How to Look Good in Photos – Excerpt

By on September 29, 2014
How to Look Good in Photos by Kate Branch book cover image

By Kate Branch –

In today’s world you would have to be a recluse to avoid a camera. Everywhere I go I see someone capturing a moment with a camera phone. Never has it been a more appropriate time to be photogenic. And it is not even an issue of vanity. Below is a list of some of the reasons why people need photographs of themselves:

– Your own website, if you run a small business.

– C.V.’s are getting noticed by placing a headshot in the corner.

– Dating websites.

– Wedding photographs are so expensive people want to look their best.

– Every family memory from this decade forward will be recorded by every individual attending that function, whether you have makeup on or not!

We are such a visually-based culture that, more and more, we are leaning on photographs to express, explain, and share our experiences.

Posing is a tool you can utilize anywhere. It’s free and instant. You may not have a couture gown but you will be able to jump into what I call the “slim and streamlined pose” in three seconds. Then, just like the celebrities, you can add hair and makeup or a suit jacket. And voilà! Marilyn Monroe and James Bond- watch out!

It may take a little bit of time. You are about to step out of your comfort zone. It will take practice, either in front of the mirror or setting the timer on your camera phone. I have taught these tips in workshops. I have had clients ranging from eighteen to eighty. I have had women recovering from breast cancer, and both genders starting businesses, and wanting to date. And there is one truth in all of it. The mass media is making everyone feel bad: pretty teenagers, aging mothers, attractive businessmen, and fiercely independent females.

Another problem area people are not happy with is their arms. This is because they are on show for most of the warmer months. A tummy you can hide, a bottom you can cover – but arms have to perform three shows a day for an entire season. Many people stand with their arms unconsciously squished to their sides. This action makes your arms look much thicker than they actually are. So, by standing self-consciously, you are in fact making your arms look bigger. Also, don’t pose with shoulders square on. Shoulders are the widest part of the body. Shooting straight on is not flattering. Angle the shoulders slightly to lead the viewer into the photo.


Kate Branch, a Sydney local and author of How To Look Good In Photos, has a Major in Photography, a successful photography business, and Masters in Art Therapy. Kate’s book provides logical tips for accentuating facial expressions, posture, how to position hands and body angles so the photos are a gem, first time around. Ironically, the book has very little to do with photography, yet more about the person(s) in front of the camera to build confidence and self esteem in a world where selfies and social postings of photos are now the norm. Here’s a short video of Kate in photographic action.

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How to Look Good in Photos – Excerpt