Well, to be fair, everybody takes pictures all the time nowadays. Thank you/not thank you smartphones of the world!
You might usually be in charge of your selfies, but this time of year, it’s 90 y.o aunties or your David Hamilton (yuck) wannabe brother-in-law who are on a mission to flash everybody.
Here are tips and facts to help you get through the Christmas/New Year’s Eve photo frenzy and the wanabee paparazzi without freaking out about your looks on camera.
- Turn on the lights: So there’s no excuse for them to use the flash. The flash is never a good idea. There will be red eyes, white fluorescent faces. You want good lightning especially if you have got different skin colors in the frame. Only on Benetton’s ads can you find perfectly-lighted dark and snow white skins next to each other. I have a bunch of weird pics where I’m just a white stain standing near a headless red sweater and floating eyes, in a dark background that’s probably a bar with poor lighting – in the end my friend and I just decided to blame it on the racist camera.
- Lean towards the camera, just a little, You want to create some depth and not sit straight and frozen like you’re undergoing some cross-examination. Nothing keeps you from moving a bit during the picture (if there’s enough light you won’t even be that blurry). Look alive, keep on doing what you’re doing, just smile while doing it.
- Strike a pose: you may want to create arch your arm, tilt your head a little bit (it’s christmas so you’re allowed to tilt your head like a puppy or the cast of Beverley Hills circa 1995), fake-cheer your table companion… It’s very possible that some perv will flash you when you’re opening presents, just like it’s very possible that you won’t like that gift. So be prepared and set your brains on happy thoughts (only three years left stuck with Donald Trump!!) for the whole time that you’re tearing apart badly wrapped packages of ugly socks and a collection of disgusting boxes of chocolates offered by people who barely know you.
- You’re with the band. if there’s a group picture, obviously you want to put the vertically challenged ones at the front and the Michael Shannon look-alikes in the back. There will be shortened foreheads and cropped chins if the photographer has no room to step back a little. Sometimes it’s a good thing though. You can strategically place the people you like the least to the sides and hope for the best. Maybe this year Oncle Terry and that twisted twice-removed cousin won’t fit in the frame!
- Don’t let them steal your thunder: the three month-old baby is likely to be unidentifiable if it’s a group photo of 50, no matter how proudly the parents hold it up. This is not the purpose of this pic, it cannot ALWAYS be about the baby. HOWEVER, if you really don’t want to be on that pic, just grab a kid, put it on your knees and hide behind their head. Then give the kid back. They sometimes are useful in the end!
- You don’t like being on pictures ? Well, man up. Your grand mother does not have much left to live, she’s probably had to fight for the right to birth control and knitted you lots of mittens that you lost almost immediatly as a kid. So sit next to her, and smile. She’ll be dead soon.
- True fact: No matter how hard you try, you won’t look good on a pic where you’re eating
- The dreaded double chin: Chin up if they’re taking the picture from above. Chin slightly down if they’re at eye level. Just don’t let them take a photo from below. Who do they think they are? You can also go incognito and volonteer to be Santa Claus and hide that face of yours behind a fake beard (or a real one, depends on how dedicated you are. In both cases, a rash might ensue – but not double chin, just choose your battle).
But anyway, don’t get your hopes too high. There will be pictures of you on Facebook where you’ll look like a blob with a red face, but you can probably blame the x-mas sweater and egg-nog combination, so at least you’ve got an excuse.
And that’s ok, it’s just a picture. Have some cake, share some laughs, capture those good memories in your head and put down your phones for a bit!