Tuesday 24 July 2012

How to Look Thinner in Photographs (Without Photoshop!)

   hi y'all! i'm carlia from nest building 101. i'm a new mom, a photographer, a DIY junkie, and a jill of all trades, and nest building 101 is my outlet for all of this. i love to include tutorials and tips on my site, so i thought i'd share a favorite photography tip with all of you. this is one for everyone, not just the photographer. thanks, kim for letting me crash the party!

   so, this tip is more for the model than the photographer, but photographers can still take these tips to help during their shoots as well.
   i'm not going to lie, this is one of those tricks that is so easy you'll think "why didn't i think of that?!?".
   for this one, i'm going to start with the before & after then explain how this optical illusion came to be.

completely unedited pics
thanks to my lovely niece for posing for me. she's a great sport!

the secret: it's all in the position of your jaw. when posing for a shot, most people don't pay too much attention to it and wind up looking something like this:

the solution: while relaxing your shoulders, position your head a bit forward (not jutting your chin out) and lowing your chin slightly.

don't overextend or you'll look like you're craning your neck for some inexplicable reason!
this is what it should look like:

ta-da! now you look 10lbs lighter! :)

a few more simple tricks:

  • lean toward the camera, not away. leaning away makes you look more broad.

  • shoot at a slightly elevated angle. shooting from above makes the face more prominent and the body smaller & less noticeable. shooting up is always a no-no, unless your model is anorexic-skinny!

  • twist at mid-waist to emphasize the smallest point of the body, accentuating the waist and minimizing the hips.

  • turn your face slightly away from the camera, keeping your eyes on the lens. this slims the face, lengthening the jawline, and showing the contour of the cheekbones.

it's amazing what a difference a shift in position can make, but it's important to be subtle with these techniques. you definitely don't want to look like you're trying too hard; it should look natural.

now, go out and take some awesome pics!

thanks again, kim! don't forget to visit me over at nest building 101! :)


  1. Thanks for the tips!! I need to take a new profile pic asap.


  2. I need this on a little reminder card so I review it before I ever go in front of a camera. There are reasons why some people don't like having their picture taken, I've been doing everything wrong! Great tips.

    1. Much the same here! I read something similar a few weeks ago about how to take good bridal pictures and everything my lovely guest poster has said was in that too, so they're good quality tips!

  3. hahahahah, I do the pout and cover my fat cheeks with hands too!

    Marlene Detierro (Seattle IT Consulting)


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