General chatter - Are you an expert in.....taking skinny headshots of yourself?

04-30-2012, 12:57 PM

Do you know all the tricks in how to take a "skinny" photo of yourself to post on Facebook or use for avatars even if you are overweight? I ask because I got really good at taking pictures (shoulders and above) of myself that hid my chins and gave me cheekbones. I think that some people who hadn't seen me in real life for awhile might not have known how much weight I had gained based on the photos I took of myself for web sites. Of course, looking back on those photos now, my face seems so much wider and I can see how I was shooting the camera from a higher angle that avoided showing under my chin, etc.

So, are any of you masters of camera angles, photshop, sucking in your cheeks, etc? What are some of your tricks?

04-30-2012, 01:19 PM
I hate taking my own picture, I feel so silly most of the time that if I take a picture it never sees the light of day. :lol: The ones that do, however, are purposely angled to hide flaws - that's generally how photography works and not just for people looking to hide a few pounds.

04-30-2012, 01:40 PM
Yeah! Check these out - in one I was 25-30 lbs heavier than the other, but you'd never know. In fact I bet you can't even tell.

04-30-2012, 01:48 PM
krampus you are stunning!

I'm crap at taking pictures of myself so I rarely do it but when I did it was always just of my face. Not from very high up but just slightly higher than straight like a charm :D

04-30-2012, 01:57 PM
I am an expert! In my first year of grad school I once took a head shot where I looked sooooo pretty that I didn't recognize myself. And neither did anyone else. Even family. (I'm not saying I'm "ugly" but I'm NOT THAT pretty and even now 100 lbs down my face isnt THAT skinny!) First I got, "who's that?!" (everyone) Then I got "why do you never look like that? If you can look like that, why don't you?" (oh cousins!) Then I got "OMG when did you look like that?! you were hot!" (Friends!) And my personal facourite, my brother ("This looks nothing like you and ive known you since birth so I KNOW"). It was my Facebook avatar for a while but eventually I realized it was a little ridiculous since all of my friends on Facebook actually know me and what I look like and knew that looked nothing like me.

My secret to a skinny headshot is holding the camera at an angle that is higher than you. The shot is never from below or from face level, always from above. Of course never include shoulders and bosom if you can help it. It widens you. And of course the good old angled head is a friend. One might have to use trial by error to get their best angle, which means maybe 10 shots and you get one good angle. No neck means no chins, and a smile (just enough to thin out the lower face and jaw without getting into cherubism territory) or a cute or cheeky look to add some interest. Oversized sunglasses help make the face look skinnier and with bright lipstick, looks likemyou have a life more tham sitting in your bedroom (or worse bathroom) taking self portraits. After all it takes a lot of work to look NOTHING like yourself in pictures.

It's kind of sad to think of now and I still don't think I'm photogenic but it's what it is. I'll still delete an unflattering face picture. But then I'd delete an unflattering picture of anyone, I'm not that mean. I'm also no longer willing to contort myself just so in order not to look like myself. I try to smile in pictures. That always helps.

Krampus: Please which is which. I actually can't tell.
LeilaJay: was the pic you posted in the 20-something's photo thread a self portrait. You're stunning. And very photogenic if you're crap at self-portraits.

Arctic Mama
04-30-2012, 01:59 PM
Sorry, I suck at it. My headshots almost always make me look heavier, not lighter! Oh well :)

04-30-2012, 02:19 PM

I'd guess the second is of her when she was heavier because her face looks a little fuller. But if she hadn't posted the first I would have guessed that she weighed no more than 130 if even that.

But that's just my guess. :)

04-30-2012, 02:42 PM

Now that you point it out, I kind of see what you mean. But yeah there definitely doesn't seem to be 25-30 lb difference between the two. I too wouldn't have guessed more than 120 if that.

04-30-2012, 02:47 PM
LOL it's my job :) Literally, I'm a portrait photog.

Yes, raising the camera higher is critical! In my avatar, I lowered my chin and stuck it out a bit to hide any double chin... then I chose a processing that was a little 'hot' (think more light, a tad overexposed' to help take attention off the huge nose. :) I took 15 images to get that one ::blush::. Just keep experimenting with camera angles and expression until you get what you like. I became a photog partly because I figured out that I could avoid being IN FRONT of the camera by being BEHIND it!

04-30-2012, 02:48 PM
Yup, see avatar picture, people didn't recognize me when I put this as my facebook photo (it helps that i had professionally done hair and makeup it was a pamper myself day) the only way I know it wasn't only the photo angle is that day people IRL told me I looked "Really good... no like you look REALLY good". I wish I could do it myself the hair I can get close but it takes 45 minutes which I never want to put in. And the makeup I can never quite get THAT perfect. It was like a photoshopped version of me (but walking around and I didn't use any maniuplations on the actual picture). LOL :)

04-30-2012, 03:01 PM
Please which is which. I actually can't tell.

Haha, the first I was about 155. The second I was 125. I am EXTREMELY photogenic, I've had internet dates be really disappointed when meeting me!

04-30-2012, 03:18 PM
krampus - Wow! I can't tell that there is any weight difference between the two photos. You look great in both!

I am so glad I'm not alone! I haven't taken a photo of myself in ages (I am no longer on Facebook or any social websites other than 3FC). I do have some video of myself both before and after - the videos are more accurate at representing what I really look like than still shots. It is sad to think of all the time I spent trying to make myself look as unlike myself as possible. It's cool to think that one day I will be able to take a normal photo with no manipulations and like what I see - no need to go into contortions or take multiple shots at multiple angles - I will be fine with I actually look like!

