How To Take The Most Flattering Photo – Plus The Best Camera Apps

How To Take The Most Flattering Photo – Plus The Best Camera Apps

As the official photo agency, Getty Images had a crew of veteran photographers on hand at the Spring 2016 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to capture every moment of the notoriously fabulous New York event.

MBFW Getty Images photog Astrid Stawiarz shoots models, celebrities and for some of the most prestigious newspapers and photo-journals in the country. We asked Astrid for her top tips in taking the perfect photo (hint: invest in quality foundation and a wide-brimmed hat!)

Rule #1: Location, location, location

It’s not just real estate where this adage rings true. The key to a truly flattering, profile picture-worthy portrait is positioning your pretty face in the most attractive of surroundings. “In an ideal world, I’d love perfect soft lighting, no direct flash from a camera and a Beyonce-esque wind fan  (like the one she has in her concerts!) to follow me around,” says Astrid.  “Unfortunately, there will be times where YOU look perfect but the location doesn’t flatter you.” Want softer lighting? Stay out of the sunlight and find a shady area. Sunlight creates harsh shadows on the face and makes makeup melt. You also want to look behind where you are standing. The last thing you want is a perfect photo with a garbage can behind you.

Rule #2: Pose like you mean it.

“Know your best pose and show off YOU! Whether it’s your perfect jaw line, long legs or your favorite outfit, show it off and be proud!  Practice at home with a point and shoot camera in front of a mirror. Ask close friends on what sides or poses work for you.” Don’t be shy!

Pose like you mean it

Rule #3: Turn to expert guidance (in the latest issue of Us Weekly)

“Putting one foot over the other, turning your hip slightly and placing arms over the waist is classic pose for celebrities like Blake Lively. Also a great relaxed natural look for street style photos! Take note on how Angelina Jolie made a typical pose for the cameras all her own by showing off her legs at this year’s Academy Awards.” Astrid does note no Zoolander ‘blue steel’ posing – and that may include the current celeb fave ‘duck lips’ pout as well.

Rule #4: The camera add 10lbs – how to ditch it fast.

“To make the face appear slimmer, tilt you head up slightly while turning it 3/4 — or angle your camera slightly above your head while tilting your face halfway. Never take a photo from eye’s level it will flatten your face.”

Rule #5: Get ready for your closeup with HD-worthy foundation

“I’m a huge fan of Dior skin foundation, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, YSL Touche Eclat foundation and correction pen as well as the Smashbox HD line. You also don’t want to put much finishing powder over your makeup or make your complexion too dewy.” Stick to liquid formulas – spray on foundation looks too caked-on, says Stawiarz. “I like to start with lightly applying foundation in small even layers and accent the eyes, lips and add a touch of blush. Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry and Frieda Pinto do a great job of showing off their natural features by NOT piling on the makeup. Makeup should enhance your look, not hide it!”

Get ready for your closeup with HD-worthy foundation

Have you Instagram’ed so much, life looks too dull without a filter?! Fear not, besides Instagram and Camera +, Astrid likes the following apps for iPhone:

Photographer’s Ephemeris App: it uses your phone GPS to tell you the weather around you and how the light will fall that day. It’s perfect if you plan on taking outdoor photos and want to know the right time for lighting.

Snapped App: can make any photo look great – you don’t need to know how to edit a photo; it’s so easy to use the tools.

Photoshop Express: ideal for Photoshop users to make your iPhone snaps look just like you ran the real Photoshop on them.

360panoram: to show where you are or to remember your surroundings.

Mirror App: great for quick self portraits & also a great way to check your face before photos.

Fast Camera: it can take over 800 frames a minute! Perfect for group photos and events – you wont miss a moment.

Q&A with The Real Housewives of Miami’s Joanna Krupa

Joanna Krupa

Q: What are your favorite skincare tips and products for clear, glowing skin? I like Kiehls Panthenol Protein Moisturizer Face Cream but recently I’ve also started using a European cream called SVR Lysalpha Active Cream. Since I don’t tan my face, I love the La Prairie Cellular Self Tan for Face and Body SPF 15. On my body, I use Palmers Cocoa Butter and also Nivea Essentially Enriched Daily Lotion for when my skin feels extra dry.

Q: In the lead up to a big magazine photo shoot, what does a typical day’s diet consist of? I never really had to diet but I just don’t overeat, meaning when I feel like I’m getting full I just stop eating otherwise it’ll lead to me wanting even more. I also try to eat less carbs and sugar before an important photoshoot.

Q: What is your typical workout routine? I typically like to do a whole body workout. I do pilates training once a week with a private trainer in L.A. But mainly I love doing classes –kickboxing, kettlebells; & this cardio ‘pound’ class with drumsticks at the Equinox gym in West Hollywood, which is so much fun and you really feel the burn. I change up my routine so my body doesn’t get used to the same workout. It all depends on my schedule but I try to workout at least twice a week but on weeks where I have more time and energy, I’ll up that to 3-4 times.

