I took a photography class my senior year of high school because apparently field hockey, spanish, film making, and the school newspaper were not enough extracurricular activities for me. I received a Pentax camera for Christmas that year, an unusually expensive gift, and my hankering for photography continued into my Europe trip the summer before I started college. All the money I had been saving since I was twelve went into this trip with my four best friends. Between my passion for photography and the possibility of never affording Europe again, my camera pointed at everything. One of my friends, Jen, was never one for pictures. Never one to save mementos. She is always in the moment and a little disorganized. At one point in Paris, she decided there were too many pictures. She wanted to live the trip, not take pictures of it every other second. I somewhat agreed. Living life is more important than capturing it, but I look at the pictures from that trip now and thank myself for being so diligent. I would have forgotten most of it, if not for the photos to remind me. A balance must be met between capturing life and living it.
Whether or not you are into recording your life, photos are everywhere. There are people in your life that want to take your picture. You can run from them, make sabotage faces or downright decline, but a friend will get you. The best way to handle your picture being taken is to embrace it with some know how.
These days, my picture taking is limited to the needs of this blog and photographing my clients for the outfit portion of my services. When shooting these quick outfit shots for my client's virtual closet, my advice for a flattering pose is hand on hip, one foot slightly forward and give a medium smile with some teeth - not all teeth. To elaborate on my limited advice, I have consulted with celebrity photographers used by Getty Images. Andrew Walker, similar to my simple advice, tells women to place one hand on her hip, turn her shoulders slightly and cross her legs.
Frazer Harrison believes in preparation. "Know yourself and practice what works best for you. Sounds cheesy but practice those smiles and poses in the mirror.” I find this act more interesting while drinking wine. I have also discovered that if I lower my head too low, the dark circles underneath my eyes are emphasized.
Photographer, Astrid Stawiarz agrees with Walker and Harrison, but has more to say on the matter. "In an ideal world, I'd love perfect soft lighting, no direct flash from a camera and a 'Beyonce wind fan' to follow me around." Since we don't have lighting and Beyonce's wind fan, among other things, Stawiarz has layed out some solid rules for us non-pop stars.
1) "Stay out of the sunlight and find a shady area. Sunlight creates harsh shadows on the face and melts make-up."
2) "Look behind where you are standing. The last thing you'd want is a perfect photo with a garbage can behind you."
3) "Know your best pose and show off YOU! Whether it's your perfect jaw line, long legs or your favorite outfit, show it off and be proud! Practice at home with a point and shoot camera in front of a mirror. Ask close friends on what sides or poses work for you. Putting one foot over the other, turning your hip slightly and placing arms over the waist is classic pose for celebrities like Blake Lively. Also, take note on how Angelina Jolie made a typical pose for the cameras all her own by showing off her legs at this year’s Academy Awards!"
4) "To make the face appear slimmer tilt you head up slightly while turning it 3/4, or angle your camera slightly above your head while tilting your face halfway. Never take a photo from eye's level it will flatten your face."
Lastly, Jamie McCarthy elaborates on the hand on hip advice, saying, "Putting your hands on your hips is usually a good look. It can accentuate your waist and give the perception of being slimmer. Also, standing with your hands on your hips can make the photo look more natural and animated instead of just standing there stiff with arms to your sides. When standing with one or both hands on your hips, it is best to have your hands positioned with your fingers out, palms facing behind you. This gives the opportunity to show off rings or other jewelry and also looks much more natural and comfortable."
All agree natural and comfortable is key and practice equals success. It's time to make friends with your reflection.