You’ve been there. You’re having coffee with your girlfriends or at a family reunion, and someone whips out their iPhone for a “quick snap for Instagram,” (if you’ve been out with me, that someone was me. I’m sorry/not sorry. Ha.) You freeze, try to remember which side is your good side, and suck in your stomach. And do you love the result? Probably not. First of all – that’s NOT your fault. Blame it on Steve Jobs for making a camera phone with a REALLY WIDE ANGLE LENS. Wide angle lenses do just what they sound like – capture a lot of scene from one small vantage point – and they do this by distorting the subject(s) of the image. So if you think (like me) that your forehead looks impossibly big in your selfies – you’re right. It really isn’t that big, it’s the dang iPhone.
So if you have to get photographed with a camera that is going to distort your features a bit, you need to have a small arsenal of tricks up your sleeve for posing yourself. Here’s a few quick tips to remember next time you get snapped:
- Keep the features you want to de-emphasize farthest away from the camera. Let’s use my forehead as an example again (sorry forehead). It’s what I affectionately refer to as a 5-and-a-half-head (which means I’m super-smart, right? Right?? …crickets). Since I want to minimize the height of my noggin, I don’t want to lean my head toward the camera (in this case, the iPhone). Otherwise, this happens:
- Create a slimmer waist with sleight of hand! <–That heading makes me feel like a smarmy infomercial. But stay with me here. Put your hands on your waist and look in the mirror. If you’re like most people, your hands are instinctually on your actual hips, not waist, which draws attention to a wider part of your body. Now move your hands to your natural waist (the smallest part of your torso. Slide your hands forward toward your belly button. It’s not the natural choice for where to rest your hands, but watch what it does to your waistline. Looks slimmer, huh? Kind of gives you an hourglass. Also makes your posture look better, and more athletic. Observe:
- Angle your feet slightly away from the camera. Put your weight on your back leg; that will shift your weight away from the camera, which, as we talked about above, will make you look slimmer and fabulous. This also creates a very feminine s-curve with your body, which not only slims you down, but also softens and romanticizes your figure.
- Keep your chin out and down. If you’ve been in front of my camera for a headshot session, you’ve heard me say this like a broken record. It’s the number one most beautifying tip in my arsenal, and has saved many a fake-double-chin from ever coming into existence. Try it – it feels super weird to push your chin out beyond its normal comfort zone, then tip it slightly toward your chest, but it makes you look va-va-voom in camera.
Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She is tattooed, pierced, and also a responsible adult person with a full time job. Likes include long walks through Target while cradling a latte, and taking off on spontaneous adventures. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee.