Saturday, 12 August 2017

How to pose the RIGHT way. A meetup. And Marie Claire magazine.

There have been lots of posts around lately about blogger fatigue. (See list at the bottom of this post.) To that I say, of course we are sick of blogging, and the reason is clear: simply, we're not doing it right. We're bad posers and we don't wear the right clothes. Fear not - help is on the way!! This week I share with you some excellent posing tips I picked up online.

So yeah, we may hate social media, but it's also our mythical highway to Viral Nirvana - or, in my case, a gravel road shortcut with pot holes, dead-ends, construction, and signs saying "No gas for 10,000 miles," and my favourite, "Treacherous conditions. Does anyone know you are here?" But best not to worry about that. Our GPS says to take the road less travelled and it is never wrong.

Below. Oh no, oh no, oh no. I am looking normalish! Bad. This is a prime example of bland, I-can't-believe-I-ate-the-whole-thing-shock, if-I-don't-move-I-will-remember-everything, nothing-going-on-in-there posing. Who wants to see that? I can already hear screamy Frau Farbissina: "NEXT!!!" (She is from the Austin Powers movies, ex. here.)

Get your "squinch" on. I learned about squinching from New York/LA photographer Peter Hurley in his YouTube video, "It's all about the Squinch!" He's great! And he uses exclamation marks. 

He didn't explain it like this, but the trick to a good face is to think about chocolate, plots, and sexy secrets. Think about ways to adapt your leaf-blower into a duster. Think about what's under Fabio's gold lamé shorts. Okay, better not. Think about how fast a train must travel if it leaves point A at 11:00 and needs to arrive at point B at 1:03 if B is 7,031 km away, and will Sarah bring apples?

I know this pose but I always called it something sleuthy or high-noon cowboyie.

Squinching is a squint, but only using your lower lids; your upper lids aren't supposed to move. See? My face is sooo much better now: a face of intrigue, of mystery. It says, yeah, I ate the cheesecake, what are you going to do about it? Viewers will stop and stare, then say, we better get outta here, she's up to no good. Much more fun.

If you go extreme, it can look like you have indigestion, which can happen along that lonely road.

Below I am squinching again. And again, it looks like I've got stuff on my mind: how can I fit in a couple more hours of sleep, that workout really sucked, I have to write another blog post?!

But this photo is not for demonstrating the squinch. It's to show you Hurley's next tip, which he calls, "Hold Your Sub to look slimmer in photographs!" for upper arms. The "Sub" refers to a sub sandwich about 5 feet long. This is really brilliant.

Note my upper arms. Simple flesh bags. Nothing wrong with that, but they could be better.

I didn't have any 5-foot subs left in the fridge so I decided to Hold the Broom. Just hold the broom. Okay, frig - I just wanna ride the broom. (It's an old broom and I don't know why it's still in such good condition!?)

Note how my upper arms curve inwards at the top now, looking waaaay more toned than reality. It's the best kind of non-fake fakery. I told you it's a good tip. I think Hurley really meant this pose to be for upper body photography, with the sub off camera, but why limit ourselves? We could all carry our brooms everywhere, look fabulous (at least our arms), stop sweeping our floors (check!), and open a bar called Coven.

In the next photo I am doing dramatic squinching and Holding the Sub Broom. It's like you can read my mind: what do you mean brooms are for sweeping? Are you a doofus?

Hurley has another video called "It's all about the Jaw!" about how to create a defined jaw line, which requires sticking out your neck and chin and putting your forehead forward. In real life it looks ridiculous, but it looks great in photos with young models. When I try it, I get fantastic definition too - of my jowls and string neck.

The amazing photographic 3-D effect of sticking out my neck.

Plus, sticking out a neck with poultry-like tendencies is not a good idea, especially around Thanksgiving. I suspect that doing this pose while standing on my head would be a big help, although I'd have to watch out for bags over (under?) my eyes.

And there you have it. By employing these simple techniques, soon we'll all see tons of traffic on our blogs and sit waving to each other on the backroads to Viral Nirvana. If you get a clean break, be sure to honk as you go by. I'll cluck back.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on how to dress right.

In all seriousness, I love Peter Hurley. He is funny, engaging, and knows how to make people look their best. It's good entertainment and information. Have a look.


Carolyn of blog Handmade by Carolyn was in Vancouver from Australia and we local blogger gals rallied. It was like meeting a star! - Carolyn of the handmade clothes, of the handmade shoes, of the handmade boots! Revered sewista of finished seams. She and her husband C had been travelling on the Northwest Coast of Canada and the US and, happy day, they fit in some hours in Vancouver. He took this photo of us.

Left to right: Sveta of blog Sewing Sveta and IG @svetadolsi, Barbara of IG @vancouverbarbara, Sue of blog A Colourful Canvas and IG @acolourfulcanvas, Louisa of blog Damselfly's Delights and IG, Carolyn of blog Handmade by Carolyn and IG @handmadebycarolyn, and me.

We played hard in what little time we had, including a trip to some fabric shops and one of my favourite local alleys. I'm putting in this photo below so I have something to link up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. More photos are on Carolyn's and Barbara's social media.

It's so cool too that Carolyn was also wearing her loupe from O. We were loupe-de-loupe! See HERE on Barbara's Instagram.

