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24th January 2008, 11:15 AM
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(An Article from POSTmag of Borneo Post Newspaper dated 13 January 2008 (Sunday) by Margaret Apau)


You went out with friends, had the best bash you’ve had in a while and dressed to kill – so why do your photos look like the exact opposite?

Whether it’s a double-chin you didn’t know you had, an extra tyre around the midsection or flabby arms, we all forget some basic rules when we take candid photographs.
While we don’t make our living by the camera, here are some basic guidelines on how we can improve on a candid shot.

Mind your posture. Slouching gives you the appearance of a hump on your back and if you’re in a seated position it also maximizes the appearance of an extra tyre because your spine is sinking into your waist. Doing the exact opposite by jutting your chest forward and tucking your chin into your neck isn’t correct posture either.

1. Just to get an idea of proper posture, stand in front of a mirror and make sure your ears, shoulders and hips are in line with each other. While they should be loosely in line with each other, the spine itself should curve naturally in a slight S-shape. You’ll know you’re doing it right when the tension you normally experience from slouching starts to drain away.

2. Discover your best angles. Some people, men especially, haven’t left the primary school pose behind. When you’re facing squarely into the camera with your arms down at your sides, you can look stiff and boring.

The classic model pose is to turn your body ¾ to the camera, position one foot in front of the other with your weight on the back foot.

While this certainly adds more dimensions to “primary school frontal”, it’s not ideal for every situation. Ideally, you should take some time with a digital camera and experiment – find a facial expression and an angle that you can be proud of.

While you’re looking, keep in mind that one pose doesn’t fill all. Using the classic red carpet pose while you’re standing next to your grandmother in a family portrait can look out of place.

3. Diminish the appearance of a double chin. Try to position yourself so that the camera is a little above eye level. Alternatively, you can try tucking hand under your chin without actually resting your head fully on it; otherwise you’ll be mushing the skin on your face into another unflattering angle.

4. Pick clothes that flatter you. If you have a short neck and a round face, round-collared T’shirts accentuate these features more.

A poor choice of colour will either overpower or drain your complexion so pick wisely and pick age appropriate clothes that don’t have tacky animal prints on them accompanied with nonsensical words like “Happy Days make Munchy Happy”.

5. Love the camera. Think it’s annoying having your photo taken? Think how annoyed the photographer is when they see your begrudging grimace in their photo album!

Sometimes people are good at something like having their photos taken because they genuinely enjoy it.

While I’m not encouraging you to be an attention-hog who pushes everybody else out of the frame, “fake it till you make it”.

Pretend that Johnny Depp or Zhang Ziyi or someone else you adore is taking your photo. You could also try to think happy thoughts while you’re posing. These happy thoughts will actually come through in your expression and translate into a more flattering photo.

At the end of the day, photo taking only takes a second, so why don’t you give it your best shot?

Sila bagi seketul-dua komen anda.....terima kasih.

2nd April 2008, 12:00 AM
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