Everyone remembers CariDee English from winning “America’s Next Top Model” back in 2006, but the statuesque blonde is still giving good face as a thriving cover girl.
In addition to raising awareness on psoriasis, the North Dakota native is starring in a music video for rock band Mini Mansions, “drumming with a DJ” for the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Rico, and of course, modeling.
But how does a model who's constantly on the go always look camera-ready? We got CariDee to dish so you can take the best selfie ever. (Sorry, Kim.)
Read on for English’s tips and tricks, if only so you'll never find a bad photo of yourself tagged in a friend's Facebook or Instagram photo again.
It’s all about the angles
“If you’re facing the camera front-on, whatever is closest to the camera will look the biggest,” explains English, 30. “For example, if you’re crossing your legs, make sure to angle them to one side or another so they’ll appear slimmer.”
Another simple trick celebs swear by? The super simple hand-on-hip pose. This cinches the waist, creating the illusion of a smaller midsection in photos. Make sure your elbow is pointed outward, too, because if your upper arm is smooshed against the body, it will make it appear larger and wider.
Find your light
“You want the light hitting your face, but make sure your face is lifted up so there are no awkward shadows,” says English. “And don’t be afraid to move around for better light. If you’re being lit from behind, just ask the photographer to swap places with you.” Also, keep in mind that everyone looks better with natural lighting, which is why many photographers aim to shoot models right at sunrise to capture their best glow of the day.
No matter your lighting, make sure you don’t look directly at it. This will cause you to squint, creating the illusion of a plumper jawline. (Leave this signature look for the chipmunks.)
Seriously, stand up straight
No matter your size or shape, no one ever looks good slouching. To avoid appearing wider in pictures (and an achy back), make sure you maintain good posture. Simply stand up straight and keep your shoulders back to look more natural. “You’ll not only look taller, you’ll look thinner, too,” English says.
“Maintaining good posture conveys positive body language in photos,” she adds. As a bonus, standing straight can help boost your confidence and make you appear more welcoming in photos.
Test your makeup
“To ensure your makeup will look good when you get your picture taken, snap a couple of test shots before leaving the house,” says English. “Take one with a flash and one without. That way, if there is any powder or oil that is visible, you can take care of it.”
Take the perfect selfie
Whether you want to admit it or not, everyone has taken a selfie at some point. But for a truly Instagram-worthy snap, it’s crucial to balance your features. “You don’t want to angle your face too far down, because that can make your forehead look very large, but you also don’t want to have your head lifted up unnaturally high, because nobody wants to see up your nose! Find a happy medium with your head just slightly angled down and to the side,” says English. And if you can, try to hide that awkward looking arm holding the phone as much as possible to avoid that dreaded oversized limb in your picture.
Embrace filters… sort of
There’s a difference between using filters and apps to enhance images and over-applying them to create a completely different photo than the one actually taken. And let’s be real—everyone can easily tell when someone has gone a little overboard with Valencia. In other words, don’t be afraid to touch up your pictures, but keep the changes at a minimum.
“Another trick for when you’re taking pictures on your phone is to not be afraid to use a couple of different apps to achieve the desired look in your photos,” says English. “I usually use one to adjust the lighting and another to enhance the colors and features.”
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