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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Self-Portraits and Soda Water

Somehow somewhere someone thinks that posting pictures of themselves holding a cell phone into a mirror shooting a pic of themselves with bottles of cleaning fluid and dirty towels is a great idea of a self-portrait. Thank you, Instagram. Somehow the owners of Flickr aren’t losing sleep. Believe it.

If you want to take a good picture of yourself invest in a damn tripod and then learn how to use the timer on your camera, yes those funny things that Canon and Nikon make. You can’t make phone calls on them. Sorry. Once you hit that button for the 10 second timer get in the shot and pose.

Let’s talk about posing. I know you think you look awesome from every angle, otherwise why are you posting pictures of yourself on Instagram? Unfortunately, and even movie stars know this, is everyone has a good side and a bad side, or rather, one side of the coin looks like a head and the other side looks like a donkey’s tail. Check your face from both sides and then decide which one looks the least ghastly. It won’t take very long.

Your face isn’t the whole story, thank God, you need to pose your body, too. You can’t just stand there like a slab of Grade A Sirloin, even Michelangelo’s David struck a pose. You need to learn how to pose, let’s start with your legs. One leg should be in front of the other or spread apart if you’re standing. Put your hands on your hips or have them hang on your belt buckle, or even go for the proud farmer pose with your hands holding your jacket lapels. It worked for Jefferson Airplane!

Getting back to the face, always leave your mouth slightly open so people can see your lips. Keeping your maw closed gives you a dumb, surly expression on your face. (Great advice from Vicki Berndt when she shot my album cover).

Another disgusting habit people have is overdressing for a picture. The world doesn’t need to see your entire wardrobe in one shot. It’ll look outdated in two years, anyway. Avoid wearing a coat even if you’re posing in a Canadian park in December. And keep your accessories down to one per wrist and a small necklace if you have to. There once was a recording artist on IRS Records in the Eighties who thought it was New Wave to wear ten watches on his wrist, and needless to say he never sold any records and got dropped. All because he wore ten watches in his photos.

Thick, stocky, sturdy, and/or husky people should never be shot from the ground up or they’ll look like a human balloon. In fact, our heavier neighbors should be shot from the waist up. Which brings me to another subject: unless your taste in footwear is impeccable and your pants are from a high-end designer nobody needs to see you from top to bottom. Editing your photos is your best option, or more bluntly, check your ego at the door.

So if you’re going to thrill us with more hot, smoky photos of yourself on Facebook please follow some of my advice so you won’t look like a trailer park Dita Von Teese. There’s already too many of them on television, and TV’s losing money every day.

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