If you look at the photo above taken on my 49th birthday last week, you are probably saying to yourself ...
"Well, I already have that skinny arm on the hip trick mastered, is that all you got?"
However, as obvious as this one seems, many women are still not using this pose to their advantage!
I am often asked by magazines for quotes about the tips and tricks of posing for better photos, and there's a lot that goes into getting a perfect photo, the lighting, the makeup, the styling. I'll be doing more televised segments about all these, but yesterday I got the chance to talk about the importance of posing for Arizona Midday - take a look here:
The skinny arm on the hip trick is completely overused on the red carpet because it does incredible things for women ... smaller waist, longer legs and creates curves. It's best if you choose the arm closet to the lens of the camera for this trick and remember to lower your shoulder. However, if you don't want to look like a teapot in all your photos, you can get the same effect if you understand why this pose works.
The basic cheat being used here isn't the hand on the hip, it's the bent elbow and separation of the body and arm, that makes this work. If must have light between or the width of your arms next to your body will make you look bigger than you actually are! You don't have to over-exaggerate it every time to get the benefit of this trick. Simply put a slight bend to your elbow and pull your arms away from your body. Or hold on to something, a purse, a drink, a pocket .... It will make a massive difference in your pictures.
Placement of the hands is key. A model rarely shows the back of her hands. The reason? They aren't pretty and they look big. The sides are much prettier and dainty. Secondly, never clump your fingers together, instead let fingers relax and be apart.
One of the biggest mistakes women do is place their hands lower than they should when working this pose. If you do, the part of your body you will draw attention to is your hips, the widest area of your body. Instead cheat the hands up a little higher on your waist and this will give you the illusion of longer legs ... Nothing wrong with that!
Most of the time you will want to keep the weight of your body on your back foot, however if you need to fake some curves you can do what I did in the top photo and keep your weight on your front leg instead or try popping your hip toward the camera.
The other important thing to do when standing for a photo is to angle your body to the camera. We must create the angle, because the lens of the camera will flatten you out to a 2D version of yourself and make you look wider than you are if you don't! So angle yourself to the lens of the camera pointed at you. The worst thing you can do is stand front and center to the lens. This is why people say the camera adds 10 pounds. Face the camera and place your hips and feet at a 2 or 10 o'clock position to it. Then create a smaller waistline by turning your face to the lens, twisting yourself without moving your feet. Ahaha - instantly you have created a slimmer waistline too!
Practice. Practice. Practice. The mirror is your best friend and a perfect tool to teach you how to develop your own signature pose. Like I said in this video, if you try to emulate Taylor Swift's cross legged go to pose without checking yourself first, you may just end up taking a photo that looks more like you have to pee your pants instead of a young goddess with long legs.
Finally, with social media and sites like Instagram and Facebook, it's nearly impossible to get out of taking a group shot now and then, assuming you have a life outside of the world wide web. To get your best group shots just keep in mind that anything closest to the camera will look the biggest. If this happens to be you, just take a step back or hide a part of you behind the person next to you. And never get sandwiched between two people and let your arms flatten next to your body. Just remember the tips above and try to work in a slight angle and to keep some space between your body and arm for great pics on girls night out!
So many pictures, so little time ... Hope this helps!