Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm Ready For My Close-Up

Some people seem to be naturally photogenic. The camera lens eats them up. In photograph after photograph, they look radiant and beautiful. When the camera comes out, they are thrilled to have their picture taken. Not me. I am one of those people who cringes when the camera comes out. I want to run and hide, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the picture is going to turn out badly. I am NOT photogenic. In every picture, my eyes are so red I look like something out of a horror film. I have more chins than a Chinese phone book. My face is shiny and glare is bouncing off my suddenly huge looking forehead. My red devil eyes are usually half closed, or at least one of them is, and I look stiffly posed and uncomfortable.

If the camera is your enemy as it is mine, here are some tips to help make posing for the camera a more pleasurable experience:

1. Relax. This is easier said than done, I know, but people who look great in front of the camera usually do so because they are not intimidated by having their photograph taken. They are relaxed and at ease, and so they don't come off stiff and looking posed. Here's where having a good photographer comes in handy. A good photographer will help you to relax by engaging you in conversation, playing music and generally helping you take your mind off the fact that your picture is being taken. Try to pretend the camera isn't there and be yourself. You'll eventually get the hang of it and become a much more photogenic subject.

2. Lighten Up. You'll be happy to know that, if your forehead, nose and chin appear to be shiny in photographs, it's entirely the photographer's fault. When photographs are taken under inadequate lighting conditions, the flash is going to find and reflect any little bit of light it can. You can reduce glare by powdering your face before having a photograph taken, but full and adequate lighting is the real key to a glare-free photograph…and forehead.

3. Chin Up. If you struggle with double or even triple chins, make sure you pay attention to the position of the camera. If a photographer shoots you from below, the appearance of double chins is going to be amplified many times over. Again, a good photographer knows to angle his or her lens at eye level or above, but if the amateur family photographer is making the rounds, you're going to have to watch the angle yourself. Become a diva (or divo) and refuse to allow your photograph to be taken from an unflattering angle.

4. The Eyes Have It. Again, lighting is crucial to reduce the appearance of red devil eyes in photographs, as is distance of the flash from the lens. Make sure there is full and adequate lighting in the photography area. Also, if the flash is too close to the lens, there is a higher risk of red eye, so good equipment counts. If you struggle to keep your eyes open for photographs, try this old photography trick. Close your eyes and have the photographer do a countdown before taking the photograph, then open your eyes and have the photographer snap the shot immediately after your eyes are opened.

Remember, the most photogenic subjects are those that are at ease in front of the camera, are themselves and let their personalities shine. Learn to relax and have fun, and you will soon join the ranks of the photogenic.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Leanne Phillips

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