Posts tagged ‘posing’

August 30, 2011

Does your profile picture work for you?

Whether you are a lawyer, a sales person, an executive, an entrepreneur or a creative type, you need a business portrait also called a headshot, mugshot, or executive portrait to use as a profile picture online, on business cards and brochures, in company annual reports, for the press, etc.

Why good profile pictures matter
Remember, first impression are difficult to change and a business portrait is the ideal way to show the public exactly who you are. So you need to put your best photo forward to produce the right first impression and there are several things to take into account when making that picture perfect.

How to pose
You need a shot where you look relaxed but confident and look into the camera for eye contact. The purpose of a business portrait is to connect and establish trust while you are not physically there.

How to dress
First, wear something comfortable – posing is hard the way it is and wearing clothes that don’t sit well will make you look stiff and unnatural. On the other hand, be aware of clothing that wrinkles easily as that will look sloppy and unprofessional.

Otherwise, your choice of clothing should be dictated by the type of image you are looking to project – conservative, friendly, artsy or approachable. Still, there are certain photography-related technicalities and some natural rules of perception to be taken into account.

Keep in mind that all black clothes might come out as a solid black spot while all white will reflect the flash light and might “blind” the camera. Off-white, navy blue, gray and brown, are better choices for neutral colors.

For women, avoid open shoulders and deep cuts. When you photo is cropped to fit the online format or the layout of the publication, you might appear as if wearing no clothes. It is better if you wear a long sleeve shirt which is more flattering on arms than short. Avoid busy prints and jewelry – they are distracting in photos.

Hire a professional or use a lucky amateur shot
Needless to say that a professional will deliver a good portrait with ease helping you with posing and setting the lighting in no time. But hiring a professional is not always an option when you are self-employed or an entrepreneur on a tight budget. In this case, if you have a good shot taken by an amateur, it can be enhanced to the level of the studio portrait. The photo below was improved at $11.95. Without the change of the background, this would have cost $3.50 – an affordable expense for any budget.


Contemporary consumer cameras go to 10 Megapixels and higher to give you top-notch resolution of any professional camera. With a good lighting, your friend, colleague or a family member can produce a decent shot of you that will be enhance to the grade of a studio portrait by a retoucher.

Should I get my photo retouched?
Professionally shot “executive portraits” normally get retouched. This is a subtle procedure to give your image a “fresher” (not younger) look. Any temporary skin imperfections like blemishes and rashes that tend to pop up in digitally shot photos due to the sharpness of the capture get evened out. If your eyes welled up with tears during intense posing and exsessive lighting, the retoucher will dry them and fix the eye redness. Flyaway hair that gives the image a sloppy look is removed. Makeup is fixed. Eyeglasses glare and unsightly facial shadows get eliminated. For men, shaving mishaps get corrected. Flashlight reflection that makes the face look oily is toned down. Lint is removed from clothing.

These might sound like trifle things but all these tiny imperfections, hardly noticeable in reality, get into the limelight when a person sees your photo for the first time. After all, it’s 70% how you look, 20% how you sound, and 10% what you say.

July 8, 2011

Point-and-Click Tips: Taking the Red Eye Glow Out Of the Picture

Red eyes (red glow in pupils) in photos is a common phenomenon when taking pictures of people or animals using a flash.


Some cameras support a “red eye reduction” mode.  In that mode the camera fires the flash a few times before taking the photo. Although this helps reducing the red-eye effect, it can also result in photos of people with their eyes closed (as they blink when blinded by the pre-flash).

There are a few things that you can do to prevent red-eyes.

1. Take the pictures with sufficient light in the environment so that your subjects’ pupils decrease in size.
2. Tell them to look to the side of your camera – not straight at the camera.
3. Have someone divert babies or pets’ attention so that they look away from the camera.

Some cameras include built-in image processing software that automatically removes red-eye from the photos, or you can use Picasa or other online photo editing software. Make sure that the software only effects the eye area and doesn’t change the color of other elements in the picture that happen to have the tint typical of the red eye effect. Software trips in such cases as it works on formulas and doesn’t exercise common sense.

Another option is having it done by professional photo retouchers for as low as $3.50, especially in case you have captured a close portrait in a dark environment and now the whole eye retina is glowing red.

