Putting your best face forward - Photography tips and tricks

Do you dread having your picture taken? Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and thought "Oh my gosh do I really look like that?"

If this has happened to you, relax, chances are, you don't! There are a lot of things that happen when pictures are taken that can be very unflattering. Everyone who has taken my class has heard about the effects of good posture and keeping your shoulders back to avoid looking heavier than you are. There are a number of other things you can do so that the next time you don't cringe when you see your picture.

Keep in mind that some you will have control of and others, like proper lighting, you may only be able to change under the right circumstances.

1. Slide your face and chin slightly forward to give your neck a longer and leaner look - likewise avoid pulling your chin back which can create a double chin where one doesn't exist!

2. Twist: Pose your lower body at a 45 degree angle away from the camera while your face and shoulders are facing straight toward the camera and stand with one foot in front of the other.

3. Keep your shoulders back and down, chest out. (sound familiar?) Rounded shoulders and poor posture makes us appear heavier.

4. Avoid shots taken from below your own level as they add weight to your appearance.

5. If you have a double chin...drop your chin down slightly as you extend your face forward or try having pictures taken so that the camera is at an angle above looking down at you.

6. Stand tall: create a long lean look.

7. Consider crossing your legs or crossing your knees slightly in front of each other with your feet together. This shows off our curves to their best advantage and makes us look feminine.

8. Lighting: Shadows are awful and make us look like we have circles and lines where we don't. Use a flash even in daylight or sunlight to avoid shadows.

9. Pose so that your upper arms are away from your body - consider placing your hand on your hips or another object.

10. Use props. If there is something you wish to cover up: put your purse in front of it, hold your jacket or sweater or even soem flowers to block the view of what you wish to de-emphasize.

11. If you're up for it...fake tans are great. They not only do not cause damage to your skin but color makes you appear slimmer. Whiter skin shows lines, wrinkles, and cellulite to their worst advantage. Just remember, if you're pole dancing, fake tans can make you slide right off the pole! I recommend Ban De Soleil's Radiance Eternelle at least 12 hours prior to pole dancing.

12. Wear one color...not just black, but an outfit that is all one color will be slimming.

13. Body parts closer to the camera appear larger...if you wish a part of you too look bigger, lean that part toward the camera. Marilyn Monroe use to lean in and cross her arms under her chest to make her appear to have a larger bustline! Bring the camera's attention to the parts you are proud of!

14. Finally, if you're desperate to look thinner, HP has a digital camera with a slimming effect feature! Check it out here:
HP PhotoSmart with Slimming Effect Feature Option

15. Be relaxed. Smile and look directly at the camera. A smile and relaxing will help you to look better than any tips possibly can. Embrace your beauty and let it shine through with confidence and poise.