Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Selfie Esteem

I just recently gave tips to Enjoy reading my tips here, or check out the post below:

Selfie Esteem

Holiday season is the time of the year when selfies and group celebration photos hit an all time high. Whether it’s the office party, a friends get-together or a family knees up, everyone wants to capture the cutest, most festive and hysterical pics, to post on every social media site. In a month where everyone needs to look their best, this can also be a worry for some who don’t like their appearance and avoid the camera. This slippery slope of hiding in the sidelines can also accelerate towards a confidence drop and end up being an unhappiest 31 days.
How to Look Good in Photos - Kate Branch
I’ve created some tips and tricks for you to quickly master so you are the king or queen of the party ball and will love being in every photo. It’ll boost your selfie esteem, well being and give you an extra positive photo nudge in the right direction:
Natural Selfies Galore:
The trick to taking selfies is that you should always have your back towards natural light. Florescent light makes you look older and magnifies every blemish, wrinkle and dark spot. On the other hand, natural light is like having a mini face lift and makes your skin glow while reducing dark circles under your eyes. So when you’re in selfie mode, stand with your back to a window and snap away. You’ll love the way you look and this will build your confidence before heading to group celebrations. Face straight onto the camera or smart phone to remove any sign of double chins but don’t hold the camera too low or you’ll have a selfie of your nostrils!
Group Photos & Photo Bombs:
Since many group photos will most likely be in the evening, you need to switch to Plan B as there is no glorious sunlight to make you shine.
Snuggle Up:
In a group photo setting, make sure you’re close by to each other. Even a two inch gap will make you all look distant and disconnected. You don’t need to stand like toy soldiers in a row but simply drape your arm over a friend’s shoulder and as long as you’re all close by and using your hands as props, this will capture an in-the-moment, emotional photo.
Make The Most of Settings:
If you’re taking a group trip at a ski resort, hitting the beach or at an attraction, play around with the scenery to use as fun props. For example: in a snowy setting, everyone can be group hugging the snowman or at the beach, you can all be making sand angels while someone stands over you taking the shot. These are semi-action shots and will bring the scenery to life. Take a few snaps and share the sequence socially. With everyone enjoying themselves and smiling, you’ll look like a star in the photo and this will help increase your confidence.
Photo Bombs:
Photo bombs can result in a fantastic impromptu shot where no one particularly looks perfect in the end result…but that’s the fun of the surprise. It’s hard to stage a photo bomb yet remember is that even if you’re smiling or looking shocked, the photo will show your amazing impulse personality characteristics. Laugh at the photo instead of scrutinizing that you don’t look your best. This is a sure fire way to start appreciating your own looks and it’s important to remember that most of your friends and followers will be looking at the whole scene, not just you.
Slow Down the Action:
If you’re looking to be more creative than posing for the typical group snap, play around with action shots. Pretend you’re all about to throw snowballs at each other and at the time of the shot, have the person holding the smartphone shout ‘one…two…three…go’ and you all throw snowballs at the same time.
On a final note, if you’re always the one that blinks when the camera clicks, ask the camera holder to say ‘one…two…three…open’ and there will be no closed eyes in the final take. Have a brilliant holiday season building photo memories and promoting socially. Not every shot needs to be perfect but the objective is to have fun, build your self esteem and start enjoying photos of yourself in various poses. Over time, you’ll discover your best angles and this will build self esteem.
Here’s a short video of Kate in photographic action:
Kate Branch, a Sydney local and author of How To Look Good In Photos, has a Major in Photography, a successful photography business, and a Masters in Art Therapy. Kate’s book provides logical tips for accentuating facial expressions, posture, how to position hands and body angles so the photos are a gem, first time around. Ironically, the book has very little to do with photography, yet more about the person(s) in front of the camera to build confidence and self esteem in a world where selfies and social postings of photos are now the norm.
- See more at:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cloudy days are cool

Want to pose like Jessica Alba? Check out my celeb tips and tricks at Sarah Beeny's webiste
Photo is from

How to Build Selfie Esteem & Photo Confidence

We live in a world where social media demands we regularly post selfies and photos so for anyone that’s camera trigger happy, you’re probably having a blast! Celebrities have taken selfies by storm to build their brand and while they’ve been playing around with filters, it makes the rest of us feel quite insecure about our own social appearance.  It’s easy to rock an Instagram shot using filters but when it comes to taking photos for your My Single Friend profile, you really want to make sure your snaps are as honest as possible.  It’s all about showing off your best assets and hoping your future mate will adore you for your natural self.

