Monday, April 07, 2014

How to Appear Slimmer in Portraits

As a business portraits photographer, one of the biggest obstacles which business owners tell me why they are not ready for a business portrait, is that they are unhappy with their appearance such as weight.

There are many easy solutions to this fear and dilemma. Although most photographers will not go to an extreme and use Photoshop to make someone look really skinny, an experienced photographer can help with ways to appear thinner and with success, help you look 20 lbs lighter!

Here are some of the ways I help my clients overcome these concerns with their body weight;

1. Wear Dark Solids

Clothing can work both ways. It can help you appear slimmer or help appear heavier. Wearing dark solids, dramatically gives the appearance of being thinner. The first reason is that dark solids help the viewer focus straight onto the face which is usually a stark contrast from dark clothing. The attention is naturally drawn away from the the body which is what your final aim is in a business portrait anyway.

The second reason is that dark clothing helps to conceal love handles and most other unwanted excess. It’s the illusion of light and shadow. Dark solid clothing may include black, charcoal, deep reds, navys, espresso and other dark variations of color.

Clothing design to stay away from are stripes, patterns, logos or prints which tend to over exaggerate weight and make one appear heavier. Stripes especially can make one appear wider. Other items of clothing to stay away from are overly form fitting clothes, bright reds or fluorescents. Aside from making you appear heavier, these colors also distract viewers from your face.

Lastly, stay away from high capped sleeves or sleeveless tops. The top of the arm is naturally at it’s peak in size. High capped sleeves and sleeveless tops tend to bring attention to this area. Stick with either long or jersey sleeves.

Wearing items on the no-no list and underneath a solid blazer may be helpful but not always. I always recommend to bring along a variety of outfits so that we can help if you are unsure.

2. Posing.

A good portrait photographer should show you how to pose you to help appear slimmer. Essentially they will use techniques such as turning your body at a slight angle away from the camera while bringing your face back straight onto the camera.

They should also help with posing your arm in such a way that will appear slimmer. This may be accomplished by placing the hand facing the camera on your lower hip so that it’s posed at an angle. All excess will naturally gravitate towards your body and be hidden from the camera’s view.

Additionally, extending your neck and chin up into the air and bringing it back down to a certain level right before the camera snaps, will help reduce double chins. There are more techniques given by an experienced portrait photographer that will be useful in appearing slimmer.

3. Prepare for Confidence

I always say that a minimum amount of mental preparation will help one feel comfortable and beautiful in front of the camera.

If you have a few days to mentally prepare prior to your portrait session, use affirmations and positive visualizations. Say an affirmation such as “I am comfortable and feel beautiful in front of the camera” paired with a positive mental visualization of you being happy and confident in front the of the camera. Do this at least twice per day.

Wear your best outfits that make you feel special. Additionally, splurging at a salon to do your hair and makeup should help you feel confident that you are preparing for the world to see you and your business at it’s best.

These techniques should help you get a leg up on conquering your fears of taking a business portrait. We all know that there is never an absolute perfect time where we feel comfortable with our bodies. There is no time like today!

Start attracting customers today!

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