5 Steps to being more photogenic.

30 12 2006


5 steps to being more photogenic

Not everyone feels comfortable having their picture taken. Unless you attended modeling school or took a ‘how to be more photogenic‘ class in junior high, high school, or college chances are when find yourself in front of a camera you end up, ‘winging it,’ which doesn’t always work out in your favor.

So the question is, why do some people always seem to look good in pictures?

Truth is, some people have a triggered response when they are in front of a camera. They do certain things that make them look better. You can also develop a triggered response that makes YOU look better.

These photogenic steps are based on over 10 years of professional photography and came into being primarily out of financial inspiration.

Put more bluntly, when you photograph people for a living…

– If they don’t like how they look in the pictures
– They do not buy any pictures
– You do not make any money!

So… you learn how to coach people into doing things that make them look good.

Use these 5 steps and you too will develop a triggered response that will insure you look your best.

Step 1

If you observe men and women standing naturally without ANY coaching, you’ll notice there is a BIG difference between how they stand. Women naturally shift weight to one foot. Doing so angles the body slightly, tips the shoulders a little, and angles the head just a bit. This stance immediately adds dimension to any photo, it looks more interesting and natural.

Men on the other hand, we tend to face squarely into the camera with weight evenly distributed on both feet. We have all seen the results, pictures that look stiff, unnatural, and very plain looking.

Here’s the solution.

If you are standing – turn slightly and rest your weight on one foot. It may FEEL goofy, but you WILL look better.

If you are sitting – angle to one side or the other.

Step 2

Lean slightly toward the camera – Leaning slightly toward the camera adds interest, dimension, and a natural look to a photo. Think of having a long neck like a gazelle, and tilt your chin down just a bit to avoid the appearance of a double chin and also to prevent the camera from getting a view right up your nostrils.

Step 3

Learn how to change your state – No, I don’t mean if you live in Idaho you need to move to Oregon. Changing state means going from level 1 to level 5, or in other words, instead of looking like you were caught off guard, you look natural and like you are enjoying yourself.

Models are taught to change state by developing a ‘trigger.’ So when they are about to have their picture taken, even if they are in a crummy mood, they can go from level 1 to level 5 in a heart beat. Firing a trigger is a reminder to do the things that make you look good. Believe it or not, THE most successful trigger we found over the years was called the ‘rear cheek squeeze.’ It’s really cool because it’s inconspicuous. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like; you squeeze the cheeks of your rear end together. Don’t make fun of it until you try it. To see it’s effectiveness try this experiment. Ask someone to sit on a chair and then ask them to squeeze their cheeks together. I have not met ONE person who doesn’t immediately smile and say something like, okay, now what?

Step 4

Learn to ¾ smile – People just don’t like pictures of themselves with huge smiles. Smiling too big exposes gums and causes your eyes to turn into slits.

Step 5

Never look directly at the lens – ALWAYS, look slightly ABOVE the lens.

Here are some additional tips if you know you are going to have your photo taken and you have a little time to prepare.

1. If needed, use ‘teeth whitener’ to have pearly white teeth – it does make a difference. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to brighten your smile. Get a teeth whitening kits at your local pharmacy.

2. Dress for timelessness – Stay away from patterns, go more for solids. Example: horizontal stripes will make you look heavy. Don’t wear red, black or white. Digital cameras sometimes have problems with red. Black and white offer too much contrast.


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