On the other hand, disliking your unfiltered photos can develop low self morale based on your body or facial complexes. This low confidence problem can be easily avoided with a few tricks I like to call building ‘selfie esteem.’  My pointers will give you the foundation in mastering the art of creating amazing profile photos that will guarantee eyeballs and possibly…that first date. 

Follow the Light:

Taking a photo in even light can shave five years off your face, instantly. Good, natural light is now your new BFF! Stand with your back against a window when you take your selfie as this will reduce blemishes and make your skin appear smoother.  Also face head on to the camera as this will even your skin tone and blast away any pesky wrinkles and eye shadows. Your final shot will look like you had a mini face lift. 

A great example using natural light I love is Lea Michelle. With the light behind her, her complexion looks incredible, right?

Keep It Arms Length:

If you’re using a timer camera app for a full or half body shot, don’t hold your arms right by your sides. Most people, especially women, don’t like their arms and by squishing them against your sides, they’ll look bigger.  Simply place one hand on your hip and the other about an inch away from your body. This will make you look slimmer and accentuate your body. Check this photo of  
 Jessica Alba who’s mastered the ‘arm’ art at another celebrity appearance.

If you’re using a timer camera app for a full or half body shot, don’t hold your arms right by your sides. Most people, especially women, don’t like their arms and by squishing them against your sides theyll look bigger. Simply place one hand on your hip and the other about an inch away from your body. This will make you look slimmer and accentuate your body. Check this photo of Jessica Alba who’s mastered the arm art at a celebrity appearance.   

Keep It Streamlined:

If you’re body conscious and want to appear slimmer, for selfies you need to avoid looking down at the camera. This will create double chins which is not flattering. For half or full body photos, just shift the weight onto your front foot and bend your back leg slightly. Your posture will automatically adjust so your body is slightly angled and not facing square on. It’ll also alter your shoulders as they’re your widest point and you want to avoid looking bulky.

See how Beyonce and Rihanna angle their bodies as an example and their front foot position. 

Helping Hands:

Try posing for a few photos and experiment using your hands to magnify your best assets. If you’ve incredible eyes, rest one hand against your cheek with fingers facing upwards and this will draw attention to your best feature. Maybe you’re not keen on your stomach; you can lean on an angle with one hand resting on your hip, touching your stomach. This will give the appearance of a flatter tummy. 

So the next time you’re checking out My Single Friend profile photos and snooping around at celebrity Instagram profiles, start to mirror copy their same poses. You may be surprised at how confident you become with the results and it’ll do wonders for your self esteem. 

This post was written by guest author, Kate Branch, a Sydney local and author of  How To Look Good In Photos

Kate Branch has a Major in Photography, a successful photography business, and Masters in Art Therapy. Kate’s book provides logical tips for accentuating facial expressions, posture, how to position hands and body angles so the photos are a gem, first time around. Ironically, the book has very little to do with photography, yet more about the person(s) in front of the camera to build confidence and self esteem in a world where selfies and social postings of photos are now the norm.

Check out more of Kate’s tips and tricks on YouTube

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Okay. So I am PLAYING with the idea of moving on from my beloved Canon........Why? All year I have been capturing landcsapes. For this particular shot I had to leave my camera gear on the beach to actually swim. Whats the point of capturing lanscapes if you cant interact! Katie is on a camera mission.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Destination I do

Getting married. I just gave tips and tricks to "Destination I do" for brides to look their best. Check out the article below or click here

How to Look Good in Photos

Words by Kate Branch
Photos courtesy of Kate Branch Photography

When I was a child, I would walk past my grandmother’s dressing table and gaze at her wedding photos in awe. She just looked stunning and elegant on her wedding day. As my career as a photographer flourished, I realized that these shots weren’t just about capturing an ecstatic and memorable day, it was based on how my grandmother posed, with confidence.

