As a people photographer I’ve noticed an issue that plagues so many of us, something that I want to share with you – portrait photography camera lies.
These days there are just hundreds of pictures of us all the time because everyone has a camera in their back pocket. What we find though is that we don’t really like how we look in the photographs, so we sort of feel awkward and we just go ooh yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, we don’t like any of them.
I just want you to know that the camera is lying to us. There are limitations in these cameras that show us in the worst possible light, and lead you to believe that you’re not photogenic. But it’s not true. I wan to share with you five ways that the camera is making us look worse and not showing our true beauty.
And just by using these things in the reverse way we can workout how to look good in front of the camera and we will actually love the way we look in a picture.
The right posing for portraits you’ll love
An instant reaction that happens as soon as someone pulls out a camera, we feel awkward and we go oh no, not again, this is gonna be awful.
So we get all tense and a lot of people will do this. You just go oh, and you tense your shoulders and your neck, you’re double chinning it, and you’re looking awkward, you got fists. And then the first thing we have to do is go, ah, just breathe, just relax. Cause then you don’t have that double chin, have a little wiggle, relax, slightly lean forward, then the double chin goes. You’ll find the arms look better, and all of a sudden you’re going to take a better picture.
Imagine you want to hide your tummy or something like that, if you put a prop in front of you like a gate, or a table, or a chair, or even one of your kids, or your pet and then you’re leaning forward and you put your arms around them, then the arms look good, the neck looks great, the tummy is hidden.
Nothing to see here – all of a sudden you look great.
The right lens will make all the difference
The other thing that happens with a lot of snappy’s is that they’re using a wide angle lens. So a wide angle lens will make everything appear wider and rounder. There’s your problem there. If you’re on the side of a picture with a group, and you’re right on the edge, you’re gonna even appear wider.
So we want to use a zoom lens, we want to zoom in or zoom lens. The longer the lens, the flatter everything is and everything looks much more flattering. So, big bonus there.
The Right Lighting is vital
An alternative way to think about it as well is the lighting. What happens is we just take pictures wherever but we’re not thinking about where the light’s coming from.
If I’ve got a big window behind me and you’re standing in front of me, and I’m tense, and you’re using a wide angle lens, the camera’s trying to light my face, so it will go flash. So I’m going like this look at the flash, it’s not good, we will not like it. So if we slow down, stop, where’s the light coming from.
Over here, I’ve got a window over here and some light coming from the light here. If you face the light, get the person over there, all of a sudden the light’s wrapping around your whole face. The camera’s not trying to flash you, not trying to fill up a bad image. You’ve got a sparkle in the eyes because you’re looking at the light. Perfect, we don’t need to be flashed in an awkward way.
Then, once again you’re wiggling, you breathe, you slightly lean forward, you lean on something like that, the lights right, they’re using a long lens, Bob’s your uncle. All of a sudden, beautiful pictures.
The right timing will capture the real you
Another thing that we have to worry about is the timing, because they do take a long time to go click. If the person taking your photo can be quick about it, it will make all the difference.
But if you’re in the right lighting, you’re breathing and relaxing and they’re using a zoom lens, you’re going to feel better and they can take as much time as they like cause you’re wiggling and breathing and having fun.
Make sure you choose the right clothing
We should also consider the clothing. What we wear can make a big difference on how we like the pictures.
For example if you wear dark colours, dark colours recede in the pictures. They appear smaller. White colours make everything look larger. So black, see, smaller on the side. If you’re wearing lots of bright patterns and swirls and round shapes, it’s going to make your eyes draw to that place.
Let’s just say for example you don’t like your hips or something like that, if your wearing a bright coloured skirt, then your eyes will go straight to that spot and that will appear larger. So anything you wanna hide, put dark colours on it, plain colours and anything you want to appear larger, put lighter colours on.
You can see here what I’m wearing, I’m wearing a slight V-neck here. V-necks will make you appear thinner and taller. If you have a rounder face and you’re wearing a round top, it just accentuates that shape and you won’t like it. V-neck, straight pattern, no designs here.
So your eyes, not even drawn to it. And here I’ve got the cardigan on the side, that makes me appear taller and thinner. It’s not really rocket science but those little things will make you appear like you really are. It will show off your true beauty in a photograph. We’re tricking the camera to show us how we really are and not how we don’t wanna appear.
In pictures our eyes are attracted to what we don’t like about ourselves..
And isn’t it the funniest thing, soon as you look at a picture of yourself, whatever it is you don’t like about yourself that’s the first thing you see. So unfortunately we’re all like that. I do it to, so I totally get it. But I just want you to know by following those little tricks, you will be able to feel beautiful and you can feel beautiful in front of a camera, and you can love your photographs.
I hope that helped. If you have any questions just feel free to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. Have a great day.
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