Is being photogenic a skill?

Let’s face it – we are all sometimes nervous in front of a camera. That’s why we tend to look worse in the photo than we do in real life. On the other side, we have people who aren’t especially beautiful, but their pictures speak a vastly different story. How are they doing it, then? Being photogenic is a combination of gift and skill, and on the brighter side, it can be exercised and brought to perfection. There’s still hope for you non-photogenic people!

If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

What Does Photogenic Mean?

We use this word almost every day in our lives, and the meaning of this word is quite simple – looking good in pictures. However, this doesn’t always mean that this photogenic person is the prettiest persona on the planet. How many times have you seen a cute girl in real life, with subpar photos on her Instagram or Facebook account? Unfortunately for her, she isn’t photogenic, but it’s a natural beauty that matters, right?

On the other side, we have quite the opposite case. Some people aren’t beautiful, and their photos are stunning. If you don’t look good in photos, you don’t have to think that you’re ugly in real life, as it’s normal. Very few people can be called ugly, and photos represent only a fraction of your life, time-wise.

When we snap a photo, it’s how we look in that exact second or two, and as such, photos aren’t a genuine representative of your real-life look. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t.

Being photogenic depends on many factors; the first is body symmetry. You know that we aren’t symmetrical and that the human body, in general, isn’t balanced. Take a look at your arms, for example. Your left arm is probably smaller than your right or vice versa. Even our faces aren’t symmetrical, and that’s why you look better from the right or left side. If you don’t look as good when shot from a profile, you’ll probably have better photos from the front.

And some will still say that you’re photogenic. Technically, yes – until you take a shot from the side. Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. Not sure where to start when it comes to looking for your wedding photographer of choice?

Can You Be Born Photogenic?

Can a person be born photogenic without having a clue how to pose for photos? Of course, and that’s the magic of being photogenic. Being photogenic can be a gift, but it’s a matter of skill and knowledge in most cases. Naturally, people with highly angular faces look good in pictures. These include a square jaw, sharp cheekbones, etc. These shapes capture light very well, and as such, the subjects look naturally better, without knowing a thing about posing. When we look at the round faces, the situation is quite different, as round shapes reflect the light in all directions.

Needless to say that people with round faces can also be photogenic, but those with square faces will have a slight edge. The great thing is that many professional models have round faces and still manage to look jaw-dropping. We’re talking about both male and female models. Are they naturally photogenic, then? Well, we don’t know and thinking about that is a waste of time. The important thing is that they ARE photogenic now, and that tells us that you (yes, you!) can become photogenic with enough practice.

The Art of Being “Photogenic”

Is being photogenic a skill?

‘Photogenic’ doesn’t have to do with the way people look, but instead how they feel and behave in front of the camera. Often, people who don’t feel photogenic are already afraid of having their photograph was taken, which then shows in their expression. A photographer’s job is to break down those barriers, help his subjects feel confident, and then find the angles, poses, and lighting to highlight that individual’s strengths. Nothing is more rewarding than creating a stunning image for someone who otherwise believed they were not photogenic. 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.

Connect with your subject

The best way for you to help someone become ‘photogenic’ is by connecting with them. By making that special effort to communicate with your client, you ease the whole thing. Find out everything they can about their clients before their shoot. Their interests, favourite food, family situation, literally everything! Stalk them! Trust me, people love it, especially the younger generation and they generally won’t be freaked out by the fact you already know their life story.

You want to become familiar with their passions so that you can bring them up as a conversation starter. Breaking the ice by sharing something you have in common with them helps them realise, “Hey, she’s not a photographer. She’s my friend; I can connect with her.”

Study your subject before the shoot

When doing online research, pay attention to the other pictures they have posted of themselves. Are their images all of the same side of their face? Are they wearing glasses or a hat? These little details help you better understand your client. 

What’s the photo’s purpose

Standing in front of someone, holding a camera about to take your picture, is nerve-racking! Insecurities start to come to mind, and people get all awkward. They begin to overthink things, and they can’t relax. B

eing able to step away from your camera and connect with them about something they are comfortable and familiar with will help them relax. It will help them loosen up and trust you when they feel that you care about them, just as much as you care about them looking suitable for their images.

And once that happens, they instantly become ‘photogenic’. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day. 

Tips on How to Be More Photogenic and Look Better in Pictures

Here’s an interesting fact for you. Women are naturally more photogenic than men, although they have rounder and softer facial features than men. This is because of practice since women are more aligned towards taking photos of themselves than men. Oh, and makeup plays a huge role, which is essential to mention. But, how can you, regardless of sex and age, become more photogenic? Here are some tips:

Bring Your Best-Looking Body Parts to the Front

The general rule is that the body part that’s closest to the camera will look the biggest. Women, for example, tend to place their head close to the camera, and some of them will do that with other body parts… you can guess which. Men sometimes like to put their arms or chest close to the camera if they want to show off their muscles.

Either way, you need to bring those parts that you think are beautiful close to the camera to look prettier and more photogenic. If you have massive arms, you can try different variations. For example, you can cross your arms and look in the distance but don’t forget to lean back to bring the arms in front.

Smile More

Smiling is the best thing you can do to be more photogenic. We aren’t talking about a fake smile as it can lead to some uncomfortable and awkward photos. Have your photographer make you laugh about something and then take the image when you’re laughing. It may not always be great, but the odds are pretty good. People tend to like these kinds of pictures as they invoke happy emotions in a person that looks at them.

