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5 Photographer’s Tricks to Take More Flattering Photos

October 16, 2017

We all want to take more flattering photos. As a photographer, I always try to make our clients feel happy and relaxed because I believe that is when beauty shines through. When I am in front of the camera, I am pretty nervous! I want that relaxed, natural vibe to come through but I often freeze up. Here are five tricks I use to take a more flattering photo.

1. Loosen up.  Movement and action are your friends.  My great friend taught me that throwing your arms above your head totally relaxes your shoulders. I love this trick, I use it all the time. This isn’t realistic for brides necessarily but we can get walking, and I find that’s often when the best photographs are taken. Any kind of movement you can employ is great, it gets you to stop fixating on putting your arm on your hip, etc.

2. Wear bolder makeup. The camera washes out our features. Filling in brows, a bolder, brighter lip, and a curling your eyelashes with lots of mascara all help your features look more like they do in real life. I’m not suggesting that you totally over do it, but it doesn’t read the same way in real life. I also love lots of blush/bronzer and am constantly surprised by how pale I look. I recommend testing it out a few times at home.  I have been known to get an organic, vegan one hour spray tan (made from walnuts).  I’m into it.

3. Find a great light source. If you’re taking a selfie or iPhoto, turn towards the light. If you’re inside, face the window and put the phone between you and it rather than having the window behind you. If you’re outside (preferably late or early), you can face the sunset for a nice glow. Often times the greatest background doesn’t match up with the most flattering light. For example, you might wish to have the ocean in the background but the sunset is behind you. As a photographer, I will always favor the flattering light over the background, it’s often cropped out anyway. And of course when it lines up well, fantastic!

4. Shoulders back, elongate your neck, chin slightly forward but not up. These are three instructions I give to people behind the camera. If it feels funny, it’s usually working. The other old trick is to rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you’re smiling to avoid a wide grin. It works!

5. Shoot from slightly above. I find that shooting people from slightly above (especially if they’re sitting) is more flattering that straight on. It slightly thins out the face. That’s why we hold our selfies slightly above when we’re taking them. Too much with a full body makes you look short, but for a tight shot it works wonders.

And a bonus trick for those of you shooting on a professional camera:  I tend to slightly over expose my images and to shoot on a shallow depth of field.   We don’t need to see every line and detail!  Hope this helps, as always xxxxxxx!