There unfortunately is no step-by-step manual on how to be photogenic, but being “unphotogenic” does not mean that you are not physically attractive. The most gorgeous person in the world could look like an absolute toad in pictures. There is a certain art to taking a good picture. Sometimes it is random, someone just catches you at the right time in the right place. But there are some tricks of the trade that can help you to make every picture a good one.
First and foremost the best way to get a great picture is to know your angles. Angle that bod! It is always best to angle your entire body slightly away from the camera. If it is a full-length shot, position your body 45 degrees from the camera and turn your head towards the lens. Stand with one foot crossed in front of the other and put all your weight on your back leg. This pose is very slimming and universally flattering. It’s virtually what every celebrity does on the red carpet, and we thought it was editing this whole time!
Smiling makes a world of difference in photos, but don’t make it too pose-y. Keep it natural and unforced. Think of something funny like that time your friend let one rip on a date. Keep your teeth and jaw unclenched. When smiling with your mouth open, don’t curl your lips under. Too much exposed gum is slightly frightening, just a little teeth goes a long way.
Okay, and we have all heard Tyra talk about “smiling with your eyes” on America’s Next Top Model, but I don’t think anyone including those models even knew what she was talking about. However, a trick to use to achieve a somewhat similar effect (to what we assume she was talking about) is to imagine your crush/lover taking the picture. This will typically, and unconsciously exude a happiness trigger, bringing light and vibrancy to your eyes!
One great tip is to stick your head out like a turtle. While it may feel really awkward and seem like it will make you look like your neck is disjointed from your shoulders, it leaves you completely double chin free. Another way to avoid this is to make sure whoever is taking the picture is standing or at eye level; if they are too lazy then you need to recruit another photographer.
If you are out of college it is time to retire the sorority girl tilt. you know, the one where you lean back so far with your head it looks like you are about to fall over. This works once in a blue moon. It can sometimes make for a cute, drunk girls night out photo, but use sparingly.
There is a way to suck in without looking constipated or suffocating. Make sure you have good posture and suck in just ever so slightly. Suck in and pull in your stomach muscles, like if you were flexing your abs; if you are angled correctly you will look like you are barely there. If you have bigger legs, bend your knees slightly and tighten the muscle on top of your thigh – and if all else fails bring out the heels. To avoid having your arms look large and in charge put your hand on your hip or barely laying against your side.
If people who look through pictures of you have no idea what eye color you have, you may be classified as a chronic blinker. To avoid this keep your eyes closed and have the person taking the picture count to three. On their count open your eyes and voila! No closed eyes. This will be especially helpful when the sun is practically blinding you. Or train yourself to blink on a count of two; this will help keep your eyes open in any weather, and at any time. Using the red-eye reduction feature on cameras will also help stop blinking. If all else fails, you can just paint eyes on the back of your eyelids. Problem solved.
We all do it, so just admit and accept it now. Practice makes perfect, so continue to let out your narcissistic side and take pictures of yourself. Taking pictures of yourself on your phone, camera or webcam is the best way of practicing if you want to take a good photo.
Instagram has saved photos time and time again. It can make the most bland of pictures come alive, and it can do the same for you. So put a filter on it! Edit your photos as well. They gave you the technology to hide your blemishes and whiten your teeth, so why not use it, right? Make sure you don’t look too fake and bake. People will be able to tell what is fake when you take it too far.
You might have to endure some awkward pictures or beg your friends incessantly to delete them, but it is true what they say, practice makes perfect. The more you try out different techniques and positions, the more you find what you like and what is an absolute NO and must be deleted immediately.
Keep in mind that there are some elements that you may not be able to control. You can’t always have fantastic lighting at night and you may not have the space to break out your go-to model pose. But keep smiling and go with the flow; you’re bound to get a good one in eventually.
Originally posted on May 16, 2013