we get older, we become increasingly adept at editing ourselves out of
photos. We duck swiftly out of the shot, use a child to cover ourselves
up or offer to take the pics instead. Everyone's raising their glass
round the table after a slap-up holiday meal or gathered on the beach,
and there's a gaping hole - The Invisible Woman.

And of the ones
that are taken, we may be too quick to delete 'because look at my triple
chin' or 'bingo wings' or 'frowny face.' Or a multitude of self-hating

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But that's a great pity. Capturing those precious moments make for long-term and lovely shared memories
for you and your family, especially children and grandchildren, as you
leaf through albums or swap phone pics. And when you're looking back
through those photos 5, 10, 20 years later you'll marvel at how young
and happy you looked.

So here are 10 top tips to help you feel
more confident about having your photo taken. We're not talking Victoria
Beckham style rictus smile or pulling your tummy in so tight you feel
faint, just simple ways to look better and feel more confident.

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With thanks to Judi James, author of the Body Language Bible.

1. Shoulders back

Pull up to full height and then push your shoulders back and down,'
says Judi. 'Tension can make the shoulder muscles contract so pushing
them down give you a much more relaxed look.

'Also, try turning
away from the camera and looking back over your shoulder. This presents a
lovely long back to camera, with a flattering, elegant shoulder angle,
plus you'll automatically produce a slightly flirty, playful looking
smile to the camera.'

2. Hats on

Judi says: 'This summer's hippy look
has meant that wide, floppy-brimmed hats are back on the beaches and
not only do they screen the face from the sun they are also the perfect
prop when it comes to posing for your snaps.

'By creating a 'T'
shape, the wide brim will have a narrowing effect on the rest of your
body, making it one of the best slimming tricks in the business. Plus
your face will be sheltered from any unflattering direct sunlight. It
will also give you something to do with your hands – touching or holding
the brim creates a natural, fun look.'

3. Natural hair

Judi says: 'Over-dressed hair can look unnatural and silly on holiday
snaps so go for a look that is tousled rather than over-straightened or
dripping with products. You need movement in your snaps rather than
trying for something from Dynasty. If your hair is longer try pinning
some up casually with a few fronds hanging around the face and neck.
This will flatter and slim the face rather than hanging like curtains.'

4. Smile

says: 'Getting a smile that looks natural is a must. Ideally it should
involve an eye-smile plus a part-opened mouth displaying some top and
lower teeth. If you're struggling, try to imagine you're sharing a joke
with someone you really like. If you feel your smile getting too fixed
or rigid, press the tip of your tongue into the roof of your mouth to
relax your jaw, sucking your lips in and then pushing them out a couple
of times and then smile again.'

6. Use a prop

keep your elbows held slightly away from your torso,' advises Judi.
Clamping your upper arms to your sides signals a lack of body confidence
and leads to a 'squashed body' look.

'Avoid joining your hands in
a tight clasp in front of you or placing them across a part of your
body that you feel self-conscious about, like your covering your tummy
as it will draw attention to the spot.

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'A prop is a good idea, so
raising one hand to touch your sunglasses might work, or holding a wine
glass if you're snapped in party mood. If you are clutching a drink
though, keep it at around lower rib height. Holding it any higher will
look as though you're hiding behind it or using it as a safety barrier.'

7.Bums, thighs and tum

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Judi says: 'The cliché about avoiding
horizontal stripes applies to your swimwear. A too-small bikini-bottom
that is stretched across your hips in a straight horizontal line will
widen that part of your body but one that fits and is pulled up slightly
at the sides to create more of a V shape will narrow them.

'The same rule will apply to your top. A V-neck will slim down your boobs but a horizontal strip top will make them look wider.

fabrics tend to accentuate curves and bumps so if you want to look
slimmer choose a matte swimsuit rather than a glossy or wet-look one.

block colours that suit your skin and hair tone will be flattering
enough to make you look fantastic no matter what size your hips so opt
for the one that works for you and stick to simple designs with one or
two subtle details.'

As for 'does my bum look big'? Judi says:
'Work at arching your back as it slims the waist and pushes the bum out,
making it look firmer. Tilting your pelvis slightly to one side when
you're front-on to camera rather than posing straight-on will make you
look curvy rather than chunky.'

8. To the tip of your toes

Judi says: 'Point your toes. When you're posing barefoot going up on your
toes or pointing them slightly if you're sitting down will make your
legs look longer and your feet more elegant.'


What do you think?