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Behind the Velvet Rope: Pitfalls of being papped

December 18th 2013 / Nadine Baggott / 1 comment

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Nadine Baggott is used to having her photo taken with the A-listers - but there are a few mistakes she's learned from on how to pose...

It’s that time of year; you know, the time to capture those happy holiday memories for posterity and Instagram. During Christmas and New Year, camera phones are in meltdown and no one wants to have an unflattering picture of themselves shared on Facebook for the world and your followers to see.This is the era of FOMO and you can’t have everyone thinking that all they are missing out on is you looking goofy in pictures.

So I wanted to pass on some timely tips. You see, I have had my picture taken with some of the world’s most beautiful women so I know what it’s like to look truly shocking and to have the results displayed on social media. What I’ve learned is simple:

Don’t Grin and Bear it

Forget saying ‘cheers’, I learned that a sly, seductive smile, mouth closed is far more flattering than grinning like an idiot. Case in point; having my picture taken with Kelly Brook. She stood ¾ on, hand on hip, smiled serenely, mouth closed, chin up, in that perfect, ‘I do not need to make too much of an effort, or look too pleased to have my picture taken with this person’ way. Whilst I, of course, look like some ridiculously happy competition winner. Grinning, chin down giving me a fat faced look. Not good to be a Tracey-tries too hard.

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Don’t Over Do It

The make-up, I mean. Just last month I got to interview Cate Blanchett and I was feeling pasty and poorly so I applied some fake tan, a little bronzer and, when the pictures came back, I looked like a Victorian ragamuffin, covered in chimney dust, compared to Cate’s porcelain perfection. A great picture is all about the lighting and a radiant skin – for Cate it came courtesy of Mary Greenwell. The key is looking lit from within and the secret is a light reflective primer, a lightweight foundation and a matte centre panel (I know, Mary told me, and she loves By Terry Or de Rose Elixir Extreme, £108, as a radiant primer, Suqqu Frame Fix Cream, £65 and Chanel Vitalumiere, £32, bases and Chanel Les Beiges, £38 to matte the T zone).

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Stand Tall

Height difference is a problem in pictures. Famous people are often very, very small; I think it’s because they photograph well or look better on camera. I, however, am 5’10” in bare feet, 6’3” in my favoured high heels. And being the Z lister in the photographic relationship, I crouch to accommodate. I have done it for years – with Kylie, with Dannii Minogue, when I also took off my heels to reveal a chipped pedicure, with Britney... before bending knees and leaning. This is fine except when the photo is full length. Here is me and Kim Kardashian to prove the point – see, it’s not a good look for anyone. Is it offensive to say that I look like Jimmy, the little boy with the callipers on South Park? Because I do. So stand tall, be proud, or ask to sit so everyone is the same height.

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Don’t Drink Too Much

Or if you do, sober up before either having your picture taken, or posting them anywhere. I was at a press event when I had my picture taken with Beyonce; she was very young and very in control, I was considerably older but not any wiser. Not only did I tell her, after she had complimented my jeans, where to buy them and that they would definitely suit her as I had a big bum too, but I leaned in, super close, to have my picture taken and put my arm around her. Look closely and you will see two things. My hand on her bare flesh and the look in her eye that says ‘Security, get this stalker off me now.’ Of course I’m grinning like an idiot again, but this time my happiness and awe is justified. She is, after all, Queen B.

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HAPPY CHRISTMAS. Now put on that ugly, red and green festive jumper, and that just-popped-from-a-cracker paper hat, and chin up, mouth closed, hand on hip, ¾ towards the camera and smile.





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  • Patsy Zee
  • December 23rd 2013

Shameless and embarrassing name-dropping. Nadine seems very impressed to be around celebrities and I can only hope others are more grounded.

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