How can I be photogenic?

In today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s safe to say that knowing how to be photogenic is of utmost importance. What’s the point of having an Instagram account if you don’t look good in pictures, right? 

Getting caught looking horrible in photos can be a tad traumatising—and it’s enough to make us wonder exactly how all those models manage to look so damn good all of the time. Taking a great pic is a fine art—it’s a lot harder than it seems to make sure your in-the-flesh beauty translates on camera. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Everyone wants to know how to be more photogenic. Whether you’re trying to grow your Instagram or want to know how to look good in pictures with your friends, there are specific tips and tricks you can use to make sure you always look your best. Posing for photos is an art these days, and it’s not just for supermodels and actors anymore.

Take a look at how to look good in photos with these tips.

How to Look Good in Pictures: The Basics

Study Yourself

Look at photos of yourself (ones you look good in and ones you look not so good in) and determine why you look good or bad. Can you spot the differences? Perhaps you notice you look better in specific clothing options or when your hair is a certain way. Try to spot a pattern. Do you like the way you look from a certain angle? When you smile a specific way? Try to replicate your best poses next time you have your photo taken.

You also may not like it when the camera hits you at a certain angle or notice you look much better in photos when you smile. To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit. Think of sticking out your forehead and tipping your chin slightly down. It might feel awkward, but it will look great—promise. Take note of things you do and don’t like so you can look great in photos moving forward! 

Practice Makes Perfect

Practising your most flattering poses and smiles isn’t just for models. If you want to know how to be more photogenic, you have to practice. Practice in front of a mirror or even in front of a camera to determine your best angles, poses and smiles. Try different poses and practice angling your body in regular positions to recreate in front of a camera.

Wear Flattering Outfits

Your outfit can make all the difference in a photo. If you don’t wear clothes that flatter your body, you likely won’t look good in photos. Choose styles and cuts that work for your body and colours that work for your complexion. The most important thing is to feel confident in whatever you’re wearing; it’s sure to shine through! Looking for wedding photography Melbourne? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Perfect Match Makeup

Make sure your makeup is a perfect match, when a foundation is too pale for your skin tone, it becomes pronounced when a flash hits the skin. Match your skin to your chest and add a thin layer to your neck if your neck is paler (as is the case for most people).

Makeup can make or break your photo. Your foundation must be a perfect match. If it’s too pale or dark, it becomes very evident in a picture. Use an ideal match concealer to cover up blemishes and dark circles, and opt for using a translucent powder on your t-zone (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin) to keep your skin from becoming greasy.

Fill in your brows. Not only do your eyebrows convey character and emotion, they often mean all the difference between looking wide awake and washed out on camera. You may even consider using a slightly darker brow pencil if you know you’ll be photographed since features tend to look lighter in pictures.

Open up Your Eyes

You always want your eyes to draw people in and be the focal point in photos, and there are certain things you can do to help make that happen. Curling your lashes and wearing mascara are musts. These both open up your eyes, allowing more light to hit them – that’s how you get that twinkle! If you tend to blink in photos, close your eyes just before the picture is taken and open them slowly before the camera clicks. No more half-closed eyes! Look toward a light right before someone snaps your photo. Doing so will shrink your pupils and help you avoid red eyes.

Give Life to Your Hair

The last thing you want in a photo is for your hair to look flat and lifeless. Tame frizz as camera flash can highlight flyaways, don’t use too much hair product to keep your hair from looking wet and crunchy and flip your head over right before the picture to give it some volume (if your hairstyle allows it).

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How to Pose for Pictures

Lift Your Arm(s)

Naturally, when we pose for a photo, we tend to leave our arms flat at our sides, but this can make you look awkward and uncomfortable and make your arms appear bigger than they are. Try posing with your hand on your hip to alleviate these issues.

Angle Your Shoulders

How can I be photogenic?

When you pose head-on in a photo, you tend to look bigger. Turn your shoulders, so you’re showing a thinner profile. You’ll look slimmer, and the image will be more flattering overall.

