How much do you love having your photo taken?
The thought of it can perhaps send waves of terror through you. Some women avoid it all cost, hide behind a crowd or make any excuse to disappear momentarily.
But the current “Facebook” time we live in means that we catalogue and broadcast pretty much all our life’s events. Not only that, you might be at a stage of your life where your kids are getting married. Perhaps you are going on a wonderful holiday where you are enjoying the sites and snapping those shots you will look at all the time coming across your screensaver.
So its time to become a little PHOTO savvy and make the camera love you! The good news is that there are definitely some skills you can master to bring out your natural beauty.
The below tips will help you with posture, make up, hair and style and you will also hear from professional photographer Linda from Clique Photography Sydney who has captured thousands of women just like you. She also happens to be the photographer of choice for Style Angel as I love working with her!
38 Tips How to Look Great in Photos
1. Elongate your neck, put your face/neck out a little and slightly turn down your chin for the best framing of your neck and avoid double chins. It is the extra inches that will really pay off for you. Pose and posture are everything.
2. Look into the actual camera. On a traditional camera it is straight forward to look into the lens but with the smart phone trend it is a tiny lens you need to focus on to make the end result look warm and great as you will connect more with the person who looks at the photo. If you don’t focus on the lens it will appear as if you are looking at someone else than the camera. It will make the viewer think you are looking at the person next to them. A small effort like this will pay off.
3. If you usually have trouble with blinking as the photo gets taken, blink a few times before the photo and make an effort to open your eyes wide without looking too “deer-in-the-headlights” forced.
4. To look your slimmest in photos it is important to never stand straight facing the camera. Turning your upper body slightly gives you a slimmer profile instantly. Having one foot on a slight angle will also make a big difference. This stance needs to be practiced in front of the mirror especially if you are getting professional photos done or wedding photos where it generally is a positioned standing pose.
5. Arms are usually the body part my clients are the least excited about. If you are one of them, there are some instant slimming tips for arms you really need to know about. Never hold your arms by your side as there is no definition of where your body starts and finishes. A bit of light shown through the arms by curving your elbow a little is very slimming. If you combine this with putting your hands in your waist and follow the following slimming hand tips you are on a winner. Don’t forget to twist your upper body a little!
6. Slimming hand poses as promised. If you would like your arm down then still put the elbow out a little so some light flows through and then pull your fingers into your wrist and face your thumb straight to the floor. If you prefer your arm in your waist then put your thumb at the back and your fingers in the slimmest part of your waist. Pointing your fingers up will feel totally weird but looks amazing in photos.
7. Never waive, point or toast with a glass of something in your hand for a photo pose. Trust me. You will thank me for this.
8. Straighten your back, pull your stomach in tight, relax your shoulders and roll them back slightly. This makes your look taller, slimmer and more elegant.
9. If the photo is taking a while to get taken, don’t hold your “photo-ready” smile as when eventually the photo is taken it will look insincere and a bit awkward. Let your smile go, move your face muscles a little, hop around a bit and have a laugh with the camera person. Then when it is time for a shot you get into position fresh faced.
10. When the person next to you has their hands on your shoulder or in your waist ask them to put their hands down behind your back out of sight or in front of their body. The photo will look silly with a single set of 5 finger tips appearing out of nowhere. It might feel all cuddly because you are getting a free hug but the effect is very un-photo worthy.
11. If all of you are wearing the same colour outfit like black or white make sure you have a bit of space between each other so the contours of the body are clear. Otherwise mix the outfit colours up by moving people around.
12. A Selfie is best taken from above your head instead of face on or from below. Turn around with your phone on selfie mode until you see the most flattering lighting. If you want to be fancy with filters on your phone you can do this in the editing mode but just make sure it makes you look real. It is a great way to get rid of red eye’s as well.
13. The wrong proportion of clothes will absolutely show on photos. If your sleeves are too long you will disorganised, if the top is too long and pulled over your bottom you will appear to have shorter legs and a larger bottom. If your top is pulling at the bust it will most definitely show up on photos. If your skirt is too long you will look older, if your skirt is too short, well… you have a case of the mutton dressed as lamb. Quick reference of correct fit:
Sleeves: to the base of your wrist
Cigarette Pants: to the top of your shoe
Straight or wider pants: 1cm below the point where the shoe meets the heel.
