Have you ever tried to take your own photos and wondered why you don’t look as amazing as you do in real life? You then hand your friend the camera hoping they can take a better angle. “Say cheese,” they snap away. Pleased with the result of their handiwork, they turn the camera viewfinder to show you the great job they have done at capturing your pure essence. You take one look and gasp. The old saying the camera takes what is sees seems like an unfortunate gag line. Surely, that is not what I look like! Sifting through you find one that turned out ok, but want to bury your camera for life for butchering your mama’s great genes. Well here is the thing, the camera DOES take what it sees. Our cameras are 2 dimensional so you have to guide it to see what your eyes experience in 3D. So, resurrect that camera to practice some selfies. Here are 5 photography tips to help you take better looking photos of yourself and others.
1. Follow the light.
Unflattering patches of shadows and light on a person’s face can ruin a photo. Choose a well lit area and pay attention to the shadows cast on faces. You want to always make sure the face is well lit so the expression is clearly visible. Additionally, avoid taking photos in harsh, direct sunlight that will cause squinting.
2. Avoid unflattering angles.
As a rule of thumb for photography, taking a photo from an above angle causes the subject appear thinner while taking a photo from below causes subject appear larger. For the best photos, be sure to take the photo straight on at eye level or slightly above angle.
3. Avoid flat arms pressed on the body.
Arms pressed flatly on the body naturally make them appear larger. To avoid the uncomplimentary result, give your arms breathing room and find ways to pose with the arms off of the body. Take a look at any Hollywood red carpet photo and you will find that the stars pose with this rule in mind with many posing with at least one arm on the hip.
4. Pay attention to posture.
In other words, no slouching unless it is for a creative effect. The Hollywood elites are taught how to create flattering looks on the red carpet. Female stars highlight their hourglass figure by creating a very flattering S shape with their posture. Here are steps to achieving this pose. While facing the camera, stand upright and position the body with one foot in front of the other. Then, rest your bodyweight on the back leg in order to push your hip away from the camera. Place at least one hand on the hip. This creates the flattering feminine S shape. For men, placing the hands in pockets while standing comfortably upright is complimentary.
5. Avoid double chinning.
Many people when taking a photo tend to lean their heads back, which can cause a double chin effect. Instead try elongating the neck by slightly extending it forward to avoid the unflattering look. Taking photos at an above angle can also fix this issue.