If modelling was easy, good models wouldn’t get paid thousands of dollars for a single photoshoot. While sitting in a photobooth at a party may not be quite the same as a full week of shooting for fashion magazine campaign, if you want to look like a normal human person in a photo instead of a weirdly stagnant imposter, you need to employ a lot of the same techniques. You don’t have to spend years at a modeling school to learn it all though – a few simple tips and tricks can make a big difference for your photo booth photos.
Your Photobooth Pose
When the opportunity to take a photo comes up, we all have our photo pose. Maybe you turn slightly to the side, and chances are you’ve perfected the smile that shows just enough teeth without hiding your eyes, but that’s only one pose. There are dozens of resources available online full of suggestions of popular photo booth photos, but you don’t have to memorise a hundred different ones. There’s the salute, the questioning look, the unhappy-to-be-here look, and many more. Pick a few, or maybe five, and practise them in the mirror until you think you’ve nailed it.
Think about the people you hang with – if you’re taking a group photo are you more likely to fake a fight or all stick your tongues out at each other? Go one step further and teach your friends your favourite few group poses. Next time you find yourselves in a photo booth, you’ll be ready.
Practise Makes Perfect
You definitely look great from every angle, but that’s no reason not to know the angles you’ll look best from. There are some tricks you can borrow from the modelling industry to achieve this. Stand in front of a mirror and face straight ahead, turning from side to side. A turned head is more attractive than a straight-on one, but if you can see your nose jutting out, you’ve turned too far. Unless you’re standing side on to take advantage of your silhouette. Think about your eyes too – looking at the camera is fine for fun photos, but the whites of your eyes will make you look possessed if they show too much. Keeping your eyes looking close to straight ahead, no matter what direction that may be in relation to your body, will help you look completely normal in a photo.
Fake it ‘til you Make it
Optical illusions are a big part of why models look better in photos than ordinary people. There are a number of little tricks you should keep in mind to improve your photos. By creating a separation between your limbs and your body, you’ll create an illusion of a slimmer figure that will work to your advantage.
Angles are the key to a good photo. Letting your arms hang lifelessly doesn’t look fun – bend your elbows, spread your arms, and extend your neck. Occupy a bigger space than you might usually be comfortable with and exude a confidence you don’t necessarily feel. All this twisting and turning might make you feel like a pretzel, but your lively poses will have you looking great in any photo.
Photo booths are known for their prop options. Unlike with a run-of-the-mill candid, there are more options, and more time to prepare for a better photo. Get creative and mix and match props to build a fun story in a series of photographs. Planning ahead and using an inside joke will give you better results than just turning up and picking up any old prop.
It’s counter-intuitive that the natural effortless look actually takes quite a lot of effort, but with a little practise, you’ll be a master of photobooth poses in no time. You’ll definitely feel super lame practising your expressions in the mirror, but it’ll be worth it when you get that perfect photo that you’ll want to keep framed on your desk forever. Next time the opportunity arises to take a photo, don’t freeze frame – pull out one of the poses you prepared earlier and do something fun!