Say cheese

Christmas is coming, and you know what that means: Camera-wielding family members are as thick as soul-stealing thieves.

If you dread being in pictures, now’s not the time to be shy.

The Chicago Tribune printed a story last month filled with tips for looking good in holiday photos. Click here for the whole thing or check out these Top 5 tips:

  1. Change your attitude. You’ll look like a sour Scrooge if you act like one. Says Wisconsin photographer J.D. Wacker, if you’re not enjoying yourself, it shows. So lighten up; if you’re going to be captured on camera anyway, smile.
  2. Get down. Encourage the photographer to take photos from a higher angle, slightly above eye level so people are looking up at the camera.
  3. Make like a giraffe. Stretch your head and neck forward and title your chin down a notch, Wacker says. This helps eliminate double chins. Chin-up just gives the camera a better view of your nostrils.
  4. Turn. Tip your shoulders and tip your head to the higher shoulder. And never stand full-on in front of the camera unless you want to look bigger; turn your body for a three-quarters view and then square your shoulders (less of your hips to show).
  5. Plan your attire. White is not flattering, and bright colors (and those horrible holiday sweaters with Santas or Christmas bells) distract from people’s faces. Fashion photography Melissa Rodwell recommends soft colors. Get your hair cut and colored and do your nails, which will feed your confidence.

Enjoy the holidays!

Savor the season in pictures

Which is better? Shovel the food into your mouth and swallow it as fast as you can? Or savor a bunch of tiny bites to make a delicious treat last?

If you’re the shovel-it-in type, I can give you the plastic bracelet I wore last week that entitled me to the all-you-can-eat buffet at a beautiful resort in Puerto Vallarta. “Unlimited” didn’t have very much appeal by Day 7.

But if you’re a savor-it soul, click here to check out Paper Coterie’s Picture the Holidays program. When you register by Wednesday (Nov. 30, 2011), PaperCoterie will send you an email every day designed to “inspire your inner photographer” and encourage you to “get creatively centered.”

Of course, you can upload a photo a day as part of the program and create a book through PaperCoterie, too, but even if the book doesn’t interest you, you might enjoy the program.

I have scrapbook photo albums of people opening gifts at Christmas year after year. Can you see their faces? Not so much? Can you see the gift? Not usually. It’s just a whirl of cheap wrapping paper and hands in motion, images of “Christmas” (Christmas means gifts, right?) gulped down in haste.

What a waste of film and scrapbook pages.

But to get inspiring ideas to take photos every day of December? Now that’s a way to savor the holiday.

Hurry! You need to register by Wednesday to participate. Let me know how it turns out for you.