I've heard it so many times before as a portrait photographer: "I need to lose weight before I do my photo shoot."
Well, using two pictures that my darling, well-intentioned partner in crime recently took of me while we were on vacation in Tofino I'm going to show you exactly why your weight has no effect on how you look in a photograph...
The rather horrifying first picture you see was taken while we were hiking in Pacific Rim National Park. Ilia happened to have one of those little instant Polaroid cameras in his bag that he whipped out to photograph me with. In this first photo he knelt down to take my picture and the results are what you see here, double chin and all.
I love printed photos and adore the satisfyingly immediate analogue results that this little camera produces and was curious to see what the final photo looked like as it exposed. But as the little photo developed in my hands, my curiosity turned to comedic horror for obvious reasons- not least of which because I looked about 30 pounds heavier than I actually am.
Without thinking twice I yelled at Ilia to walk up the hill a bit and try again, this time shooting down on me. I put all of my weight on my back leg and then leaned towards the camera to help create an hourglass figure for myself (remember, what's closer to the camera always appears larger and what's further away appears smaller). It also helped that the camera had a 60 mm lens (which is normally not recommended for portraits because of the lens distortion that comes with it being a shorter lens- which you see so clearly demonstrated in the first picture, but which I used to my advantage in the second photo to slim my body).
The results are what you see in the second photo. I look like two different people in these photos, but the only thing that's changed is the angle of the camera and my pose (if you look closely at the second picture you can even see me holding the first picture in my hand, determined to get a better photo taken this time 😂).
So my tips for appearing slimmer in photos are these:
1) Get the photographer to change the angle of their camera and shoot down on you (depending on how tall they are they might need to go up on tip toes to do this).
2) Try putting your weight on your back leg and lean a little towards the camera to help create an hourglass figure on camera.
My hope in sharing these photos with you is that you understand that when you don't look amazing in a photograph, guaranteed it has more to do with the angle from which the picture was taken than it does with how you look.
You're beautiful- don't forget it!