As people who blog, and read blogs, and share thing on Facebook and social media, we all know the power of a photo. This is how we share our work with the world, how people get to ooooohhh and ahhhhhh over our creative genius, and where we are proud to shout from the rooftops - I MADE THIS!!! But sometimes, we look at pictures of ourselves and decide to hide them away, or we share but only with the caveat: Excuse my silly faces, gahhh look at those bat wings, sorry - my 5 year old took these..... We make excuses for the way we look, because when we look at ourselves we don't see beautiful; and in the process, we excuse away our talents, our creativity, and our accomplishments.
I might not be able to change the way you think about about yourself in one post, but I can at least help give you some tips for confidence in FRONT of the camera.
Posing: I often hear people say they don't know what to do with their hands, or their feet, or their body - ahahahaha. As someone who has been posing people for the last decade, I've picked up some great and simple tips.
- Think of your body as a string, you want to bend it into an 'S' shape. Now I don't mean any kind of crazy kooky yogi shapes, just some simple shifting of the weight to create curves. Hips, shoulders, knees, and arms will help create the positions you need. Here is a site with some great basic posing positions! (*Take it from me though, ignore #6)
- If you aren't comfortable with your facial expressions, look towards the sky or down toward the ground at a 45 degree angle.
- Use your hands! Hands are great, so don't be afraid of them. Place your hands in pockets, run them through your hair, or use them to hold an accessory.
- Every body shape is different, so look at your body and figure out a couple things you really love about yourself. It could be toned shoulders, great legs, an ample bosom, or gorgeous eyes. These are things that you should focus on and bring closer to the camera. The things that aren't your favorite, you should pull back from the camera.
I have very broad shoulders, so in this pose, I curved them forward to make them look narrower. My body is straight forward, but my hips are pushed back and to the left, making them look smaller as well. By putting my thumbs in my pockets and sticking my elbows out, I have created tension in my arms (great for making them look less flabby) and created negative space by my waist giving the illusion of a narrower med section. While I carefully did all of these things to create a 'good' pose, when I look at this picture all I see is my smile - and that make me love it.
Negative space is so important in posing! In these pictures, I have created negative space between my legs by bending one foot forward and popping my foot up onto the toe. I carry a lot of weight in my legs, so I try to be careful to give them as much length and space as possible.
Want an even narrower looking waist? Take your hands, put them on the sides of your natural waist, now slide your hands in an inch or two and angle your fingers down slightly. Make sure to keep your fingers fairly close together and relaxed. You are Creating the illusion of a 'V' at the waist which make it look narrower. By shifting your weight back int your hips, you draw them away from the camera which elongates your torso.
Looking down and looking up: These are not only great ways to get slightly more natural looking expressions, theya re also ways to make your face look great. If you look down, with you chin tucked behind your shoulder, you won't have any chin and neck wrinkles. When Looking up, you stretch the skin of your neck and rid yourself of double chins.
Arms & Hands: Remember how I said you should use them... DO IT!!!! The biggest key is to keep your hands relaxed and your fingers close together so that they don't look like claws. Play with different arm positions and own it. Flex that bicep, or put tension in your upper arm when lifting it up. Bringing your arm up in front of your body is probably the hardest position to pull off if you are arm conscious. So try the arm up behind your head. The angle going back away from the camera gives a nice lean arm. Your arm closest to the camera pops away from the body giving a defined elbow and a lean look.
Fake it, Own it, and Have fun!!!! The day I took this set of pictures I was feeling very frumpy and not so happy with life. So I decided it was a day to go into full diva mode and just have fun in the shoot. I did some crazy poses, gave my husband tons of smize eyes, and eventually cracked myself up which is when he caught this. This is one of my favorite pictures of me because it is ME - silly, laughing in the sun ME!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing me and reading my posing tips. I'll be back tomorrow to talk about camera angles and how to take great photos when you don't have a photographer in the house.
Hugs, and remember that YOU are Beautiful - Just the way you are!!!!!!