Has this ever happened to you? You get dressed in the morning thinking you and your outfit looks amazing – so naturally, you try to get a full body #OOTD pictures taken of yourself. Then suddenly when you view the photos, all the confidence you had earlier this morning escapes you and you immediately panic, ‘why do I look so short and frumpy?!’ Let me tell you now – it’s not your fault! It’s all about the camera angle and how you frame your picture.
I’m only 162cm (5″4′) but I get told all the time that I look tall. Below are some of my tricks!
1) Shoot low.
It’s an easy concept if you think about it. If the camera is pointing down at you, you’re going to look short. But if the camera is pointing up at you, you’re going to look taller. The common mistake people make is taking full body photos whilst standing up. I always ask anyone that takes pictures for me to squat/kneel down on the ground so that the camera is pointing a tiny bit upwards at me. This will extend your leg length, resulting in making you look taller. The next time you get anyone to shoot for you, try getting them to kneel down!
2) Beware of Stairs
I would say that shooting on stairs is one of the most dangerous ways of making yourself look short and frumpy if you don’t get it right. The most common mistake I’ve seen is that people would take a ‘stairs shot’ directly from the front. Doing so will result in you shortening the entire length of your body, making you look much shorter than you actually are. Always tackle your ‘stairs shot’ from a 45 degree angle as that will help lengthen you, making you look lean and tall.
Look at the picture above and draw an imaginary straight line from my toes to the top of my head. Now if this same picture was taken from directly in front of me, that imaginary line would be much shorter. The key to looking tall in pictures is to create the longest imaginary ‘head-to-toe’ line as possible.
3) The ‘Toe Point’
Natalie and I are the same height, but here I look slightly taller. And although we’re both doing the ‘toe point’, mine is slightly closer to the camera and it helps create an illusion of longer legs. Again, the imaginary ‘head-to-toe’ line is applicable here too. My imaginary line is longer than hers.
When posing standing up, try to not cross your legs by putting one leg behind the other as that will shorten your ‘head-to-toe’ line, making you look shorter than you actually are.
Notice here that my entire body fits the framing perfectly. My head is right at the top of the frame and the framing stops right where my feet are. Eliminating extra head room creates an illusion that you’re so tall that you fill the entire frame. I’m also adding to this extra height by extending the ‘head-to-toe’ line with that toe point at the back. And although we all know that the people in the background are not really that tiny, it helps create further illusion that I’m the only tall person in this photo.
That’s all for now guys, I hope you have found that useful! Remember that photography is a form of art and that it’s all about creating that illusion. So the next time you’re outfit is looking real frumpy in photos, don’t be disheartened just remember that you just need to find the right angles! If you’re unsure, the best way to find out the best angles is to get your camera (or your phone!) out and have your photographer/friend aim it at you and circle around you a little bit to find your longest imaginary ‘head-to-toe’ line.
~ Nün ❤
All photos shot by Tom Shigeru Stannard (@tomshigeru)