TOP TIPS FOR ‘KILLER’ SELF PORTRAITS
You’ve got the look to attract the judge’s attention for this year’s Glamour Girl Picture Contest by GlamourBoutique.com but now you just need to capture it with that perfect portrait. As we see time and again from previous year’s entrants it is possible with a little know-how to come up with perfect images. The judges like to see a full-length shot to see the entire femme-form but remember that does not have to mean a standing pose just looking to camera. Try to be a little creative with backdrops, posing and lighting to ensure you catch the judges attention for all the right reasons.
If you have someone taking the pictures for you that of course can be a great help but for many, we realize that what we receive are self-portraits. Normally, the more successful self-portraits are those taken with a simple digital camera as opposed to your phone camera which in most instances is obviously held at arm’s length. Holding a phone camera at arm’s length for your portrait can often result in the following:
- Blurriness caused by the arm shaking
- Appearance of over-exposure due to lens too close to the face in certain lit settings
- Appearance of under-exposure due to lens too close to the face in certain lit settings
- Almost impossible to achieve a full-length portrait shot due to close proximity to the actual camera/phone lens
- Crooked alignment – very difficult to achieve a well-aligned snap when holding the phone at arm’s length
If you do not have a friend available to help you to take the best self-portraits try to borrow a digital camera that has a timer, a tripod (you can buy one for less than $20) and ideally some form of backdrop like a curtain in a neutral color and very little/no pattern so that you remain the star and focus of the image.
Now you are ready to take killer self-portraits and here is a quick list of top tips to help you make it to the final round of the contest:
KILLER SELF-PORTRAIT TIPS
We have created these tips with the person in mind who will be taking a self-portrait, preferably using a simple digital camera and tripod though many of the tips apply when someone else is taking the pictures for you.
- SET-UP – Choose a location for taking your snaps hopefully with some form of a backdrop like a plain drape/curtain or even a doorway to help frame the subject/you. Ideal backdrop colors are White, Cream or Pale Grey but if not just make sure the color tone compliments you. Obviously, it needs to be well-lit and set up the camera and tripod in advance to get the right distance, angle, height etc. Place an object like a coat stand to replicate where you will be posing so that you can get the focus and framing correctly before you start shooting. You do not want to be stressing with all of this once you are dressed as you will get very warm very quickly with possible adverse effects on your makeup !
- YOUR OUTFIT/CLOTHES – Make sure you get the color and style of your clothes right. Try to recall the outfits you have worn that have garnered the most compliments. Think about your best assets; legs, face etc and how your outfit can help focus on that area. For example, a simple dark or black top is not only slimming but will draw focus upwards to the face.
- DRESSING/TRANSFORMATION – You are all set up for the shot now time to prepare and pamper yourself. If you take your time and enjoy the process you will know when the time comes that you look good and that confidence will come through in your pictures. Lay all your clothes out in advance and do the same with body-shaping garments and your make-up and accessories. Start with a shower so you are clean and refreshed then complete your transformation. Make sure you use face powder at the end of your makeover so you do not have shiny skin in all of your pictures.
- POSING – Take tips from top-model shots and look through fashion magazines to notice how fashion and glamour models use their bodies to pose. Cut out the best examples that look the most attractive to you and keep a collection of the best one’s to try. Notice that many models turn the top part of the body at the waist which gives the effect of slimming the waist area rather than posing head on to the camera. Bending the arms at the elbow is also a more feminine look than a typical male pose. To ensure your bust area is well formed and shaped slightly arching your shoulders will push out the bust area. Remember to hold in the tummy area (suck it in) when actually taking the shots. Try some poses and look back at the results on your digi-cam to see which works best before taking that killer shot.
- EXPRESSIONS – Again try to experiment with this to see what works best for you – if you have a winning smile then a happy shot will be best for you but for others that find smiling on camera feels false try sexy or coy, for example – just make sure it looks and feels right. Again, take a few test shots and review the results before deciding which one works best for you.
- CHANGE PERSPECTIVE – Most images are at eye level which works for almost everyone but sometimes you can try and change it up a little. Shooting from above eye-level will help avoid double chins if that is an issue in your pictures. Taking a shot from almost floor level when you sit with legs crossed but extended will give the effect of having long legs and body. Again, take some different shots and review the results to see what works and flatters you the best.
- PROPS – Many find it awkward posing in a natural way so think about using a simple prop or activity whilst posing e.g. holding a small clutch bag or painting nails or attaching an earring etc. Try it and see if the results are a little more natural for you.
A simple digital camera will allow you to experiment, review the results and keep practicing until you are satisfied you know what you are doing. Do the experimenting before the day of the shooting so you do not spend more time than you need to running back and forward to the camera and getting hot, sweaty and bothered.
See what works best for you, take your time, relax and most of all have fun !