Having been in this business a few years, and being on both sides of the camera, I've become quite serious about what it takes to get a good picture. I used to choose and edit my own photos and when studying models and their poses in magazines it became obvious to me that there was a missing ingredient to the pictures on my own site...
I know that there are a few of you that are saying "Of course there's a missing ingredient, they have the perfect model." Even though there are people out there that are very photogenic or that are born beautiful, IMHO there is no such thing as a perfect model, 'we all have to work at it in one way or another.'
So my search for this missing ingredient began. The first thing I did is watch modeling shows on T.V. and studied their poses, watched how their makeup was applied and listened to them talk behind the scenes about all their creative little secrets to looking so good. Next, I went to the magazine racks and searched for magazines that revealed models and their secrets, and then finished it off by watching talk shows with models discussing their clever little tricks to getting a perfect picture everytime.
The missing ingredient ~ "The model's secrets"
Always tip your head slightly upward
The natural thing for most people to do is to tip their head down and shyly look at the camera; this creates a shadow, wrinkled skin and an extra chin (double chin effect). Tipping your chin up will take all these ugly flaws and hard work for the editor away.
Don't look down
Looking down shyly at the camera creates shadows and lines under the eyes (bags under the eyes effect). Tipping your eyes and head up a bit will help disguise the fact that you didn't get enough sleep last night.
Suck in your stomach
Being 'real' is important in a picture but it doesn't necessarily mean that we need to show off relaxed stomach muscles. Remembering to hold in your stomach will only add to making you look thinner and better proportioned and less like you've just been to Dunkin' Donuts.
Arch your back and stick out your ass
This doesn't mean to sway your back to the point of looking like an old horse, what it does mean is that if you don't have much of an ass to start with, slouching your hips forward isn't going to help show off what you do have, and it will only make you look like a scared dog with his tail tucked between his legs — 'not cute.' On the other hand if you put it out there to show it off, the picture is only going to show you just how nice your little ass is.
Stand up straight and put your shoulders back!
Hmm: where have I heard this one before? Most people have the bad habit of slouching, and in pictures it looks hideous! Not only does it make you look like the hunch back of Notre Dame, but your breasts hanging in a downward position from shoulder slouching makes you look like you should be in a National Geographic Magazine instead of modeling for the cover of Beautiful Girls. So like mom constantly tells me, "Remember to stand up straight and put your shoulders back!"
Stand slightly sideways with one foot in front of the other
Standing straight forward with your feet together tends to make you appear wider to the camera and really should be left to the police department's 'suspect line up' for identification purposes; for modeling it just tends to make you look scared and fat. Standing a little to the side with one foot in front of the other, narrows and smoothes out the harshness, creating a softer pose.
Use your eyes
I don't mean squinting or the wide eyed look like a cartoon character gets before he's been run over by a steamroller. What I do mean is, look at the camera and make love to it with your eyes. Tease the camera like it's a person that you are interested in for your naughty desires. The eyes are the biggest secret to retaining some ones attention, if you learn to use them in your pictures, like a magnet they will pull at a person's curiosity to see and want more.
Apply cold pressure under puffy eyes
Take two soup spoons and keep them in the freezer. If you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see two slits where your eyes are suppose to be "and you're not Chinese," run to the freezer, get out your spoons and place the back of them under and over your puffy eye lids until the swelling goes down. Or move to China where it doesn't matter.
Only smile when it's real
Have you ever stood in front of a camera waiting for the person to capture the right moment? Waiting and waiting and waiting until your smile starts to fade and your lip starts to quiver? The picture always shows a stressed smile, so what's the point? Relax and think of a favorite thing 'then smile.' If you can't do this, then don't try to smile, let your mouth relax and wait until you smile naturally while the camera's clicking. Heck, even pouting is cuter then a stressed smile.
Cut all tags and strings from clothing you are going to pose in
It is true that when a tag pops out, and is sticking up in the back of your panties covering that cute little tattoo, or a string is hanging from under your arm in your pictures, that it can be edited. But it saves on the editing time, the embarrassment of showing the under arm string that you didn't see until it was already live on your website, or the frustration of losing the cute little tattoo you had to edit out because of the tag, if you would have just removed the tag beforehand.
Point your toes and arch your feet
It's ok to let your feet flop or to place them in a pigeon-toed position if you're trying to be a clown. But if you want them to appear smaller and prettier for your pictures, then always remember that arching feet and slightly pointing your toes will give your legs a little muscle lift, thus making the ankles appear smaller, ending with your feet looking sexy and more appealing to the eye.
Wash your feet
And when wearing cute white socks in pictures, make sure the bottoms of your socks are clean. Personally, I just hate it when I see a beautiful picture that would have been perfect if I didn't have to keep staring at the annoying stains on the bottom of the model's feet or socks. Believe me, soiled and stain spots ruin the whole picture.
Use a water mister when posing nude or in a bathing suit
Leave the dry, flaky skin to the turtle. When your skin is dry in pictures, it either looks faded or shows off your pores. If you 'sprits' your body with water before a shoot, your skin will glisten and look refreshed, showing off your tan, and it will even give your muscles a little more definition.
Try using these 'secrets' and the less editing you'll need, and the more photogenic you will be! ~ Ayrora