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Don't chicken out on your photos---20-40-60 Etiquette

A reader asks how to pose for a picture. [MetroCreative Image]
A reader asks how to pose for a picture. [MetroCreative Image]

QUESTION: What is the protocol for taking photographs? Should we pose for a picture with a drink in our hand? How about the chicken wing pose (arm on hip), is it still in style?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Everybody’s body type and each person are different depending on what pose works best. If you’re underage, don’t pose with a drink in your hand.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I think the chicken wing pose is past its prime, and even my college-age daughter says seeing it reminds her more of her middle school years than current times. Isn’t it funny that even photo poses can follow trends? My favorite photographs are genuine and reflect either what you were doing when you took the photos, or they represent a happy memory. As for drinks, sometimes cups can clutter a photo but I don’t think you need to worry about it if that’s how you captured it. When you take photos, keep in mind why you’re taking them and where you’re going to use them. A portrait is different than a snapshot with friends, which is different than capturing the action in a moment. But really, the best thing you can do while taking photographs is smile.

HELEN’S ANSWER: There has much been written about chicken wing posing for pictures. Supposedly putting your hand on your hip makes you look thinner.

Many photos I have seen, or have taken for this newspaper, has everyone in the picture using this pose. Sometimes the arm has to be cropped out to fit the space. It is so much better for women to put their hands at their side and to try to look relaxed in photos. They are all beautiful people and don’t ever need a chicken wing sticking out to emphasize that fact.

Being photographed with a drink in your hand is OK. No one knows what that drink is. It could be water, lemonade, whiskey. A lot of people do set their drink to the side, but whatever works for you works for me.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Devonne Carter, licensed clinical social worker: So glad you asked! The chicken wing pose has been overused and is really outdated and it shows when ladies are still using that pose in pictures. Holding a drink in your hand in every picture looks like you sure drink a lot! Here are some tips for great pics that will help you be remembered at your best:

1. Look through older pictures of yourself and see what you like about yourself and your style.

2. Practice poses in the mirror with different clothes on to see what makes you feel your best.

3. Ask friends (who tell you the truth) what they think about your style and poses.

4. Position your legs and arms differently in several pics to see how you feel most comfortable.

It takes a bit of practice and homework to see what helps you look your best and how you want to be remembered by others.

Since 2009 Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth, 40-plus and Helen, 60-plus.