The word photogenic has an intangible connotation, however, with a few simple tricks we can all pull off a great photo every time.
- Neck Pulls- As the camera converts us from 3-D to 2-D, we lose depth perception, appearing wide and more flat. Neck pulls can put back the dimension “lost in translation”. How it’s done: The basic idea is to separate your chin from your neck- the opposite of how you would make a double chin. Stretch your neck up high and stick your chin out- keeping it parallel, not down. It may feel awkward, but it looks amazing in photos.
- Show emotion- The eyes add emotion and are what tell the story. We use the muscles around our eyes to convey a message of how we’re feeling. Our awareness of how and when we use these muscles can activate emotions on command. How it’s done: Become aware of your emotions. When you experience different emotions throughout the day, make a mental note of which muscles around your eyes you use and how you’re using them. Practice using these muscles in front of a mirror to create various emotions. You will find that it’s similar to when you squint in the sun, or when the wind blows in your face, using mostly your lower eyelid.
- Smile like you mean it- We’ve all seen it before- that fake, cheesy smile we didn’t realize we made- most likely in a family portrait, cemented in history and displayed to the world on the living room wall. If this is your scenario, you probably reluctantly anticipated being photographed for at least a few days, stressed about looking perfect the day of, and fussed while trying to get to the location on time. Awkwardly you pose for the camera and are instructed to say “cheese” just before the shot, while thinking stretching your mouth from side to side is what’s necessary to pull of an award-winning smile. Whatever your scenario, fear no more. Here’s how it’s done: The easiest way to do this is to laugh just before the shot is taken. Learn to smile and laugh on cue. The next time you genuinely laugh, pay attention to how it feels physically, and make note of what it is you’re laughing about. You can do this with several different moments. Practice replaying yourself laughing in front of the mirror and note what it feels like to use your muscles around your mouth. When you go to take your next photograph, activate those muscles. Pull from your memory your experiences and play them over and over in your head.