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5 Ways to Look More Photogenic in Portraits

Staff portrait of 3 business women in Guelph
Each of the women were photographed individually and merged together in Photoshop to create the perfect group portrait.

Ever had your picture taken and weren’t very happy with the way you looked?

This is very common, but it’s probably because you weren’t sure how to present yourself in the photograph.

There are a number of subtle things that people do to look their best in photos that you may not be aware of.

We’re going to cover 5 things you can do for your next portrait session that will instill more confidence in the way you present yourself.

After reading these tips we hope you end up with a wonderful and memorable portrait!

Hands on the hips.  

A common mistake many of us make to appear thinner in photos is to press our arms directly at our sides.

Instead of flattering the body, we are confining the figure, which might draw attention to the stomach area. Instead, place one or both hands on your hips to flatter the waistline and accentuate your natural curves.

Angling your body in addition to putting your hands on your hips is a useful combination to create not only an interesting and more engaging photo, but to look fabulous and appear more confident.

Sitting proper and standing straight.

Posture plays a big role in appearing photogenic.

When sitting on a chair or on a nice patch of grass in the park, it is important to roll your shoulders back and sit up straight to avoid slouching.

While sitting, try crossing your ankles to lengthen your body and appear slimmer – creating a more relaxed pose.

While standing, rolling your shoulders back is key to presenting yourself as confident and calm. Try imagining a string pulling through your body to the top of your head to keep your position poised, tall, and calm.

Chin should be up and out.

Though it might seem like an odd concept, it has been proven time and time again that this trick helps with the one thing many people want to avoid – the double chin effect.

To avoid the double chin, trying positioning your head slightly up and forward.

Doing this will elongate the neck and slim out the skin underneath the jawline, which will prevent drawing attention to any unflattering angles.

This trick should be combined with rolling the shoulders back so your posture appears confident.

Your head will already be slightly forward, and from there it will just be a matter of adjusting to the ideal position that you are comfortable with.

Avoid bulky clothing or mix it up a bit

A big misconception when it comes to being photographed is that bulky clothing will hide the parts that we feel the most uncomfortable with.

Though it may be more comforting, it can create an unflattering look since it can be hard to tell where the body ends and the clothes begin.

Instead, try mixing your baggier clothing with snug clothing options.

Not only will you still be able to feel comfortable, but it will also flatter your natural shape while displaying a happier and more positive look!

If you are wearing a short to medium length skirt, try pairing it with a long baggy top and throw a blazer over it for a complete look.

With pants, especially if they are wide-cut, it is best to pair them with a snug top.

A rule of thumb to draw attention away from an area is to wear the looser clothes on that area and tighter clothes on the area where you want to place more focus.

Wear solid, dark colours

When we think of slimming colours, black seems to be the most popular choice, and for good reason!

However, just because black is a slimming colour, it does not mean that this is the only option for you.

Dark colours give a nice interest to the photograph, even if it is subtle.

Navy, maroon, or even eggplant are excellent choices for creating a more photogenic portrait and will have a similar effect to black.

By wearing solid colours, it will draw the attention away from the body and focus more on the face, which is your most beautiful feature!

In addition, it is recommended to steer clear of patterns when possible, as this will have the opposite effect of dark colours.

Some options of solid colours that are flattering on most people would be any medium-toned blues and teals.


If you were wondering about how to look your best on the day of your portrait session, we hope that your questions have been answered with these strategies.

In addition to these tips, always remember that a smile and positive vibes are your best friend for looking good in a photo.

If you were thinking about getting a portrait taken soon, check out our portrait photography page to view rates or contact us at the studio to book your session!

5 Tips on What to Wear for Fall Family Portraits

Fall photography of a young family at the University of Guelph's Arboretum.

It’s nearly that time again! Time to start off the year with some new family portraits while the leaves of Fall start to show their true colours. Though the season makes a beautiful backdrop, picking the outfits to wear for family photos can be a little stressful.

No worries, these 5 tips should help you get an idea of what to consider when dressing for your special family portrait session this Fall!

Consider your home decor and colour scheme

Before your session, this is something to think about as these images will most likely be displayed on the walls of your home. The tones and decor set the stage for these beautiful images so picking the right outfits to compliment these existing elements will complete the look. If your decor is neutral or calm, choose clothes that are more earthy and with natural tones like browns, reds, greens, deep blues and oranges. If you are working with more bright and fun tones, feel free to bring out the fun in your wardrobe too like a cool hat, funky tie or a great piece of jewelry. The best and easiest inspiration are the walls that surround you, so take note of how your home is situated and what your favourite pieces of furniture are so your decisions won’t feel so overwhelming.