PS During "brunch," we (except Barbara, driving) had grapefruit mimosas and I had bacon and egg porridge with maple syrup, the perfect drink pairing. Interesting.

Some months ago I sent photos to Marie Claire Netherlands for an article they were doing. I was very excited, naturally. And then I heard nothing. I thought they killed the story. Then on Instagram recently, I got a comment from @roosevaels saying she had seen me in there!?

I wrote to MC again and they said, "Yes, so sorry, we forgot to tell you." So I'm in the May print issue of Marie Claire Netherlands, which is happy news. Bwahaha! Along with Sarah Jane Adams @saramaijewels, Lyn Slater of Accidental Icon and @iconaccidental, and Helen Van Winkle of @baddiewinkle. HUGE THANKS to Marie Claire for including me!!!

Because you can't buy the issue now, it's from May, I'm including the piece on me below. In Dutch, I don't know what it says. "She loves smelling stinky running shoes and eating ladybugs!" Don't believe a word of it. (Bacon in my porridge was true, just that one time though.)
EDIT: Greetje of No Fear of Fashion has translated this article. Thank you!

The machine translation said "All that beige and stretch will bump you off." Hahaha. Close.

And that's my report, done. Yippee!! I know, I know, this could have been several posts but I like doing it in one fell swoop. I hope you made it! 

This is not squinching.

And I'm not really done-done - I've been to other great blogger meetups and to an excellent Slow Clothes fashion show, where Vivian, my personal style client, strut the catwalk. She was soooo good, like a younger Vivienne Westwood.

Okay, NOW I'm done!
May your days be filled with hope and good food! Also, I have responded to all your comments from the last several posts. I really enjoyed it. You guys are the BEST!

The posts about blogger and/or social media fatigue are here:
Suzanne Carillo: Why Bother Writing? Why I Love To Hate Social Media
Samantha at Fake Fabulous: 5 Reasons I Don't Like Social Media
Shelley at Forest City Fashionista: I've Lost The Will To Blog


  1. Well... those posing tips were really helpful. (NOT) I was hoping for some help but squinting is not going to help me haha. Thanks for the amusement though.
    Great blogger meet-up. Nice to see Louisa again.
    As for the Marie Claire.. rats that they didn't warn you. Shall I translate the piece? They say you are an artist and more of such positive things.

    1. Yes, please translate the article. That would be wonderful.

  2. Wonderful post - very useful, especially the part about thinking about sexy stuff😉

  3. {{waving}} Hi, Greetje!

    Congrats on your Marie Claire, Mel! That was mean of them not to tell you. Forgot is no excuse. However now I can say I'm friends with an international celeb. Whoo!! I shall stalk you in hopes that one of your sparkly sequins sticks to me. Mwah!

  4. Great post, Mel. Watch out for the squinching! I wonder if Marie Claire has a back issue or two they could send you.

  5. I love Louisa's comment. I too shall be waiting for a stray sequins to fall on me from your rising stardom. Even if they do forget to tell you that you're a star! Ha ha! I think that only happens to the REALLY famous people so you can be happy about that.

    I am going to employ this new broom technique for my next photoshoot. I will be substituting a pug for the broom. Thanks for the tip!

    I'll be leaving the squinching out as I figure my pug has that figured out already and she can do it well enough for the both of us.


  6. Very good tips for posing - and obviously with this increased stardom you've attained, that squinching can only result in you becoming an even bigger schtar than you are! It will push you over the top! Lovely to see the blogger gals again! You're all awesome!

  7. Bwahahahahaha...must try your tips for posing the next time I'm subjected to your camera Mel. lolololol.

    Enormous congrats on the Marie Claire feature. UM...I'm sorry but it kinda sucks that you don't have a copy. There must a kind person in the blogosphere that has the issue and is willing to let it go to you.

  8. I must watch Peter Hurley's videos for some "face posing" tips, and work on perfecting my "Squinch". Congratulations on the inclusion in Marie Claire, along with a bevy of other cool dames. Sucks they didn't tell you earlier, and that they didn't send you a hard copy.

  9. I'm surprised you didn't run into Tyra Banks of American's Next Top Model fame instructions on how to "smize" a variation of the "squinch."
    Girl - you are just appearing Everywhere! You could wear a paper bag and make it look good.

  10. That is so great that finally a magazine has recognized your talent and innate "greatness'.

  11. Congrats on the photo shoot!! Sign my autograph book?? love, love the posing tips - the squinch is like 60% sex on a stick and 40% "I need a laxative." You're fabulous as ever, xox


  12. I don't think you could look bland if you tried! You have a striking face. Really loving the gold brunch outfit. Congrats on getting in print!! X

  13. LOL What a great post! I'm definitely going to try squinching the next time I have my photo taken. I love the idea of holding a broom... I mean, I am a closet witch!!! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!
    Suzy x
    Suzy Turner at Yogadocious

  14. that's what's been putting me in a rut. I've got to up my pose game. Thanks for the tips!

  15. AWESOME Melanie!!!
    Congratulations....Marie Claire no less...bloody hell.
    Fake Fabulous | Style and Fashion, over 40

  16. Congratulations on being featured in Marie Claire! Love love love the outfit you wore to the blogger meet up!

    Emma xxx


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