Occupy Your Hands

It can be awkward figuring out what to do with your hands/arms in photos since they can enhance your nervousness. Try holding a prop like a cup of coffee or handbag to relieve your hand of awkwardness. You can also use your hand to touch your face or hair. This is a more advanced move, but with practice, it can look fabulous!

Roll Your Shoulders Back

You want to look as relaxed as possible in photos, and one of the best ways to do that is to take a deep breath, relax and roll your shoulders back. This will make you look and feel more confident!

Pose Your Hair

Yes, your hair is part of your pose! If you have long hair and are wearing it down, consider whether you’ll have it in front of or behind your shoulders or if you’ll have it all on one side or the other. You may also want to have it up.

How to Smile in Pictures

Be Natural, Don’t Force It.

If you’re forcing a smile in your photos, it’s not going to look good. Make sure your smile is as natural as possible. Relax your face and jaw muscles, engage your eyes, think about something or someone that makes you happy. And remember, practice makes perfect. Practice smiling in the mirror before getting in front of the lens. Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Put Your Tongue Behind Your Teeth

A great trick to make your smile look natural in photos is to put your tongue behind your teeth when you smile. This will help you avoid a too-wide grin that may make you look goofy.

Ask the Photographer to Tell a Joke

How can I be photogenic?

If you’re having trouble smiling naturally, ask the photographer to tell a joke or try to make you laugh. This will loosen you up and help you smile or laugh naturally to get the perfect shot.

Wear Bright Lipstick

Wearing bright lipstick can also help you boost your smile in photos. While dark lipstick can make your lips look smaller and have a dulling, aging effect on your face, a bright lipstick can make your features pop! It’s a great way to enhance your smile. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.

Practice Smiling with Teeth and Without Teeth

Some people look better when they smile with teeth, while it’s more flattering for others to smile without teeth. Practice both in the mirror to see what works best for you. If you choose to smile without teeth, it may not turn out to look like a smile at all, so practice is vital!

How to Look Good in Selfies

Learn Your Angles

Pull out your phone and start playing around with different angles for your face. You may think one side of your face looks better than the other, or maybe you like your head tilted back or forward. Everyone will have different angles that work for them, so play around with it and see what works best for you!

Good Lighting

Good lighting is vital, and natural lighting is usually the way to go. If you’re inside, make sure your blinds are open to let the light flood in. Spin around until you find the best light for your selfie. If you’re outside, make sure the sun isn’t too bright. You don’t want to be squinting in your photos.

Extend Your Head Away from Your Neck

Extending your head away from your neck helps create the look of a longer neck and sharper jawline. And make sure to look up toward the camera. Holding your chin down and looking up can look awkward.

Secrets of Photogenic Women

Do you know those people who never seem to take a bad picture? Like, they could be entirely caught off guard and still look gorgeous and at ease? Yeah, we’re jealous. But instead of begrudging these photogenic women, we’re learning from them with these tips.

They Know Their Angles 

If you’re being photographed while seated, the camera should never be beneath your chin—it should be taken straight on or from slightly above. And if that’s not where the 

They’re Comfortable and Confident

As much as you might want to (or think you need to), don’t suck in your stomach in photos. Your discomfort will show on your face, and your shoulders will look slumped. Instead, project confidence in yourself and your pose—or fake it ’til you make it. (And by making it, we mean to become more comfortable in front of the camera.)

They Don’t Smile—they Squinch.

Toothy smiles tend to look slightly maniacal and forced. That’s why photogenic ladies employ a technique called squinching. You tighten your eyes somewhat like you’re squinting while subtly relaxing your top lids and letting the lower ones do more of the work (where the “pinching,” of sorts, comes into play). Here’s a video how-to if you’re more of a visual learner.

They Know Lots of Eye Tricks

How many times have you seen an otherwise great picture of yourself where your eyes are closed or half-closed (and not in that excellent aforementioned squinching way)? It isn’t delightful. To avoid:

Make sure the person taking the pic count down from there.

