Are you sick of looking shit in photos? Do you look at yourself and think ‘FFS I look like a haggard mum’? Are you full of dread when you realise you’ve been tagged in a photo on Facebook and then immediately untag yourself?
Would you like some hard earned model tips to looking effortlessly good in everyday snap shots?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then this post is for you…
Those of you who don’t know me, I’ve worked as a model for 20 years. Over my lengthy career of ‘making love to a camera’ – I have literally learnt to have a relationship with one. I had to! The camera doesn’t lie – and just like bees, dogs and babies, a camera can smell your fear (not really, but you get my drift).
The camera can either be your friend or your foe – and if I wanted to have a career as a model, I had to learn to be comfortable in front of one.
If you can’t work a camera – you’re out of the business.
Nowadays we all have cameras on our phones – which are inconveniently whipped out at any given time. Have you found yourself in situations where you’ve had a picture taken of you, but unfortunately exposes your slinky chin, or your arm that looks chubbier than normal? Then it’s posted on social media before you shout ‘NOOOOOO DELETE!’ Then get the hump because your friend tagged you in something where you look rubbish. Why do people do this?? Jeez!
Luckily for you, I am about to share some top posing tips that I’ve spent 20 years perfecting.
Every experienced model is hugely aware of their face and body at any given time in front of the camera. We know our best angle, we can sniff out good lighting just like a dog can sniff out a good tree, and once we’ve figured out what works, we play on this to perfect it.
Have you ever noticed how celebrities on the red carpet always do the same pose that works for them? It’s because they’re working their best angle for the camera – and they feel comfortable like this…
Check these examples out.
So you want to look better in photos? Follow these easy-to-follow tips and hopefully you’ll like the way you look starting from today!
1.Lighting. Good lighting is imperative to taking a good photo. When using natural light, you want this to illuminate your face. For example, never take a photo with a window behind you. Back lit photos can expose blemishes, tiredness and make your skin and eyes look dull. This picture demonstrates the differences between front and back lit (neither of these images have been retouched or am I wearing make up – YIKES!). When there isn’t much natural light, turn your flash on. The flash is your friend. Its artificial natural light, so will do all of the above and is much more flattering than a blurry, featureless photo. The same rule applies to where you sit in a restaurant (on a date or at an important meeting for example)… sit with the light in front of you. You’ll look much more beautiful. Fact.
2. The Head tilt. Look at yourself front on in a mirror. Without moving your eyes off yourself move your head 20/30/40 degrees to the left and the right. Not too far that it looks unnatural or feels agonising (!!) This very slight move can make all the difference to a photo – a head tilt can make your face seem slimmer, more angular and even sexier. If you take ‘selfies’ you may realise you do this automatically. The same rule applies to any photo being taken. Models must work out – their bodies and their faces. We look into a mirror and see what works well for us. Sounds silly and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but where do you think ‘Blue Steel’ came from? This shit is real!
3. The ‘Nonchalant Hand’. One of my favourites and a move very well known within my circle of friends. ‘I believe my best friend Sarah came up with the name ‘The Nonchalant Hand’ when she clocked me doing it so much. It’s a move used by models more than you realise – and looks 100% natural even though it’s been thought out beforehand. Basically – use your hands – it’s that simple! They are your prop that are always available in any situation – AND they can hide your insecurities for example a double chin, or a spot, tiredness or just something to do when you’re feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera. Believe it or not, there are times where any model doesn’t feel comfortable on set, but we have to make it work. These are classic ‘Nonchalant Hand’ moves that have been carefully thought about before these images were taken – as a model and a mum…
4. Weight loss pose. Look at any weight loss ad – the girl on the left is always wearing baggy clothes and standing front-on to camera with a bad posture. The girl on the right is always dressed enchancing her body shape and is standing at an angle and standing tall. Why? Because it’s more flattering way to stand. The correct way to take a full length image is to turn three quarters away from the camera – put ALL your weight on the back leg, then bend the knee with your front leg. Eh voila – you’ve just lost 2 stone (or 28 kilos if we’re going metric). Pretty like the Victoria Beckham pose I just showed you above (not that she needs to do this pose!) This is a classic ‘weight loss’ pose. This lady below hasn’t lost any weight between these pictures. It’s an optical illusion. This angle works wonders – as do the right clothing,
5. No bats in the cave please. I find a lot of women do this – raising your head as if you’re really trying to smell something…? I think the reason behind this is to hide a chin maybe? – But if you do the head tilt and the nonchalant hand this will all be eradicated. No one wants to see your nostrils! Once, my dear friend had a bat in her cave aka snot in her nose… She untagged herself immediately from the picture on Facebook and never did this move again. Also if you’re like me and have a prominent jaw line, you’ll look even more like Jimmy Hill than intended. Instead you want to keep your chin down, not too much but enough to show off your jaw line and no snot.
