Photo Course Day Four: How to Be Photogenic
Are you photogenic?
Most people will say no. But really, ANYONE can be photogenic. Yes, even you.
The trick is to simply relax and be your natural self.
That face you make in photos — you know, the one you’ve practiced in front of the mirror? Forget that.
Instead, have a look at these common portrait no-nos, and how to avoid them… no matter which side of the camera you’re on.
Most people have no idea what to do when the camera is pointing at them. Whatever you do — don’t strike a pose. Instead, relax. Look into the lens of the camera as if you were looking into the eyes of the person who’s taking your photo.
The Dreaded Duckface
Born on Facebook and Myspace, the “Duckface” epidemic is sweeping the globe, making people everywhere look ridiculous. Pursing your lips like a “movie star” does not make you — or anyone — look good. Again, just relax. You’ll be much happier with the end result.
Some people have a talent for blinking in photos. You know who you are. To solve the problem, close your eyes and ask your photographer to count to three. On three, you open your eyes and they shoot. If you’re the photographer, turn this situation around – tell your model to close their eyes and open on three. Works every time.
The Double Chin
When the camera is below eye level, shooting up at someone, you’re in the Double Chin Danger Zone. Try to shoot on eye-level or slightly above. If you’re a short photographer, get a small stool you can carry around, like this, and shoot down from above:
You can also stand up on a staircase, or put your photo subject in a chair. And if you’re the photo subject getting double chins, make sure you lift your chin up and stick it out just a little.
The “Say Cheese”
Smiling on cue is one of the fastest ways to make a photo look forced. If you’re the photographer, try getting your subject to talk about something that makes her happy… then shoot when her smile is genuine. And if you’re the subject, try thinking about something that makes you genuinely happy before you say “cheese.”
Bonus Tip: The Deer in the Headlights
Straight-on shots of someone trying to look natural often look… strange. If you’re the subject, turn your body at a slight angle and turn your face back to the photographer to get a more dynamic, relaxed look. This is another instance where closing your eyes for a few seconds can help to “reset” your face, so you don’t look frozen like a statue.
Take a few warm-up “test shots” and get your subject to chat. When both the photographer and the subject feel comfortable, that’s when you’re going to get a better shot — and show your photo subject that yes, she really can be photogenic.
As a side-note, the above tips work great for self-portraits, too.
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