Everyone deserves to look amazing on this special occasion, that’s a given. For the rest of your life you will look through your wedding album and see you and your partner posing together as a couple, with family and a large group. The best pieces of advice I can give you are based on years of experience and coaching individuals on how to pose, before and during the wedding. 
In my opinion, wedding dresses and wedding photographs are the most important elements that truly encapsulate the day. When I arrive at the bride’s house I always take a few minutes not just to photograph the gown, but think of creative ways the bride can pose, showcasing the gown’s original qualities.
Taking a leaf from my Amazon book “How to Look Good in Photos,” I ask the bride and groom to adopt a “frame it' pose technique. Our hands are our frames and they direct where people’s eyes should focus on. If you don’t take ownership of maximizing your dress and yourself in the best light, photographs can give them impression that you’re uncomfortable, tense and appears the dress is wearing you. This is a common trait with brides who are not only unfamiliar with the camera but the added celebration pressure that exudes a discomfort in photographs.
Using the hand gesture tip, practice in a full length mirror: find the best accentuation for your body in your dress and focus your hand towards that area. For example, if you’re wearing a one shoulder or sleeveless dress, this will highlight your décolletage so in photos, place one hand on your décolletage and glance down or smile at the camera. This pose will also bring to life any detailing from your waist to neck, based on your hand being a perimeter focus. Always position your hands softly, as the camera will pick up any tension immediately.
Another simple, yet effective tip is to find the unique qualities of your dress and use them as a prop. Sometimes a dress will have a beautiful silk tie, or a veil will drape delicately down to the hip. Before your wedding day, I advise you to practice holding a delicate wrap, silk tie, lace veil or extend the A-line with your hand on your hip. This will make you look at ease wearing your stunning gown, becoming familiar with the style, shape and how to pose. Once your big day has arrived, you’ll now feel and look like a natural in photographs.
For brides that choose to wear a backless dress, you must practice your cheeky ‘stare over the shoulder’ look. In magazines, looking over your shoulder with your back to the camera looks relatively easy, but it does require a few attempts before you master the art. The trick is that you stand slightly to the side of the camera so when you look over your shoulder, your face is centered at the lens. This is also what I call a ‘slim and streamline’ pose as your shoulders are not square on. As shoulders are the widest part of the body, shooting streamline is more flattering.
My last tip would be the most important for the entire day. It’s extremely common for dresses to showcase the bride’s entire arm. A tummy…you can hide. A bottom…you can cover. But arms are on show the entire day. The more nervous a bride is, the more she’s likely to subconsciously push her arms to the side, making them look thicker (the same for brides who nervously cross their arms, covering their beautiful dress). There’s just one rule of thumb to combat this: make sure your arms are always away from your body. You can bend your elbows, rest your arms on your thigh or place your hand your husband’s arm or shoulder. The latter always makes for a super cute snap. This is also a great tip to adopt within group shots. Instead of everyone standing in a row like isolated soldiers, ensure they’re touching their neighbors arm or shoulder. It will then show a happier and relaxed photo for group shots, replacing spaces and gaps with a streamlined flow.
Your wedding day photographs will be displayed proudly in your home forever, possibly on social media and shared with friends and family. You need to feel comfortable, happy and content, showing your best assets in every photograph. Just practicing these few tips will give you additional confidence and may be the icing on the wedding cake.
Kate Branch is a popular wedding photographer in Sydney, Australia and is a former professional model. She overcame shyness in front of the camera herself and regularly runs workshops to help other women combat low self-esteem. Her book "How to Look Good in Photos" can be found on Amazon. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thank you LA daily

<img src=katebranch.jpg" alt="Kate Branch">

I am very proud to announce that the LA daily interviewed me about my photography. I am super proud of this undeniable career highlight. 
Check it out here or

Kate Branch, photographer and author of “How to Look Good in Photos: His and Hers Tips and Tricks,” said her wish is for everyone to have at least one good picture of himself. Here is her professional advice for selfies:
• Practice: It may not make things perfect, but it does make selfies better. Branch advises people to practice taking selfies and photos with friends in different poses. Professional models know their best sides. 
• Lighting: Don’t worry so much about the backdrop and instead concentrate on the light source in order to eliminate shadows.
• Angles: The location of the camera matters. Selfies often can be taken at the wrong angle and capture double chins and nostrils. Face the camera at an angle so the chin looks its leanest. 
• Capture the true you: If you love hats, then wear them in the photos. The more relaxed you are in your selfie, the better.

