Maximize Your Street Style Game With Tips From Photographer Lydia Hudgens

By  August 30, 2013

Street style photographer Lydia Hudgens knows a thing or two about posing in front of the camera. She snaps style bloggers like Hallie Wilson from Corals + Cognacs and Jessica Sturdy of Bows and Sequins and now she’s offering us a few tips to help us get noticed as we embark on Lincoln Center for the Spring 2014 fashion shows.


Q: What poses do you consider the most flattering?
A: It really depends on the clothing; it depends if a piece is really drapey and that doesn’t really give you much shape. I do tend to have them try to create a waist with their hands or holding their clutch. Or not taking a photo straight on, because it tends to widen people. Try to look as natural as possible, if you pose too much it looks too forced.
Q: Do you have tips for posing naturally?
A: Having something in your hand does help. That’s why a lot of girls shoot with their cell phones, with their purse, or a cup of coffee because it does give you something that you’re used to holding…and you’re not focused so much on standing there having your picture taken. These people aren’t models, they aren’t used to modeling on a day to day basis.  Watch your hands and feet.  Some people move their weight around but when you do it, the ankle breaks or it looks like it’s breaking so it photographs really badly. Keep your legs separated, otherwise it can widen you again. Don’t ever lock out the knees. Knees are hard to photograph, so I tend to take pictures of people with their knees at an angle, it really depends on what they’re wearing. If they’re wearing pants it doesn’t matter obviously, but if their knees are showing they tend to look a little bold straight on. Tell them to think money, I don’t know if it’s thinking about money that makes you smile naturally or the act of doing something nerdy that tends to make people smile. It’s hard to make people smile and hold it for a while. I know when I get photographed and I have to hold a smile, it starts to turn into a grimace after, like two minutes, or it starts to look like a smirk. I think the biggest thing is to be as comfortable as possible, try to look as relax as possible; I just tend to make it more goofy.
Q: What tips do you have for avoiding looking like you have a double chin?
A: The biggest thing with that is I try not to shoot from below. If you shoot from below and they aren’t like a size negative size two, they can get like a double chin. There are some clients I shoot from below, if they are really, really tiny, because I’m 5’9 to get the proportions right. If you are trying to do something from below, have the person turn their chin a little bit, or defining the angles, like if you flip your tongue up on the inside of your mouth, it automatically tightens the skin. I heard that from a client and I never thought that was a thing and then they do it and I’m like, ‘Oh, I can see the difference!’ I think the biggest thing is the angle that you shoot someone at. Also, in terms of lighting, because some lighting will like flatten them out and make them look like they have a double chin no matter where you shoot, so it’s really about figuring out the best light, that will create a little bit more dimension and create a stronger jaw line to begin with.
Q: What colors photograph best?
A: I think it’s not about color, but about contrast. So if you’re wearing something that has a lot of contrast or a lot of pop, like black and white for instance, I feel like those always photograph well. If you’re being photographed at Lincoln Center, you do want something that is a little bit multi-dimensional to make you stand out. I always try to get a background that’s always going to contrast against them. If you are going on location and you know what the location is going to look like, think about it and what could photograph better against that. You wouldn’t want to wear something that’s white per say at Lincoln Center because that’s just going to blend in. You want to pop; that’s what photographs the best.
Q: Do you have lipstick or hair recommendations when girls come to you? Do you make suggestions?
A: I work with people where I’ll go to their house and I’ll shoot like three to four looks at a time. I do feel like if you’re wearing a high collar, it looks better if your hair is up. It depends on the situation, it depends on what you’re wearing. It depends on what you’re trying to highlight. If I’m shooting for a necklace, or I’m shooting where they want the details of the jewelry, they’re not going to want their hair all wild and crazy where you can barely see the jewelry through all the hair. Think about things like that, if it’s about the outfit or about the details, then maybe pull your hair back. If you have a lot of hair or your hair is very statement, it can be too much.
Q: Do you have any tips for taking a selfie?
A: I don’t think I’m good at it! I don’t like to smile because I feel like my smile always looks like a grimace, and I look like I’m smirking so I always do what they call duck lips. People rip me apart for this. So I haven’t been doing too much of them; I started a few more and then I just started to feel weird about it. I think the biggest thing with selfies is to make them kind of quirky and funny or very like strategic. Play with angles, having a full-sized mirror is probably like huge. And not to make duck lips.