Our Family Photos And The Un-photogenic Me!

By: Rachanee28
You know, there are those of us that are photogenic and those who are not. Alas, I fall into the latter category. There's just something about looking at myself in photographs that makes me want to wear a balaclava. Whenever there's that dreaded family photo shoot looming at a function or get-together, I run for the hills. Okay, so it's perhaps a little over the top, but I really don't like to see myself in any picture frame, let alone the family photos that are spread around to the relatives. Anyhow, after studying a little on the subject of portraiture, I now have a better understanding of how to make the best out of a bad mug shot.

Have you ever wondered why a real good looking man or beautiful woman can appear so ordinary and sometimes just plain ugly in print? Well, a lot of it's about facial bone structure and particularly the cheek bones. Additionally, there are shapes and contours to the face that are not noticeable outside the lens but for some reason they are exaggerated in photographs. It works the other way too. Some plain or even hideous looking individuals can look just great in a snap shot. This is why so many dating agencies have failed to bring couples together. These lonely hearts are quite often not truly represented in their online portraits.

Obviously, whenever we are asked to provide a photo of ourselves, whether it's for a family, a friend, or a formal document such as a passport, driving license, resume, etc, then we always go for the best shot we have which is usually the one that looks the least like us. As far as family photos are concerned, we have little control over the situation as we're part of a group and just have to make sure they catch our best pose.

However, there are things we can do to ensure we get the best out of our face pics even if we're not particularly photogenic. To start with, everyone has a good side and a bad site when it comes to photography. The first thing you need to do is to ascertain which is your best side and then make sure it's facing the camera at the moment of click. Always have your head slightly to one side. Full on frontal mug shots are truly awful unless you're just perfect in every way. You also need to know if you come out best with a full smile, a half grin, of just an expressionless look.

Avoid flash if possible. It's just the most unflattering light there is. It's both harsh and cruel. Flash lighting can bring out skin imperfections and devil like glares you never knew you had. Diffused lighting (especially natural daylight) is the most flattering. Early morning, or late afternoon is the best. Avoid having your picture taken at mid day when the sun is at its highest and harshest. The best light ever is a sun that's covered with a thin veil of high cloud.

Sometimes, if you tilt your head down slightly and look up to the cameras lens, this can bring out a softness which works especially well with the ladies. Don't forget to keep that head to one side though. The best angle is where there is only one ear is showing. If half an ear is visible on the photo then you need to move the head around slightly until one ear is out of shot. You will get to know your own position.

There are lots of tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your pictures. Now that we have digital photography, you can practice until your hearts content. You will soon get to know which pose and posture suites you best and you'll go into autopilot every time that camera points your way.

To summarize then, focus on the following points until you're happy: Lighting, head positions, smile, grin, or expressionless, and find your best side then stick to it. Hey, who knows, you might now be fighting to get in on all the family photos of the future!
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