How to look good in pictures: tips on being more photogenic

Unless you were born to be a model, chances are that you don’t feel comfortable having your photo taken. That’s totally normal. Nobody likes seeing how they look in photos. We’re all our own worst critics, after all. But if you really feel like you need to increase how photogenic you are, we’ve got some tips to help you out. Making even a few small changes can turn you into a star in front of the camera!

Nicolas Lobos | Unsplash

Watch your clothes

Clothing plays a major role in looking good in a photograph, and it’s something that many people tend to neglect when getting their photo taken. Those photogenic people that you know don’t have better style than you, they just know what kinds of clothes look good in photos. Those baggy jeans might be on-trend right now, but they erase your body shape in photos. Try wearing things that capture the lines of your body in an accurate and flattering way. It goes a long way in photos.

Take lots of selfies

You are beautiful inside and out, but we understand that you probably don’t always feel that way about yourself. There are qualities about yourself that you like and there are qualities that you don’t. In order to figure out how to accentuate those that you like and hide those that you dislike, try taking lots of selfies. You might feel a bit silly, but you’ll figure out what style, pose, and lighting works best for you. Trial and error will always lead to success eventually. Just don’t post the bad ones to Instagram. Or keep them on the Close Friends story.

Antoine Beauvillain | Unsplash

Practice your poses

It’s one thing to learn what poses and positions make you look best in photos, but it’s another thing to be able to execute them on the fly. Even a simple pose like the “arm-on-hip” that so many people employ in pictures takes a bit of practice. Don’t just think up a position and wait until your next photo-op to try it out. Get in front of that mirror and start posing, ladies and gentleman. Trust us, you’ll thank us later when those photos from work come out looking totally great.

Keep those eyes open

Whenever you see a picture of someone, you always automatically look at their eyes. That’s a normal human response, and you can take advantage of that the next time that you’re photographed. Make sure that your eyes are open and not squinting. It can be hard with flash photography, but practice makes perfect. You can also try out different makeup styles that accentuate your eyes and make them seem wider and more inviting. Oh, and don’t blink. That never ends up looking good.

Christian Ferrer | Unsplash

Lipstick is your best friend

It should be a well-known fact by now that makeup is a great way to make yourself look a bit nicer when picture day comes around. But those of us who like to rock a subtle look often ignore lipstick, and that’s a shame. Lipstick can really brighten up your smile and add that extra X-factor to a photo. Try out a more exciting and colorful shade than you normally would next time you’re going to be photographed. Just make sure it doesn’t clash with your outfit!

Watch your body language

Even if you’re not one to decide on a pose beforehand, it’s still really important to watch what you do with your body while you’re being photographed. You want to see the best version of yourself in any photo that is taken, and that’s impossible without having confident body language. Stand up straight, look straight ahead, and just in general try to position yourself in a way that expresses that you are comfortable in your surroundings. The last thing you want is a photo of yourself where you look scared and unsure.

Keep it natural

People tend to think that being photographed is this really formal thing that needs to be super painful and unnatural. We don’t know why that’s the case. Maybe it’s left over from when photographs used to take hours. Regardless, modern photography is fun and casual! Remind yourself to just feel comfortable and natural when having your photo taken. If you try to force yourself to feel or look a certain way, it just won’t look right. Be yourself and have a little fun with the whole process.

Allef Vinicius | Unsplash

Work on your smile

Your smile is the most important thing that you can work on when it comes to photos. A photo with awful lighting and composition can still look nice if you’ve got a beautiful grin. This is where the mirror once again comes in handy. Park in front of that sucker and try all different sorts of smiles. Try with your teeth and without your teeth. Try smiling a bit more on one side and then the other. Little changes like this seem inconsequential now, but a great smile makes for a great photo.

Poke your head forward

You know that funny face people make when they bring their chin into their neck, making it look like they have four different chins? It’s good for a laugh, but try to remember that that’s the exact opposite of what you want to do if you want a nice photo of yourself. Try to actually move your head and chin forward so that it gives you a more stark jawline. This trick also makes your neck look a bit better as well. Be careful not to overdo it though!

Take more than one photo

If you are preparing to have your photo taken for an ID or something similar to that, you may not have the chance to retake the photo if you don’t like how it turns out. But in most other cases, you can take a few. If it’s possible, ask the photographer to take a few separate photos of you so that you can pick out the one that you like best. Make a few adjustments between each shot as well to give you the best chance of having one photo that you truly love.