Be camera-ready at a moment's notice with my tricks of the trade...
If you want to know how to look good in photos, here is my number one tip: Relax!
And of course, have a good photographer around. At Belle Privé, it is my responsibility to make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable. It’s also my responsibility to pay attention to lighting, posing and composition. But critically, it is my responsibility to capture that exact moment when you are looking your absolute best, that micro expression, that slight adjustment of the pose that shows you at your most gorgeous.
When you see a model on the cover of a magazine, remember that someone has spent a great deal of money and time to create that image- make up artists, hair stylists, assistants, lighting equipment, not to mention the photo-shopping that goes on afterwards. That model is in no way more photogenic than you. Being photogenic has nothing to do with genetics. It is a skill you can master.
So what happens when you don’t have a pro photographer around? In the age of smartphones and social media, there is a camera everywhere and your less-than-flattering image can be broadcast to the internet faster than you can say cheese. I’m often asked how people can look better in images. Here are my tips to be camera-ready at a moment’s notice…
What would you do to improve your skills at anything else? You’d practice! You can- and you should! Yes, it feels vain and maybe a little bit embarrassing to practice in front of a mirror but find out which angles work for you and your body, which is your best side, find your signature smile.
Pose like a Pro
Even if you aren’t walking the red carpet, knowing how to pose will come in handy. Understand how to make your body look it’s best.
• Think posture, shoulders back, twist your torso so that one shoulder is turned away from the camera. This celeb favourite is instantly slimming.
• Don’t press your arms into your body. Keep them a little way from your body and they will look much slimmer.
• If you are sitting, cross your legs.
• As a general rule of thumb, remember that things that are closest to the camera look bigger and those that are further away look smaller. Try and stand in the middle of a group shot, not on the outside.
• Think about what to do with your hands- where you touch tends to be where people look. If at a complete loss, hold something (glass of champagne perhaps!)
Work your Face
• The key to a natural expression is to think happy thoughts! Real thoughts of happiness make for a genuine, relaxed smile (rather than an otherwise forced facial expression). Remember to smile with your eyes too.
• A natural smile trumps a fake one every time. But if you really can’t muster up a genuine smile, don’t say cheese! Try saying ‘Money’ or ‘Yoga’ instead.
• Know your angle. Most people don't have perfectly symmetrical faces. Work out your best angle. Facing the camera straight on is rarely flattering. Instead, turn your head to a three-quarter position to give your features depth.
• To avoid a double chin, move your chin forward a little and down. Or press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
• If you tend to always blink in photos, keep your eyes closed and open them slowly just before the picture is taken.
• To get sparkly eyes, look towards a light source just before the image is taken. This will also help to eliminate red eye.
• A photo shot from just above you is way more flattering than one shot from below.
• Avoid standing directly under a light, which can cast weird shadows on your face. Instead, stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, or in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side.
What (not) to wear
• Wear a colour that flatters you. Darker colours are more slimming.
• Don’t wear clothes that have crazy patterns, it will distract from your photo. Also make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled or bunched up- it can add extra weight.
• Heels often make your legs look longer and your posture better, even if they aren't in shot.
• Make sure any belts and jewellery are straight. The devil is in the detail.
• Glasses- wear your anti-glare glasses if at all possible.
• If you know you are going to be photographed, add a touch more make-up than usual. Emphasize your favourite feature.
• Don’t forget your nails as they are often in shot.
• Make sure your foundation is a perfect match to your skin. Go easy with any sparkle or shimmer. (Flash photography especially can be a little harsh and any sparkle can reflect back to the camera making you look a little ghostly)
The best portrait is when someone is relaxed and happy. Remember to breathe. The more your natural personality comes through, the better the results.
Now you know the tricks of the trade, you can be photo-ready at every opportunity!
Remember: You are BEAUTIFUL