With the bright lights of the holidays approaching, not least of which being the flash of the family shutterbug, we’ve got more “look your best for your close-up” tips than you can shake a candy cane at.
Chris Schoenbohm, a professional photographer, helped found Viewfinder to solve some of the problems he encountered in organizing and sharing his photographs. Viewfinder is a new app that helps you organize the mess otherwise known as your iPhone camera roll, and share pictures with select groups of people vs. with your 500+ friends on Facebook. Most recently, Chris spent eight years working for Patrick McMullan Company and Billy Farrell Agency, capturing prestigious events in New York City and around the world. While at Patrick McMullan Company, Chris led a project to analyze how large libraries of digital images are tagged, stored, shared and edited.
Chris shares his tips for taking the most flattering pics:
1. The desirable pose. Ever wonder why female celebrities always stand with a hand on their hip? They know how to look stunning in a photograph. This common pose is called the ‘three-quarter angle stance,’ and it never fails to make a woman look slim, sexy and beautiful. To achieve the three-quarter angle stance, have your subject extend one leg out in front, pivoting and planting the corresponding hand on the hip. The result is a long, attractive, diagonal line that draws the viewer’s eyes across the subject and shouts confidence.
2. How do I make my subject look taller? This is a popular question without an easy answer. However, there are a handful of tricks to help you achieve height:
Never shoot at low angles. Most people think shooting from a lower angle pointing up will give the perception of height. However, the result is usually a distorted image. In some instances, the distortion will actually add weight to your subject.
- Keep your subject away from anything tall. Never place a shorter person next to a taller subject, whether it is a person or an item. The difference in height is the first thing a person’s eye will be drawn to in your photo. You’d be surprised how tall a subject will appear in a photo without anything else to compare them to.
- Think about clothing. Clothes with vertical stripes or a uniform colored outfit will always make your subject look taller. High heels are a must.
- The right poses. Crossed legs at the ankles, arms and shoulders drawn inwards always slim a subject down and draw more attention to the vertical emphasis.
3. Photograph at eye level or above for portraits. This will help avoid the dreaded double-chin effect and everyone loves a nice, sexy jawline.
4. Soft light is flattering light. It’s easy and pleasant on the eyes and compliments soft facial features nicely. Examples of soft light are places indoors next to a window or outdoor in the shade, protected from direct sunlight.
5. Figure out your subject’s best profile. We all have a better side. Knowing which one is which on your subject’s face can change EVERYTHING. Take a few test shots and look at the results. That’s the beauty of a digital camera or smartphone.
6. Have fun. You can be an expert at posing your subject, but if your subject isn’t having fun, it’s impossible to get a great shot. Tell a joke, ask your subject to do something silly or make a sexy face. It’s important to get them to loosen up! A great picture of your subject laughing is just as good as the pic that makes her look skinny.