The popularity of digital and phone cameras makes it seem like we’re all paparazzi and celebrities everytime we leave the house. No one wants to log on to their favorite social media site and see that a friend or family member has posted several unflattering images, so there’s pressure to look good at all times just in case a camera is pointing our way. Cameras are notorious for adding 10 lbs. to a person’s figure, but depending on posture, the angle of the camera’s lens and the lighting, it could seem more like 20 or 30 lbs. Fortunately, there are ways to trick the camera into only capturing the most fit and beautiful you.
Practice posing in front of a mirror. Try out different postures, angles and facial expressions to find one you like.
Pose in front of different mirrors around the house, or even in public. Notice how different lighting — spotlights, sunlight or low light — makes you look different even if the pose stays the same.
Practice the smile. Somewhere between a coy smirk and the “cheese!” face is a glowing and natural smile. Remember that the smile also has to appear in the eyes for it to look genuine.
Put the posing practice to work. Have a friend take photos using a digital camera in different lighting situations, different outfits, from far away and up close. Study each photo and note the ones that look good and why.
Wear the right colors. Some colors will look more flattering against a person’s skin than others. Ditch the unflattering shades — an honest friend can help make suggestions — and only be seen in colors that look good in person and on camera.
Stand away from overhead light, because it creates a combination of harsh light and deep shadow, which exaggerates things like dark under-eye circles and shiny skin. Instead, stand with you back to the sun or away from downward-facing spotlights and tilt the head up toward the light to eliminate shadows.
Pose for full-length shots as if you were on the red carpet. Don’t face the camera squarely; turn your body 45 degrees with one shoulder toward the photographer. Place one foot, toe facing forward, in front of the other and shift your weight to the back leg.
Lean slightly in toward the camera for waist-up portrait shots. Keep abs tight and back straight and assume the 45-degree angle as you would for a full-length shot. If you’re sitting, scoot to the front of the chair and lean forward a bit.
Hold your head level and then drop your chin about 1/2 inch. This trick will keep the neck long and eliminate the appearance of a double chin.
Place your hands gently above the hips, or hold arms at the sides slightly away from the body.
Pay attention to where the photographer is standing, as well as the angle of the camera. For the best photo, position the photographer higher than you with the camera angled slightly down toward your face.
References and ResourcesReal Beauty: How to Pose for Pictures
Nate Berkus: Look Thinner in Photographs
Canadian Living: 9 Ways to Look Good in PIctures
Cosmopolitan: The Secret to Looking Sexy in Photos