Keep your eyes closed for three and two, then, when they say one.

  • Open them up.

 Look alert and refreshed and never like you’re falling asleep mid-shot.

They Don’t Say Cheese.

Hate to burst your bubble, but the old “Say cheese!” thing is a farce. And it makes your smile look forced and unnatural. If you have to say something, we suggest “money,” which allows your mouth to stay slightly open and come across as much more genuine.

They Learn from Their Mistakes

As much as you don’t want to focus on pictures where you don’t love the way you look, it’s a good learning experience. Pinpoint what it is about the photo you don’t like (say, your smile looks semi-deranged) and try to fix the issue moving forward (say, by saying “money” instead of “cheese”).

The Practice in the Mirror

OK, so this one might feel weird at first, but to nail every picture you’re in ever, you’ve got to do some test runs. You’ll be much more comfortable striking a pose that you’ve pre-planned in a mirror than positioning your body randomly and hoping for the best.

They Know Where to Stand in Group Shots

Group shots are great if you don’t want all the attention on you, but that can only happen if you aren’t sticking out like a sore thumb. When posing with pals, try not to be the closest to the camera, where you’ll look disproportionately large. So, either position yourself further back or have everyone pose on an even plane.

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Additional Tips

  • Try this old-school red carpet trick: Put your tongue behind your teeth when you smile to avoid a goofy, too-wide grin.
  • Surprise photo op? Try this five-second prep: Blot your face with a tissue or single-ply cocktail napkin, then pinch your cheeks to create a rosy glow (yep, it’s old school, but it works).
  • A couple of drops of Visine will help your eyes look brighter and more awake.
  • Blush is a must! Without some colour on your cheeks, your face can look two-dimensional in photos. Use a medium pink shade on the apples of your cheeks to help shape your face.
  • Think about angles. Facing the camera straight on is rarely flattering; instead, turn your head to a three-quarter position to give your features depth.
  • Try the “red carpet” pose: Put your hand on your hip, angle your body to the side, and turn your head towards the camera. It’s a cliché, but it does work to help you look slimmer.
  • Avoid serious sparkles on your face. Anything too shimmery on the skin can be too much in a photo. A soft glow is nice, but if you have oily skin, it can exaggerate shimmer and make you look very shiny. If you are a shimmer addict and can’t help yourself, keep the face matte or semi-matte (a velvety finish). Add a little highlighter to just the cheekbones’ tips and the bridge of the nose with a powder highlighter that has a very soft sheen.
  • On the other hand, a bit of sparkle below the neck can give your skin a pretty glow. Dust your collarbone and shoulders with a shimmering powder.
  • Stand in front of a white wall. A light-coloured backdrop will help brighten your face. Using a white background also helps a camera’s automatic settings find the right colour balance, so your skin tone doesn’t end up looking too pink or yellow.
  • Wear bright lipstick. Dark lipstick can have a minimising effect on the lips. Steer clear of dark matte lip colour. It can look aging and unflattering. Stick with brighter colours.
  • Be in more pictures! People who think they aren’t photogenic tend to pose for fewer photos overall, but photography is a game of averages. Even Kate Moss doesn’t nail it on the first frame. The more shots you let your photographer take, the more likely you’ll be happy with one or two of them.
  • A photo shot from just above you is way more flattering than one attempt from below. If you’re taller than the person holding the camera, grab a seat.
  • Avoid standing directly under a light, which can cast weird shadows on your face. Instead, stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, or in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side.
  • Grab a prop—preferably not a red Solo cup. Holding onto an object such as a flower or decoration can help you relax your posture and add personality to a picture.
  • To make your eyes sparkle, look at a light source. A lamp, for example, will create a flattering gleam in your pupils.
  • Forget saying “cheese,” and instead think of something funny. Better yet, joke with the photographer. A natural smile trumps a fake one every time.

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