Want a natural look and appealing in your pictures? This article gives us hints to just that. Having years of experience, and aiming to get the most natural yet flattering shots of people, many of my clients have commented how pleased they are with the results!
To get you ready for the session, this article will help you understand some “pose posh”.
Taken from Real Simple magazine, “How to Look Good in Pictures” written by Stacey Colino Updated August 29, 2014, photos by Andy Mayr
Show your “good” side. Chances are, one side really is better, says Peter Hurley, a Los Angeles–based portrait photographer. To find yours, hold a piece of paper vertically over one side of your face, then the other, says Ian Spanier, a photographer in New York City. Your better side is the one with more upturned features—for example, the corners of your eyes and lips.
Control your chin. When you pose, elongate your neck and push your forehead and chin forward a bit. It may feel awkward, but “this position helps define your jawline and gives your face a more angular, lifted look,” says Hurley.
Pass the cheese. Despite what we’ve told generations of kindergartners, saying “cheese” doesn’t create a genuine smile. “A real smile forces the muscles under the eyes to contract,” says Hurley. To make that happen, squint slightly with your lower lids, Clint Eastwood–style, as you smile. (You might want to practice this in the mirror.) And aim your gaze at “the top of the camera lens, which will draw your eyes up and make them look brighter and bigger,” says image consultant Holly Ernst, the owner of Sparkle!, an image-consulting firm in Minneapolis.
Angle Your Body
For full-body shots, don’t face the camera head-on. “It’s the least favorable stance, because you’ll see the widest parts of the body in the photo,” says portrait photographer Aaron Gil, the owner of FotoNuova, a photography studio in San Marino, California. Instead, assume the Oscars pose: Turn your body about 30 degrees to the right, then turn your head left in the direction of the camera, looking toward your left shoulder. (If your right side is better, reverse the direction.) To look your slimmest, put your weight on your back leg and turn your front foot toward the camera.
If you’re sitting, perch near the edge of the chair and sit up straight. Or, for a more casual pose, rest your elbows on your thighs and lean slightly forward. In a big group shot with people of different heights, avoid crouching, a position that flatters no one. If you can’t stand, try sitting on the floor with one knee up, crossing your legs yoga-style, or sweeping them to the side, like a mermaid’s tail.
Do something with your hands. If you’re standing, place the hand closest to the camera on your hip; this adds definition to your upper arm. If you’re sitting, clasp your hands in front of you (gently—no white knuckles) so your arms form a soft arc.
3, 2, 1, and… Right before the snap, “take a deep breath and release it,” says Gil. “This will bring a relaxed, ‘I’m loving this, really!’ look to your face.” Now go back to having fun.