Good camera poses – Mookychick

Good camera poses - Mookychick

Everybody has a camera today. We use them to photograph memories, capture unique moments, capture ourselves and create artwork. There are times we want to look our best without the ‘school photo’ look, and think the pictures have come out great but find out later they’re not what we expected. Here are some tips to look your best on camera no matter where you are.

1. Post-Production

Most of the photos you see in magazines have been manipulated to perfection. Have you ever seen the ‘before’ picture of models? It’s nothing like what they look like after. Using photo-editing programs like Photoshop you can fix tiny errors like blemishes, dark shadows under the eyes and red-eye. Professional digital cameras also have a higher colour quality and resolution where everything can be retouched to perfection. Also you will be printing images that would be no larger than 9 x 11 inches. You do not need to retouch an image that would be life-size.

2. Fashion and makeup

Be yourself with what you wear and how you put your makeup on. Your style will interact with your surroundings in a variety of ways. It is up to you to decide what you want to look like when you are having your picture done. Contrast can sometimes work well (think harajuku clothes in a woodland landscape).

If you’re taking monochrome photos (black and white) then follow these makeup tips:

1) Red, black and dark blue lipstick would show up as dark grey to black on the image.

2) Powder-finished faces will show up as very soft and 90% of the time flawless faces.

3) Pale skin will show up as if your skin was bathed with milk.

4) Sparkles will show up as speckles of black and white with no grey. They will catch light if you have direct light on your face. Make sure the light is soft and diffused (see ‘Create your own studio’ below).

5) Pink, yellow, green, orange, cyan (not blue) and magenta will show up as a variety of greys depending on the shade. In monochromatic photos this isn’t recommended unless you are creating subtle shadows on eyelids or highlights on the inner corners of the eyes.

6) To exaggerate, use dark blues, blacks, red and brown colours.

If you’re taking colour photos try these makeup tips:

1) If it is colour and you can see it, it will show.

2) Create a colour scheme and balance it with your outfit and your background. Do you want it to clash or do you want it to blend with the theme?

3) Texture: do you want your eyeshadow loose like dust on your eyelashes or smooth like cream? Do you want your lipstick to be matte or glossy? Experiment with textures when applying makeup.

4) Look at the portraiture work of other photographers and makeup artists. They’ve probably done almost every combination of makeup and fashion known to the photo world. Use some of their techniques and photos as inspiration.

3. Good camera poses

There are two ways you can pose: naturally and artificially.

Natural poses are similar to spontaneous photography and reflect your lifestyle. A natural pose is where you are acting naturally with your own body movements, so you don’t look like you’re posing. In wedding photography, naturalistic photos are known as ‘reportage’. Natural poses work well if you are getting a slice of life – perhaps some people having a pillow fight on a sofa, or sleeping. Try to get someone to photograph you when you are not looking at them and you are thinking of something sad that you’ve never told anyone. You may see a natural picture of yourself with real soul.

Artificial poses involve twists, turns and some uncomfortable positions that we rarely ever do off the camera. These are the poses that you will see in magazines 90% of the time.

4. Environment

Check out your environment before you do a shoot, and be aware of the time of day, weather, lighting and the location. The easiest and most flattering type of lighting to work with is on a cloudy/overcast day. It’s where you get the most amount of diffused and even light.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative with lighting, bright light and shadows. You can get some strange lighting contrasts in stormy weather. Don’t be afraid to use artificial lighting too, like street lights, flash lights etc.

5. Head position

A good camera pose is to lean your upper body slightly forward and to pull your waist slightly back and tilt your head down. This is one of the best basic poses and is perfect for a variety of photography angles. Don’t exaggerate it too much – unless that is what you are trying to do.

6. Have fun

Break the rules once in a while and have fun. Show your personality on the camera and show who you are. Don’t be afraid. Sometimes the best photos are the ones where you and your friends have been the most outrageous.

7. Handling professional shoots…

If you are modeling with a professional photographer/studio, make sure you get a good night’s sleep and drink water. Not only will you look less tired but also you will be hydrated, allowing your skin to soften and glow. Water and rest will also help with circulation, which can prevent dark circles under the eyes (This is why it’s called beauty sleep).

8. Create your own studio

Get a friend and set aside an hour or two. Turn a room into a studio – think of what you could use as props from around the house. Interesting throws, masses of cushions and oversized cuddly toys are all good. Take photos of each other with as many props, as many poses, and as many outfit changes as you can.

A basic studio involves two lights and pieces of black and white poster board or foam core. One light should be to the left of the model and the other to the right both approximately 45 degrees from the front of the model. Foam core is used as reflected light or fill light. It is also used to soften light. Have the lights face the model at be at least 4 feet away from the model’s face. Use the foam core under the lights and to the immediate left and right side of the model. This will soften light and add or remove light from your model. Black adds shadows and removes soft lights and white adds soft light and softens shadows. From here you are free to adjust the angle of the lights and the placement as well as where you want your foam core to be. Remember this will take time and it will take some experimenting.

By the end of this shoot you should have around sixty photos. Sort through them and choose 5-10 you like enough to put into post-production and edit. You can then review the other photos and see what poses to use and why the 5-10 photos you chose were the strongest and also how you can improve. Soon you will be one step closer to taking your experience into the outside world!

All photos taken by Amber Kirylak