Diana Levine by Jesaca Lin

As a photographer, friends of mine frequently ask me to give them tips on how to look better on camera. When I photograph musicians or celebrities, there is a lot that goes into making a fabulous photo – professional make up, hair, and clothing styling, lighting and camera angles, set dressing and art direction, and years of experience on the subject’s part of knowing what poses and angles make them look best on camera –just to name a few. While you might not be able to replicate all of these things are home, there are some quick tricks that will help you look best in photographs. The tough part is – everyone is different. No two people are alike, and there are no hard and fast rules. However, here are some concepts to think about, next time someone is snapping your picture:

1)      Angles: When I’m photographing someone, one of the first things I look for is the most flattering angle is for that person. The same goes for you – some people look best when being photographed from slightly above, while others look gorgeous when shot from a lower angle. A great way to find out what your best angle is to use a digital camera, and take a series of photos of yourself. Some from above, some from below, from different side angles – and see which makes you feel the best on camera.

2)      Lighting: Even if you can’t have a professional photo shoot around you 24/7, there are a couple ways you can play with lighting, even just with your point+shoot camera. Try turning off the flash, and using window light instead. Again, no two people are the same – you might look best with broad, soft lighting, where someone else might look incredible with stark, hard light. Do another camera test with your digital camera – take some photos of yourself in different lighting situations. Using window light, using a lamp as a side light, using the sun as a key light, or back light, and so many more. Find the lighting that you think flatters yourself the best. Maybe you love how the flash looks, or maybe you’ll decide that you prefer your photos in a more natural lighting environment.

3)      Editing: There’s no harm in editing! Everyone has had that moment when a friend has posted every single photo from their camera after a night out – even when the album includes dozens of unflattering (and possibly embarrassing) photos. Editing is your friend! Choose the best photos of you and your friends, and delete or leave the rest of the photos in the privacy of your own computer!

4)      Shoot a lot. During a photo shoot for an album or magazine cover, a photographer might take hundreds, or thousands, of photos – and only a few pictures makes the cut. If you’re trying to get a great photo of yourself, take the time to shoot a lot of frames – that way, when you’re looking through later, you’ll find that perfect photo.

You can see more of Diana Levine’s work on her website, DianaLevine.com.