Tips for top photo finish
Photographer Melissa Adams takes a photo of Sarah Smith. Photo: Karleen Minney
It is so true, you probably don't really look as bad as your passport photo or half as good as your Facebook photo. So how do we deal with that fickle friend, the camera, and end up looking more like the latter every time? Short of plastic surgery, personal trainers, Photoshop classes or actual stunt doubles, there are some free, painless and simple options that will summon your inner Elle Macpherson.
Lifting your chin ticks so many boxes it's got to be your favorite signature move. It immediately elongates your neck, if you have a big forehead (think Tyra Banks or Christina Ricci) it'll minimise that, it eliminates turkey-neck double-chin syndrome and it gives you instant attitude; confidence in photos equals a game-face that's most flattering for women.
But beware the short photographer, the lens should be eye-level or above. Get them to stand on something if you need, as it'll slim your face, too.
Make sure you don't look up too high, as nostril gazing is a fairly unpopular activity to most.
Simon says ''hands on hips''
Create an instant waist for yourself by creating a background through your arms. Bonus, a waist that's instantly smaller than it once was.
Try tippy toes
Face it, standing on flat feet won't give you the height of a runway model. Neither will standing on tippy-toes but you will gain a little height and awesome toned calves, slimming the ankles at the same time.
Mum said to keep your knees together
Want slimmer hips? Who doesn't? Turning one knee inwards gives the illusion of slimmer hips and the possibility of creating a space between your thighs.
Hips and shoulders
They're not connected, but definitely related. Stand side-on to the camera and then turn your shoulder to the lens - the emphasis on your shoulders will narrow your hips. Really!
Bust a move
Almost none of us are happy with our mammalian accessories. But too big or too small, we can fix it. Want to look smaller? Then lean forward, hunch your back and bring your navel to your spine. Conversely, the opposite - lengthening your waist, drawing your ribs away from your hipbone and popping a perky peacock-proud chest forward - will put your assets on show and trim your waist.
Window to the soul
Remember Zorro's Catherine Zeta Jones with her sparkling eyes in almost every shot? You can re-create that by always finding your light source. Look up to catch the sun or lamp light and find a twinkle. Or put it there by thinking about something naughty or nice.
Avoid excess baggage
Step away from the overhead light. Eye-bag shadows, ugh! You will look like one of the Addams family if the light hits you from above. It creates ugly shadows on your face, mostly under your eyes.
Zoolander had it right, right?
It is possible that the world-famous model didn't turn left because he learnt of the extensive research of one university that found the left side of the face is sexiest? Seriously, they found that your left cheek tends to show more emotion, which people tend to find more attractive. So turn your face slightly to the right, or at least find your best side and stick to it. You may find it's the side you part your hair on. Either way leave the ''blue steel pose'' at home, please!
Elbow your way to the top
Got arms more suited to a front rower than a top model? Bring your elbows forward in a shot instead of down by your side. This will equal longer, thinner, sexier arms just for you. Check your look in the mirror though, there's the danger of your photo looking like it was snapped midway through the birdie-dance if you get this one wrong.
One last piece of advice: don't be nervous and have fun instead. Genuine and unbridled happiness is the most attractive accessory you carry - show it off and you'll have pictures you want the world to see.