Selfies have put capturing snapshots more than within arm’s reach.
The social media self-portrait phenomenon has become a go-to tool for those who want to broadcast to the world where they are, whether that be in the car, at school, work, Disneyland or even in front of the Eiffel Tower. 
When the Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “selfie” as the word of the year in 2013, it solidified the trend, which everyone from President Obama to Pope Francis has gotten in on. A year later, there’s no sign of the practice disappearing as businesses, retailers and authors aim to capitalize on the selfie. 
The latest to join in is Bruvion Travel & Concierge, a Los Angeles affiliate of Cassis Travel Services. For travelers who want to enjoy their adventures but still capture the moments, the company offers the Selfie-less Travel Package. It provides a social media assistant whose job is to find the right location, pose and angle the client and then snap the shot. The assistant also edits the photos and posts them online. It’s not a cheap service, costing $500 a day plus expenses for full-time attention or $250 to meet locally and spend the day working with a client.
But it also poses the question: If someone else takes the photo, is it still a selfie?
“Well, I guess it really isn’t a selfie, but it shows how selfies and social media have become so big in our lives,” said Bruvion partner-owner Jason Couvillion. “My business is a luxury travel company with clients who want to enjoy themselves.
“I know some photographers are hired to document some people’s vacations, so why not do this? Our assistant would act as a tour guide and help take some of the stress out so everyone can concentrate on the fun.”
Hotels in Greece and Australia as well as areas closer to home like Oregon and Virginia offer packages revolving around the social media sensation. The Mandarin Oriental Paris, for instance, has a package with a private tour of the French capital’s best locations for Instagram-worthy self-portraits. The Mandarin Oriental’s “Selfie in Paris” deal boasts a stay in a deluxe room with breakfast and three hours with a private car and driver through Jan. 31. Rates start at 995 Euro, or more than $1,240.
For those do-it-yourselfers looking for a more affordable way to improve selfies, there’s LuMee, an impact-resistant smartphone case that improves picture quality through the use of lights. The case costs $39.95 and may be purchased online at It was created by a professional photographer who wanted to improve Skype sessions he enjoyed with his daughter, LuMee. The cases provide a steady light source, which can make for better photos without draining the phone battery.
Expect more innovations and uses, said Scott Silverman, a UC Riverside professor who studied the interaction of Facebook and other social media among college students for his doctorate from USC.
“Social media trends come and go, but I think the selfie is here to stay. In fact, its popularity and use is growing,” Silverman said. “We love instant gratification and although most of the photos aren’t exactly an Ansel Adams, what they do is immortalize times with friends. Selfies and everything to do with smartphones and apps are now social entertainment. I expect to see a lot of ‘elfies’ with Christmas coming. Really, the sky’s the limit.”
Capturing memories with photos is far from new, but now the focus is no longer a photo of a person at a place, but simply the person, Silverman said. 
“What we used to maybe call Kodak moments now are selfie moments,” he said.
Some critics argue selfies have become symbols of self-obsession, while others are concerned they may strain self-confidence levels as selfies invite not only praise, but harsh criticism.
“Selfies have positives and some negatives. They make us more aware of ourselves, but they can damage self-esteem if others criticize,” said Cheryl Pomer, a neurological systems analyst and CEO/creator of Leadership Physiology.
If used correctly, however, Pomer believes selfies can be a positive self-help tool.
“They also have one powerful aspect to them: The person has control. We have been bombarded with societal and media standards of attractiveness. Maybe these can help set new standards focusing on more of a reality and the inclusion of everyone,” she said. 
There’s something about the selfie that is quick, easy, fun and nonthreatening, especially because one can always delete and retake them at will, said Kate Branch, a professional portrait photographer in Australia who just released her book, “How to Look Good in Photos: His and Hers Tips and Tricks,” on
“I really believe in the power of an image, any image,” Branch said. “If you capture a positive image of yourself, it becomes your own personal cheerleader and positive reinforcement. You will be unstoppable.”

