Sponsored by Olympus Australia
I have two friends who are former models. The only former thing about them is that they no longer model professionally.
They are utterly gorgeous, tall and know how to pose for a photo.
Now, most people might shy away from being in a photo with a model – former or current – but I chose to learn from them instead.
I could not do anything about my height but I could learn to work with what I have and feel confident in front of the camera.
It’s a good job I did learn these skills from them all those years ago because a good proportion of my blogging and social media time is now spent taking photos of myself.
Last week I got to pass on some of those skills with 20 fabulous Styling You readers at a fabulous lunch hosted at the QT Sydney by my sponsors Olympus Australia.
I’m sharing my how to pose for photos tips here … PLUS, get very excited. One lucky reader has the chance to win the very camera that has taken my blog and social media photos to the next level: the Olympus PEN E-PL7 – aka The Selfie Camera.
You can catch up on my previous posts about the fabulous compact camera and how I’ve been using it here:
We’ve fallen hard for each other this camera and I. It never leaves my handbag or evening clutch. It’s so incredibly easy to use – even my nine-year-old son has mastered it for my #everydaystyle photos.
Now, let’s get on with the posing, shall we?
How to pose for photos
1. Get out of the way of yourself. This is my number one tip and it doesn’t mean get out the photo. It means, work on your own self confidence so that you never miss a photographic moment ever again. Are you the one always taking photos and never being in them? It’s time to change that and put yourself in the moment. At our lunch we harnessed the aromatherapy power of Twenty8’s Courage and Confidence synergy blend of Grapefruit, Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Geranium, Clay Sage and Rose essential oils. It worked. Everyone was up snapping and posing like nobody’s business.
2. Natural light is your friend. This applies to all photos, no matter what the subject but especially when taking photos of people faces. If you are inside, face a window so that the indirect, soft light can capture your face like a filter.
3. Work out which is your best side. This applies to your face and to your whole body. For your face, it’s not such a big deal if your face is perfectly symmetrical. My face is lower on my right side, so that’s the side I tend to tilt towards the camera. Doing so makes the lack of symmetry less obvious.
4. In a head shot selfie, tilt your head on a slight angle. Play with different angles but the idea here is to be the complete opposite of a front-on, unsmiling passport photo. The idea is to bring the head shot to life with perceived movement.
5. Take a head shot selfie from head height or just slightly above. No-one wants a below the chin shot. No-one. Except maybe your small child who thinks it’s hilarious to take 324 sly selfies featuring double chins and pulled faces. A slight look up to the camera automatically brings your chin up and out (see tip 6!).
6. Tilt your chin out and slightly up. Put your hand below your chin and feel what happens if you dip your chin down – even slightly. I just felt about four chins. You? Now do the opposite, tilt your chin slightly up. You’ll feel a smoother line and the line will definitely look smoother in a photo.
7. For a full-length portrait, have the camera capture you straight on for better body proportions. The effect of having the lens pointed down will create the illusion of a long torso and short legs. The effect of having the lens pointing up will lengthen the leg but leave your torso quite squat. Never mind what it does to your neck and chin.
8. If standing front on, place hands on both hips to create space between your torso and arms. If you do this in front of a mirror, you’ll get what I mean. This is especially important if you’re wearing dark blocks of colour. Without that space, you’ll look more like a tree trunk or column. All sense of body shape will be lost.
9. Crossing legs narrows the line of the body in a photograph. You’ll see me doing this a lot. It doesn’t work all the time with pants as it can give me the tree-trunk effect but in frocks and skirts it works to narrow the whole body line.
10. Master your signature pose or poses. You don’t have to have a pose repertoire as long as a model’s but it does help to play around a bit with what works for you. You’d be pretty familiar with my main pose: angle so that your left hip is facing towards the camera and your whole body is facing towards the right. Put your left foot slightly out towards the camera and your left hand on hip. Then twist your torso towards the camera. Your hips need to stay side on so it will feel like a yoga twist. The effect is a narrowing of the body line, which is exactly why it’s my favourite.
11. In a group photo situation place yourself in the middle. This is not the time to be shy and indecisive about being in a photo. Run, don’t walk, to be front and centre. The last place you want to be is on the end – particularly if the photographer is wielding a wide-angled lens. My angles are wide enough, thank-you very much.
12. Study others. Scroll through the #everydaystyle feed on Instagram. You’ll be inspired by women of all ages, shapes and sizes – all working different poses and having fun with it. Not all will be poses that work for you but they are definitely worth copying and trying to recreate in your own photos.
Remember, this is not serious stuff. It’s all about relaxing, having fun and not being afraid to put yourself in the picture to capture your life moments.
PS. Sammie from The Annoyed Thyroid was at the lunch and she wrote about it here.
Thanks to Olympus Australia, I’ve got one Olympus PEN E-PL7 (rrp $849 with included kit lens that I’ve been using) to give away to one lucky Styling You reader. To enter, leave a comment below answering this question:
When and where was the most memorable time that you posed for a photo?
Entries open Friday, March 20 at 4.45am (AEST) and close Thursday, April 2 at 5pm (AEST). Australian entries only, sorry. The winner will be judged on originality and creativity (photos can be included and uploaded with the comment). The winner will be emailed and their name will be published here. Entrants must include an email address when the filling in the commenting system below to be eligible to enter. Full terms and conditions here.
For more information about the Olympus PEN E-PL7 camera, visit here.
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