Q: Probably the most envied body part of a swimsuit model are those long, slim legs! Do you have any tips for toning the thigh area? Inner thighs is the hardest part to workout and honestly I still haven’t figured out a secret routine for them!

Q: What are your model tips for making your stomach look as flat as possible? Honestly, I wish I found the secret because I never had a perfectly flat belly! [laughs]

Q: Do you use any supplements to maximise your results? Sometimes I’ll use Slimfuel because it doesn’t make me feel jittery.

Q: Do you still taking dance classes after your time on Dancing With the Stars? Did training for the show transform your body? To be honest, I haven’t. I would need a teacher like Derek [Hough] in order to continue and it would take hours a day to learn new dances. The show definitely made my body leaner but didn’t lose any weight on the scale.

Q: What tips do you have for looking your best in a revealing photo shoot? Stay away from carbs a few days before and drink lots of water to flush out any water retention and get rid of that bloated look. I’ll also have a girl come by my house and spray tan me because a bronzed body looks a lot sexier and it makes a huge difference on a shoot.

Q: It takes tremendous discipline – and good genetics! – to be a top model: what advice would you give women who feel that they could never have the physique of a pro model, but want to make the best out of what they have? No one is perfect and we all have to accept what God gave us. My advice is to eat healthily with lots of fruits and veggies, low carbs and workout regularly to look and feel your best.

The Queen of the ‘Instagirls’ // Gigi Hadid on taking the fashion world and social media by storm

gigi hadid banner

Social Supermodels Like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, Fueled by Instagram and Twitter, Are Hitting the Fashion Stratosphere

Supermodel Gigi Hadid is big on social media.

It’s about 6 p.m. on a chilly Tuesday in late March, and model Gigi Hadid, equipped with a jar of charcoal pencils, is gleefully scrawling enormous hashtags on the stark white walls of a photography studio in lower Manhattan.

“I could do this all day!” effuses the 19-year-old Los Angeles native, who has, in fact, spent the better part of the day here, posing in sky-high stilettos. The following day, she posts a photo from the shoot on her personal Instagram account, with a caption thanking the makeup artist for her “on fleek” eyebrows. Some 24 hours later, the image has garnered more than 185,000 likes and 1,400 comments from her 2.5 million followers on the app. (Hadid’s total social following, including Twitter, has grown to more than 2.8 million.)

It’s that social media clout—not to mention the stunning face, killer body and irresistible personality—that has helped propel Hadid, seemingly overnight, from up-and-coming model to global fashion celebrity. And brands have taken notice. Over the past year, Hadid has scored big contracts with the likes of Tom Ford, Victoria’s Secret Pink and Maybelline.

Along with contemporaries like Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne, Hadid is part of a new wave of digitally savvy models taking the fashion industry by storm. Dubbed “the Instagirls” by Vogue, these millennial models have achieved success both in the realm of high fashion and the commercial world—a rarity since the supermodel era of the ’90s. These days, some models are just as likely to be found on the Paris runways as in the pages of a celebrity weekly or Taylor Swift’s latest Instagram post—or in Kloss’ case, on the cover of Vogue with her good friend Swift.

“Social media has allowed these girls to have a voice and a platform and not just be some random, anonymous model,” says Teen Vogue editor in chief Amy Astley. “Young people today are totally open to a self-invented person who uses technology to launch their career and put their message out there,” the editor adds.

Hadid was just 14 when Instagram first launched, and she recalls having had an innate sense of social media long before she began consciously using it to further her career. “I think it’s always come naturally to just be genuine on social media and to put things into words that people can relate to, rather than putting things in a way that makes them feel that they can’t be a part of it,” she explains.

In high school, having gained a bit of notoriety from appearing in two Guess campaigns and a few episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (on which her mother, former model Yolanda Foster, is a cast member), Hadid began hosting her own Q&A sessions on Twitter, dubbed “Ask Gigi”—something she continues to do when time allows. “I answer random things like, ‘What was your favorite class in high school?’ ‘What’s your favorite ice cream?’ Stuff like that,” she relates

Dubbed ”the Instagirls” by Vogue, these millennial models have achieved success both in the realm of high fashion and the commercial world—a rarity since the supermodel era of the ’90s.

After graduating high school two years ago, Hadid relocated to New York to pursue a degree in criminal psychology at The New School. By the end of her freshman year, she had made her New York Fashion Week debut and was the newest face of Tom Ford. By the following September, she was booking runway shows for Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel.

All the while, she continued promoting herself via social media, posting a mix of captivating selfies, behind-the-scenes shots from her modeling projects and inside looks at her life as a teenager hanging out with family and friends (including Cody Simpson, her indie-musician boyfriend, and friends like Kendall Jenner). By the beginning of 2015, Hadid had amassed nearly 1.5 million followers on Instagram alone.