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sydney in Spring

I love the Jacarandas blooming in Sydney at Spring time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to look younger in photos

For all you lovely ladies out there here are my top tips for looking 5 years younger in your photos. Check it out here or read below. 
How to look younger in photos

How to look younger in photos

As a professional photographer for over 14 years, I have many clients who don’t like to have their snaps taken for fear of pesky lines and wrinkles showing.
And it doesn’t just stop outside the studio. I am sure they have this worry when they are capturing memories with their family and friends. I find people immediately search for a backdrop when they are about to have a picture of them taken. This is a mistake! To give the illusion of a mini-face lift, they need to be hunting for the best, natural light. A backdrop can be cropped out, yet unflattering shadows under eyes are hard to remove without PhotoShop.
My book How To Look Good In Photos gives some great tips and tricks. Let me share some with you now.

katebranch (11)Why Light Is Important

  • It can make you appear five years younger, instantly
  • It reduces blemishes and smoothes skin
  • Natural even light is your new best, youthful friend

How to Find Your Inner Light

When you have photos taken that are not in a natural light setting, the final photo results can be stressful and reduce confidence as you now believe you look older than you expected. This is a slippery slope as you’ll then avoid any photo opportunities, and miss out capturing exciting life moments on camera.
When the light is not even on your face, this creates dark shadows and accentuates any wrinkles. The more obvious these wrinkles, the less despondent you start to feel. Additionally, fluorescent lights are a sure way to magnify every blemish to the hilt and you’ll look 10 years older, so try avoid these.
The magic of even light is that it illuminates the skin, so all the flaws vanish as wrinkles and blemishes are not as obvious as the shadows they create.

katebranch (9)Retouching Tips & Tricks

From educating clients about natural light, some of my customers make a definite point in restaurants to always sit directly towards the window, so their faces are filled with an even glow. This is obviously a great way to become more self assured and confident, which gives a booster when they’re in front of the camera.
Using built-in filters on cameras or smartphone apps are also a great way to hide blemishes and food stains. The important rule of thumb is that people will not flinch if you look 10 percent better in a photo, yet if you retouch vastly, then people will notice and become suspicious. Retouching is like red wine: A little is good for you yet too much… and you’ll look like a fool and appear alien! Some of the best filters I suggest are: black & white, vintage, retro, sunny and rise.
Remember, our unique structure shouldn’t be tampered with so please don’t trim your hips down or give yourself a smaller nose. You’ll look like a stranger and ruin the photo experience.
Embrace the light as it’s naturally good for you and it’ll shave a few years off your appearance.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to look good in photos giveaway with

how to look good in photos written by Kate Branch

Have you ever wondered why celebrities look so good in photos? From smart phones selfies, to professional cameras at big events- there is always a picture being taken. From the dating game, to the boardroom, and even your holidays. Images are captured so learn professional photographer Kate Branch’s tricks and look your best!

Click here to enter

Zest are giving away a FREE copy of this book to a lucky ZestNow member. Enter by November 15th for your chance to win.

For more from Kate Branch, read her ZestNow article HERE.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beautiful flower

A beautiful flower I captured from the beautiful earth.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Good morning kookaburra

Captured with my samsung galaxy with an attachable tele lens. What a cutie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Zest blog letting you know how to look good in photos just gave its readers some fantastic tips and tricks to look fabulous and wrinkle free in photos. Check the post out at or read it below
Secrets for Women Over 50  - Look Great in Your Photo
Look your best - and wrinkle free - in your photo!
As a professional photographer for over 12 years, many of my clients are in the 50+ age range that all have one thing in common: they all worry about wrinkles showing up on photos.

I run a series of workshops, and when I ask attendees to find a great spot for a photo shoot, they immediately gravitate towards a clean backdrop. This is actually an error that’s common for most people. The main objective of having a great photo taken is purely through sourcing the best natural light around.
How Light Changes Photos:
Natural light can shave up to 10 years off a face and the more even the light; it will remove blemishes, wrinkles and dark spots. The magic of light is incredible when the final photo results are shown to clients. More youthful, a mini-face lift and a stronger glow.

Without natural light, a bad photo can result in a slippery ego slope, which will make you feel less confident. Ultimately, you’ll start to miss out on capturing exciting life moments on camera, for fear that you don’t like how you look in the final photo.

Fluorescent strips, on the other hand will bring out every flaw, wrinkle, blemish and shadow to the highest level so always avoid artificial lighting.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Retouching:
Alongside using natural light to bring out your best features, I always advise clients to use the minimal of retouching. The more you retouch, the more distorted the final image so this is a good rule of thumb to remember: No one notices you when you look 10 percent better but when you retouch excessively, everyone will see this clearly.

