Yes! you are photogenic!

If you can only read a smidge of this blog

 skip down to #5 and carry on!

A photograph is one of the most powerful objects in the world.  A photograph has the power to move us in an unimaginable number of ways. It can make us cry, love, laugh, feel amazing, feel helpless, inspire, devastate, a photograph can change lives for better or worse - so why not take control and always go for the better? A photograph is priceless and so are you. Few of us are natural born models and know exactly what to do in front of a camera. In fact it takes a lot of practice, time and a whole lot of self awareness to always show your best side in front of the lens. I've pulled together a few tips that can help you be your best!

 

1. Face

Possibly the most important part of a portrait is the face — the human eye naturally gravitates to looking at faces in photos. You don’t always have to look at the camera head on for every shot. Try looking away from the camera by turning your face so that the tip of your chin is pointing the same direction as your shoulder. Focus your gaze on on point at eye level, and let your gaze meet the lens in the next shot for a candid, natural looking shot.

2. Know your best smile

In an episode of Friends during a photo shoot, Chandler is trying to contort his mouth into a presentable grin, causing Monica to shout, “What is wrong with your face?” What’s wrong is that he is trying to smile with his mouth; if he can manage this, he seems to think, the agreeable photo will follow.  

While almost every smile starts at the mouth, a genuine smile will cause a ripple across the face until the eyes convey our feelings to the lens. So, to look good in photos, look through previous pictures of yourself and determine what smile you like the best. Try to remember the context, and learn how to mimic the smile so you can bust it out every time a camera appears. You don’t like the exposed gums? Do a three-quarter smile. You like the one where you’re laughing, oblivious to the camera? For the next picture, find a reason to laugh or just laugh ti yourself. One last note: don't say cheese! This will actually stretch your mouth in an unnatural way. Instead, try words ending with an “uh” sound (like yoga)

3. Eyes

Finally, after determining your most handsome grin, ditching the direct light and making sure you’re only giving the lens a sidelong glance, employ an old trick: Right before the camera clicks, blink. Not only do you avoid getting caught in a blink, but you also dodge getting caught with your eyelids sagging like you’re beat.  

In short, the blink encourages your eyes to be alert and communicative when the camera snaps the picture.  

4. Arms

It’s funny how these floppy, long limbs we call arms go from being useful to totally awkward when we point a camera lens at them. Chances are, you’re probably not the only one who doesn’t know what to do with your arms when posing for a photo. Next time, try one of these photographer approved go-to’s:  One hand in pocket, the other resting against a chair or other nearby prop, or your left arm hanging with right hand lightly holding your left wrist or elbow.

5. Attitude

You must believe in who you are. Believe in the story you want to project. This is the true secret to being photogenic. In fact it's the true secret to life's many challenges.  When you don't believe you are beautiful, smart, strong, you will likely be unhappy with the images.  The moment the camera clicks, your face takes on an expression of  what you are feeling. If it is fear, apprehension, doubt - that’s what makes it into the picture. So, in that moment the photo is being taken - tell yourself you are beautiful, strong, etc and that is what the image will show.

This is how you get attitude; this is how you become photogenic. This is how you tell your story!

 

 


Kelly DeGraff

JK DeGraff Photography, 10410 Old Indian Head Road, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772

By Day:  Senior executive with experience in establishing and managing national programs, to include executive, legislative, and operational issues at all levels of government. I have over fifteen years of Federal, Non-profit and Private sector professional experience in the fields of program collaboration, partnerships and emergency management.

Specialties: Strategic and operational planning, negotiation, writing, contract management, communications, government liaison, assessments and evaluation, curricula design and execution, training, and highly skilled in developing networks and building alliances.

 

By Night: wife, mum, creative, photographer, lover of life, a Christian women who loves the LGBQT community, supports Black Lives Matter, and social justice for all.