Camera Shy? Style Your Way to Fabulous Photos

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Camera Shy? Style Your Way to Fabulous Photos
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Love it or hate it, being photographed is bound to happen, especially during the holidays, at special occasions and while hitting the town with your girlfriends. And while it may seem like having your photo snapped is pretty straightforward, it actually takes a bit of effort to capture a fabulous look every time the camera turns your way. “It requires more than just smiling and saying ‘cheese’ or ‘cheers,’” says Wendy Lyn Phillips, image expert and author of “Naked to Knockout: Beauty From the Inside Out.” Who wouldn't want to look great in front of the camera? Luckily, all any girl needs is a few handy little tricks up her sleeve to be the envy of everyone in photographs.

Nail the Makeup
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Nail the Makeup

Since the main focus of any photo is your face, it’s essential that your makeup looks awesome. But just any ol’ lipstick, foundation and eyeshadow won’t do. Make sure to go for matte — not metallic or creamy — eyeshadows and foundations, like the look seen here on actress Jessica Biel. “Shine can be exaggerated by point-and-shoot flashes or the burst of harsh light from a camera phone,” says Tamara Lackey, photographer and author of “Capturing Life Through (Better) Photography.” She adds that patting your T-zone with loose powder before snapping a pic can eliminate shine even further. For eyes, neutral colors are best, and a set of false eyelashes can do wonders for making your eyes pop, says Lori Ann Robinson, an image and fashion consultant.

Be Careful with Colors
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Be Careful with Colors

For the best makeup possible, Phillips suggests steering clear of brown and gold-based colors for eyes and lips, as these can make your teeth look yellow and your eyes appear tired. For whiter, brighter eyes, use a denim-blue eyeliner instead of black or brown, she adds. And while red lipstick can make teeth look whiter in person, Lackey warns that super-red lipsticks — like the shade seen here on actress Busy Phillips — can actually cause a yellowing effect on camera. “Depending on how toothy your smile and how close up the shot will be,” she says, “bright, bold, red lipstick can exaggerate a yellowness in otherwise white teeth.” Instead, go for shades of peach or pink.

Keep the Focus on Your Face
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Keep the Focus on Your Face

If you’re heading to an event or a night out where you know you’ll be taking photos, make sure to pick a hairstyle that isn’t too high maintenance or overdone, Phillips suggests. “You want to be as natural as possible, and keep it out of your face,” she says. “If you can’t see the camera lens, it probably can’t see you.” Lackey adds that tucking hair behind the ear is a great way to make sure you can still be seen, especially when being shot in profile, like actress Scarlett Johansson. “All too often, hair falls down and covers up expressions that one would normally see from a forward view,” she warns.

Don't Go Accessory-Overboard
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Don't Go Accessory-Overboard

Because hair is a major focal point in almost every photo, there are some major don’ts when it comes to making sure your hairstyle is picture perfect. First, Phillips says to avoid lots of hair accessories — or even just one huge accessory, like the headband worn here by actress Elle Fanning — as these can distract from your face. Also, when prepping hair before a photo, don’t scrunch it, Lackey advises. “The instinct is to fluff up hair,” she says, “but this often makes hair look messy, and not in the way you probably intend.”

Pull Off Last-Minute Preps
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Pull Off Last-Minute Preps

Though you may look perfect when you leave the house, running through the city or hitting the dance floor can leave you looking less than stellar. To freshen up before snapping a pic, carry a travel-sized hair shine, spray or pomade in your bag to spruce up locks, Phillips says. She adds that a dab of lip gloss in the center of your bottom lip will help create a full, pouty look — like the one reality-TV star Kim Kardashian is showing off here — and a swipe of highlighter under your eyes and along the inner sides of the bridge of your nose will brighten your face.

Concentrate on Clothing Color
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Concentrate on Clothing Color

Aside from hair and makeup, clothing can be one of the biggest make-or-break components to a photo. Phillips says solids always work best, especially in colors that “complement, not compete with your natural skin tone and hair color.” Robinson suggests going for a mid-range color, like kelly green or turquoise, seen here on actress Amy Paffrath. However, some colors can wash you out, warns Natalie Moser, owner of Natalie Moser Photography. "Lighter colors fade out your skin tone, so you might want to avoid that fabulous winter-white sweater you just bought," she says.

Keep Style Simple
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Keep Style Simple

Though you’ll always look best in clothes you feel amazing in, there are several styles you should avoid in photos. Phillips says busy prints can be too distracting on camera, so Moser suggests spicing things up with colorful accessories instead, like the necklace worn by model Heidi Klum. And unless you’re wearing the proper undergarments, try to avoid anything that’s sheer. “Flash photography can cause your outfit to be really see-through if it is slightly sheer,” Robinson cautions.

Flatter Your Figure
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Flatter Your Figure

To prevent adding on extra pounds, Phillips says heavy fabrics should be avoided, as well as anything that's too tight. Lackey suggests steering clear of horizontal stripes — like the ones actress Hillary Duff is sporting here — as they can make you appear wider than you actually are. Dale Steliga, an image consultant and founder of SavvySpice.com, says clothes that highlight your smallest features are key to a stellar photo. "If you have great legs, wear leather shorts with a blazer," she advises. "If you have a tiny waist, try a high-waisted pencil skirt and a three-quarters-length top." If you're worried about your arms, wear a cardigan in a darker color, says Kara Layne, owner of Kara Layne Photography. And if you want to hide a little extra weight in your midsection, try a looser, tunic-style blouse, she says.

Strike a Pose
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Strike a Pose

Despite all your efforts to look and dress great, a photo can be completely ruined if you don’t hit the right stance. Phillips suggests using the “turtle pose,” which involves sticking your neck out and tilting your chin slightly down to elongate the neck. Steglia says working with your lower body is a good move, too. "Pop your hip, arch your back if you're standing sideways, or there's the cutesy celeb crossing-your-legs pose," like the one actress Mila Kunis is striking here, she says. Make sure to keep shoulders relaxed, not hunched, Layne warns. "Scrunched up close to your face is never attractive."

Select a Slimming Stance
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Select a Slimming Stance

If you want to be photographed looking like the slimmest-you possible, Lackey suggests putting one hand on your hip to help create definition and an hourglass figure. And if you place your hand higher up on your waist, like actress Charlize Theron does here, it actually creates the illusion of a smaller waist, she says. Phillips also says creating an S-shaped curve — with shoulders to the side, head looking forward and ankles crossed one in front of the other — is flattering for all body types.

Channel Your Confidence
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Channel Your Confidence

No matter how great you look or how perfect your pose, the best photos always come from ladies who look confident, sincere and relaxed. But to look that way, you have to believe it, Phillips says. “You’ve got to feel that you’re worth it, and then you’ve got to express it in a style all your own,” she explains. Lackey says taking 30 seconds before a photo to relax and prep yourself can make all the difference. “Taking a bit of control for how you want to be photographed can save you hours of detagging on Facebook,” she explains. And if you’re still nervous, Robinson says, start working your imagination and transform into your inner Angelina Jolie. “Try to relax and maybe pretend you are a famous actress getting her picture taken,” Robinson adds.

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