Sadly, the days of relegating your most shameful photos to an old shoebox at the top of the wardrobe are a dim and distant memory. These days no one leaves home without a camera phone permanently connected to the internet. So, that hideous picture of you shoving cake in your mouth with eyes like a banshee and fifteen chins, will be shared on Facebook and viewed by your old school friends, your boss and possibly your mother-in-law before you've had the chance to wipe the buttercream from your face and wrestle the perpetrator to the ground.
In an effort to save you from any future humiliation (or at least lessen the shame) I have put together my top ten favourite tips for looking fabulous in photos.
1. Make sure you are always looking slightly up towards the camera and not down. Looking down will give you a double chin and create an unflattering 'up the nostril' angle. If you can, move yourself or the photographer so that the camera is just above your eye level.
2. Say 'honey' instead of 'cheese' - it will give you a much more natural smile.
3. Perfect your red carpet pose. Stand at an angle to the camera with one hand on your hip and one leg forward, then turn your head towards the camera. The angle will make you look slimmer and the hand on the hip will accentuate your waist and slim your upper arm - remember to keep your hand low on your hip or your neck will disappear into your shoulders. Think 'Victoria Beckham' when you do it - she's the queen of this pose.
4. Never stand directly under a light as it will create dark circles under your eyes and other unflattering shadows on your face. The same is true of the sun when you're outside. If you're inside, stand facing a large window - the soft light will make your skin look lovely. If you're outside on a sunny day, get yourself in the shade of a tree or doorway to eliminate the shadows from your face .
5. Blot your nose, chin and forehead with tissue, toilet paper or a napkin to reduce shine. It's old school but it really works.
6. Never crouch in group shots. If it's not possible to stand, sit on the floor with one knee up or both legs to the side - like a mermaid's tail.
7. Remember that the closer something is to the camera, the larger it will appear - use this to your advantage to enhance your assets. (The exact opposite is true if you need to reduce the size of bits you're less proud of!)
8. If you're sitting down, it's most flattering to sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight, or to lean forwards slightly and rest your elbows on your knees.
9. Do something with your hands - on your hips (accentuates the waist and slims the arms remember), clasped together, crossed, in your hair or in the air. Anything that isn't just hanging by your sides.
10. Remember that the very sage Gok Wan says "It's all about the confidence." And he's right, it is. Practice your camera face in front of the mirror (so you can switch it on at a moments notice), be proud of your imperfections, believe in yourself and smile.
All images courtesy of www.pixabay.com.