The Secret to a Great Full Body Shot

Chantal Sarkisian Mode XLusive 2

When I did my photo shoot for my website pictures, my graphic designer insisted that I get a “Full Body Shot”. That’s when you get a picture taken from head-to-toe. Here I am thinking… “Oh great, the most unflattering pose ever. Sure, sign me up!”

Luckily, I had a really good photographer who obviously knew what she was doing, because in the end… I LOVED THEM! Maybe even more than my up-close shots!

So here, in short, are the key secret elements to a fantastically slimming Full Body Shot. I will start from the bottom up:Chantal Sarkisian Mode XLusive

  • Feet: Notice how in both my pictures, my feet are together and never side-by-side? Well, I guess that’s a huge part of creating that hour-glass illusion and slimming effect at the bottom of the picture.
  • Legs: Whether you cross your legs or keep them close, make it look like you have one leg. Weird, I know. Just do it. I think it helps give you a nice curve in the hips (which as an apple shape, I could use).
  • Hips and Waist: Always stand on an angle and face the camera with your “good side”. If you don’t know which is your good side, the professional photographer will and SHOULD tell you. The idea here is to create the illusion of a smaller waist line. Like you are capturing only 3/4 of your body.
  • Hands: Having your hands on your waist makes it look like you have a smaller waist line and shows it! That is what is important here. Because I am wearing a blazer, having my hand there really helps to define my waist.
  • Arms and Shoulders: My large arms and wide shoulders, which I personally think disfavours my figure, are sort of hidden in these pictures. Hiding one arm behind you again narrows your silhouette. The bend in the other arm and drop in the shoulder creates some movement and angles in the picture, to an otherwise very boring image.
  • Head: If it feels odd, you look great! Not sure what the formula is but it’s something like “Chin forward, head tilted to the side and down”. Again, you are not usually looking straight on into the lens, you are at a slight angle with hopes to focus on your better angle.
  • Face: I like smiling, it’s my security blanket for pictures. If I don’t smile, I have “mean face” going on… or sometimes they call it “resting b$@tc&” face. It’s not my fault, but I am sometimes told that I am intimidating at first because of it.

If I may digress for those who want more information on styling for a photoshoot…

Prepping for a photoshoot takes a long time but is worth the attention to detail. Here is what I did to prepare for the shoot:

  1. Clothing- I went for casual, business and fashionable. That’s me in a nutshell. I’m wearing a classic outfit that is flattering and comfortable.
  2. Makeup- Lots of it! Lots of contouring, highlights, fake lashes, bronzer, liner and bright lips! The camera robs you of makeup so make sure you have more than not enough. (PS- For those who don’t know, I am also a makeup artist. I highly encourage you to invest in makeup for your pictures).Chantal Sarkisian Mode XLusive 3
  3. Hair done- I had my hair done at my favourite trendy salon “Hair Republic” on Bank Street the day before. I simply refreshed my curls myself in the morning. Again, I highly recommend investing in your hair for something like this.
  4. Nails did- I got a manicure at “The Upkeep Shop” my favourite nail boutique on Preston Street. I was getting up-close pics done with my hands, so that was very important for me.

If you are doing professional photos for your business, don’t forget that this is part of your brand, your marketing and your image. It is worth the upfront investment. And the last thing I want to leave you with is….You should look like yourself in real life!!!! No powdery finished photoshop garbage mumbo jumbo. That’s all! haha
xox Chantsy

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Fall inspired XL fashion



I love Fall for so many reasons, the colourful weather, the bountiful harvest and of course the cozy fashion!

I always tell people that Fall time is so easy to dress for. No more sweaty skin, frizzy hair or showing off unflattering body parts like my giggly arms. Finally, we get to take out our cozy sweaters that have been waiting oh-so-patiently in our closets. We reorganize our scarves, sort through our boots and get inspired by new accessories like hats and mittens.

This year I am particularly excited because hats are in and I found a gorgeous one! I never thought I’d look good in a hat, but here’s a glimpse…


Not. Too. Shabby. I bought my hat at the “Cloakroom” on Yonge street, just south of St-Clair. They have curated such a simple yet versatile collection of hats, Sunnies, jewelry, rain coats and sweaters. It’s a must if you’re in the area.

The two outfits I’m sharing above are a few of my Fall faves!
– Ripped boyfriend jeans, green flats and an Aztec sweater perfect for a cold Sunday stroll.
– Tight black trousers, black heeled booties, white collar button-up shirt topped with a knit t-shirt is the perfect polished preppy look for a casual business meeting.

I love layering, as you can see. It helps with climate control (for someone who gets warm easily) and also helps cover our not-so-favourite spots.

So tell me, what’s your favourite must-have this season?

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Good outfit day: Trends for Spring 2014

I like my outfit today, so for the first time I am showing you a full selfie of me and the outfit that I have put together.

Nothing reminds me more of Spring, then clean whites and bright red accents! The red polish and lips have an orange base to them and almost give a tanned look. Which is why I love it!

My wardrobe typically includes a variation of navy blue, white, black, tan and grey. These are classic colours that are flattering and most importantly easy to pair. Investing in neutral coloured key items, will ensure a timeless and adaptable look. If you want to have fun with colour and pattern, buying a scarf or fun sweater is easier on the wallet.


Secrets revealed:
– cream lace blazer: Melanie Lynn ( May 2012)
– dark skinny denim jeans: Gap outlet ( on sale April 2014… Go now!)
– black top: Joe (May 2013)
– Camel Kors flats: Town and Shoe (Dec 2012)
– white and gold tiger bracelet: Target (March 2014)
– Rose Gold Aline watch: amazon ( May 2013)
– Camel belt: Danier (December 2013)

What’s your favourite look, outfit or accessory for Spring 2014?

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The importance of looking sleek

I love dressing up and choosing the right outfit. Lots of time is spent on selecting the right clothes for the right occasion.

Sometimes we pick out an outfit and it looks great laid out on our bed. Then you try it on… Disaster!
Too many bumps and rolls in the wrong the wrong places.

Accepting your size and buying clothes that fit are paramount to looking your best. If you don’t want to accept the current size that you’re in, invest in less expensive ” transition” clothes. Consignment and thrift shopping is ideal. If you like buying quality, then invest in key pieces like a great winter coat and properly fitting jeans. We all want to be leaner, but it takes time, so let’s look great while we are losing the weight.

Important investments:
– the properly fitting and supportive bra
– shape wear (like spanx) and compression stockings work wonders for dressing up
– buy the bigger size and have it tailored to fit your properly
– as mentioned above invest in key pieces like a great coat (your winter outfit), properly fitted jeans and a flattering sweater or cardigan (for spring, fall and winter).

You’re NOT fooling anyone if your jeans are this tight. Nothing bothers me more than chubs hanging out of your pants. Hint- wear a flowy top with tight jeans to cover the bulge.

About this image, I am not posting it to make fun. This girl is probably a smaller size than me, but my point is that no matter what your size, this look is flattering on NOBODY! Please, buy a larger size or cover the bulge with a sweater or flowy shirt.

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