Thanks to Instagram and Facebook, we’re all stalked by paparazzi these days—whether we’re ready for our close up or not. And while voguing may come easily to the pros, most of us haven’t been schooled in the photo skills that celebrities have learned through much experience.So before you risk acquiring a phantom extra chin or oddly morphed body for all the world to see, experts explain how to nail a figure-flatting stance every time. Stand at an angle
Taking a shot facing straight in to the camera can pack on the pounds. Instead, try extending one leg out in front, pivoting slightly and placing one hand on your hip. “This common celebrity pose is called the three-quarter angle stance—the result is a long, attractive diagonal line that draws the viewer’s eye across the subject and shouts confidence,” says pro photographer Chris Schoenbohm, formerly with the fashion paparazzi Patrick McMullan Company and now co-founder of Viewfinder.If you’re shy, hold something in your hand“If you feel too weird or pretentious with your arm on your hip, just hold on to something like a purse, water bottle or the edge of your jacket for the same slimming effect,” says model Shelley GoodStein, author of “Face This: Real Advice From Real Models, Photographers and Makeup Artists on How to Become Picture Perfect.” You can also cross your legs at the ankles or your arms at the wrists to sleeken your figure, adds Schoenbohm.
Size up, zoom out and add a filterWe were absolutely gobsmacked by Instagrammer MelVFitness’s recent bikini “before and after” photos that were taken within mere minutes of one another. The Aussie trainer swapped out too-small bikini bottoms for a larger size in slimming black that instantly got rid of her muffin top, and then zoomed out to take the photo so that her body appeared more proportionate in relation to the background. She stood up straight with her shoulders back (posture matters!), popped a hip and finally, she found her best hue. “Add a filter—’cause filters make everything awesome,” she tells viewers.Figure out your best profileIt’s true that we all have a more photographic left or right side. “Knowing your best side can change everything,” emphasizes Schoenbohm. If you’re clueless about yours, simply snap a few test shots taken from each side on your smartphone or digital camera and take a look at the results—it should be easily apparent.Two more key tips on the next page!Don’t suck inThis often relied-upon move looks obvious, and actually doesn’t make you appear slimmer, but rather like you’re constipated or holding your breath. (Not exactly the look of the moment.) “Instead, stand up straight by pulling your shoulder blades together and lifting your torso,” advises GoodStein. (Posture is so important it bears repeating.) A straight back and open chest instantly shaves five to 10 pounds off any frame, and you’ll appear more self-assured, too.MORE: How to Get the Enviable Posture of a Professional BallerinaAlways shoot at eye level or aboveStop anyone from crouching below you to take a shot. “Some people think that shooting from a lower angle will give the perception of height, but it’ll distort the image and add weight to the subject,” says Schoenbohm. Taking a photo from eye level or above not only keeps things in proportion, but will also help avoid the dreaded double-chin effect and keep undereyes from looking dark and puffy.MORE: Makeup Tricks for a Picture-Perfect Face