19 Aug 2017

In Front Of The Camera: Behind The Camera


I prefer to be behind the camera, always and forever.

Full stop. Say no more. Please let me take the photographs rather than feature in them.

Except when we are on holidays it is fun to have snaps of all the friends and the happy times. The last few days I have been celebrating a friend’s birthday in Italy and we have taken millions of photographs.

How can it be some shots are amazingly fabulous and others are downright awful? I mean, it is nothing to do with reality, I am far too old to expect miracles and yet a little photogenic kindness would not go astray.

There are some photographs of me where I think, “ok, I can live with that” and others where I want to shoot myself.


Listen, I am not really vain, (I promise) and don’t really give it much thought as a whole.

Having said that I also don’t want to look entirely shocking in everyone’s holiday albums.

Ok, maybe that is a bit vain.

Whatever, I decided to try and find a solution to having my photo taken and taking those of my friends so they look the best they can. I notice this is what our children do. They know their best angles, how to smile and what to do in any given situation to look their best. They are the “selfie” generation so that accounts for their expertise.

What shall I do? The very reluctant one?

Get myself a little first hand knowledge. Always better to be in the know, Right?

And, I thought you might like to know how to look like a rock star too. xv


In Front Of The Camera

  1. 1. Do not stand too close to the camera in a group shot.
  2. Remember distance from the lens is our greatest pal.

2. Full sunlight?

Never, ever, ever. Muted and soft light is where I am headed.

3. Know your best side.

Believe it or not we have one and for most people it is our left. And no, I have no idea why.

4. Don’t face the camera squarely.

Tilt your face to your best side when possible.

5. Full length photos; take from a lower angle looking up. Seated photos; take them looking down.

This is a game changer.

6. Smile, Smile and smile some more.

Smiling removes years and tightens the jawline. Truth.

7. Say “money” not cheese.

Yes, for some reason it is better.

8. Be confident.

A self-confident woman is a beautiful one and that is the secret to a glorious photo.

the fun wrap bracelets you asked about, in the instagram shots are availble here

mizuki taupe leather and wrap pearl bracelet  ||  mizuki black leather wrap pearl bracelet  ||  pearl and gold cuff

image charlotte rampling for leica

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In This Post:



Mimi Gregor

I’ve noticed that candid shots of me are way more flattering than posed shots. Probably because I don’t have the frozen “deer in the headlights” look that comes when you’re mentally running through your checklist of “how to look your best in photos” while waiting (endlessly, it seems) for them to just take the damned picture!

I have also noticed that my left side is my best side, and try to angle it toward the camera, with my head tucked down a bit. I used to pose this way for my drivers license photos, and people always commented on how great they looked. Recently, however, with the advent of facial recognition technology, one must pose for the picture full-on. With no smile. *Bangs head on desk* I’m no longer so eager to whip out my drivers license anymore. I look like an escaped felon! An old escaped felon….


Love these tips. Garance Dore really is amazing and so funny. A long time ago I had to do a short work course on dealing with the media, including photographers. One of the things I learned is that if ever a media photographer takes a close-up picture from below (specially when you’re sitting down) you are going to regret it. There may be triple chins and bloated cheeks – and your nose may look enormous. Sadly if anyone comes near me for a flash photo I can’t help blinking as my eyes are very sensitive to light and flashes. One of my husband’s friends told me in just about every photo he’s ever taken of me – my eyes are shut! Not sure how to handle that, except to ask them to take a few photos if they will – or avoid flash altogether. Best wishes, Pamela

Our French Oasis

Great advice, I seem to have had a spate of people wanting to take group photos recently and I have been in all them, surrounded by younger people, much younger, as in teenagers. I certainly know I shall follow these tips from now on, if only I had read it a week ago!!


Fantastic tips! Vicki, I had to laugh when you wrote you are not vain, because I realize, that as I grow older, I AM when it comes to photographs! It takes practice ( okay, and a little editing) to look great in photos. Knowing the best way to face the camera is key. I’m still working on that. I have a friend who has it down, she always manages to look amazing in every photograph. It’s a skill worth acquiring.

mona turner

Great information Vicki! I’m soon going away for vacation and there will be much photo taking. I do want to look my best! I must remember to show my left side as I tend to tilt my head to the left in photos. Hopefully I can keep it natural while keeping these tips in mind. As always, your tips are valuable! Thank-you Vicki!


With this new found knowledge in hand, will we be seeing you putting the outfits together that you describe? It is so hard to invision how someone over 50, or even 60, might wear these trends. I would love to see how you wear them.


Brilliant tips!!!!

Years ago I figured out that my normal “resting face” no longer delivered the same message it used to … but now said, “I’m not happy, and I don’t like you much either.” In response to this realization, I learned to smile slightly all the time when in the company of others. My slight smile now makes sure me look neutral, not mildly amused. New times require new tactics.

:) Smiling.

Anita Rivera

I am the same way. I’d rather be behind the camera taking the shots. When I was younger (and yes, I admit, even now), I LOVE to be the center of attention. Yes, I do. But when it comes to freezing my animation, trying to look perfect in a photo, take me OUT of the picture! I love your tips here, Vicki, and I have noticed too, that my left side is my best. How interesting is that! OH, I love your gal pal photos lately! You look ravishing!


So sorry to ask, but which camouflage jacket did you wear all the time and where was it from? Gap? I’s like to purchase it.

Sharon Stahl

Loved reading all of the comments and could relate — my recent trial-by-error renewal of my passport photo (no smiling/”no teeth”?????) was a shocker! I am always smiling, even in something as routine as a passport/drivers license shot, but when I saw the results of the “somber” face, zut alors, quick: re-take! Finally got something I could “live with” for the next few years, but won’t be showing it off to anyone, that’s for sure. So ….. if you see me smiling in Paris, Provence or the Cote d’Azur — it’s the “real” me!

Beth Anderson

Another good tip – if your friend taking the photo is patient take a ton of photos and be animated while they are taking them. Increases the odds of a flattering angle.


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