6. The Smile Gap. The photographer says ‘cheeeeeese’ so you smile then wonder where your eyes have gone/or think you have an enormous fat face. The remedy? When you smile, separate your jaw a little more than you would normally. When executed correctly (practise in the mirror) ideally you want to see both top and bottom sets of teeth. You’ll see this in every campaign that involves a big smile… Why? It looks natural, looks like you really are smiling about something, elongates the face, eliminating signs of a double chin and makes your eyes appear wider.
7. Part your lips. If you’re not a smiler in snap shots, then I would recommend to slightly part your lips instead. Easy, sexy, cool. Generally you’ll see models with parted lips in most shots if they’re not smiling. Added bonus – lick your lips before the shot is taken. The perfect lipgloss applied in seconds – which is ideal in moments when you haven’t got time to reach for your lippy in your bag, or your toddler has hidden it!
8. The Lean In. The classic end of the huddle photo when you’re out with your mates. Whether it’s around a dinner table or a group hug, generally the girl on the end gets the raw end of the deal. Ways to avoid looking odd; firstly I would recommend to NOT lean into the picture if you’re sitting around a table. This will always encounter a weird arm or leg, a slinky chin and seeing the bats in the cave as you stretch your neck to get into the picture. Truth is, you don’t need to lean in – the camera will still see you.
Look at this image below – you will see I am demonstrating ‘The Head Tilt’. Girl A (my best mate) has listened to my advice over the years and has deliberately not leaned into the table. She looks great. Girl B on the other hand has leaned in, exposing lots of chins (which I have kindly blocked), and makes her look twice the size she actually is. Do not lean in! If in doubt, get off your seat and go to the back of the table (where I am) which is always a better angle around a table.
If Girl B is reading this, please don’t take offence – you still look awesome in this photo…!!
9. The Look Away. One of my favourites – and something I do quite often is to avoid looking at the camera completely. I do this when modelling and when being a mama in snap shots for many reason – to avoid looking tired, to look more natural and to show my profile which is better definition for the face – you do have a chin after all – and it’ll show off those cheekbones. They are there more than you know!
10. Turn inwards. Again in group shots when you’re on the end – always turn into the person next to you – or turn away from them. This is a more flattering angle. Then when you have turned, you can work on the other moves – this is a good example of me and my family at my sister’s wedding.
12. Dude where’s my chin? If you think you don’t have a chin at all and want to have a more profound jaw line in photos – guess what ? You can – and it doesn’t involve any plastic surgery procedures or any money at all! To look like you have a chin, simply slide your bottom jaw forward so your bottom teeth are in front of your top teeth. Feels odd right? Looks great and works wonders in photos!
13. Make up. Apply make up in the correct places – I literally do not have the time or patience to contour whilst my kids burst in on me demanding something. BUT I will always make sure I apply bronzer around my jaw line. This will enhance the shadows and shape of your face. The light will capture this and your face will look slimmer and more defined in photos – even when you’re unaware someone is taking your picture.
14. Confidence. Last but not least – ooze confidence. Confidence makes any woman more beautiful than she already is. Don’t compare yourself to anyone – you are amazing and unique and absolutely beautiful. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again –
I believe that nothing makes a woman more beautiful, than the belief that she is beautiful.
So there you have it! Simple yet very effective ways to look better in photos!
If this all fails, then you can always go with the ‘I don’t give a shit’ look and go for something like this… which goes against all the above rules. But rules are for breaking right?
Now go practice your model moves and be ready for the camera this weekend!
Thanks for reading, spread the word about my blog tips, let me know how you get on and see you next week.