November 15, 2010

How To Work The Camera………….

Posing 101……….

Technology makes life better………..correct? Well, we all have computers, we all have cell phones and staying in touch and sharing more timely information with each other is so much easier.  Of course a downside is that almost all cell phones have cameras, and most of them are able to connect quickly to facebook and many other social pages.  It used to be, that maybe there was a photographer at an event or party.  Now we all are photographers……and we all are models.  How do you overcome the urge to run out of the room when someone says smile??? What are the secrets to taking a good picture?

I remember one of my first industry events in my previous career.  Even though it was over 20 years ago, it seems like yesterday.  I was attending a big, worldwide industry event.  I had a phone relationship with many of my clients; I had spoken to them for months (years) but had never actually physically met them.  Ii also didn’t help that I was one of the few women, was on the wrong side of the industry, and was from New York…..basically in addition to being very green, I felt like I was persona non grata.  What to do, what to do? I saw I had 3 choices; sneak out of the room and go hide in my hotel room; hide in a corner; or take a swig from my drink and pretend I was Paulina Porizkova and work the room.  I did Paulina proud! It was also a turning point for me personally because I learned that it was good to get out of your comfort zone and prevail!

And it is all about learning how to get comfortable when you are out of your comfort zone.  Chances are when you see people who seem to be completely natural when posing in front of a camera, it is something they learned.  Go in front of a full length mirror…..strike a pose or two. Observe how your face and body look as you change poses.  Which ones do you like? Practice them , and most likely, it is a pose you will automatically go into once you see a camera.

So what happens when someone says “cheese”? If you are lucky, you are one of that blessed creatures who is photogenic and never takes a bad picture!  Or you’ve been to supermodel camp and can really work the camera. Then there are those of us who can’t wait to get it over with! For those of us in the latter category, here are some tips from Irina Smirnova of Sigen Photography ( on how to turn on the charm and work it girl!

First, do a quick scope of the background……you may not want to have that pole growing out of your head.  If it doesn’t work for you, nicely suggest that the group move to “better background!” to ward off any problems that you may have with the picture location. 

Next, you want to create a long, lean profile.  It isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  Do not face the camera directly.  Try to make a 45 degree angle with you and the camera.  The body seems leaner from that bit of an angle that you create.  Also, bend the leg that faces the camera.  And lean back……if you reverse it and lean on the front legs, the legs will appear shorter and heavier.  Pictures look better when they are taken from the middle of your body, not your top.

Keep your face at an angle as well.  It should face the camera more than the body, but it should have a slight tilt to it.  Your nose will look smaller if it doesn’t leave the cheek area, so don’t overly tilt your face.  There should also always be the symmetry. There are two eyes on the face.   If your body is fully showing, the same applies…..two hands, two legs…..if a limb is hidden, it will look strange.

Try not to talk, blink or eat while the picture is being taken.  Most amateur photogs and even event photogs don’t always have the time to compose the image or spend time posing people.  They just click.  Remember, it is your job to look good and show your style. Flaunt it and have fun with it.  Because when you look like you are having fun and are happy, it really shows. 

Here is a pic Irina took of me last month…..

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