I’m Tina Chisnell; welcome to my blog.
If you are a prospective client please take a moment to browse through my portfolio for examples of my work.
This is a space where I will share some advice and tips to help you to make the most of your photo sessions as well as sharing some of my random thoughts on life, the universe and everything.
I hope to see you soon.
There's so much to think about isn't there? If you've read any of my previous blog posts on posing you'll see that it's not all about having a killer smile or sultry looks. You have to think about what you hands, arms, hips eyes and … today's topic, feet are doing. If you forget to pose one of these body parts it's not the end of the world, but it can be the difference between a great pose and a “meh” pose.
So, feet. To put it very briefly you want to avoid having your feet pointing straight ahead and having them in the same plain as one another. You also want to avoid equal distribution of your weight into both feet. It's easier if I show you what I mean and I do have a video in my Pose like a pro guide (see main menu), but I will try my best to describe it in words.
You don't want you feet to look like you are a soldier standing at attention... yes it looks neat and tidy but it certainly doesn't look relaxed which is generally the look you are going for in photo session.
To avoid this rigid, awkward look, you have many options; I will go through a few here.
And that's your very brief guide on what to do with your feet. For more information on posing your feet head over to my pose like a pro with your feet video.
You’ve booked yourself in for a photo shoot and you want to look your best. Of course you don’t HAVE to wear make up and many people don’t and look gorgeous. However, if you want to wear make up, here are a few tips to help you to get the best results.
Before I begin, I am not a make up artist and this advice is just things I have picked up from doing many photo shoots on subjects wearing make up and doing a bit of research on make up that works well with studio strobe lighting.
You wouldn’t be the first to think that you can get away with wearing your every day make up – but not everyone can. The first thing to remember is that a studio setting is not the same as natural light and so the camera won’t always “see” what you see in the mirror!
Tina’s Top Tips on make up
Finally smile, relax and try to forget that there’s a camera pointing at you – you’re fabulous!
We've probably all heard the phrase “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” The viewer is drawn in to the eyes of a portrait. That is why it is important to remember to pose the eyes (see previous bog – How to avoid looking creepy).
As well as posing eyes, we also have to remember to make sure the eyes look vibrant and alive. The way to do that is to ensure there is a catchlight in each eyes.
What is a catch light?
A catchlight is a small spark of light in the eye which makes the eyes sparkle. So how to you get these catchlights? Well, they are created by a reflection from a bright source of light this could be the sun, a light bulb, a torch or a strobe so all you need to do is make sure you are in a room or outdoors with a light source and there is nothing blocking the path between you and the light. You don't have to look directly at the light source – in fact if the light source is the sun, you definitely don't want to be looking directly at it but the reflection in your eye should be visible.
If you are taking a selfie, this should be one of the things you look out for by perhaps taking a photograph and zooming in on the eyes to check whether you have a catchlight. If not and your eyes look a little dull or dare I say it... dead, reposition your head to ensure you can see a catchlight in your eyes.
If someone else is taking your photograph; it makes life easier as they can position you correctly before taking a photograph.
If that all seems a little picky I'll show you an example of a photograph with and without catchlights and you can see the difference for yourself.
These two photographs are identical except for the removal of the catchlights from my eyes in the photograph on the right. As a result, my eyes look dull and lifeless in this picture. It's a subtle but important difference.
Something I have learned about posing clients is that hands really matter. Not only can badly posed hands ruin a potentially great photographs, not posing hands at all can leave clients feeling uncomfortable and they will often ask the question, “what should I do with my hands?” You see, people feel more at ease posing if they have something to do with their hands; they feel they can be more natural within their pose. If you try it yourself and pose in front of the mirror but leave your hands by your side, it somehow makes you feel more vulnerable. (At least it does for me!) So while you are thinking about your perfect smile and popping out that hip, don’t forget to pose your hands.
There are a few things you can think about to make sure your hands aren’t appearing distracting, awkward or tense.
Firstly, make sure hands aren’t clenched into a fist or rigid like breadsticks. Fingers should be slightly separated and have a soft bend at the knuckle - not straight and rigid but also not so bent that they appear claw –like.
The next thing to consider is hand placement. Make sure your hands are not pressed into your face or body. When you lean your face into your hands, it alters the shape of your face. It can squash your chin up towards your lips or form dimples in the cheek (not in a cute way!) Pressing your fingers into the waist can make you appear tense or nervous – like you’re gripping on for dear life. To fix this problem, gently stroke the face rather than leaning onto your hands. I often ask clients to wiggle their fingers before softly placing their hands back onto their face or body. This avoids the poker straight finger appearance but also encourages soft, delicate hands.
Another common problem is the palm of your hand (who would have thought?) The palm of your hand has a large surface area and tends to be a brighter part of your skin. It is therefore quite distracting, particularly if it is posed near to your face. To help clients achieve more elegant looking hands, I ask them to alter the position of their hands so that the pinky side of their hand is facing the camera. This is a more slender part of the hand and achieves a more attractive less distracting pose.
And there you have it, a few tips to get you started on posing your hands. For more tips have a look at my posing guide: pose like a pro with your hands and arms.
Let’s talk clothing. A factor to take into consideration when sifting through your wardrobe in preparation for your photo shoot is your silhouette. My advice is to choose clothing that does not obscure your natural silhouette. This doesn’t mean you should wear skin tight clothing but just make sure your clothes fit you well.
However, in some cases, even if your clothes fit well, it can still remove all evidence of you having any curves. In the picture on the left, I have a shirt on which isn’t baggy but it doesn’t show my shape, in fact it makes me look a bit blocky. If you draw a line from my shoulder to my hip, it is pretty much a straight line. Even though I have popped my hip out in this picture, you can’t really see the resulting curve.
Looking at the picture on the right, I’m still wearing the same shirt but by placing just one hand on my waist (not my hip!) it immediately cinches in my waist and introduces a curve. You can now see the effect of my popped out hip. It produces a far more pleasing silhouette created just by altering the placement of my hand. As my friend the Aleksandr would say, Simples!
For more advice on making the most of your curves, have a look at my video: pose like a pro with your hips.