The one thing I hear most from women is that they HATE having their photo taken.
Nearly every single woman who has come in front of my camera has said the same thing, “I look terrible in photos”, or “I’ve never had a good picture of myself”, or some variation of that phrase.
I think the reason for this is that we’ve never learned how to make the most of an impromptu photo snap.
When someone schedules a professional portrait session with me, we spend 15-20 minutes talking about how to prepare for the session. This covers things like hair, makeup and the most flattering clothing choices so you’re already feeling good when you come in. During the session, I’m able to direct and pose people so they look natural and at their best.
But what about those times when the person taking your photo is not a professional? It’s happened to us all at some point. We’re at a party, or a networking event, or out to dinner and there’s that annoying person in the group who says, “Let’s all take a photo together, Yay!” Not.
Of course, it’s when you’re least prepared. You’re either having a bad hair day, you wore the wrong shirt, or you’re just not feeling very attractive. You could try excusing yourself, but sometimes you can’t quite get out of a photo.
Here are some tips on how to look the best you can in these less than ideal situations.
Tone down the shine.
Shine is not your friend. Take a second to dust yourself with a little powder if you have it with you. If not, take a napkin or tissue and blot your forehead, chin, and nose. While you’re at it, add a little lip balm or lipstick to make sure your pucker doesn’t look pruney.
Stick Your Neck Out.
If you feel like your chin has a little to spare, try pushing your forehead slightly forward, and angled down just a bit. You don’t want to go straining yourself, but this little trick elongates your neck and reduces the look of the dreaded double chin.
Sitting on the Edge of your Seat.
Sitting in photos can be bring out the worst, if you don’t know this little secret. If you’re sitting, perch your butt right on the edge of your seat, and cross your wrists on your thighs or knees. This can help disguise your midsection. Also, try crossing your ankles and angling your body slightly away from the camera.
Walk the Red Carpet.
Want to look like a star in group photos? If you’re standing, angle your body about 30 degrees away from the camera, rest your weight on your back leg, and put your hand on your hip. I call this the Red Carpet Pose. There’s a reason you see all the stars pose the same way.
One last thing: relax. In order to pose like a true Betty, you need confidence and grace. If you feel uncomfortable, it always shows in the photo. Crack a joke and get everyone laughing, or ask someone to do something silly. An authentic smile is the best kind of makeup.
*Special thanks to our Junior Betty, Christina for her posing assistance!
Think it might be time to update your business portrait? We’d love to help you pose like a Betty. Let’s talk.