the rest of us are lucky if one in a 100 images looks some what decent of us. What if I told you that I could change that?
I cannot promise to turn you into a super model but I can definitely give you 5 easy steps to make you look 100% better in photographs as well as a couple of hot tips to relax and have fun with it.
Lets start with some basics, every model and celebrity does this and once you learn this trick you will see that every image on the red carpet involves this simple technique.
- ANGLE TO CAMERA
Never stand flat on to the camera, your getting your photograph taken your not in a police line up getting a mug shot. The most flattering angle is 45º degrees. Think about it for a second if you stand straight on to the camera you are putting your widest side to the camera? This simple turn will give you that slimming and flattering you are looking for.
I have attached a before and after photo below and I would like to point out my facial expression is mainly down to the person pushing the shutter, yet another reason you need to hire a professional and not just anyone as they will know how to get the best expression out of you!
2. PUSH IT AWAY
Don’t like your hips, simple push them away. See the thing is that what you want to minimise or thin you need to push away from the camera. Want to emphasise something then bring it forward. If you cannot move your hips then I suggest you widen your stance and kick those hips back. Not sure what I mean. Let me show you an example.
3. BEND IT
There is a rule in posing, if it bends, bend it. The perfect example of this is your arms. Put a camera in front of someone and it is amazing to watch how tense they get, immediately! I have always thought it is probably much like pointing a gun at someone. They clench their jaw, make fists with their hands and arms drop to their sides. Even the most animated of people can freeze.
The interesting this is one of the most common complaints I hear from women is that they do not like their arms, they think they look too fat. The irony is if you stand facing the camera and have your arms straight next to you then you are actually adding width to your body. If you are standing at 45 degrees to the camera with your arms flat to your side then you are flattening the very part you do not like to emphasise it. Emphasis it in a way you do not want to.
You can put your hands on your waits or hips like many do now but simply bending it can make a big difference and pulling your elbow back will also help.
In the examples below I have shown you the face on difference, the side on difference. I have also shown the difference bending a leg can also make.
4. ENGAGE THAT CHIN
This is probably the hardest thing to explain and whenever I get people to do this they think I am as mad as a box of frogs but when I show them the results they are instant believers. If you are getting a bit older and suffering from the wrinkles skin under the chin or around the neck this is for you, if you have a chin or three this is for you, if you think you have no jaw line or neck this is for you. In fact i have yet to find someone that this does not help in some way.
Bring your chin forward and down, do not worry I will give you some visual assistance and proof, I am a photographer after all! First let me explain why this works. this little trick elongates the neck smoothing out the lines and chins, and by tilting down a bit you emphasise your eyes – remember that is closer to the camera is emphasised!
This may take a little mirror practice but it is well worth it. Practice makes perfect and soon you will know your set position and you can ay good by to double chins and turkey neck forever.
Let me show you from the profile view otherwise the variations of what I am describing can carry greatly. Then the examples of before and after.
5. POSTURE & BREATHE
Yes they were right good posture has a lot going for it, but standing up straight like you are in the military is not quite what we are aiming for. If you imagine that your spine has a string attached and someone is gently pulling it up that will give you the lift you need.
Whilst you can often get away with a more relaxed posture whilst standing, sitting is where you cannot. If your perch on the end of your chair and cross your ankles to the side and pull your spinal string up the difference is immense.
The breathe is because often I find people actually hold there breath, even just a little. If you try smiling, grinning or even smizing when you are holding your breath it is hard work. If you take a long slow breathe and add a smile or grin to the end of it, ok have you tried it? It actually feels so much more natural at the end of an out breathe.
I have done the standing and sitting examples for you below. The breathe you will just have to take my word on it, but I am pretty sure you are going to have to take a breathe eventually!
I have some sitting examples for you to reply highlight the posture as it is when we sit that we seem to slouch the worst.
As for the rest, well relax and have some fun with it. You are not the target at the firing squad, someone you know wants to take your photo, or wants to be in a picture with you, embrace the moment and have a little fun with it.