How to Pose for the Camera and Look 10 Pounds Skinnier

by Laura Kronen on October 3, 2011

Never take a bad picture again and stop de-tagging yourself on Facebook.  It’s easy to be photogenic with these simple tips:

1.  Avoid The Dreaded Double Chin Effect

One chin is plenty.  Camera position is key – the lens must be at your eye level or higher. Bend your knees if you are taller than the photographer. Or try sitting in a chair and look up towards the camera.  Make sure you stick your chin out at least 1” farther than you normally would to give yourself a longer neck and more defined chin. It might feel funny, but the results are what counts.

2.  Turn Your Head

Nobody looks their best looking straight into the camera, so rotate your face a few degrees to either the left or right. This will add definition to your jawline. Turning slightly away from the camera draws the viewers eyes up and down instead of ear to ear. By posing at a 3/4 angle to lens you will make your ears appear smaller and your face more sculpted. Not to mention, if you eyes aren’t completely symmetrical, it will give the illusion that they are.

3. Don’t Smile – Laugh!

In the words of Steely Dan, So won’t you smile for the camera. I know they’re gonna love it. Really, that’s all you have to do.  But instead of forcing a cheesy game show host smile, transform that fake smile into the genuine you inside.  Think of a funny joke, pretend the photographer is naked, or just think of someone who makes you happy – your natural smile will emerge and make you look a lot better. Another trick is to look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh, not frozen.

If you don’t think a wide grin is your best look try something smaller and more mysterious.  Smile as you exhale so your jaw is not clenched and your face is relaxed.

4.  Turn Around Bright Eyes

Stare into the light…no really. Right before the picture is taken, fixate your eyes on a light source (no, not the sun!). This will cause your pupils to shrink, reducing the random cases of red eye.  Having a wide-eye look always makes your photo look better. One way to do this is have your eyes closed and when you hear the count of three, you open them as wide as you can as the shutter clicks.

5.  Make Up is Your Best Friend

The flash on a camera can wash you out, which means you need to layer on the make-up. To give the illusion of whiter teeth, choose a lipgloss that’s a little brighter than you would normally wear. And to sculpt your cheekbones, use a concealer or foundation that is one shade darker than your base and use it to define your cheekbones.  You can also use this to minimize the size of your nose.  Using a bronzing powder and it will really make your face warm up and keep you from looking pale and sickly.  If all else fails, retouching is fine, as long as it doesn’t erase your face.  Also, remember to give your hair a fluff –  It’s a classic model trick and will make hair look like it has movement, is thicker and not so flat. Flat hair emphasizes less than perfect features.

6.  Strike a Pose There’s Nothing To It

If you want to look ten pounds thinner, ask the photographer to shoot from a higher angle above your head to focus less attention on your body.  Also, try putting one foot behind the other with your weight on your back foot and your front knee slightly bent, swiveling your shoulders to be at a different angle that your head.

Place your hands on your hip to thin out your arms, and laugh. This keeps upper arm flab from flattening out and therefore appearing flabbier (much like thighs do when one sits on a couch).

Pull shoulders back, chest forward and gently suck stomach in. Be careful not to suck stomach so far in that your ribs show, thereby causing those who later see the photo to cluck to themselves “Look at how she’s sucking it in.”

Look at all the red carpet photos in magazines like InStyle and US Magazine and practice behind closed doors.  Many of those celebrities were trained well and rarely take a bad picture.


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