Top: Between the top of band and hipbone
14. What you wear is really important. Not every pattern translates well to photos, that is why newsreaders usually wear block colours, non-fussy prints and medium to high contrasting colours, like black and white. My tip for you is if the photo is an important one like a wedding photo, anniversary, significant birthday etc, take a photo of yourself in the outfit on your phone and see how it translates. Are the shoes right, is the neckline working for you, is the colour working for you or does it need to be stronger, are you showing off your finest parts, is the knee length too high or too low, are the sleeves too long? Is the size right or does the outfit look too big. I often get clients in the change room confess that they would have bought a bigger size and not even try the smaller size. Once they do, it often feels better, looks better and finishes in all the right spots If you are wearing a wrap, is the photo better with or without?
15. Check to see if your outfit is see-through. I once had a client who had bigger than average bust size. She was mother of the bride and we found a gorgeous pale pink evening dress. When she tried it at home and took a practice photo the top half appeared to be see-through so she changed her bra and added a nice matching jacket. How devastating would she have been if she had taken all wedding photos to then learn that she was showing her bra. Photos pick up different things the eye does not see.
16. Talking about wraps for evening occasions; the slimmest way of wearing your wrap is to position the middle of the wrap at the middle part of your back at the base of the neck and let the wrap fall over your arms at the elbows, the flip the wrap sharply back under the arm so there is light and shade around the bust area. I highly recommend you walk with your arms slightly bent and elbows pointing to the side.
17. Work out what underwear and what colour will work the best under your outfit. Do you need shapewear for that event and what works best so you can still have fun and more importantly breathe. Having a great bra will make a really big difference. If for the outfit you need a strapless bra make sure it fits you well and does not end up hanging around your waist after a few hours. Pear and Hourglass shape ladies will have more of a chance of this happen as opposed to Rectangle or Inverted Triangle.
18. Batwing tops and dresses are really popular amongst evening wear for the more mature lady. Please be mindful that you push your arms into your side as you will look slimmer as opposed to having the batwing making you look extra wide.
Now let’s get into some beauty tips.
19. Linda from Clique Photography Sydney says, “Treat yourself to a manicure. A nude nail colour will work best for you to avoid distractions. Even though you are not hand modeling shabby nails will not go unnoticed in the shot.”
20. When it comes to professional shots for a wedding or family shots or for your work, here is a very useful tip from Linda; “Invest in having your hair and makeup done by a professional. For a finished look this really matters. It will also give you the confidence to smile knowing you look great! If your makeup is done professionally it is less likely you could wind up with some poorly retouched images that make you cringe.
If you are doing your own make up and hair here are a few easy tips to follow.
21. Wear a primer under your foundation for a more even and younger finish. A primer should really be worn every time you wear foundation as it plumps up fine lines, it evens out pores and it lays a barrier between your skin and your make up. It will make the foundation last longer as you need less. It will also balance out the T-zone and cut some shine you may have naturally have. I love swiping it over my eyes as well as I apply foundation on this area as well and it makes my eye shadow stay all day/night.
22. Do you have the right tone liquid foundation? It is a very simple to test this; on a bare face run a little foundation on your cheek lines and grab a mirror and go in nice daylight which is usually better than the bathroom mirror. Does the foundation “disappear” that is when you have the right shade. Does it look obviously different than your skin then you need a lighter or darker shade or perhaps a mix. It is very normal to have different skin tones on your face, some areas on your face are darker like perhaps under your eyes and some areas have more redness or freckles. The foundation shade that works in the neckline will balance out all colours on your skin. After an hour your primer and make up will have settled and the natural tones will come through in a natural way. You use a lighter or darker foundation shade to even things out is a slippery slope into awfulness. The camera will pick this up instantly!
23. I love the Arbonne primer and foundation as they are really beautiful and light to wear. I love feeling as if I have no make up on. Click here if you are in Sydney and you would like a foundation testing done.
24. If you insist on wearing concealer make sure the concealer works well in a photo and you don’t use too much. If you are too heavy handed you might look older. Primer and foundation should take most of the darkness away. In any case make sure you apply your concealer over the primer and foundation and blend really well with the warmth of your finger tips.
Here are some examples of what could go wrong. No doubt in real life they did not see this but when the camera and light hits your face anything can happen! You have been warned!
25. Some women wear mineral powder instead of liquid foundation. In my opinion mineral powder looks the best on skin with less fine lines. If you have quite a few lines the liquid option with primer underneath will look younger.
26. Add a touch of blush to only the apples of your cheeks. Your apples will appear when you give yourself a great big smile. Less is more, you can always go back for more product. I tend to get the first dab of blush and flick most of it off on my hand so I don’t have loads of product on my face and can go back for more where I need it.
27. If you want to be fancy, you could apply a bit of highlighter down the middle of your nose, on your temples and in the cupids bow above your lip. Every professional make up artist and selfie addict will use this highlighting trick as the camera picks up on the light and brings out your cheek bones and minimize your nose. I use this trick all the time and it is super easy. If you need more help, email me here.
