It’s Christmas and that means that we’re going to be in photos. We all want to look better on our photos – I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would say otherwise but what can we do to improve our chances? Here’s where I come in. As a professional portrait photographer, I photograph people, just like you, every day. Today I’d like to share with you 5 things you can do, even in your selfies and happy snaps, to look better. Sounds good? So, what are they?
1. Hair and makeup
Before we start taking photos there are a few things you can do to improve the outcome. Styling your hair and doing your makeup (or getting a professional to give you a makeover) will make you look and feel great! The makeup will help hide those little imperfections we love to hate (like those bags under our eyes) and will highlight our best features – our eyes and lips. Styling your hair will make you feel (and look) beautiful and glamorous and will make you more confident in front of the camera.
2. Wear well-fitting clothes
We all have clothes that we love, that we feel great in, but do they make us look good in photos? Take those lovely light and flowy tops. While they look amazing when we move, in most cases when photographed, loose tops give the illusion of bulk (which no one wants) and aren’t flattering. When choosing outfits for your portrait session, it’s best to wear clothes that fit well (but not too tight) as they will make your body look it’s best.
While we’re on the subject of clothing, steer clear of busy clothes – you know those tops with lots of colours or shapes – as they will steal the spotlight. Unless you’re modelling clothing (and let’s face it, most of us aren’t), it’s best to wear clothes in a single colour or with subtle patterns as they will ensure that the focus of your photos is you and not your clothes.
Ok now that you’ve made yourself beautiful, you’re almost ready to take your photos – the next tips are all about what to do when you’re in front of the camera.
3. Chin out and down
One of our pain points when it comes to photos is that little bit of skin under our chin that can give the appearance of a double chin. We all have this problem – even the tiniest size 0 can have this problem – and it often comes out when taking selfies. But there’s an easy way to minimise or eliminate this in photos so take note of this next tip.
When you are facing the camera, push your chin out and down. This will give you a lovely defined chin and will eliminate any pesky skin underneath. It’ll feel a little strange, a little like a goose, but trust me it works. Be careful though if you’re doing a profile shot as this technique will definitely not look as good from the side.
4. Turn your body 45 degrees
This next tip is super simple but really effective. All you need to do is turn your body 45 degrees to the camera and you’ll instantly look slimmer – no joke! Don’t overdo it though 45 degrees really is the sweet spot. When you’re straight on to the camera you’re at your widest (and who wants to be photographed at their widest?) so by turning your body a little, the change in angle slims you down a bit, which is great news for us!
5. Ensure your light source is not behind you
Ok so you’ve gone through steps 1-4 so you’re looking amazing and you know how to pose yourself, you’re almost there. The last thing we need to look out for is the lighting you use.
This is a really important tip as, if you don’t make sure you’re in good light, your photo won’t be great. So how do you ensure you’re in good light? Take care that you don’t have your back to the sun (or the main light if you’re taking your photo indoors) otherwise you’ll be completely in shadow and the photo will be ruined. Instead, turn yourself towards the light and you’ll get a much better shot!
Ok I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and that they help you look better in photos. Don’t forget that if you really want to look your absolute best, you can always contact a portrait photographer – maybe not for your Christmas photos but why not for another occasion?
Enjoy the festive season and see you soon!