How to appear thinner in photos

When you're in a castle turret, then you're going to want the best photo of you to share with friends. Here's an example of a typical photo of hands at side, versus the 'holding your sub' approach that creates visual distance and slims your shoulders if you were going for an up-close portrait. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

When you’re in a castle turret, you’re going to want the best photo of you to share with friends. Here’s an example of a typical photo of hands at side versus the ‘holding your sub’ approach that creates visual distance and slims your shoulders if you were going for an up-close portrait. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

 

You’re standing on the mountain in front of Maccu Pichu, walking on a beach in Tahiti, or you’re on an African safari close to a herd of giraffes.

You’re on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation and you want to get the best photos of yourself with the scenery in the background. These are photos for the coffee table books or wall canvases, right? And we know for certain they’re going up on Instagram or Facebook the very minute you have a wifi signal.

But here’s the rub: The camera is seeming to add pounds. Why do your arms, for instance, all of the sudden look a little wider? Why are you seeing two (or three) chins? Where did your waist go?

These are all real issues we each face throughout our lives. OK, maybe not for you Crossfit junkies who have hard bodies. Maybe this post is for the 90 percent of us who enjoy travel AND the food and relaxation that comes with it.

Here are 3 easy tips you can use to get the shot you’ll be happy to show off to all your friends and co-workers:

1. Hold your sub

If one wants to make themselves look thinner in a shoulder-and-up photo, imagine yourself holding a very large sub in your hands, palms out, and slightly away from your body.

This rearranges your shoulders and arms to keep them from pressing to your body (with elbows that will go slightly out) and shows definition in your biceps if you’re showing some arm.

It visually makes your arms look smaller.

2. Create visual space

If you’re going for a whole body shot, make sure to create visual space between your trunk and appendages.

Clasping your hands over your groin area is never attractive and it makes you look closed in.

See how much better I look with a little bit of distance between my arms and my belly? I also created a cue to the viewer of my svelte waistline with my hands positioned where they are. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

See how much better I look with a little bit of distance between my arms and my belly? I also created a cue to the viewer of my svelte waistline with my hands positioned where they are. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

Instead, put your hands on your hips, elbows wide, then move your palms up to slightly above your waistline. Don’t ball your hands up—keep your palms out or flat, almost like two arrows pointing down and toward your belly button.

This creates a thinner waistline (or faux waistline for those whose waistlines are not super defined) from a distance. The space between your arms also breaks up the body visually so you’re not a blob with your arms crossed in front of you.

You could also have fun, having one arm up with your hand on your ‘waist’ and using your other arm to point to something or make a grand gesture. You’re on vacation so look like you’re having fun!

3. It’s all about the angle

Instead of looking at the camera at a level or slightly higher position, change your vantage point.

I try to hide my chin with a goatee, but it still peeks out with a straight-on photo. But look how much more defined my jaw line and chin are when shot from above and to the side. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

I try to hide my chin with a goatee, but it still peeks out with a straight-on photo. But look how much more defined my jaw line and chin are when shot from above and to the side. (Kevin Kaiser | Travel Beat Magazine)

Shoot from slightly above and to one side. This will thin out the neck and chin area, helping to slim your overall facial appearance.

Those working with selfie sticks can do this easily. Those who have friends shooting photos of them will need to look for higher vantage points for the photographer.

I promise you’ll look better. Besides, it’s more fun and you’ll look like a model (or closer to one).

Now get out there and try these out.

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