Even the most camera-shy of us can no longer avoid having our pictures taken—and seen by a lot of people—at any place and at anytime, so it’s high time we all learn how to look good in a photo, don’t you think? By golly, if celebrities can do it (and they’re just like us, so we’ve been told) you can do it too!
Never hardly ever take a bad photo again by following these dos and don’ts.
1. Chin up, everybody.
Even the skinniest among us have all double-chinned ourselves in a photo at least a dozen times. A simple adjustment is all it takes to avoid this forever; elongate your neck and push that chin a little bit up and a little bit out.2. Practice your angles.
Ever been bummed out by how wide you look in a photo and think, wow, is that what I really look like? Now, have you noticed that when celebs take photos they are always angling their bodies and putting those arms akimbo? Follow their lead, stand up straight, twist your torso so you have one shoulder pointing towards the camera and put your hand on your hip, it defines your waist and makes your arms look thinner in the process.
3. Get the timing right.
When using the shortcuts on your phone to click the shutter (like the volume button on the side of your iPhone), remember that removing your finger from the button is what takes the picture, not the initial pressing of it. It’s a tiny delay, but it’s often just enough to blink or blur or to change your expression just enough to look crazy rather than cute.
4. Know where to look.
Focus your gaze at the top of the camera lens to open up your eyes, making them more sparkly and doe-like (note that here a doe is not a deer: doe-like = good, deer-in-headlights = very bad).
5. Do some last-minute grooming.
No camera is forgiving of flat hair and a colorless face. Even if there isn’t time for a makeup touch up or even the quickest of appearance checks in any reflective surface, you can still pinch your cheeks for a quick, natural-looking flush and scrunch up your hair at the roots to get some volume. A little trick for smoothing your fly-aways is to breathe into your cupped hands to create a teeny bit of moisture and then run them over the surface of your hair.
6. Don’t drink and pose.
Taking photos early in a night out is likely a good idea for many reasons. The more booze you throw back, the droopier your eyes are going to look, no matter how hard you to try fight it. Granted, this may be the least of your worries when it comes to what drunken evidence the camera might capture, so it’s a good rule of thumb all around.
7. Lose the hat and glasses.
Unless the lighting is fool-proof or the environment is appropriate (like on a hike, etc), hats and glasses with clear lenses will cast terrible shadows under your eyes. Not a look that’s doing anyone any favors.8. Squinch.
The slightly more subtle relative of Blue Steel, the squinch is that Je ne sais quoi celebrities, models and certain friends of yours have been giving the camera for years. Somewhere between an eye-narrow and a glare, mastering the squinch takes a bit of practice. Even so slightly narrow your eyes from the lower lid up (it’s the same muscle under your eye that gets activated when you smile naturally, so it’s kind of an “eye smile” but actually needing to smile to get it is optional).
9. Do not say cheese.
Smiles come off as fake in photos enough as it is without forcing everyone to shout a word that guarantees they will. Body language experts suggest replacing the word cheese with one that makes the corners of every mouth perk up with the greatest of ease: money. No, seriously, it’s something about the long e sound at the end of the word, not assuming that everyone is a greedy asshole or anything. Or pick a funnier word that will cause everyone to genuinely laugh. Like my good friend (quoting her mother) always says “everyone say dildos!”