Almost everyone starts by saying they don't look good in photos, and hate having their photograph taken. When I take a portrait of someone, I take time to relax them and we chat about the process and get to know each other. Trust in your photographer is essential to have some great final images. Below are some tips and tricks to help you take a better portrait.
1. The double chin! Common amongst many of us. To avoid a double chin, stretch your neck upwards, push your face forward slightly. It's a bit like dipping your chin down slightly whilst sticking your forehead out at the same time. It feels very awkward... but try it a few times in the mirror and it certainly helps.
2. Take a look at some past photos of yourself and see which ones you like best and why. For most people the left hand side of the face is the 'best side'. Don't ask me why, it just is and this was proven in a research paper in the U.S. a few years ago.
3. Make up. A qualified make up artist works wonders. If the foundation is too pale for the skin then it can become very obvious when the flash hits the skin. Advice seems to be, to match your skin to your chest and add a thin layer to your neck if the neck is paler.
4. If you blink in photos. Close you eyes and then open slowly just before the picture is taken.
5. Putting your tongue behind your teeth when you smile has a couple of benefits. It stops it peaking through when you mouth is open and it helps to prevent a too wide grin.
6. Hair sprays prevent the fly away hair.
7. Avoid looking straight on at the camera. Try turning your head slightly and keep the eyes on the camera only. It's more flattering.
8. Point one foot forward and think of your body being in an S shape. It helps to elongate the body and stretch parts out!
9. Try to look up at the camera. If I have someone taller than me, I will normally get them to sit on a chair or I'll use a small ladder.
10. A good photographer will get you to laugh and relax, producing a more natural smile.
11. Laugh quietly to yourself. It produces a more gentle and genuine smile.
12. Clothing. This is a whole new blog post on its own. But I suggest to clients to wear something they feel comfortable in. If you squeeze yourself into something you don't normally wear then you will not look at ease. Best to avoid check clothing as it dominates in black and white photos.
13. Take lots of photos! The more photos taken the more relaxed you become and you might even find yourself having fun!