Being photogenic isn’t (contrary to popular belief) something you either have or you don’t have. Some people look cracking in every single photo, but if you have a closer look you might notice that these folk are seasoned posing pros and have a couple of go to ‘looks’ which they can execute perfectly at a moments noticed. While you can make your friends delete an unflattering shot, when you’re working with a talent management agency you have no say over which pictures will be used.
But they weren’t born looking like a professional model.
Have a look through some of your old snaps. Are there any you really like, and is there anything these pictures have in common? You might not have a better side, but a side is more flattering than facing the camera straight on.
Work out which poses and facial expressions work for you, and practice, practice, practice. Facial expression, what you’re doing with your hands, and how you angle yourself will all contribute to the overall effect of the picture. If you’re not sure, speak to your talent management agency and they might be able to give you some tips.
Strike a pose
With some jobs you’ll find through talent management agencies you will be directed a lot and not necessarily have to strike poses. You might have to look like you’re carrying out a task or taking part in an activity, but the more aware you are about how your body moves, the more control you can have over the end product.
Angling your body rather than positioning yourself straight on will allow your light to hit you in a more flattering way, as the natural highlights and shadows are lessened and your features flattened by the process.
Once you’ve got a basic pose that works, you can come up with a few variations so that you don’t look exactly the same in every single photo, and you know what to do if you have to sit, stand or lie down. Remember that your shape will look very different when you’re seated, so sit up straight at the front of the chair, and tuck in any troublesome bits of clothing which might ruin your look.
These will become your go to poses, and as you become more confident, and work with a range of stylists and photographers, you’re likely to figure out a few more which work for you.
It can be really difficult to know what to do with your hands, especially when you are the soul subject of a photograph and you don’t have anything to hold. If you’re having photographs taken to advertise rings or a watch for example, your hands will be a key focus, and you might want or be asked to place them on your hips, or lean on a hand to emphasise the product. While hands on hips are really flattering, leaning on your hand can distort your face and create strange shadows wrinkles which you don’t really have.
Instead, if you want to put your hands near your face, do exactly that. It’s possible to make it look like you’re leaning on your hand even if you’re barely touching it. In doing so neither you face nor your hands will look distorted in the images, and the product will be shown in the best light possible.
To get a perfect picture every time, you need to get the facial expression practice in. Some people prefer a closed mouth demure smile while others flash the pearly whites in a full grin. Try a few different smiles until you can work out which one is the most comfortable for you, and lights up your face.
The key thing is to have a good look at how you look when pulling certain faces and standing in particular ways. Once you’ve uncovered the secret to looking great in every photo, you’re likely to be hearing from your talent management agency pretty often!