If you’re taking photos with a smartphone, then make the most of the filters available but avoid overload. For example on iPhone, you can combine a subtle vintage filter and increase brightness by 10 percent, which will naturally show smoother skin and bring out your eye color. These filters don’t distort the image unlike PhotoShop and only takes seconds to apply. Try it!
How To Pose:
Here are a few final tips to ensure your profile or full body photo shows you in the best dazzling, natural light:
Never face the camera square-on as your shoulders will appear bulky and wide.
Use your nose as a magnet towards the lens. It’ll show confidence and symmetry.
Use your limbs as a prop. For example: Rest your hand at the side of your neck as this will draw attention to your gorgeous face.
Enjoy having photos taken of you and make the most of the natural light as it’ll shave years off and boost your morale. Also remember that in 10 years, you’ll envy how you look today!
How to look good in photos written by Kate Branch

Smart phone fun

Lavendar captured with my samsung smart phone and an attachable lens. Great fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My top tips for looking good in photos

I just gave professional photography tips to Christian Connections international blog. Make your online dating profile photo stand out with my tops tips from my book
How to look good in photos

Read the article below or check it out here 

How to look good in photos written by Kate Branch
How to look good in photos, by Kate Branch 

As a photographer for twelve years, I’ve had my fair share of taking thousands of photos from people in a multitude of settings. Looking through the lens, I see something unique about their personality and characteristics.
Just about the biggest mistakes people make with their dating profile photo is that they don’t show any personality characteristics about themselves. One of the first things I explain in the dating profile chapter of my book How to Look Good in Photos is that your profile photo needs to stand out. It must communicate who you are and your interests in life, to attract the right partner. By posting a really great profile photo, you enhance your unique qualities, which will grab the attention of like minded suitors.
You are also essentially aiming to appeal to your target market, aka your potential life partner. There’s no point in posting a cute selfie with no insight into what drives you, so when you take your photo, keep this in mind. Learn to be proud of what makes you tick and make sure it’s crystal clear in your photo.
Wow, with a few tricks.
Use sunglasses, a fedora, a camera or something that represents your passions to help create your story. Love extreme sports? Take a photo while you’re snowboarding. Love to cook? Snap an image while you’re creating a masterpiece in the kitchen.
Face it.
Your main profile photo needs to show your face in the best light! If you have baby blue eyes that would have made Sinatra reach for contacts, then use your best assets and stare directly into the camera. If you have a smile that can shine through an eclipse, then grin your way through the photo.
Body form.
Positioning is important, helping you become more at ease with your body. Put your hand on your hip, in your pockets, run your hand through your hair or have it resting on your neck – your limbs are now props so they draw attention to your best features. It’s also important to angle your body, making sure only your face is direct towards the camera. This is called ‘slim and streamlined,’ where you place the weight on the front foot while slightly arching your back. These tips apply to guys also, so don’t square-on towards the camera, or your shoulders will look bulky.
Avoid Selfies.
Even though selfies have been trending for a year, they don’t usually show your best characteristics or bring your personality to life. On Christian Connection, look at some selfies and then review some action shot photos. I absolutely guarantee you’d be more interested in the latter.
Don’t just see online dating as a necessity to meeting people. See it as a pure opportunity to meet a like minded partner you can share experiences with. So put your best foot forward, using some of my tips, and you’ll be surprised with the new quality of attention you receive. It’s also a fun way for friends or family to take these photos of you, so enjoy snapping away.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spring is in the air

I captured this beautiful spring tulip using my new toy. An attachable macro lense for my smart phone!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 writes about How to look good in photos

Thank you Living Better for showing your readers my book. You can check out the article here, or read it below.

In today’s world you would have to be a recluse to avoid a camera. Everywhere I go I see someone capturing a moment with a camera phone. Never has it been a more appropriate time to be photogenic. And it is not even an issue of vanity. Below is a list of some of the reasons why people need photographs of themselves:

- Your own website, if you run a small business.
- C.V.’s are getting noticed by placing a headshot in the corner.
- Dating websites.
- Wedding photographs are so expensive people want to look their best.
- Every family memory from this decade forward will be recorded by every individual attending that function, whether you have makeup on or not!

We are such a visually-based culture that, more and more, we are leaning on photographs to express, explain, and share our experiences.

Posing is a tool you can utilize anywhere. It’s free and instant. You may not have a couture gown but you will be able to jump into what I call the “slim and streamlined pose” in three seconds. Then, just like the celebrities, you can add hair and makeup or a suit jacket. And voilà! Marilyn Monroe and James Bond- watch out!

