By JUJU CHANG and LAUREN EFFRON
Nigel Barker knows how to make you look good.
And, as one of the world’s top fashion photographers, he also knows how to help you make yourself look good.
Before becoming the host of the TV’s “The Face” on Oxygen, Barker earned wide fame with his multi-season involvement as a judge on Tyra Banks’ show, “America’s Next Top Model.” He has also photographed spreads for many of fashion’s biggest names, including Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Ralph Lauren.
So “Nightline” picked his creative brain to find out what the man who shoots the world’s most beautiful supermodels, artists and movie stars does to create amazing portraits – and what the rest of us are doing wrong in our Instagram selfies.
“Certainly, people feel awkward when they have their photograph taken,” Barker said. “They want to see it but they don’t want to see it. So by taking a beautiful picture, by actually taking a great selfie, people think, ‘Actually you know what, maybe I do look not bad. Maybe someone else might find me attractive.’”
So grab your smart phones, because this is going to rock your #SelfieSaturday. Watch the full story:
1. Do Get Your Camera into a Good, Steady Position
“I suggest putting [the camera] on something,” Barker said. “I even take off my shoe, put it in the heel of my shoe, and that will balance it and act as a mini tripod if you don’t have one. Another thing you can do, and I’ve done this with my kids, is take some of their Play Doh … stick [the camera] in the Play Doh and the Play Doh will hold it tight.”
2. Do Relax, Be Comfortable and Confident
“Someone who is comfortable, someone who is happy, you see them immediately sit up, stand up and feel better about themselves,” Barker said. “If you’re able to capture that in a picture, that’s the most beautiful picture you can ever take of someone.”
3. Do Imagine Eating Something Delicious
Going through some kind of mental process, Barker said, even if it’s just to ask yourself a question or tickle the person next to you, creates a slight distraction that will capture your face in a naturally beautiful way.
“Just imagine for a second a beautiful piece of chocolate in your mouth, just melting over your tongue,” he said. “Now already, you’re smiling with your eyes. There’s the picture.”
4. Do the ‘Turtle’ to Get Rid of a Double Chin
Right before you are about to take the photo, Barker suggests looking up at the ceiling for a few seconds because it will stretch the muscles under your chin and suck in that excess skin – just long enough to snap a photo. Then, bring your head down over your shoulder and look at the camera.
“You’ve got to be ready to take that picture because it only lasts about five seconds,” he said.
5. Don’t Hold the Camera Above Your Head
“Holding the camera really high up can also be problematic because it makes you look very small,” Barker said.
6. Women: Don’t Cross Your Arms
Crossing the arms makes the muscles look bigger, which is great for guys, but not so great for ladies who want to appear to have slender muscles, Barker said. For women, a “hand on the hip is nice,” he said, because it creates a great shape.
7. Don’t Suck in Your Cheeks and Make a ‘Duck Face’
“[People are] sucking in their cheeks and then they look at the picture and they just don’t get it,” Barker said. “They are like, ‘Why do I look like a duck,’ or, ‘I don’t like the way I look.’ You’ve got to get yourself out of that.”
8. Don’t Pose
“Posing is the worst,” he said. “For a selfie, it’s not about the pose, it’s about you. There’s a reason why you look great in the picture or you look great in real life, because someone has caught the essence of who you are, and a pose is not you.”