I was taking a bubble bath and when I emerged from the tub, I hear “Wow! You came up just like a whale.” Then Kylie shares with me the picture she had taken with my cell phone. Mortified, I confiscated the cell phone and deleted the picture. While I could appreciate the hilarity of my situation, my inner 13 year old was having a melt down. This was one too many bad photos for the week. Was I delusional in thinking I was a good looking person? I quickly recounted the story to my husband. He laughed, then demanded to see the photo and was disappointed that I had done the sensible thing by deleting it. He went on to say if you’re unhappy with your body, do something about it. Which was in fact, the correct thing to say to a 27 year old. The 13 year old was still freaking out. That is, until I had a brilliant revolation. Perhaps until I conquer p90x, I could just learn how to pose.
Why is it that the image I see in the mirror never shows up on film? I googled and found this article on wikihow. Thankfully, there was so much more to taking a good picture than being naturally beautiful all the time. For one, you must be aware of your clothing. This should be the case even if your are not taking pictures. Do the clothes you wear flatter you? By that I’m referring to cut, size, color and print. What you wear says a lot about you as an individual and that is certain to come through in the photo. The article also advises against choosing black, red and white as these colors create too much contrast for digital cameras. I presently do not agree or disagree as for years I have lived in these colors but I personally will be keeping this in mind.
Likewise, grooming is just as important. It is very easy to cancel out redness or shine with makeup however the rules for photo ready and street wear are entirely different. It’s very easy to come out over done or washed out. Running a quick comb through your hair is probably a good idea. I can’t tell you how many times windblown did not equal awesome in my own work.
This may seem a little ridiculous but it’s a good idea to practice posing in the mirror. Look into the mirror until you have gained a sense of what you normally look like. Stand up straight, unclench your jaw and smile. When you smile, think about something that makes you happy. A smile is always better when its not forced. When you’ve got that down, start playing with angles. What’s your best angle? What’s your worst angle? What about sitting and standing? When you sit, angle yourself slightly. When standing try to position yourself a quarter turn to the camera. Also, the camera should be at eye level or a bit higher. I know extreme angle shots are still going strong but in this case, don’t. Just relax and keep thinking those happy thoughts.
Most of the people who never seem to take a bad picture will actually take hundreds before finding one that one incredible shot. They don’t internally freak out over it. The camera is only able to capture one moment in time and the sooner you make peace with that, the better. If you’re already doing these things and still not happy, you might want to change photographers. My 4 year old could care less about these rules and eventually I will care less about the questionable photos she takes of me in the bathtub. Until then, we keep trying.