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  • Nina Bashaw

Posing Guide

1: Focus your eyes just slightly above the camera lens. Move your face forward a bit, and tip down your chin. There’s nothing wrong with a full-frontal smile, but a universal and handy trick is to tilt your chin at a slight angle. Be sure to keep a long, swan-like neck while pointing your chin down slightly. It’s a small adjustment but can make a major difference.

2: Put your tongue behind your teeth and smile. Poke your chin out and then slightly down. It will relax your face and get rid of the double chin. It feels awkward but translates well to the lens and can make the world of difference.

3: Keep your arms by your side. But not glued there. To look natural, they should be a little away from your body. While it may feel instinctual to put your hand on your hip to create a slender line with your arms, the pose can sometimes be a little cheesy. So when doing this pose, positioning your hands with your fingers out, palms facing behind you. Keep your shoulders back, and hold you arms slightly bent and away from the body. Always being careful to avoid doing the the "Mrs. Teapot" impersonation.

4: Test-drive your clothing options. With an indirect, natural light source, it will show whether blue really is your best color. Don’t wear something that easily shows wrinkles or your undergarment lines. Structured pieces that show off your best asset are generally your best bet.

5: As a rule, avoid crazy patterns, solid colored shirts usually look the best. Find which colors look best on your skin tone. Stay away from crazy prints that will draw attention away from your face. Also, wisely chose your outfit, be mindful of your bodies proportions and choose an outfit that inhances your shape whether it be, hourglass, pear, banna or apple. Most of all choose something that you love and will feel beautiful in. For family photoshoots think monochromatic. Personally, I don't like "matchy matchy" looks for family shoots or engagement shoots. However, I do like when peoples outfits "go" but not necessarily match perfectly. Granted you want your family shoot to look pulled together and well thought out, but this doesn't mean you all have to be wearing the exact same shirt and matching pants. You can always add a punch of color with a great shoes or a statement piece of jewlery.

6: Photos exaggerate everything. So go easy on the makeup. Don’t over do the make up, go for the classic and natural when applying foundation, eye make up, contouring, etc. Enhance your best and favorite features but don’t make yourself look like a clown. Think “less is more when applying your makeup. Everyone benefits from a little color in her cheeks, especially when a camera flash is involved. A cream or matte blush will make you look healthier, but avoid glitters and shimmers they’ll catch more of the light and look less natural.

7: Practice the classic model pose and find your best angles. Turn your body three quarters of the way toward the camera, with one foot in front of the other and one shoulder closer to the photographer giving your body the "S" shape. When you face forward and look directly at the camera, your body tends to look wider, so never be straight on with the camera. Give your body movement and be mindful of where your hands and feet are placed in the photo. Never make yourself look like you are missing a limb. Think long and lean when “posing.

8: For standing photos always hold your belly in, keep your buttocks tight, shoulders back, and spine straight. Same rule applies to hand and feet placement, never make it look like you a missing limb. Popping a knee, while comfortable, can break up the length of your leg. To create an extended line, cross the ankles and point the toe at an angle creating catwalk-ready, long gams.

9: Study photogenic people. And look closely at photos in which you think you looked best. What was your best angle? You’ll probably see that you were laughing or having a good time. When your photographer can capture you when you're relaxed or animated, those are some of the best photos. Be natural and have fun!

10: To feel at ease. Try closing your eyes, then opening them slowly just before the photo is taken. Make sure your pose is not too stiff or placed. Relax your limbs and feel free to let your body sway (walk, pivot, dance, etc.) to hit a stance that looks natural and at ease.

11: Look at many types of hairstyles to see which one suits you the best. If you have a wide face, try wearing your hair down. This will make your face look smaller and more proportional. On the other hand, if you have a small face, wear your hair up and out of your face. Bangs can make a high forehead appear smaller.

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