How stars ensure photographers gets their best angles on red carpets

EXCLUSIVE: What REALLY happens on the Oscars red carpet? How stars like Zendaya ensure photographers gets their best angles with these expert tricks

Nicole Kidman sent fans wild after a viral video emerged of her posing up a storm on the champagne carpet at the 2023 Academy Awards, on Sunday night. 

And some A-listers are seemingly always perfectly poised, never failing to look less than utterly sensational in the images snapped of them as they arrive at showbiz events. 

But with a fast-paced conveyer belt of celebrities, a heaving press pack and camera lights flashing none-stop, what really happens on the Oscars red carpet? 

And, how do stars like Zendaya ensure that every single photographer gets their best angles? Read on for tricks from three experts.

What REALLY happens on the Oscars red carpet: How stars like Zendaya ensure every photographer gets their best angles with these expert tricks

The secret: ‘Posing expert’ Christine Buzan claimed that after getting the ‘base of her pose figured out,’ Zendaya then moves ‘one part of her upper body at a time to create new poses’

In February, Zendaya posted a video of herself posing on the red carpet at the NAACP Image awards, throughout which a photographer could be heard shouting praise, much to her delight.

The star wrote alongside the clip: ”’SERVING SERVING SERVING” whoever you are, thank you…you made my night lol,’ highlighting that she couldn’t even make out individual photographers, and yet still managed to slay the shots.

TikTok’s self-titled ‘posing expert’ Christine Buzan has claimed that the Zendaya’s perfect-picture secret is simple. 

After getting the ‘base of her pose figured out’ the actress then moves ‘one part of her upper body at a time to create new poses,’ according to Christine. 

In short, she stated that the key is to move your ‘hands, shoulders and head slightly in between different shots,’ adding that these ‘slight adjustments’ can make all of the difference. 

Alan D West is a highly respected red carpet photographer, who told MailOnline there are a few things that seasoned A-listers do to make sure they look great in front of the press pack.

When celebrities step on the red carpet, they are fluidly responding to the multiple photographers shouting at them to look their way, all while being instructed by event managers to move along to different points on the carpet. 

Alan has captured endless stunning shots of stars, and explained that most ‘have a plan’ for their short time in front of the cameras, with many even rehearsing in front of a mirror in their outfit ahead-of-time.

Intense: When stars step on the red carpet, they are fluidly responding to the multiple photographers shouting at them to look their way (Pictured: Rihanna at the Oscars)

Highlight your curves: Alan D West identified hands on hips as a go-to for anyone in non-form-fitting outfits (Pictured Jamie Lee Curtis at the 2023 EE British Academy Film Awards)

He explained that the most seasoned stars will try to work through each individual photographer in the press pack, going up and down and across the scrum, purposefully looking at each in turn, in the knowledge that eye-contact is key.

The pro revealed that those who have done many red carpets know not to walk between station points with their head down, and instead do their best to maintain eye contact with the camera’s lens as they move along.

In terms of specific poses, Alan identified hands on hips as a go-to for anyone dressed in non-form-fitting outfits, citing Jamie Lee Curtis at last month’s BAFTAs, who defined her silhouette by employing this technique.

He also warned not to have an arm hidden behind your back, insisting that having both arms out front and in view is vital, otherwise your body can look unbalanced. 

Alan added that to achieve the most flattering angle, the key is to look square on, before slightly turning to the side whilst tilting your chin ever-so-slightly towards your body.

In another major no-no, our red carpet expert said that in no circumstances should you ever tilt your chin up, adding with a chuckle: ‘No one wants to see up your nose.’

The professional photographer further added that if you’re wearing a gown with a bold split, the trick is to bend your supporting leg while extending the front leg through the slit to ‘show as much leg as the slit will allow’.

But, in order to avoid the dreaded Angelina Jolie viral 2012 Oscars moment – when she awkwardly posed with her leg sticking extremely far out of an Atelier Versace dress –  it’s vital to know your angles and practice if unsure. 

And what if the gown has an enormous train? Alan explains that celebrities will often playfully list the train to show statement shoes, while some have their dress designer accompanying them to zhuzh them up and ensure everything is in place. 

Uh oh! In order to avoid the dreaded Angelina Jolie viral 2012 Oscars moment (pictured) Alan D West insisted it’s vital to know your angles and practice if unsure

Max Cisotti is another seasoned professional, who is granted special access on red carpets because of his work with Dave Bennett.

The talented photographer has even coached numerous celebrities on how to pose in front of step-and-repeat backdrops, to get the best end results.

He insisted to MailOnline that there are three main things that stars can do, which impacts whether a photo will turn out well: their outfit, how they stand and what they do.

When it comes to what you wear, Max explained that baggy outfits aren’t ideal to be photographed in.

However, should you not be wearing something form-fitting, he suggested: ‘Grab a lot of material from the back and pull it in at the waist to create an hour glass shape’ 

Additionally, Max highlighted how statement outfits, especially garments with movement, will result in the best final images, while plain and boring outfits don’t offer much to work with.

He said: ‘Florence Pugh always photographs brilliantly, because she always wears something unusual, something which has a it of shape or something to play around with.’

Don’t be boring! Max Cisotti highlighted how statement outfits and garments with movement, will result in good images (Pictured, his shot of Florence Pugh at the A Good Person premiere)

When it comes to how you stand, Max said: ‘Posture is key. Stand up straight and do not slouch. Whenever you see Victoria Beckham pose is can look exaggerated in-person, but she always turns out brilliantly on camera.’

He explained that in that vein, it’s best to: ‘Exaggerate when you’re posing. Almost overact, over accentuate, over act.’

The red carpet veteran said it’s always a good idea to create an S-shaped curve with your body, encouraging using the iconic Legally Blonde ‘bend and snap’ move as a way to practice pushing out your curves to the maximum.   

Max also gave tips on ways to accentuate your curves, noting: ‘typically people stand with weight on their back foot, but putting weight to front foot, automatically tenses your body and gives a slimming effect.

‘Stick your chest and bum out while also standing up straight. It feels weird and unnatural but ultimately looks good in photographs.’

He added: ‘Try practicing at home in front of the mirror. You have to like yourself in the pictures so that’s the best way to see how you’ll feel most comfortable in front of a camera.’ 

Have fun! ‘Spontaneous interaction, having fun together comes across really well on pictures’ said Max Cisotti (Pictured, his shot of Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt at the Bablyon premiere)

When it comes to what you do, Max noted that as difficult as it can be for stars, those who look into the camera’s flash end up with the best images.

With the press pack at showbiz events often heaving with innumerable photographers, he explained how those celebrities who follow shouts of their name whenever possible, give each snapper the chance to capture an eye contact shot. 

As well as stressing the importance of making eye contact with the camera lens, the professional photographer revealed how the celebrities who get the best photographs play around with their facial expressions.

He said: ‘One second they can be pulling a sultry, pouty, sexy, almost fashion look, and the next they’re super smiley and look delighted.’

Finally, throwing all of the rules above out of the window, Max revealed how the very best shots are often the truly candid moments caught on camera.

He said: ‘What makes it good is when there are group shots. Say a lead and two supporting cast members. Their spontaneous interaction, having fun together comes across really well on pictures.’

Max cited the recent premiere of Babylon in London, when he captured a stunning image of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie walking along together, with the train of her dress billowing into a pretty shape. 

In conclusion: When it comes to the perfect red carpet shot, it’s definitely not as easy as just standing there and looking pretty. 

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