Picture Perfect

By Anna Fialho

Picture Perfect

There’s nothing like taking a bad picture to cause one’s self confidence to take a nose dive. So we tapped New York-based celebrity photographer Billy Farrell, a red-carpet fixture and owner of his eponymous agency, to give us some tips on how to ensure that a bad photo op never happens again. Follow these simple steps, and you’re just a point, click and shot away from a frame-worthy keepsake.

1. Camera position matters

For a full-length photo, you want the camera to be positioned around waist level and at least eight feet away. “If the photographer shoots a full length of you while standing too high and close, you will most likely end up looking big-headed with tiny legs,” Farrell explained. “Too low, and the opposite can be true.”

2. Know your good side

Everyone has one side of the face that’s stronger than the other and, according to Farrell, this varies from person to person. So, take some time to study your face and determine which side is the more symmetrical side. When the camera comes calling, be sure to put that side on display.

3. No slumping

“Your posture should reflect your attitude—ideally, relaxed and confident,” Farrell said. So, shoulders back, chest out—in other words stand up straight.

4. Be hands-on

Hands on the hip can have a slimming effect, as it defines the waist and helps add shape. But, cautions Farrell, it won’t work if you only half mean it. “Whatever you do with your hands, do it with purpose,” he said. “If you’re going to plant them on your hips, then commit to it.”

A few other rules of thumb: facing the camera straight-on can have a widening affect, so angle your body with one shoulder slightly toward the camera; tilt your chin up a little to avoid the dreaded double chin; place your tongue behind your teeth for a more natural, relaxing smile; and, as silly as it may sound, practicing posing to find a comfortable, good look can work miracles.

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