Layering and texture

For family portraits, specifically for the Fall season, it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather – especially if it’s one of the colder months of the season. Though it sounds like a downside to being outside, it gives us more opportunities to shoot with different outfits – the more options we have to work with the more variety you’ll have to choose from. If you’re preparing for a colder day, one family member might wear a nice shirt underneath a sweater or jacket (or both depending on the weather) and a scarf. As you get photos taken, you can remove or add an item to change up the composition while still being dressed properly for the weather. Sweaters, hats, scarfs and different types of pants are examples of some accessories that can add some texture, adding a little more interest to the photograph that also compliments the colour scheme chosen by the family.

Limit patterns

We all love a little fun to throw in a photograph, but if everyone has the same idea then patterns can become pretty distracting. Since there’s so much pattern already in the environment to use for backdrops, texture or contrast, introducing pattern especially in the a Fall portrait session can be a little tricky to blend in if not done tastefully. If you want to incorporate pattern in your photos, it is best to choose one person or one object like a blanket to showcase the pattern while the other family members dress in the solid complimentary colours the pattern possesses. This way, the photograph will be unified by the colours chosen with emphasis on the family, and not on the different patterns used.

Plan ahead

We all have those busy months and if you know that you’re looking to have your family portrait session taken in a particular month or season, it’s best to book in advance! When you book your family portrait ahead of time, not only does it settle any anxiety about whether or not you’ve saved your spot, but it also gives you time to think about the outfits, accessories and colour scheme that would fit the style for your session. Working out the kinks and details beforehand actually means less stress as you start to approach the date of the session so keep that in mind!

When in doubt, go for the classic look

Some families have a certain look in mind and set out to get the photos taken to exact specifications. More often than not families have too many options to choose one final look or don’t really know what qualifies as family portrait attire. With a classic look, you can never go wrong! Classic doesn’t have to be boring, or super fancy. Semi or smart casual options perfectly suit any family portrait as it’s a comfortably stylish wardrobe – and most importantly, provides a timeless look. For this look, avoid shirts with logos or other graphics as this could be a distracting item in the photograph. Something that’s casual enough to be comfortable yet dressy to add a bit more confidence to your look should do the trick – nothing wrong with simplicity!


Well, there you have it!  We hope these 5 tips will be a helpful for those who need some guidance finding the perfect outfit and theme for their Fall family portrait session. Though the season is beautiful, the weather might not always be kind so remember to check the forecast for the day. For more tips see our other blog posts or check out Simple Photo Tips.

If you’re planning on having your family portraits done this Fall, check out our portrait photography page to view rates or contact us at the studio to book your session!

Getting Great Dating Profile Pictures

Choosing the right pictures for your dating profile is an important decision because the photos reflect what you want to say about yourself.  Many times people aren’t happy with the photos they have of themselves, or they don’t have any recent photos.

You could wait for an upcoming event where someone might take a good photo of you, or you can hire a professional photographer to get the job done right.

We often get requests to make portraits in way that is flattering but doesn’t look like the person has hired a professional to do it. There is a skill to making natural, candid looking portraits that are flattering.

Check out an example of The Works package below:

As you can see, there are 3 completely different looks in separate locations, all within a one hour shoot. The bonus of this is the photos look like they have been taken on different days. The Works package includes 10 photos with up to 4 different looks/outfits.

Hair and makeup in this photoshoot was done by Jon Dobbie of Valentini’s Hair Design.

In the past, Trina did The Works package for a man’s dating profile, and 2 years later he came back to get Trina to shoot his wedding after finding his wife-to-be online.

The Works package is also perfect for your business life, allowing you to have high quality photos you can use in a variety of different ways, from business cards to networking profiles.

If you’d like to book a photoshoot to use for your business or personal life, contact Trina Koster today.

Portraits at Lake Huron

portrait photography at lake huron's grand bend beachThis portrait was taken at the Grand Bend Beach connecting to Lake Huron.

Trina loves this location because the lake is so large it looks like an ocean, it has beautiful light, is right on the water, and there’s usually a breeze blowing through people’s hair.

See more of our portraits.

It’s a very flattering look for photos when there’s fresh air blowing on you with a beautiful background, and this location has certainly got that.

Beaches can provide an amazing location for photo shoots, which is why weddings on beaches provide such great photography opportunities.

If you want some great photos of your dog we suggest taking some shots of them at a beach.

They’re likely to be having a lot of fun and it makes for a lot of cute and memorable photos.

If you’re looking to get a portrait of you and your friends or family, contact Trina Koster or see our portrait rates and packages.