Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

Strike A Pose December 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:27 am



This blog post is most likely too late to be of benefit for your Christmas card photos, but hopefully it’s not too late for holiday party and family get together photos. In either case, fasten your phone cam seat belts; it’s photo season! The stockings are hung with care, presents have been bought using much thought, but what about photos? You want to be ready for them too. What’s your best angle? What’s the best way to pose? It’s all right here. Just read on!


Everywhere you go people are taking photos, mostly with their phones. Group photos, scenic photos, food photos, and of course, selfies. Sometimes I look at photos of me and think, “Eeeww. That was a horrible way to pose!” Other times I think, “Hmmm…not too bad!” So what gives? What makes that all important “to post or not to post” difference?



In a nutshell, you might say half of it is your body type and what you wear and the other half is how you angle that body and clothing toward the camera. It goes without saying that you should try to face a light source (rather than have it directly overhead for example) and that whatever is closest to the camera will look the biggest, but there are also other tips you can bank on, including these simple rules of thumb:


  • Stand tall and stand up straight. Slouching is both unflattering and makes you appear unsure of yourself.
  • Relax! Unless you’re a model or a millenial, you probably don’t like having your picture taken, but when you do, relax. Don’t tense up or try too hard, and don’t forget your hands. Keep them soft and natural.
  • Put your hand on your hip. Yes, those millennials were onto something when they patented this move as it really does slenderize your arm (as long as that arm is either thin to begin with or covered up if on the bigger side) and creates that relaxed feeling discussed above. But, as with anything, don’t overdo it in every photo you take. Pick and choose. Here are some examples of celebs of all shapes, sizes, and ages doing it best:

blake-at-2014-cannes octavia-spencer1 taylor

merly  xreese  charlize-theron-oscars

  • Twist your body slightly to the side. I have trouble with this one, as I don’t want my backside in a photo and unless I do the twist just so, I am anything “butt” happy with the shot. Still, remember that straight-on shots show you at your widest so practice this move and get it down.
  • Angle your chin up and out, which will help elongate your neck.
  • Pull your shoulders back. This will make you look taller and also more polished and poised.
  • What you wear matters. Dark clothing can slenderize you but bulky clothing won’t. You may think your hiding your flaws but you just might be making yourself look heavier than you really are.
  • If sitting, cross your ankles, not your knees and if standing, place one foot slightly in front of the other and turn one hip out just a smidgen.
  • Keep your arms away from your body. The goal is to create space between your arms and your torso. This is something you really need to practice as you don’t want to look unnatural.
  • Practice your smile. You don’t want to look silly and you want to look natural. This is another area that’s hard for me. If I smile too big, my eyes squint and appear too small but if I “soft smile” I feel I look a bit put off. I’m working on this.
  • Stand in the middle of a group. This way, you can slightly turn into or lean behind someone next to you and essentially crop out some of your body. Another option is to stand at the end, which I’ve discovered allows the cropping out of what you don’t like. Here’s me doing both on my annual college girls trip last year:





Smile! It’s a Selfie!


You can thank selfies and Instagram for much of this. I still cannot take a good selfie for the life of me, but I do love Instagram. I also love all the filters Instagram offers! Don’t like the lighting or color of a photo you take? There’s a filter that can fix that. Trust me, most of those fabulous photos you see on-line have been filtered and doctored and doctored some more. If it’s a celebrity pic, it’s also more than likely been photoshopped. No star is that perfect, no plate of lasagna looks that great, and in no group shot does everyone look that fabulous. Filters help, but apparently an old school product does as well.




Does anyone remember Corn Silk powder? The ‘60s classic is making a comeback, all because of its ability to make women “selfie ready.” Right in line with Ponds cold cream and Dove beauty bars, Corn Silk is all the rage. It’s kind of ironic that an inexpensive beauty product from 50 years ago is revolutionizing the latest and greatest in technology.


Make-up artist to the stars Aimee Adams swears by it and told London’s “Daily Mail” many of her peers are also obsessed with the product because “it takes all the oiliness off but it gives you a real glow. It never goes on cakey.” This apparently is similar to the flattering soft-focus Instagram filter and proves once again the more things change the more they stay the same as Corn Silk’s ads claimed to “keep you looking great long after ordinary pressed powder lets your make-up go all melty and muddy.”


Made with supernal walnut powder and real silk, Corn Silk powder comes in both loose and pressed powder versions. Fans of it say it’s super soft and absorbs oils, reduces shine, and doesn’t leave your skin looking over-powdered or cakey. Perhaps best of all is that Corn Silk is way more affordable than high-end alternatives, which is just one reason it’s one of Amazon’s best-selling face powders. Adams, who has worked with the likes of Elle Macpherson, British royals, and Helen Mirren, says “It looks like you’ve been filtered. It’s the kind of look people now try to get by using filters on Instagram.” Sounds picture perfect to me!


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