It may take a little bit of time. You are about to step out of your comfort zone. It will take practice, either in front of the mirror or setting the timer on your camera phone. I have taught these tips in workshops. I have had clients ranging from eighteen to eighty. I have had women recovering from breast cancer, and both genders starting businesses, and wanting to date. And there is one truth in all of it. The mass media is making everyone feel bad: pretty teenagers, aging mothers, attractive businessmen, and fiercely independent females.

Another problem area people are not happy with is their arms. This is because they are on show for most of the warmer months. A tummy you can hide, a bottom you can cover – but arms have to perform three shows a day for an entire season. Many people stand with their arms unconsciously squished to their sides. This action makes your arms look much thicker than they actually are. So, by standing self-consciously, you are in fact making your arms look bigger. Also, don’t pose with shoulders square on. Shoulders are the widest part of the body. Shooting straight on is not flattering. Angle the shoulders slightly to lead the viewer into the photo.

How to Look Good in Photos by Kate Branch book cover image

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Official book review for How to look good in photos

How to look good in photos by Kate Branch

Thank you to Erasmus and for a wonderful official book review of my book "How to look good in photos." 

You can check it out here or read below: 

I think the title of the book speaks for itself. 

How to Look Good In Photos by Kate Branch gives the reader tips on how to pose for a camera in any occasion - for casual, formal, kiddies (with the attention span of ten minutes), and group photos - to get the result you want. Branch teaches us how to pose for a camera, and what to do with our limbs without flailing like a fish out of water. It also lists various programmes available to touch-up the photographs taken without going overboard, especially with Adobe Photoshop. In addition to all of that, Branch also points out to the reader the quirks that we may not realise we have developed in front of a camera, and how to change it. It’s simple, really!

This is the first time I’m reviewing a non-fiction book. The reason why I read this book at all is that I am camera-shy due to all the insecurities I feel whenever I do (or do not) pose for a photograph, and thought How to Look Good in Photos might give some good advice. 

I was not disappointed.

How to Look Good in Photos adapts a light-hearted tone, with simple words and instructions (contrary to other self-help or how-to books I’ve read). This, I feel, is a very important point, because the lack of big words brings very clearly the point of the book across to the reader. It is, when compared to other non-fiction books I’ve read, relatively short in length, although I do not think that it is a shortfall. Its conciseness is what made me finish the book with relish - I feel like I learned a lot in a short time (it doesn’t take all that long to finish this book!). 

Of course, the pictures that come along with the descriptions helps the reader to better comprehend the tips. Her compare and contrast photos also prove that her advice does work. Like magic. 

In fact, while my camera-shyness doesn’t miraculously disappear, and I don’t suddenly become photogenic in the span of the book, it does motivate me to make myself feel more confident in front of a camera. And this, more than the tips and advice in Branch’s book, makes me love How to Look Good In Photos. 

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. But, since I’m no photographer or an expert in photography, my opinion on this book probably shouldn’t be trusted… I highly recommend it to anyone, even if it's just to pass the time, or to to laugh about some of the things we do in front of a camera that we never realise we did (and I mean this in the best way).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to look good in photos

Need to renovate your online dating profile. I just gave professional photographic advise to Australia's biggest online dating agency. Check out my photographic tips and tricks to look better in photos

Tips for taking a good profile picture


You're online, looking for romance. You want to make a good impression and stand out from the crowd. Your profile pics are an essential part of this process. You don't want to miss out on meeting someone great simply because your photos aren't up to scratch...

Remember, you are going to be your own worst critic; no one will ever scrutinize your photo as much as you will. But you can control the direction of how you appear in your profile. As a veteran photographer, here are some easy tips so you can nail that profile pic and watch the Kisses come flooding in!

Face It:
Your main profile photo needs to show your face in the best light! If you have baby blues that would make Sinatra reach for contacts, then use your best assets and stare directly into the camera. If you have a smile that can shine through an eclipse, then grin your way through the photo.

Body Form:
Positioning is important so you become more at ease with your body. Have you noticed that when models are showcasing a car, their hands point around the car so your eyes divert to the vehicle. This is called a 'frame it pose.' Put your hand on your hip, in your pockets, run your hand through your hair or have it resting on your neck - your limbs are now props. It's also important you angle your body so only your face is direct towards the camera. This is called 'slim and streamlined' where you place the weight on the front foot while slightly arching your back. These tips apply to guys also, so don't square on towards the camera, or your shoulders will look bulky.