04-30-2012, 03:43 PM
Krampus, I would have guessed the 2nd one was at a heavier weight. The ONLY reason being you were "hiding" behind the plate :) Otherwise, you look great in both pics.

I have recently (like a week ago) discovered my *good* side is from the left when my daughter took a random picture of me. I never knew I could look so good. My dear aunt, told me a long time ago that I'm not very photogenic. (gee thanks) Although, I do think she meant it as I was much better in person, but I do tend to agree with her. Never have liked pics of me. I am now experimenting with the whole left side and holding the camera slightly up now and getting not bad results.

04-30-2012, 03:57 PM
Sorry, I suck at it. My headshots almost always make me look heavier, not lighter! Oh well :)

Ditto for me!

04-30-2012, 04:07 PM
My Avatar isn't shopped and was taken head on. I feel bad but I must confess to my friends here on 3FC that I Photoshop all of my pictures on Facebook. I mean, if Victoria's Secret can do it...then...well...just call mine Amanda's Secret ;)

04-30-2012, 04:15 PM
haha! i was just looking at this the other day, the pic of me and my sister is when i was 240, and the one of just me is at 303. i think i look heavier in the one with my sis! shows the difference a candid photo can make in comparison to a thought out photo

hopefully i uploaded the pictures right, otherwise my post wont make much sense

04-30-2012, 06:08 PM
I never mastered the skinny angle...Could never get the pose right and I just looked awkward. I'm not photogenic so even now its hard to get a picture I I just don't even bother and what pops up, pops up

krampus- you are beautiful....never would have thought there was any sort of weight difference between the two

04-30-2012, 06:19 PM
thanks very much toastedsmoke :) I guess it was a crappy webcam shot and I was wearing make up haha.. I'll post some body shots taken with an actual camera some time.

04-30-2012, 06:29 PM
Sorry, I suck at it. My headshots almost always make me look heavier, not lighter! Oh well :)

Haha, me too!!!

04-30-2012, 06:56 PM
I used to try and take photos of myself at weird angles, edit them, play with all sorts of camera settings and editing options; when the end result was satisfying enough, instead of being glad I'd just get depressed because I didn't look like that in reality. Now I just try and take normal photos, reduce the editing to the minimum (maybe just fixing the lighting, or improving the quality). I obviously don't look as good as I did in the extra-edited ones, but I feel more content with myself.

04-30-2012, 08:26 PM
Hair and makeup help a lot too. With the proper shading one can create cheekbones and a more defined jawline. And make your nose smaller. lol And like fran drescher used to say as the nanny, the bigger the hair the smaller the hips look. (I had a doll of her that said that when I was a little girl- and it said, Honey, never lose weight for a guy, that's what control tops are for)

04-30-2012, 08:51 PM
I'm great at it! I look thinnish in my photos if I take them...though I must say, my delusion goes so far as my husband now only takes shoulder and up pics of me lol

04-30-2012, 09:44 PM
First and second pics are from about 6-7 years ago. Taken probably 1-2 weeks apart. I always try to go for that 3/4 view with camera slightly higher because it hides the chubby cheeks and double chin more.

The third pic, taken July 2011 I just hide behind cute babies. "Don't look at me, look at the baby! the BABY!!!" lol (She's my niece btw) =)

04-30-2012, 11:59 PM
I had to laugh when I saw the title of this thread. I used to take dozens of pictures of myself trying to find that perfect shot. I am not photogenic at all and maybe if I was lucky 1 out of 50 would look decent. But yes, playing with the angle makes a huge difference !


05-01-2012, 02:16 AM
I had to laugh when I saw the title of this thread. I used to take dozens of pictures of myself trying to find that perfect shot. I am not photogenic at all and maybe if I was lucky 1 out of 50 would look decent. But yes, playing with the angle makes a huge difference !

This was me too!! Exactly as you describe. I did lots of head tilting and taking the photo from higher angles, and never ever anything below mid-chest.

Now my face looks overly-thin though to me, and no angle seems to help with that!

05-01-2012, 09:22 AM
absolutely!!! It's a must for a fat girl!!

05-01-2012, 09:35 AM
Now my face looks overly-thin though to me, and no angle seems to help with that!

I had a model with a long, narrow face and by having her tilt her head down a bit it really focused on her eyes... and work with different angles, turning your head to either side just a bit. LOL These are the good 'problems' to have!

05-01-2012, 10:03 AM
Haha, the first I was about 155. The second I was 125. I am EXTREMELY photogenic, I've had internet dates be really disappointed when meeting me!

haha! I'm sooo not photogentic so my dates are the total oppsite when meeting me.

As for being able to take a photo on the perfect angle to make me look smaller, that's easy peasy! I want to be able to have have my face frontwards one day and look really good. I only seem to look good from the side or angles.

05-02-2012, 12:56 PM,,20310636_20321641_20701500,00.html

Great all around advice!

05-02-2012, 01:35 PM
My hubby is master of the camera. I hate getting my picture taken. I don't mind candid shots, but he'll have me pose and move and adjust and I'm like, just take the dang picture already. And by the time he does, I'm not even smiling anymore b/c I'm so frustrated. I figure if I look horrible in RL might as well reflect that in a Pic. (Ok, horrible is a bit dramatic ha ha). But I rarely turn the camera back on myself. Maybe if I got a haircut and wanted to send pics to people. That's about it.


05-02-2012, 02:03 PM
I have a round face and broad shoulders. Head shots are not my friend. Odd angles not for every day use are OK. There's one picture my husband took of me and my daughter when she was 2 days old asleep on my chest. Even though I was still bloated I thought my face looked fairly slim. Of course, the other side of that could be I have an emotional attachment to the picture and rationalize letting others see it. :D