Friday, 5 April 2013

One day you'll be very old and wise, and you'll wish you had photographic evidence of yourself as you are, right now, today, this second.

It is part of the photographer's art to relax people in front of the camera, and to know about light, angles, poses and all of that. However, it is difficult to overcome what Gemma Burgess calls "cameraphobias". In a very amusing article in the March 2013 edition of Tatler (which I read while having my hair done recently by the lovely Douglas, at Douglas and Lee on Bath Street, Glasgow) Ms Burgess discusses all those personal issues we all carry about why we just don't take a very good photograph. Mostly as a result of thoughtless comments by so called friends.

Luckily she also provides a few tips on how to overcome this problem - strike a pose - with reference to a few of today's better known celebs and catwalk types:

" Paris Hilton, whatever you think of her, knows exactly how to pose. If she's photographed alone, she arches her back, crosses one leg over the other, puts her hand on her hip, and - and this is key - turns her upper body 90 degrees to the camera. Then she tilts her chin to right down, swivels her eyes up and around to the lens, and smirks. (You just tried to do all that while reading this, didn't you?).

Knowingly or unknowingly, Poppy Delevingne took the petrifying Tyra Bank's advice to heart and 'smizes' (smiling with her eyes) her heart out: no eye-crunchingly huge grins here. poppy also knows exactly what angle to twist her head to show off her devine profile to best advantage, and rather than the paris cross-leg, she likes to keep her ankles together but force her knees as far apart as possible to make her already gamine legs look Moss-like.

Alexa Chung invariably crosses one leg in front of the other - and it doesn't look as though she needs to wee. She also uses props to vary her poses: she'll slip her hand into her pocket, or hold her handbag in front of her body. the result is casual, cool and chic. and it makes her arms look thinner. Like she needs that.

Verdict? The secret to the perfect pose  - and saying adieu to cameraphobia - is to appear completely unaffected whilst actually working your Spanx off. Build a repertoire of poses that you can pull out automatically everytime someone says 'cheese', like the Little Teapot: put one hand on your waist, hold your purse/drink/friend with the other, twist your shoulders slightly, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, point your chin down, look up to the camera, exhale through your nose and smile.

If that doesn't work, just remember this: one day you'll be very old and wise, and you'll wish you had photographic evidence of yourself as you are, right now, today, this second. "

Other advice is available elsewhere on the Internet, and from your friendly, professional photographer.

The full article 'I'm ready for my close-up' How to look good in photographs, by Gemma Burgess, is published in the March 2013 edition of Tatler.

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