..."Let me take a selfie." Jackson, MI

I am not the greatest at doing the whole phone/photo-selfie thing.  At one point while on vacation in Europe with a friend, I basically had to have her teach me what my best angles would be for my facial features while getting the scenery in the background to look beautiful too!  The selfies I took with my camera were....ok.  They were more about me going "hey look, I was here!!" while holding a 6 pound camera and lens duo!  (A little tougher than a 6 ounce iPhone!)  

 A few fun examples from my trip are below!  They're not terrible angles of me, but they're not the most flattering either.  I just stink at selfies in general, so I'm teaching my sister how to properly use my camera!!    The Eiffel tower photo, I can't quite take credit it for.  My friend found the angle on pinterest and wanted to recreate it - and she helped me make sure the camera was at the right angle to get the full tower in it!   

Since I stink at selfies, I recruited some help.  Recently I had gotten my hair colored and wanted/needed a headshot for my website so I took advantage of my 16 year old sister and we set out on an adventure. (Teaching her how to use my camera has actually been pretty fun; she gets the focus and framing spot on! Now just need to teach her how to shoot in manual).   Needless to say, being completely in front of the camera with no control and not being able to see myself is a TOTALLY different experience than being behind it!   But I came away with a few good tips to share.  

1.  The tip of sticking your neck out and down really does help reduce the double chin effect!  Take a look below.  I actually did this on purpose to see if I felt as self conscious about doing it as others tell me.  Yup!  I had gained a little weight since having my daughter that hasn't found it's way back to wherever it came from, so I'm a little more conscious than I used to be.  This little trick did seem to help slim my face.  It also seemed to help me drop my right shoulder with my hand on my hip and helped me look just a tad less stiff in the image.  

2.  Relax your shoulders!   ...no wait...relax your joints!   If you're nervous about your photo taken, stiff shoulders and knees are the tell-all in an image!  You end up looking rigid and tense instead of confident and sassy!  Even just that slight shoulder drop in the image above helped me pop my hip just a tad more, which meant that I was able to give a hint more of a hour glass look vs a straight as a board look!  And though in this image, I did it backwards...if you bend the knee in front and put your weight on your back leg, it helps reduce the look of larger legs.  By also slightly tilting your top half forward at the waist, you're also reducing the look of your waist and legs because they are "farther" from the camera. 

3.  Smile, giggle, pretend to have a conversation with yourself!  Just let loose and have fun.  I kid you not...while my sister was taking my photo, I was trying to feel confident and show the world that I promise I am fun and actually shouted "I'm a peppy photographer, dang it!"  And then busted up laughing because I felt so ridiculous!  BUT we ended up getting some great shots because the laughter than ensued afterward was natural and captivating!   

4.  Tuck your elbow back!  If you have your hand on your hip, your elbow's gonna be out there, right?  Tuck your elbow back so that it's behind your backside - if that makes sense.  It helps push your shoulders back, elongating your neck.

Overall, I had a great learning experience and a little bit of self discovery with this mini "selfie shoot"  and I hope you were able to take away even one tip to a better pose when you're having your own photo taken!   And a big thank you shout out to my sister, Megan.  Didn't she do great??