I was cursed with being unphotogenic; I need to invest an unnatural amount of effort to "just look natural"! After having worked a few photoshoots with men's lifestyle magazine Men's Health however, both in front of and behind the camera, I've picked up a couple of tips to at least increase the likelihood of a couple of photos turning out well!
This isn't about "cheating" the camera, it's about giving it the best angle to show off your efforts. I find taking a couple of pictures can really help you on your way. How? Tell me you don't feel good when you see a good picture of yourself, or see that your efforts are turning into visible results! A big part of staying on track is actively planning and building in those regular wins in the interim. It must also be said: entirely falsified pictures don't do much for your self esteem; If I know it to be a lie, I'm more likely to use the great picture to critique myself than motivate myself.
So here are ten tips for taking better pictures, with examples. Predominantly for guys, but I'm sure some stuff is transferable ladies! If you've got any others, pop them into the comments section!
0. Get your hair & facial hair sorted. Doesn't necessarily mean clean shaven, just make sure you look tidy.
1. Stand tall. Confident. And relax your shoulders. Don't shrug to make them look bigger. It bunches neck fat and makes you look weird. If you want to show off your shoulders, push them slightly down and back.
2. Don't have the camera low; it's the worst angle! Remember: the underside of everybody's chin looks fat!
3. Continuing on the chin theme; bring it up slightly. Not so the camera is looking up your nose, rather just enough so that your face isn't pushed into your neck at all.
4. Stand at an angle to the camera, and then turn your upper body so your shoulders are more face on to the camera. This slight twist will make your upper body look broader and your waist more narrow.
5. Drop your trousers. Just a few centimetres, not all the way, this isn't Dickpics 101! Just lower them enough, an inch or two normally does it, so that your waistband isn't pinching any abdominal fat. Especially important for topless shots, as you get to see a bit more of the V.
6. Wearing a t-shirt? Fold/roll it together on the side not facing the camera and tuck into your waistband. This will give you a slimmer appearance around the midriff and exaggerate your V-shape. Pros use bulldog clips!
7. Use the light to your advantage. Depending on where the light source is, you'll see different contours and shadows of your body. Click the picture on the left for a video demonstration on a female face. As a rule, try to avoid directly facing the light source; try to turn yourself to it, so that you don't look like a block of flesh, and so your hard won contours can be shown off!
8. Your facial expression should be confident and relaxed. Don't do a facial expression that you wouldn't do normally! If you're tensing muscles, make sure you don't look like you're trying to pass a volleyball!
9. If you're resting one bodypart on another for any reason, like hand on hip, arms or legs crossed, make sure not to apply any pressure. Keep your muscles engaged to keep structure in the limb, and so there isn't any squish or splurge. Really makes a difference.
10. Set up a private account on Instagram and play around with some filters; change the contrast, the brightness, the highlights and the shadows. Sometimes changing the warmth and intensity of colour can have a big effect on the image.
One more thing, that doesn't really qualify as one of the 10: I think some degree of smiling adds radiance, and thereby attractiveness. But it's your choice whether you opt for happy and friendly, or sexy and intense!
Keep a look out for the tips listed above in the next batch of progress pics (Week 11). If I think of any more, I'll add them as a footnote. If you thinkg of any more, add them as a comment and I'll integrate the best!