How to Pose Ala Anna Karenina

Like charity,

I believe glamour should begin at home.

Loretta Young

Sharon Birke at

What makes the cast of Anna Karenina look regal aside from their crisp military uniforms, sumptuous ballgowns and those dang corsets?  The same thing that makes you look good without clothes on:  Good posture.

With the holidays upon us, I stepped in front of the camera to demonstrate how to pose for better party and Facebook photos of your own. (I can’t be the only one who likes to look slimmer without the pain of exercise, no?)   Ruffles and leggings are my comfy uniform, a nod to the romance of another time I’d love to live in–except I love modern plumbing better.

1. Roll Over  Slouching–like pajamas and sweatpants–is so very comfortable but never flatters.  Take a moment to roll your shoulders back and pick up your neck before the photographer clicks the shutter.

2. Swan Neck  Tilt the chin forward and down to shave off that double chin.

3. Arm Ham  Lifting your upper arm a tad away from your body could trim an inch off.  Bend elbows and rest your hand on waist (or behind) to show your curves. When posing with a girlfriend, do her a kindness by covering her upper arm with your relaxed hand.  When posing with your husband, have him rest his hand over your arm–not the girlfriend’s.

4. Chin to Shoulder  Give the photographer your favorite side.  Instead of facing the camera directly, look over your shoulder for a slimmer view of your torso.

5. Lean To Me   When you’re looking at the camera over your shoulder, tilt your upper body slightly forward to balance the size of your face with your upper arm.

6. S Curves  Who needs another stiff in a group photo?   At least tilt your chin an inch or pop a hip to one side.

7. Very Skinny  If you must face the camera directly, rest hands above your natural waistline to give the illusion of a more narrow waist.

8. Point That Toe  Take a hint from a trick that spawned an entire dance industry (and heel fetish!)  Pick up the heel of your front foot to elongate the leg.  This also pushes your hips back to look smaller.

9.  Live on the Edge  Instantly diminish potbelly by sitting at the edge of your seat even when party gossip isn’t that enthralling.  This makes it easy to lengthen your torso instead of sinking into the sofa cushions.

10. Mystery Smirk  A smile with relaxed lips and a twinkle in the eye keeps everyone guessing what naughtiness you’ve been up to all year.   Sssshhhh–A gentlewoman never tells!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your own posing tips here.

Ala Anna Karenina period costume by Sharon Birke

Lace Up Boots by Sharon Birke

Ala Anna Karenina by Sharon Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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