Are You Ready for Your Close Up?

Posing for pictures can seem effortless and fun when you're out with friends. But if you've ever “untagged” yourself from an unflattering Facebook post, you know that it’s not always easy to take a great photo!

These days everyone needs a great photo of themselves, whether it’s used for social media or on a professional website. Being photogenic is not only for the beautiful people - anyone can learn a few techniques to look their best in photos. Here are my top tips:

Find your optimum side and angle. We all have one -stick to it! Check out some pictures of yourself and figure out your best side. Practice poses in the mirror. I have a friend who always switches positions to make sure her good side is to the camera. Her dedication cracks me up, but she  consistantly looks great in photos!

Lighting is crucial. Natural light is ideal, and morning or afternoon light is always more soft and flattering. Overhead light from the midday sun can be harsh and cast shadows on your face. When taking pictures indoors, provide as much natural light as possible by opening curtains and blinds. Avoid using a flash indoors – it tends to make you look pale and one-dimensional.

The camera really does add 10 pounds. Never stand fully facing the camera. If you're standing, turn partially sideways to the camera, creating a narrower silhouette. Plant one foot in front of the other, point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot. You’ll appear taller, thinner and stronger this way. High heels can make you feel confident, sexy, and of course, long and lean. Put a hand on your hip, which keeps upper arms from flattening out and looking bigger than they are. Pull your shoulders back and move your head slightly forward to minimize the appearance of a double chin.

If you can do all of these things and still look natural, congratulations! It’s no small feat - but it will get easier with practice. Even professional models spend all day in a photo shoot to get just a few great shots! When all else fails, think happy thoughts when posing for the camera so that your smile is genuine. I like to think of my kids laughing or of a moment of pure bliss. True happiness shows – in both your eyes and your smile. Relax and have fun. Some of the best photos will be those where you look happy, relaxed and comfortable.