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The Camera Never Lies: How to look good in every photo

Blog post   •  May 03, 2016 15:00 BST

It's easy to capture the perfect portrait shot when you know how. Here professional photographer Emma Drabble (www.emmadrabblephotography.co.uk) shares her insider secrets using Panasonic’s stylish Lumix GM1 camera.

‘The GM1 camera is part of my professional kit for many reasons,’ says Emma. ‘For a start it’s small and mighty and portable. Its ‘live view’ mode lets me shoot from the hip too. Here are a few things to consider when trying to capture that perfect portrait shot.’

LOOK RELAXED

I try to avoid a ‘selfie face’. I always ask my models to face the opposite direction from me and when they turn, to only turn from the hips, keeping their feet static and considering the placement of their upper body. In the confusion of thinking about body placement, the model then forgets all about a posed face and the result is natural and warm with a dynamic pose.

1.Emma Drabble Photography.jpg

CAPTURE CHARACTER

Whilst turning away I get my models to think of a scenario that they can portray to the camera – like a fun time out with their girlfriends, for example. But as a photographer I am searching for the ‘real’ and don’t put the camera down because someone stops smiling, those are often the times to keep taking pictures. The GM1 is great for this as its silent shutter allows you to carry on shooting without the distracting click of the shutter.

2.Emma Drabble - Kirsty and Lucy.jpg

GET THE OUTFIT RIGHT

Think hard about matching the personality to the outfit and what you are trying to say in the picture. A beautifully tailor-made suit with stunning lines deserves to be photographed in a setting where there are strong yet subtle lines that subliminally draw attention to the lines of the jacket, for example. Meanwhile, babies and older people with warm personalities always look better in pale, natural materials such as cashmere and wool.

MAKE THOSE EYES SPARKLE

Get the sitter to wear a colour or sit against a hue that enhances their eye colour. Lighting is very important for dazzling eyes, so you should always be hungry for good, natural light. Fortunately, the GM1 is great in capturing striking shots in low-level light conditions.

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ENSURE GREAT LOOKING SKIN

Natural light in the morning and evening are always great for capturing flawless skin. The GM1 has some handy features that will help you too, such as its choice of ‘picture modes” for changing the colour definition in the shot. The natural and standard are the best for skin tones, but it’s also important to use the desaturation option here to flatten the tones of the skin. There are times when you may want to shoot in black and white and up the contrast on the camera however. This means you can shoot all the lines on a wise mans face for example - my favourite kind of face!

4.Emma Drabble Photography 1.jpg

GET CREATIVE

The best thing about the GM1 is that it’s great for experimenting with. I love using its nifty little bounceable flash for example, which lets you bounce light off the nearest surface to help you create a stunning photo.

5.Emma Drabble creative.jpg

[Picture credits: Emma Drabble Photography www.emmadrabblephotography.co.uk - Model in picture two is Alice Hassan]