Surround Yourself:
It's critical that your photo is in a setting that shows your true passions and hobbies. If you like the countryside, make sure your setting is in a park. For extreme sports lovers, this is the time to have an action shot. Install a self timer on your smartphone and capture more of yourself in your ideal setting and the final photo will speak volumes about your personality.

Avoid It:
Never have your arms crossed over your stomach or at your sides as it'll make you appear unconfident. Ensure your fists are never clenched as this gives the impression that you're anxious or angry. Your primary photos should not be a selfie, so quit the selfie snaps and focus on the bigger picture.

Now you have a great profile photo, you're on your way to finding your true RSVP.

About Kate Branch: Kate Branch, a Sydney local and author of How To Look Good In Photos, has a Major in Photography, a successful photography business, and Masters in Art Therapy. Kate's book provides logical tips for accentuating facial expressions, posture, how to position hands and body angles so the photos are a gem, first time around. Ironically, the book has very little to do with photography, yet more about the person(s) in front of the camera to build confidence and self esteem in a world where selfies and social postings of photos are now the norm.

Monday, August 25, 2014

North Shore Mums

I am very excited to share my most recent blog post that was for I read this blog often to get tips and tricks that all mums need. 
The article gives tips and trciks for taking great family photos- especially with little ones!
Check it out here, or read the article below: 

As a mother and a portrait photographer, I’ve taken a decade’s worth of photos of children and families. From hosting workshops, I see the common traits that adults and kids generate from being so nervous in front of a camera; they’re disappointed with the shots and it reduces confidence levels.

This led me to author my first book, How To Look Good In Photos. I became fixated on correlating the same pattern of errors people make in posing and positioning and wanted to rectify this. For kids though, it’s not about having your child positioned or posed in a certain style… a completely different set of rules apply.

1. Don’t make children sit still

Since kids have a short attention span, and their excitement ensures they won’t sit still, don’t make them! The key to taking great family photos with young children is to keep them distracted and enjoy the moment instead of trying to have them stay in one particular position or pose. By making them sit still, not only does the photo reduce the great energy that children have in abundance, but it also guarantees an unnatural shot that doesn’t portray their fun and lively qualities.
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2. Keep the camera out of sight (where possible!)

I highly suggest that the camera is out of sight from the child’s direct eye line and focus on child engagement as priority. For example, if your partner is taking the photo, then play your kids favourite music in the background. When you and your child are laughing and dancing, have your partner bring out the camera quietly. Don’t draw attention to it, but let it capture the exact moment of you, playing with your happy munchkins.
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3. Engage with your child

You can also sing the child’s favourite song and as you’re both in the here and now, the camera is clicking away. The same applies for using props that encourage kids to move around. Maybe you can ask your child to touch your necklace. As the child starts playing with the jewellery around your neck, your partner can click away and create some truly intimate photos you’ll all cherish.
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4. Play with your child naturally

If you have a garden with outdoor toys, have your child sit at the top of the slide and you stand at the bottom. Encourage your child to open their arms, as you do, the camera will capture some magical, movement shots of you together, in sequence. You can also use this trick for footballs, swings and climbing frames, making you the objective of their attention instead of the camera.
It’s all about playing with your kids as you usually would, so these moments can be captured by the camera. It’s a great way to show movement and action while the focus is on enjoyment, and not the lens.
Some kids are camera shy so the more you interact with your child as paramount, and the camera’s not making them nervous, they’ll relax and open up. When they finally see the snaps you’ve taken, they’ll start to appreciate the camera and you can slowly introduce them to it. This will build their confidence to befriend the lens so you can then introduce more direct shots.
By using this steady process, you may see kids push their own boundaries and be comfortable when a camera is nearby. It’s important that you maintain the natural, playful environment and don’t fall towards static images again.
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5. Play slowly

The trick to nail these amazing family shots? Play slowly. What you usually do naturally such as dancing with your child, will most likely be faster than a typical smartphone or camera can accommodate. So remember to take the pace down a few steps to avoid fuzz in the photo. Snail’s pace is important – keep this in mind. Also try to have as many photos in natural light as this will accentuate the finishing result.
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