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Friday, May 2, 2008

Red Carpet Ready - How to look good in photos

The simple truth: the camera is a fickle lover. Even in a day and age where we adore snapping away at ourselves like never before, many of us could definitely use some tips when it comes to putting our best foot forward. (Including celebs: for every shot of the “new” Britney Spears looking beautiful and back to normal, there are a dozen of her looking bloated and patchy faced.) In the interest of research, we spent one afternoon perusing celeb magazines, fashion magazines and art books, surfing online, and analyzing the Facebook photos of the most très photogenic women we know, to get the scoop on the top ways to look good in photos.

How to look good in photos, tip 1: Practice, practice, practice.

Two gorgeous former colleagues, both beautiful women who work in the magazine industry, seem to burn through a memory card in one weekend. And wouldn’t you know it: from the first amateurish shots of themselves, where both of them, though rail thin, looked disconcertingly “real life” though they have always been anything but, to the poised and celeb-mag worthy pics they post on their Facebook pages today, practice does make perfect.

TIP: Spend a couple of hours having a friend or loved one take snaps of you with a digital camera so you can get immediate feedback on what looks hot and whats…not. Put a big mirror on the wall so you’re not winging it “blind.” Once you find a pose that works, make it your trademark (read on for tips on striking that winning pose).

How to look good in photos, tip 2: Find your game face.

This goes back to practicing. Every time you’re in front of the mirror (alone), test out some smiles and different head positions. Find the side of your face that flatters you more, so you can try to show that side to your photographer for posed (non-candid) shots. Practice a natural-looking smile, as opposed to ye olde “Cheese!” grimace. (This goes for me. I don't know what else to do but smile hard and my friends tease me about it all the time) Apparently, it’s all in the eyes, so go for the glow from there. Also, if you look slightly up at the camera, that’s a flattering angle for most women. Found the right look? Keep practicing it whenever you pass the mirror, until it feels – and therefore will look – natural.

How to look good in photos, tip 3: Wear the right colours

Even a casual brunch with the girls can end up with snapshots being posted on Facebook, so be proactive about purging your wardrobe of clothes in unflattering colours. Get rid of anything that’s not “your” hue, even if trendy, so you won’t leave the house wearing – and get snapped in – a sweater that makes you look jaundiced. When shopping, pick up pieces in colours that make the most of your features.

How to look good in photos, tip 4: Get your makeup right

Have you ever been shocked by how splotchy faced or plain looking even a beautiful actress can look when she’s not wearing makeup? (If not, Google “celebs without makeup” and see how Cameron Diaz, Renee Zellweger and J-Lo look in the morning; you’ll be less hard on yourself.) It’s incredible what cosmetics can do. If you know you’re going to be photographed – assume you are at any weekend brunch or night out with the girls, party, group dinner or corporate “Away Day” – wear more than just a tinted moisturizer and gloss. Use concealer and heavier coverage foundation, eye makeup, lipstick and blush, and escape to the ladies' room to “powder your nose” with blotting papers every hour or so. This is something that I truly believe in. Every time I go somewhere everyone asks me - why do you look so dressed up? That's because I can't afford to have a picture that looks a mess.

How to look good in photos, tip 5: Strike a pose

For full-body shots try the classic Red Carpet Pose: angle your body three-quarters towards the camera, one shoulder closer towards the photographer, and one foot in front of the other and your weight on the back leg. A disarmingly natural smile will detract from the contrived element of this pose (see tip #2).

How to look good in photos, tip 6: Look thinner

If you’re expecting to be photographed on a certain date or at a certain event, avoid carbs and water-retaining high-sodium foods, to avoid bloat. If you’re being shot full body, feel free to contract your abs to give the appearance of a sleeker midsection, but don’t aggressively suck in your gut, as your ribs will jut out, plus you’re more likely to look pained. If you’re being shot torso-up, tense your arms to give them more definition, as long as you can maintain a smile. If you can arrange for the camera to be a bit above you so you’re looking up, that’ll slim your face. For those of who aren't that small or have a bulge in the belly, (like me) invest in a good pair of Spanx. It can make you appear at least ten pounds smaller. That will help to even out the extra ten pounds the camera adds.

How to look good in photos, tip 7: Look taller If you need to

If you’re petite and are being shot with your tall friend, stand on something (seriously) or sit down together so you won’t look like a dwarf standing next to a gazelle.

How to look good in photos, tip 8: Get the light right

Bright, diffused light as in a photo studio is flattering; outdoor high-noon conditions are not. Flash is also not ideal in most settings, as it’ll bring out shiny skin like nothing else. A cloudy outdoor day is perfect for making you look good, even if the weather is dreary. See if you can postpone the office picnic to an overcast day. Just kidding. (Or not.)

How to look good in photos, tip 9: Hide the evidence of bad

tagged in a Facebook photo where you look… not your best? While you can’t wow in every shot, you can bury the evidence of less-than-stellar pics. Just click on your tagged name and “Untag” yourself. It won’t delete the shot since the photo isn’t yours, but it will hide the trail by getting your name out of people’s Mini-Feed updates.

source: Canadian Living

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