Looking Your Best In Pictures

Nowadays, with the popularity of social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook, it is very likely that any photo you take while out with friends will end up on the Internet, so it is important to try and look your best in any picture taken of you. Of course there will always be that bad “paparazzi shot” that people can blackmail you with, but there are things we can do to eliminate the possibilities of looking like Linda Blair in The Exorcist in the next family portrait.

My advice to someone who hates the way they look in pictures is to simply look in the mirror more. Sure it sounds vain and shallow, but that is the best way to figure out what your good angles are and what poses are most flattering to your shape and body type.  Anyone can look good in pictures. Believe me. This is the queen of bad shots talking! My mother used to yell at me for making ugly faces on picture day all through school. I didn’t care much for myself back then and it showed in every photo. Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman (or man) can wear, but knowing what personally works for you and what doesn’t will have you ahead of the game.

Here are a few tips that can help:

*A good way to pose like a celebrity is to bring one leg slightly forward and rest all your weight on the back leg. Keep your abs tight but don’t suck it all in where it makes your shoulders look huge and your neck disappear.  Stay lengthened and relaxed.

*If you are wearing a sleeveless shirt, you want to make sure that your arms are not pressed against the rest of your body as they will spread and translate bigger onto the camera. Keeping a gap between the arm pit and the arm can make the arm look slimmer.

*To avoid a double chin, you want to lengthen the neck and push the face out. It also helps if the camera is positioned slightly above you. A good trick is to clinch your back molars and jut out your chin a little, to help define the jaw line. Another trick is to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth for the same purpose and to help tighten under the chin.

*For a slimming pose, angle your body slightly away from the camera and turn your upper body back towards the camera. Make sure one shoulder is closer to the camera.

*If you have a rounder face, try positioning your face at a slight angle (but not profile), just enough to see your whole face and both eyes while showing some of the jaw line. Usually your “good side” will be the side where you part your hair.

*A big smile goes a long way. Teeth are a great thing to show off, just make sure your eyes aren’t closed or squinting when you do. A photographer friend of mine recently showed me a good trick: try saying “HI!” right before the picture is taken. More than likely you’ll be able to smile without closing your eyes or looking fake.

*Being photogenic has nothing to do with size and EVERYTHING to do with charisma and confidence in your own skin. Never take a picture when you’re in a bad mood. You’ll regret it. If you’re having a “self loathing day”, skip the pictures and go home to a bubble bath instead.

*If you are very small or thin, don’t try to make yourself taller by standing on your toes or stretching your torso, that usually makes bodies look awkward and uncomfortable. Instead lengthen your neck, bring your shoulders back and keep your abs tight. Follow these tips and you are sure to shine even amongst a group of giants.

*Don’t slouch, it creates love handles.

*If you’re going for the “hand on waist” pose, be sure that the hand is right on the waistline and keep your elbows back. Putting your hand on the lower hip translates as a little insecure and draws attention to a thicker waist. If you’re going to pose, pose like you mean it.

*Finally, my best advice is to practice non-stop with a digital camera. Make every face and strike every pose imaginable. See what works for you and what you should avoid. People always tease me for screaming “Wait, this is not my good side!” right before a picture is taken, but hey, I’m the one that will have to live with the end result. Knowing your good side is crucial.

There is no secret to taking a good photo. Like everything else, the more you do something, the better you become at it. They say that practice makes perfect, but I say practice makes permanent. The way your practice something is the way you will execute it. Try it out! Arm yourself with a camera, a full length mirror and a few fashion/celebrity magazines. See what you can come up with. Candid shots are the coolest way of documenting good times with friends or loved ones, so why not look good in them?

Victoria Castillo

Victoria Castillo

Thank you to our guest writer, Victoria Castillo, a favorite professional model  and actress of Rachel Perlmutter & Assoc. who always strikes fabulous poses and takes amazing pictures. To book Victoria, please contact:  Lisa Marie at Brand Models and Talent, 714-850-1158.  You can also follow her on Twitter.com using @_victoria_c.

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