We all like having a few great shots of ourselves from different occasions and stages in our lives and we should all have some photos like this to cherish. The truth is however, even if you are sporting your favourite garments, there are certain tips you can apply to look even better in holiday photos this season, and in many photos to come. Based on the research performed by beauty magazines and advice from professional photographers, we’ve listed some easy tips for delivering your best shot in front of the camera this holiday. Queen Latifah

Tip 1: Practice With digital cameras it’s easy and fun to practice with a friend. Some of the best crack up sessions come out of a night of snapping with a girlfriend and a bottle of wine. But on the serious side, practice angles and expressions, review and repeat the good ones. Practice different natural looking smiles and become comfortable with them. Make them your trademark (this is what celebs do).

Tip 2: Look Up Looking up is a flattering angle for most women. It elongates the neck and usually eliminates a double chin. Combine this with the angles and smiles covered above, and the more you practice, the more natural it will feel and look in pictures.

Tip 3: Colour There are many methods of determining your colour palette, but here’s one that won’t cost anything and is easy to do at home. Place a piece of gold jewellery and silver jewellery against your skin. The one that shines brightest is reflecting your colour type. Once you have determined if you’re a “gold” or “silver” you can then determine your colour palette.

Gold complexions are usually beige or olive toned and look best in rich, warm colours such as yellow, brown, orange, red, deep purple and shimmering fabrics such as metallic gold, copper and bronze. Generally, “golds” should avoid cold colours like blue and green as well as pastels.

Silver complexions are ivory or cream coloured, and look best in shades of blue, green, soft gray, violet and pastels. The most flattering metallic fabrics for this complexion are silver, white and platinum. Colours to be avoided are red, orange and warm colours as they will leave this complexion looking washed out.

Note: while metallics can be great fabrics for your colour complexion, they can be tricky on film. Try to avoid these for picture taking.

Tip 4: Makeup During the holiday season, a lot of people are snap-happy and you don’t want to get caught unprepared. Take the time to do your makeup if you’re heading out and wear your best colours based on your palette. Use foundation to cover blotches and make your skin look smoother and lip gloss is a must have to add shine and the appearance of health. Don’t be shy to “powder your nose” after a meal because that’s usually when the cameras come out.

Tip 5: The Pose From the red carpet experts: angle your body three-quarters towards the camera, one shoulder closer towards the photographer, and one foot in front of the other and your weight on the back leg. You can also try looking away from the camera then looking back at it and smiling just before the shot is taken. This will give a more natural, fresh look but you need to practice it.

Tip 6: Look Thinner a) Avoid carbs, if you can, so that you don’t look bloated.

b) Shapewear is a life saver for pictures and allows you to breath without looking like you’re “hanging out”.

c) If you can flex your abs and arms without looking uncomfortable, the difference will be noticeable on film. These poses should be practiced along with the smiles and techniques mentioned above.

d) Remember to look up so that your face looks thinner. You can slightly lower the shoulder closest to the camera.

e) If you have a purse, jacket or other appropriate item to hold, you can position it in front of your belly as camouflage.

f) Tanned skin naturally looks thinner, and there are many skin lotions with subtle tanners that add a natural looking glow without staining your skin or blotching.

Tip 8: Lighting If you can use natural light over using the camera’s flash this will be more flattering as it won’t emphasize shinny skin or “flaws”. If the environment provides bright light this is good too, also without using the flash.

Tip 9: Get Close For group shots, position your heads together for a more intimate effect and use your arms to embrace each other rather than standing in a line up.

Tip 10: The Right Clothes As mentioned above, try to avoid shinny fabrics as they can have adverse results on camera, and avoid bulky accessories and fabrics around your face as they will make you look shorter. Most of all enjoy the holidays, the warmth of friends and family, and remember that it is your right to allow or not allow people to photograph you or publish photographs of you. If you have been tagged in a Facebook photo that you don’t like, you can simply untag yourself so that your name is not listed in the information stream. xmas-happy-holidays

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