I have always hated taking pics, especially the mandatory ones like school or graduation pics. You get caught mid blink, with a snarl like Gargamel...... (Oh Come on! He's the villain in Smurfs!) and contorted in ways you could not have imagined or for many the dreaded double chin, or protruding cheeks to name a few.

As you go through life, as much as you avoid it, there are instances where you just have to take them, from University id cards, to group pics at work functions or going away pics, welcome back pics, Birthdays, Holidays, weddings and then there's the selfie virus which leeches on you until you give into the madness. Yeah I have definitely gone mad!

So here are ways to never take a bad pic again,...well can't control the photographer;) If you have got skincare and makeup under wraps scroll down further for practical tips I use when I take a pic.

1.  Skin and Bodycare:

We don't all have access and know how to photoshop, and the camera can in terms of imperfections only blur so much. Good skincare is vital, and here's what you can do to improve your skincare:

* Drink water often, donot underestimate its power because you have heard this repeatedly. Avoid fizzy drinks, limit your 100 % fruit juices to 125 -250ml a day and dilute with water. Limit or avoid coffee and high caffeine beverages (if you limit and not avoid, then increase your water intake) and opt for more herbal teas minus the sugar. Use creamers?, chuck them and use milk or nothing, creamers are high in saturated bad fats that provoke or induce acne. Golden rule: when in doubt, drink water! water retention in the form of a swollen face is never a good look!
* Stick to a routine, your skin will love you for it. Cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and evening to maintain balance. Include Exfoliation atleast twice a week to slough off dead skin, this is necessary to make sure your daily skincare works effectively and treat with a good nourishing face mask. If you are in your late 20s, start using a good eye cream and night cream, if you cannot do this, then atleast always remove all makeup before bed.
* Avoid night snacking unless you are going to be good and pass the crisps or "sodium suicide" chips and opt for a mini tub yoghurt.
* Workout at home or at the gym, if you want amazing skin. It's good for you on so many levels from improving blood circulation to oxygen intake and sculpting lean muscles and it shows in your pics on your skin, in your clothes and your posture.
* Visit a dermatologist if you have a skin condition. I see so many people living with warts...yes that's right, you can have these removed by your dermatologist. You will never know the answers to your questions if you never ask!
* Use an SPF of 15 or sure to take Vit D supplements if you wear a high coverage SPF.
* Rest those peepers! maintain a sleep routine, going to bed everyday at the same time and arising too at the same time, maintain this if you can on weekends too. You will see a difference in your eyes and energy which will alter your posture and show positively in pics.
* Visit the dentist for a good clean and polish. Whiten your teeth either naturally, with a home kit or at the dentist. Stained teeth makes you look older so does chapped dry lips.
* Brighten your peepers with eye gene or moisten dry eyes with appropriate eye drops.
* Get regular peels at your skincare salon.

2. Makeup

Chances are if you love the way someone else takes pics, it's most likely due to their makeup.

* Go for a class, workshop or have your experienced family member teach you hands on. Do your research and find out about the school you want to attend from previous students.
* Update your current makeup skills, what worked 5years ago may not be suitable for you now.
* Don't forget to groom your brows with a clean mascara wand, or angled brush, once you have mastered shading areas with sparse brows. Remember not to use black for dark brows but dark brown to avoid looking too intense, angry or tired.
* Try changing your lipstick shade, the right colour will make you look fresh not dull. Experiment!
* Please avoid over blushing, contouring or bronzing your apples. Too much can significantly age you on camera.
* Try different techniques but stick with the ones that work for you and not against you.
* correcting your under eye colour before you conceal it makes a world of difference and can take you from tired to fresh!

Practical Advice to look good immediately in pics: The real stuff!

3. Avoid facing the camera full on, with your entire body to the lens, stiff like a robot, you will appear larger or wider. If you have to face forward, strike a pose by placing a hand at your waist to appear cinched in or try these interesting poses.

Feet forward gaze to the side 

Cross your legs at the calves it slims the hips (shhh!) and make use of those pockets

4. Tilt your head to the right or left a bit, to avoid looking too intense unless that's what you are going for. You may need to practice in front of a mirror. Try finding your best angle using the advice in this great video:
Find your best angle!

5. Turn the best side of your face to the camera, we all have a side we might favour a little more. For most people it's the left side of their face or whichever side looks best! Mine is right:)

6. Smile with your eyes, by closing them slightly (Squinch), the way they do naturally, when you smile. Avoid widening them which will make you look spooked.  celebs do it all the time.

Priyanka hooked on her series Quantico!

Charlize Theron

Check this link out:
It's all about the Squinch!

7. Bring your forehead forward and slightly down, it may feel weird but this will eliminate the dreaded double chin. You can also try touching the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Check out another link by Tim Hurley:
It's all about the Jaw!

8. Keep arms away from the body to make them look slimmer. When they are squashed close to your body, they appear larger. Cross your arms only if you want to appear powerful or to intimidate, it is a a stand off-ish pose.

9. In group pics, remember that the closer you are to the camera, the larger you will appear. Take interesting group pics...sit, stand, walk, balance, run...blow bubbles, baloons, make use of backgrounds and good lighting...endless possibilities.


10. For seated positions with the camera up front: Sit up straight, cross your legs towards your neighbour, or just cross them, but don't press down your top leg over the bottom one, instead raise it slightly (too much can look awkward, but slightly will slim the legs). Lower either your right or left shoulder whilst you tilt or turn your head towards either shoulder..see which you prefer. Practice makes perfect. My secret would be to practice each body part first, then combine them. You can have a few go to poses for pics.

Taylor Swift using the same poses...her go to seated pose?

Great seated pose to draw attention to your new shoes

11. Always maintain good posture, pretend a string is holding you up straight from the top of your head. Ears in line with your shoulders. Shoulders must be pulled back and remember to bring your forehead forward and down to avoid double chin.

12. Try posing with one shoulder away from the camera, so almost standing sideways but still facing toward the camera. You can try various positions with your hand and legs but be sure to look natural and not awkward. See below.

Blake Lively nailing it!

Karlie Kloss in a pose we can all do;)

13. Always come out dark in daylight pics? means you are taking pics from the wrong lighting direction. Hold the camera out in front of you in selfie mode and turn to 360 slowly at a time to find the most flattering direction from which you should be shooting and standing. Adjust your screen brightness on your phone...yup! take it off auto;). Good lighting will result in clear definition of your facial features and no shadows under the eyes or other areas. The best times to capture pics are generally early in the morning or late afternoons, when the sun is high it casts shadows.

14. Keep your style and fashion sense in check. Dress to suit your body type, occasion and wear what you look and feel good in as all of it shows on camera. Remember Red is the most captivating colour you could wear on camera. More tips for on screen dressing coming soon!

15. Its all about the Crop and the zoom. Don't over zoom...most android devices display full screen pics and when those facebook profile changes happen it can spook your friends off their feet! Cropping is just as important and almost the same as zooming, the more you crop...the greater the zoomed in effect. Cropping too much may not give the eye much to look at, and not cropping enough may allow things to attract the eye more, than what you would like to draw attention to. So crop to make the pic interesting yet still draw attention to what you want.

16. Capture your dress flowing in the wind and movement and creases in your clothing when you move...this makes for more interesting pics. It allows the viewer to understand the softness or texture of fabrics and to be drawn to the movements.

17. Create Illusions! these are my absolute much fun!

18. No matter what the pic or where, Have fun! pics should not only portray beauty of its subject but the general mood or atmospehere...and sometimes that's all that counts!

Here's to better pics!

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