When it comes to landing major beauty and fashion contracts, having a built-in social following can be a priceless advantage.

“If a model happens to come with a few thousand or a few million followers, that’s amazing for brands,” notes Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown. “Especially if you’re a brand that wants to target a new, younger demographic, you’d have to consider [hiring] those girls in a second.”

“There are tons of examples of successful working models who don’t have a big Instagram following and aren’t interested in social media,” adds Teen Vogue’s Astley, “but it’s becoming something more and more that the ad clients are looking for—and all the girls know it. The game is definitely changing.”

In January, the game changed for Hadid when she revealed (via Instagram, naturally) that she had scored her biggest contract yet with beauty brand Maybelline—a deal that has the potential to make her into a household name. According to Maybelline’s global brand president, the model’s social following played a key role in the decision to hire her. “Gigi is extremely connected, and beyond being connected, she is fantastically engaged with women around the world,” he says. “She is extremely relevant for the millennial consumer, not only because of who she is externally—her beauty, her fashion, her style, her sexiness—but also because she is a girl that has amazing confidence, has amazing drive and is willing to share that with women through social channels.”

Just before Hadid’s Maybelline announcement, Estée Lauder made headlines by hiring its own Instagirl: Kendall Jenner, the 19-year-old Kardashian sister who, with a social media audience of nearly 40 million (including 22 million on Instagram), is by far the most-followed model in existence.

While it has taken big sister Kim Kardashian years to become accepted by the fashion industry—which is notoriously wary of “lowbrow” celebrity (consider the backlash over Kardashian’s Vogue cover last year)—the statuesque Kendall has been widely embraced since she signed with Elite Model division The Society Management in 2013. On top of dozens of runway appearances, she has appeared in ads for Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Karl Lagerfeld—and just last week signed with Calvin Klein Jeans.

Jenner’s Estée Lauder deal represents a significant step for the cosmetics giant in reaching out to a younger audience. By signing her, the brand gets instant access to millions of women in its target demographic. “Whether you like it or not, people are fascinated by her life and the world in which she lives,” says Estée Lauder global creative director Richard Ferretti. “The fact that she is now behind the scenes at runway shows and going to these great parties, there’s great interest in that.”

Ferretti notes that Jenner also happens to have a resumé worthy of an Estée Lauder model. “The fashion designers love her, and her fashion credibility and her personal style is pretty outstanding,” he says. “So that, as a representation for our brand, is pretty incredible.”

Both Kendall and Gigi are very professional, really hardworking and grateful for where they are,” adds Astley. “They don’t ask for any special favors. They’re physically great specimens. And the fact that they’re known to the public and have a big social following is extra, and it’s great.”

It’s not just the newcomers who have benefitted from this social media revolution. “Girls who have already had success in modeling have been clever about leveraging social media to make themselves known outside the small world of high fashion and expanding their careers, because the high-fashion career can be a short one,” says Astley.

For the Instagirls, building a personal brand online isn’t just about boosting their modeling pursuits. It’s also a form of insurance against the inevitable aging out that happens in fashion where someone in her late 20s is considered ancient.

Originally published in the March 30 issue of Adweek magazine. The story story and pictures can be viewed here.

Think You’re Not Photogenic? How To Take The Perfect Picture

Photogenic

Ever find yourself going through a friend’s profile on Facebook thinking, ‘God, she is just so photogenic. Why can’t I look like that in photos?!’. Well, you’re not the only one. A study has found that half of women are so critical of their appearance that they ‘hate’ looking at photographs of themselves. And three-quarters are self-conscious enough to try to avoid appearing in pictures altogether. (I have multiple hand-over-face snaps to prove it). The most common complaint? Teeth that aren’t white or straight enough. Never mind enjoying the Kodak moment – apparently we are too busy worrying about our outfit choice; the morning-after picture reveal on our Facebook wall; being caught with our eyes closed and, even worse, the dreaded up-camera double chin shot. Ugh.

So is it all in our heads or are some lucky people just naturally photogenic? “YES!” says photographer Josh Ryan – the go-to guy for Playboy Playmates who want a smokin’ hot picture. “I’ve shot women that have never taken a photo [professionally] in their life and immediately were amazing in front of the camera. That doesn’t mean that you can’t become photogenic. The key is to let your guard down and become 100% vulnerable in front of the camera… and of course having a good photographer that makes you comfortable and you can connect with.”

Photographer Josh Ryan’s top tips for taking an ultra-flattering photo?

1. Don’t try too hard. Never try to be something you’re not – it shows on camera. Use what you’ve got to the best of your ability and don’t feel the need to nail it on the first try.

2. Practice your poses and facial expressions in the mirror. Pick up a magazine and study the pros. It can’t hurt!

3. The most important tip: get a great photographer! (or a great photo app!)

We took a look at some of the signature poses that celebrities like to strike when the cameras start snapping, from daring seductress to skinny in a flash!