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Part Confident You and part oh so vain fashion blogger, this post is for those women who took a look through that family album and realized that they hardly feature at all. They appear to missing from the one place that documents such things. Poof, they disappeared… And you’ve just realised that that is not okay with you. At all. How to look good in photos is a post designed to help you get over that. While we can’t change your face {awkward, did I say that out loud} I can train you to relax in front of the camera.

Like Fonzie said, relaaaaax.

Firstly let’s talk about how many women out there avoid photos of themselves, photos with their family and children just because they don’t feel confident or comfortable in their body, with their face or whatever other reason they have. Now I’m not one of those people. But I was. Always behind the camera instead of in front. I wasn’t comfortable in photos and always managed to have my mouth too far open or something. It was not great, short version, so I stopped doing it.

And you know what!? There are entire chunks of my life where there are NO photos of me. No memory jogging photos. Nothing. I know now that I’d much prefer to look at an unflattering photo than none at all. So remember THAT as my first tip. It’s important to be a part of immortalising yourself. So quit the excuses, you look FINE, promise!

Here’s how to look a wee bit better so maybe if you feel like you look good, you might feel good about having your photo taken which will lead to more looking good and all that. Then hopefully you will get involved more, step out of your comfort zone and step in front of the camera to make those memories. Sounds good, right? Let’s do this thing.

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Follow the light.

Natural, soft light is your friend. No one looks good in harsh sunlight, under those horrid office fluros or in grainy low-light photos. So take some time and seek out a good light source and angle your face in the direction of the light. Soft light is either diffused by something, reflected off something or coming through something. That’s why you see images facing towards windows or people sheltering under trees or the shadows of a building.

Soft light is just kinder to you. Follow the natural light for great results. The photo above was taken in front of my bathroom, frosted glass window. Simple and effective. The light was diffused by the glass and does nothing but good things for my skin and the contours of my face. Win.

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Shake it off. Go nuts!

One of the best suggestions made to me was to calm down, to relax and just be myself in front of the camera. How do you do that? Well I started by having friends and family members behind the camera. I know them, I trust them and I always take a look at the photos taken so I can reshoot if something doesn’t look right. The more you participate in the whole thing the more relaxed you can be when it comes time to just be there and smile.

Another tip to relax is to go a little nuts. Pull some faces, continue your conversation and laugh. Do what comes naturally to you and then turn and face the camera. Capture that moment and it’ll never be a bad thing. It’s the reason I have so many bloopers photos. Sometimes I get stiff and the photos look bad. Hubby demands I chill out and so I shake out the stiffness, pull some faces and change the way I’m standing… He usually photographs the whole thing. Embarrassing. Haha.

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From above but not SELFIE above.

There is a time and place for those dramatic from below type photos but for everyday, let’s look the best we can type pics, a camera angle slightly above your face is the most flattering. and no I don’t mean that “mySpace face’ angle that also grabs a nice shot down your boobs. I’m talking a modest, have the person shoot from forehead level and aim down toward your face.

I chose this photo of Hubby to illustrated this point because it’s taken at a great, slightly higher than eye level angle that just gives you a natural, flattering photo of his face. No smile though folks, maybe next time. Haha. But you can imagine that anything higher and he enters selfie territory and lower would add chins {under that beard?} that he doesn’t really have. Not to mention a view up his nostrils. Ick. So aim for a photo taken from ever so slightly above and be impressed by your awesomeness.

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Front On vs. Side On.

Now I don’t want you to get too caught up in this one. Life happens and photos happen in the spur of a moment so let it. But if there is time to pose and angle your body then there are a few ways to comfortably stand in photos that will depend on how concerned you are about how wide you look. My Mum always loved to stand side on in group shots. I’d rather be front on, front and centre. It’s a preference thing, I guess.

There are a few things we agree on is that angling your wide shoulders {like mine} away from the camera is a win, arm and legs with daylight through them {elbows and knees bent} and chin down with a relaxed smile. Take a look in the mirror next time you’re hanging about your house on your own and examine how your body shape changes and shifts as you pose different ways. Choose a few poses that feel natural to you and look good that you can whip out when you need to.

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Practice makes perfect’ish.

Last but not least it’s time you get in lots and lots of photos. I sift through hundreds of photos of me a week from our impromptu photo shoots for my outfits for the blog combined with the selfies and daily outfit photos for Instagram. Not only does it make you aware of what you actually look like in photos but you become less critical about yourself and your features. It sort of makes you numb to the judgements you normally make when looking at a photo of yourself. So practice, practice and sooner or later you’ll achieve your own version of perfect.

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And that my friends is my top tips for settling in and taking better photos. I hope that for those of you who email me to ask for tips that this post will be a more comprehensive {than I can offer off the cuff in an email} guide to getting started in front of the camera. Don’t forget to remember that it’s all about making memories. You need to get over your aversion to the camera. It’s holding you back. Let it go today and enjoy those moments that someone calls to a group you’re in, let’s take a selfie! Haha.