28. Using a lighter off white/cream shade of eye shadow in the inner corner of your eye all the way underneath your eye brows, it will make your eyes look wider and brighter. You also apply the lighter shade to 1/2 of the eye lid. To the rest of the eye lid you can apply a lovely darker shade.
29. Eye pencil that is applied to the hairline of your eye lashes makes your eye colour stand out and it gives your eyes more presence. Less is more especially underneath your eye. Simply apply little dashes of the pencil and go back for more if you need another layer. I prefer a more blunter tip of an eye pencil than sharper so I have more traction. Here is a recommendation to match your colouring:
Blue Eyes: Charcoal eye liner
Green Eyes Plum, Olive or Charcoal eye liner
Hazel Eyes Plum, Olive or Charcoal eye liner
Brown Eyes Black or Dark Brown eye liner
30. A good mascara is a must to make your lashes look long and luscious. Some women love to curl their lashes before for extra length. I personally feel sick when I touch my eye lashes with a curler; instead I start at the base of my lashes and stay there for a second or two for maximum lift.
31. If you wear glasses and make up application is a hassle, invest in a magnifying mirror so you can see. Apply your make up in a nicely lit area. Check your make up in the car as this light is usually perfect.
32. If you have over plucked your eyebrows over the years you can use a similar tone to your eyebrows of eye shadow or eye pencil. Start in the areas where you have the least amount of hair and really use the “less is more” principle. Use fine strokes and use a eyebrow comb to bring the hairs into position. If you are looking for an eyebrow specialist I recommend Lien Davies who is in Randwick area. She is incredible and knows exactly what shapes suits you best without using wax. It is like having a hair cut, once the shape is right you can maintain it easily yourself.
33. Your lips will look amazing with the right liner and a lovely lip shade. Do a bit of homework on this and don’t leave this to the last minute. It really stands out on camera if the shade is not right. I love filling in the entire lip with lip liner so my lipshade last for ages and I can really make the maximum of my lip volume. Then I apply lipstick and I am careful not to go to close to the opening of my mouth as this is what results in lipstick on your teeth. To avoid this you simply “unglamorously” put your finger in your mouth and pull it out with your lips closed. Keep on going with the next finger until no my lippie comes off. Repeat this on the left and right hand side and after every re-application of lipstick. If you love a touch of gloss also run your fingers in your mouth as lipgloss can be very sticky on your teeth.
34. Use a nice body lotion to moisterize your entire body so your skin is glowing. Some women love a spray tan, if you do this yourself at home make really sure that it looks great and you have tried it before. Orange hands, underarms and feet will really show up on a good photo and you will cringe.
35. Take your time doing your hair or treat yourself to a blow dry. Use a bit of hairspray to keep the springy hairs at bay so you look polished and to last all night even after a dance on the dance floor! If you need some tips of what style suits your face shape download my book from Amazon! You will have all the tips you need from hair colour to style:
36. A great pair of stockings will also make your leg look amazing. I recommend the Levante natural colour as this has a little shine and is really sheer. It also grabs the fleshy bits around the bottom and holds you in. For sale at Myer and David Jones.
37. The right pair of shoes will make the outfit complete. Comfort will show on your face and so will discomfort when your shoes are killing you. Go for the heel height you can manage and last the entire night and less fuss with straps around the ankle will work best for most women. Even a kitten heel will lift your bottom! Pointier toes look smart on photos and rounder toe makes your foot look smaller so compare your shoe size and see what you want to achieve. Peep toe can give a nice fresh look too. A nude shoe will blend the bottom half of your body and make you look slim.
38. One final tip is to send the camera love. It sounds strange but lots of people will enjoy seeing your photo and if you beam a bit of love into the camera it will translate into a healthy glow. If you are hating the moment and really don’t like having your photo taken you will show that as well. So pretend for a few seconds, take a deep breath, smile and share the love!
ABOUT ANGELA BARBAGALLO
Angela Barbagallo is one of the brightest minds in personal styling and confidence coaching today.
Angela has educated her many clients in making great style choices, which translates into increased feelings of well-being and a positive attitude in life.
Angela is a body shape and colour expert and a best selling author on Amazon of two style books “8 Ways to Look Fabulous, Taller and Slimmer” and “The Real Woman’s Guide to Hair”.
Angela is the NSW Independent Style Consultant for Diana Ferrari since 2011 as part of their Fusion Reward Program.
Angela also collaborates with Corporate Clients such as Bank of America, Jetstar and Bupa with her “Dress for Success” program.
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