As a Vintage Boudoir Photographer, I am often asked… “So, Miss DeMuir, how do I look my Very Best in Photographic Images?” In fact, because it is so vital a question, I tend to provide an answer whether I have been asked or not! And this is how I reply:
Natural beauty is not the key to photogenia – awareness is! If you are not satisfied with how you look in pictures, you are simply not doing the right things. You may not have been born physically perfect but this need not hold you back – I have yet to meet the person who was and yet many still manage to look pretty good. This is super news – it means that you can do it, too!
The trick is very simple. You simply need to distinguish your better features from your poorer – and work on showing up the former whilst disguising the latter. Although there are differences between people, the basic layout of one human and the next is pretty similar and thus, the following generalised 7 tips will tend to work more effectively than any amount of makeup or even vast swathes of surgery:
1. Stretch out any wobbly bits. Taut plump bits tend to look better than flabby ones, but of course it’s a personal thing. If you are especially attached to your fat rolls then you need do nothing but if you are less enamoured, say, of your several chins, find a pose which stretches them out – lying down on your front and looking up at the camera works a treat, where feasible, and is a lot less dull than having every holiday snap featuring you standing upright and helps to combat the ‘gravity effect’ which standing upright produces.
2. Know your Best Side – we all have one – and when you have identified it, ruthlessly present it at all times (unless your talented Photographer tells you to do otherwise, of course). Experiment with this. Know Thyself, as the Oracle would advise.
3. Never stare directly into the lens unless you want to pass for a prize pugilist. Instead, look just a little above the lens and ever so slightly to one side (it does not matter to which). This will reduce red-eye and, more importantly, make you look far less like a Pit Bull on guard.
4. Never stand straight on to the camera, either, unless you are aiming for the ‘bulking up on steroids’ look – one shoulder turned slightly toward the camera with the other turned away does wonders for your willowy-ness and this stance encourages you to turn your face ever so slightly too – again, it is much more flattering that way.
5. To appear more svelte, keep your arms a little apart from your body – the overall slimming and toning effect is instant and natural.
6. …Major No. 1 ‘To Do’ Tip of All Time (this works for absolutely everyone)!
Put your tongue tip against the back of your top front teeth when you smile and push. It makes you tauten up beautifully around the jawline (how many of us do not need that?) and makes your smile look extra dazzling, whilst natural too!
7. The best tip of all? Perversely, and notwithstanding the above, it is to RELAX and enjoy yourself. The best and most intimate photography, in my experience, almost always comes about as the by-product of FUN.
Until next time, Chaps!
Yours in Camera
Miss R. Demuir, Photographer to the Starlets x
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As ever, (c) Miss Ruby Demuir and her mild(er) mannered alter-ego Bryonie Jones – 2011