Look Fabulous in Every Photo By Kelly A. Smith

  Stephanie and Garrett       With weddings and graduations parties galore, chances are cameras will be rolling.  Will you be ready for your close up?  Everyone knows someone who, despite their lack of experience on a runway, always seems to photograph flawlessly with no effort.  While being photogenic comes naturally to some people, there are some tricks of the trade that you can use to your advantage.  So stop ducking for cover at your next big event and try out some of these tips:

 Practice-– “Practice makes perfect” is a good adage to live by when it comes to looking good in photos.  You need to be aware of how to put your best self forward.  These techniques, like anything else are learned so its best to have a friend do a “faux photo shoot” so you can test out various stances, poses, and angles to assess what look works best for you.  Once you have these techniques down pat, they should be second nature to you.

 To smile or not to smile—While it’s always nice to see a bright smile, not everyone looks good doing so.  It’s especially important to practice your smile because many factors contribute to a bad smile such as teeth clenching, showing too much gum line or lower lip too high up.  Big smiles are fine in candid photos because they show a genuine emotion making those pictures, more than likely, good ones.  With a posed photograph however, less is more.  Your smile should be slight but bright.  Some celebrities use this trick:  try pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth with your lips still closed.  Then, with your top and bottom molars together slowly form a smile.  This will guarantee, with practice, the correct teeth /mouth/ gum ratio as well as tighten any loose or wrinkled skin on your neck. 

Marlena and Matthew Angle work– Finding your right angle takes some practice, and it can only be done by having photos taken and then analyzed afterwards.  It’s really not that difficult to ascertain your best side as models and celebrities are keenly aware of exactly which poses work best for them.  For example, did you know that posing straight forward to a camera adds pounds as opposed to shifting slightly to one side will shave them?   Probably not, because it’s so subtle that the majority of us wouldn’t even notice.  Another good pose to use is to put your right leg out in front, then place your right arm on your hip then shift slightly.  The result?  A long, diagonal line that will make you look taller and slimmer! 

 Pretty poses— These poses are great to hide flaws and make you look thinner!  Got big hips?  Place both of your hands on your hips and press as if your trying to push them in- the result will create a large gap between your hips and arms making you look more proportionate and thus, smaller.  If you are shorter and want to appear longer, try putting one leg in front then, put all of your weight on the back foot with one hand on your hip (the one on the leg in the back). Head over the shoulder is also a great a pose for just about everyone as well as turning sideways in any pose.

 Some other tips to follow:

     Avoid all black or shapeless dressing for professional photo sessions such as weddings, graduations, or reunions.  While we all know that “black is Maggie_and_Greg_a_Sunset_Beach_House_Wedding_0223 copyslimming,” that doesn’t necessarily always equate to flattering.

 Always remember to keep your chin up (quite literally!).  This will make your face align better with your neck and avoid the dreaded “double chin” look.  Remember how mom always told us not to slouch?  Well, I hate to admit it, but she’s got a point.  Standing straight not only improves our posture but it creates an instant slimming affect in photos.  Have the person taking the photos count to 3 so that you’ll know exactly when to smile as well as keep your eyes open.  For close ups, never look directly at the lens, instead, look slightly to the side of it as this gives a more natural gaze.

      Whether you will be the bride, a wedding guest or a proud mother of a graduate, you’ll want to put your best foot (and face) forward!  Remember that practice really does make perfect and while it may seem to be   awkward or even vain to some, it really does help to create lasting photos worth cherishing.