As a photographer, I have learned over time what I feel are some helpful tips and tricks to looking your best in photographs. There are many more, but these stick in my mind as most effective.
I will divide my advice into three sections: men, women and children. The men and women sections can be applied depending on the individual and have more to do with creating a look of femininity or masculinity than anything else.
1) Loosen up! Many men seem to hate having their photograph taken. I'm assuming it's due to bad past experiences with photographers but who knows. Regardless, it is key to loosen up and have fun with the session. We are not here to torture you, but to make you look as GQ-esque as possible, and hopefully, laugh and have a great time being yourself. If you're tense, it SHOWS. You become a straight line or a boring statue. And it isn't a good look on you.
2) Look down: Looking down at the camera accentuates and widens the jawline and upper body, creating a sense of power and masculinity.
3) Busy , Strong Hands: Put them in your pockets, a pocket, your hips, your knees, someone else's hips, just do something with them! Straight down and at your sides is b-o-o-r-i-ng. Remember to keep them moving.
4) Be wide: In photography, men tend to look better when they are taking up more space. Standing with feet wider apart, arms crossed with shoulders broad is a confident attractive look.
5) Laugh!: This goes along with number one. A true smile on a man is always in style.
6) Wear the Right Clothing for You: Wear what represents you, even if it is (and typically should be) slightly more dressy than what you normally sport. If you are totally uncomfortable that is all you're going to be thinking about and instead of capturing your spirit, I will capture your "this sweater is itchy and hot" expression.
7) Head Back: Tilt your head back slightly away from the camera. Easy way to create a little bit of interest.
1) Be confident: If you ask me, I believe there is at least one thing that is beautiful about every single woman I photograph, and there are usually many more. You know what your best features are. Play them up and feel good about them. A good photographer will notice them as well, and accentuate them in camera. We (having our own flaws) also know how to diminish and sometimes hide things as well, so stress not.
2) Look up: The opposite of men's posing tip number 2, when possible, look up. This decreases the width of the jawline and provides a more feminine look. It also enlarges the eyes in the image.
3) Soft Hands: Hands if possible should be sideways to the camera. Meaning: the backs of your hands shouldn't face me. This is a tough one to follow sometimes, so remember to always keep them soft: fingers together and long, relaxed.
4) Chin out slightly: To decrease the chance of folds, chin should come out and down.
5) Weight on back foot: To create a sense of movement and flow, lean your weight onto your back foot when standing.
6) Tilt Head Toward Camera: Again, the opposite of the men's suggestion, tilt your head slightly toward the camera.
7) Turn and drop your shoulders: Feminine shoulders should not be square to the camera. One should be slightly back or closer to the camera. Also, don't tense. Keep them relaxed and away from the ears to elongate the neck.
1) Play Nice: Children cannot and will not be forced to "pose" in a certain way unless they want to. To try and force them, or verbally punish them for not doing it does not make for lovely carefree moments. Give them a free pass for a few hours so they and you too can relax.
2) Time: The better they get to know the photographer, the better they trust them and open up to them, resulting in the best representation of that stage in their life. Give them and the session time so that everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves as much as possible. Kids aren't like adults and take longer to adjust to a new person and especially one with a big camera in their face.
3) Make Believe and Make it Fun! Make a game of something, joke around, have a fun activity planned for the shoot (If you can't think of anything I love coming up with ideas). Children just want to have fun and adults usually enjoy the experience much more that way as well.
For more tips on how to look your best, including clothing and makeup choices, feel free to contact me via email and I'll happily send over more of my helpful suggestions.