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How to be Photogenic
Many-a-times, you’d have noticed that someone who looks quite pretty in person, may not look so flattering in photographs. At the same time, you’ll also find that some people look absolutely awesome in photos, and somehow manage to hide all visible flaws, which are quite noticeable when you directly see them. Have you ever wondered, like I have, why this happens? How is it possible that a person can look so appealing in photographs without any special effort on his or her part? Now, that’s where the catch lies. Indeed, the person is not putting any noticeable efforts, but more often than not, people who’re ‘photogenic’ do follow some ground rules. It may be conscious or may come naturally to them, but make no mistake, it's not by pure chance. Being photogenic is not quantum physics either….it can be easily learned and put into practice with just a little dedicated effort on your part. Read on for pointers on how to be photogenic, and quit shying away from the camera forever!
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Maybe the number one reason why people usually don’t look as good in photos as they actually are, is because they’re tense about the very same thing!
Simply quit thinking how your photos will turn out. Take a deep breath and exhale. Never hold your breath, either in or out.
Be relaxed. This helps to, well, relax your face muscles, which automatically translates into a natural, effortless smile and helps give your face a natural glow.
Don’t force a smile on your face. If you don’t feel like smiling, that's fine, just be natural. Any forced emotion immediately adds an element of artificiality which can often be made out in a photo.
If you can’t even make yourself ‘look natural’, then follow this simple trick. Think of a very loving, pleasing or funny person or event of your life just as the photograph is about to be taken. Your face will automatically reflect your thought and you’ll find yourself giving a perfectly genuine smile to the camera. After all, the best and cheapest makeup known to man is a genuine smile!
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Tilt Your Head Slightly Upwards
Always tilt your face slightly upwards when posing for a photo. In other words, try to position the camera just above your eye level. This has twofold advantages – firstly it gives a positive feel. Looking downward does not reflect well in a photo. Secondly, it avoids the appearance of a double chin, which may also appear in slim people under certain lighting conditions. Another trick to avoid a double chin is to stick your tongue with the upper part of your mouth while the shot’s being taken.
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The Right Angle
If you're posing for the camera while standing, never stand straight in front of the camera. Always stand with your body turned at a slight angle. And twist your hip towards the camera. This adds tremendous appeal and enhances your features. It also helps reduce red eye. Also avoid the ‘attention’ mode of standing. Keep one foot slightly ahead of the other.
Sticking your neck up, taking care not to thrust your chin out, and slightly tilting the head down, helps hide wrinkles and improves facial features.
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Don’t Shut Your Eyes
Another common error is people shutting their eyes while the photograph is being taken. For some, it's just a reflex reaction to the powerful flash. Learn to look right into the camera lens and keep your eyes open throughout.
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Good Posture is Important
Your parents and school teachers have always taught you the importance of good posture. Now learn it from the photographer. An erect, straight posture makes you look healthy and more attractive. A slouch makes you look weak and lazy. You may have to practice sitting or standing straight if you’re not used to it. But believe me, it's one trick that’s worth learning for life.
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If it’s a planned photo shoot, and you have the time to decide what you’ll be wearing, you have half your battle won. Wear colours which complement your skin tone. A dark-skinned person should prefer brighter colours, just as a fair-skinned person should avoid wearing something too bright.
This also depends on ambient lighting. If it's bright sunlight, avoid bright colours, as it’ll reflect light a lot and the camera will end up underexposing your face. With controlled studio lighting, you can experiment with different tones and lightings to arrive at the best combination.
Facial makeup can be used in moderation to accentuate your assets and downplay any undesirable features. Again, the rule is to use lighter colours for highlighting regions and vice-versa.
An orange or mauve shaded lipstick tends to give a yellowish hue to your teeth in close-up shots, so be wary of that.
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The camera faithfully captures all it sees. And confidence is one attribute that always shows up on our face, whether we like it or not. It adds a charm that’s magical, and lends beauty to the most ordinary of people. So why should we not use this God-given magic potion?
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Bring Out the Child in You
You’ll agree with me that children almost always look great in photos. Have you ever wondered why? It's because they inadvertently follow most of the rules of being photogenic. They are relaxed, have no worries or tensions, are playful and are genuine in all the emotions they express. Bring out the child in you. Be playful and shun your inhibitions or fears. Project a happier, fun-filled side of yourself, and your photos will naturally look great!