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January 9, 2011

How-To – Rocking Your Facebook Profile

This is a funny how-to video on taking better pictures of yourself if you want a cool Facebook profile. Our professional advice: taking pictures of yourself is always a bad idea unless you are using a timer. For better results, ask a friend to take pictures of you. You need an immediate feedback on your attempted cool posing.

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December 3, 2010

Bringing Glamour to the Masses – This Holiday Season & Always

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May 18, 2009

Shooting for the Book

The wedding season hits in June and we at PhotoHand expect a rise in custom photo books design orders. Most of our clients have been in the wedding photography business for a while but there are a lot of talented young beginners who have been asking us to give them some tips on how to be prepared so that they are in the right place at the right moment and shoot enough material for a lively photo story.

We looked at the weddings albums that we have created so far and came up with this cheat sheet. A bride can also use this list when giving directions to her photographer.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A wedding is a celebration of a tradition and traditions by their nature adhere to certain scripts. Below are the points general to any wedding but if the wedding is to include some ethnic traditions or special family customs, that photographer must be notified of all such details beforehand so that he or she is able to capture every key moment.

Behind the Scene
The dress on a hanger
close-ups of any remarkable details on the dress
Accessories: flowers, shoes, jewelry, the rings
The bride getting ready (makeup, hair, jewelry, dress,shoes)
Family and bridesmaids assisting the bride
Others getting ready
Portrait of the bride
The groom getting ready (adjusting the ties tie or cuff links)
Portrait of the groom
Waiting for the Ceremony
The wide-angle view of the location
The groom waiting for the bride
The groom, the best man and the officiator
The ring bearer and flower girl
General view of the seated guests
Arrival of the bride

The Ceremony
The best man and maid of honor coming down the aisle
Each groomsman and bridesmaid coming down the aisle
The bride coming down the aisle
Wide-angle view of the ceremony
The vow and ring exchange
Signing of the marriage license
The kiss
The bride and groom coming down the aisle
Any special musician, singer, speaker, etc.

Formal Photos
Hands with the wedding bands
Formal group photos
Romantic bride and groom photos

The Reception
Details: centerpieces, the cake, decor
The wedding party entering the reception
Toasts
Cutting of the cake
The first dance
Dances with parents
Bouquet toss
Garter removal
Guests at each table
Dancing guests

Final Scene
The newlyweds waiving or walking away
Departing Limo

That’s it! Have a great shoot!
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September 12, 2008

Naturally Photogenic

by Heather Joy Roth

7 in 10 women and 3 in 10 men avoid having their picture taken according to the research published by Samsung Cameras in June, 2008. It seems everyone is afraid of how they look in photographs. Some people seem to be born with the gift of being photogenic, but all it takes are some simple tricks of the trade. Anybody can hide flaws, appear slimmer and look naturally radiant when they learn to work with the camera. Try out these tips to look your best in photos –

To Hide A Double Chin

Position yourself so that the camera is a little above your eye level.  This will hide a double chin effectively. You can also rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Tilting the head slightly back also makes a nose appear slimmer while reducing double chins. Practice different poses in the mirror until you feel comfortable and confident.

Don’t Say “Cheese”

Many people end up looking awkward because they freeze into expressions with “say cheese”. Take a breath in and relax. Don’t hold your breath, as you will look tense. Photographs that capture people in natural, relaxed and spontaneous poses are far more visually impacting than a frozen smile.

Happy Thoughts

When posing for a photograph, think of a funny moment that will make you laugh or smile.  A forced smile looks unrealistic, and a big grin that is posed runs the risk of looking fake.

For Women

If you know you will be photographed, wear colors that complement your hair color and skin tone. Blondes should wear lavender and soft blue, Brunettes shine in camel, gold and dark brown and Redheads look good in peach, golden yellow and golden brown. Do not wear heavy makeup, just enhance natural beauty and make sure to powder the T-Zone (the top of the nose and forehead) as oiliness will show up in pictures.

Posing Techniques

Look slightly above the camera when the picture is taken.  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis always applied this technique for photographs. It helps reduce the “red eye” effect.

For a full-length shot, position your body 45 degrees from the camera, then turn your head towards the camera. Stand with one foot crossed in front of the other and put weight on your back leg. This pose is very slimming . Paris Hilton and many top celebrities pose like this to look super slim. Stand up straight. Having a good posture will visually shed ten pounds off your body. Ladies, Stand with your hand on hip, twisting your torso towards the camera lens, this accentuates a slim waist.

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