It's All About Perspective (How to look Good in Pictures, Part 1)

perspective hands.JPG

So, you read my last blog and you decided you were going to stop hating yourself in photos – good on you! Have you decided you were going to jump into more photos and take more selfies and love the face and body you were given? 

But I left you to face that on your own, didn’t I?  And I’m sorry about that – unfortunately life got busy for me, and since I am new to blogging it was one of the first things that was put on the “to do list”, but unfortunately one of the last things that has “gotten done”. 

But I’m back now, and I’m going to give a few hints and tips on how to make those images look even better with just a few little tweaks.  This a going to be a multi-part blog, so be sure to subscribe to receive an email to let you know when I post the next installment.

Let’s get to know the camera lens itself and talk about perspective…. 

Have you ever heard that old expression “a photo never lies”? Ignoring that fact that we can use Photoshop to move things around, get rid of wrinkles and a few unwanted bulges; not to mention the filters that we can get for Instagram and Snapchat – is this really true?

The answer is yes…. And the answer is no.  Confusing huh? But what if I told you that all of it is true, but that the truth can come in different ways.  “Well then,” I hear you say, “is this a philosophy lesson? Or some tips on how to make me look better in the photo?”  Let me throw you one more idea – truth depends on your perspective.

We have 2 eyes, the camera has only one – the lens.  Do a small experiment for me… go on, it’s easy. 

Cover one of your eyes and look around you, in particular, look at the person next to you, or your dog or cat.  Do you notice that what is closest to you looks the biggest – I mean proportionally bigger than when you look with 2 eyes (this becomes more obvious the closer you are to the subject you are looking at).

Well, this is how the camera lens sees the world, and this is what we see in the resulting photo.  Look at the photos below.  In the first one (figure 1.1) I am standing with my hand just in front of my shoulder – my hand looks in proportion to my head and body, doesn’t it?  In the second one (figure 1.2) I have stretched out my hand towards the camera – see how much bigger it looks and my head looks smaller in proportion?

figure 1.1: holding my hand just in front of my shoulder it looks in proportion to my head and body.

figure 1.1: holding my hand just in front of my shoulder it looks in proportion to my head and body.

figure 1.2: Holding my hand out to the camera lens makes it appear larger than my head

figure 1.2: Holding my hand out to the camera lens makes it appear larger than my head

The same thing happens with the rest of your body.  If I put my weight on my leg closest to the camera and my hip moves towards the lens it will look proportionally larger (who wants that? – certainly not me!) 

figure 2.1: with my weight on my front foot closest to the camera my hips are emphasised and my body looks wider, also, you can see some bulges on my side which is unflattering....

figure 2.1: with my weight on my front foot closest to the camera my hips are emphasised and my body looks wider, also, you can see some bulges on my side which is unflattering....

So, without moving the camera or my feet, look what happens when I transfer my weight to the foot furthest from the camera and my hips push backwards. 

figure 2.2: note that with my weight now on my back foot my hips rock backwards and my hips look smaller as they are pushed away from the camera.  I also now have better shape across my back and my belly appears smaller. 

figure 2.2: note that with my weight now on my back foot my hips rock backwards and my hips look smaller as they are pushed away from the camera.  I also now have better shape across my back and my belly appears smaller. 

Notice how I have reduced the size of my hips and put more emphasis on the upper part of my body.  Note too that this gives me a nicer shape around my back and waist line, not to mention helps me pull in my pot-belly (argh – I knew I shouldn’t have had that 4th chocolate éclair on the weekend, but it was so yummy!).

So give this a go in your next snap - be it a family portrait, a holiday snap, an Instagram beauty or a selfie.  Post your image below or on send it on to me, I would love to see you all enjoying yourselves as you learn how to love your photos.

Next time I will be talking about posing and how to find what is right for you.  If you don't want to miss it, make sure you subscribe to receive an email link in your letterbox! 

Until next time, travel safe!

Love out, Amelia xo