Don’t be afraid to smile. We all look better when smiling; trust me!

Sit Down, Instead of Standing

If you aren’t photogenic, try to sit down instead of standing. When standing, that’s your most vulnerable position for photos. You feel awkward, stiff, and don’t know what to do with your arms, legs, hips, etc. Do I cross my arms or legs? Do I lean a little bit? If these questions bother you, simply stop taking photos while standing. Instead, sit on your chair and relax.

This way, you won’t have any problem positioning your hands or feet. You can rest your hands on the arm of the chair or cross your hands on the table. This trick works very well, especially for shy people in front of a camera, and you should give it a go.

Think About Camera Angle

Think about the camera angle for a second. The camera angle plays a massive role in your photo quality, and as such, it can help you be more confident around the camera, thus increasing your posing skills. Many times you’ve seen that people take photos from various angles, and the rise in which the camera is above you works great for many people. This way, your face is in the centre, and the body is less accentuated. You can practice this angle if you, for some reason, don’t want to show your body.

Shooting from the side is great if you have a great haircut that needs to be seen or, for example, if you simply look good that way. Having a slightly larger nose isn’t going to make you photogenic from this angle – talking from my first-hand experience! After all, you’ll need to experiment a lot and see what works best for you. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here.

Choose a Proper Background

You probably won’t believe me, but the right background can vastly improve your photo in all aspects. If you think you aren’t photogenic, try changing your location. Many of us don’t look too beautiful using artificial lighting in our homes. But, you can always visit our mother nature and take some shots there. You might look better in front of a colourful landscape, beautiful tree or a vast meadow during the sunset or sunrise. Possibilities are endless; you just need to get out and experiment.

Get Some Feedback

Do you want to know if you’re photogenic or not? Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Sometimes, you think that your photos are excellent, but it’s always better to ask someone else for an opinion. If you work with a professional photographer, he might be able to tell you if you’re photogenic or not. Value his honesty. Suppose you aren’t photogenic enough; practice until you become photogenic.

What is involved in being photogenic?

Is being photogenic a skill?


You must believe you are beautiful. Don’t laugh: you know what I mean. There you are, having your picture taken. You smile, wait for the click of the camera, and just at the moment it clicks, you think, “But I’m not beautiful. My pictures always turn out terribly, and this one will probably turn out as well.” At that moment, your face takes on an expression of fear, apprehension, doubt. And that’s what makes it into the picture. So, you don’t have to believe you’re beautiful all the time. But at that moment, the moment the picture is taken, you must think that you are worthy of being photographed.

How do you get an attitude? Having your picture taken is like everything else: it’s a skill, and you get better at it with practice. So take your picture. Take it a lot. Do you probably have a digital camera? Discard the photos you don’t like; keep the ones you do. Think about why you want them, what makes them work for you. Think about how you like to be photographed. 

Nothing about this picture says, “I don’t think I’m worth photographing.” (Remember what I said about the terrible lighting and my tiny pink bathroom? Yeah, sorry. But if I can produce a picture I feel good about under those conditions, then I can have a good view anywhere.)


Sorry, this won’t help most male readers, who tend not to wear makeup. (Male actors and many male singers do, of course.) But the standards by which men judge their appearance tend to be looser, more lenient, anyway. They cut themselves, slacker. This section is mainly for women, although if you’re male and doing a professional photoshoot or on television, you may well use the foundation of some sort. Or have it used on you!

So, here’s the thing: the camera isn’t taking a picture of you. The camera doesn’t know you, the wonderful scintillating person you are. The camera is taking a picture of certain planes and angles in specific lighting. Makeup helps you control how the lighting falls on those planes and angles.

So, why wear makeup if you’re going to be photographed? You don’t have to. But I’ve found that it gives me more control over how a photograph will turn out. It combats the flattening and washing out that is an inevitable part of being photographed.


Another reason to take photographs of yourself is so you’ll learn the angles of your face. Like all faces, yours will photograph differently depending on the angle from which the picture is taken. 


Lighting will make or crush and crumple up your picture. Lighting is all. That said, most of the time, writers are photographed; it’s in the terrible lighting of a convention hotel. We can’t depend on good lighting.

What you need to do is work with the lighting you have. Figure out where it’s coming from, think about how it will hit your face, and turn, so it’s as flattering as possible. Again, that’s something you learn from photographing yourself. That said, some lighting is never going to be pretty. Nothing you take in the light will be “appealing if it’s just too harsh. So what do you do? If you want pretty but can’t get it, go for excellent. That’s one of my principles: always go for fabulous. Pretty is boring. Cool has movement and impact. Cool is better.

Nevertheless, there are times when we want to look pretty. That’s when you want a soft, indirect light. 

The Secret To Being More Photogenic

Being photogenic isn’t some magical quality that some people possess, and the rest of us hopelessly never will. The trick to looking good on camera isn’t a trick at all! It’s simply comfortable. I know, I know…but you hate getting your picture taken. That’s ok! Just like any skill, it’s something that can be learned.

Look through old photos that you love of yourself and notice your angles. Do you have one side of your face that you like better than the other in pictures? (I know I do!) Knowing what angle looks good on you will help you show up more confidently on camera.

Practice in front of a mirror. You might feel a little silly at first, but moving around in front of a mirror and practising your smile will help get you geared up to face the camera. Go from no smile to a great big smile slowly. Pay attention to what point you like your smile the most and practice hitting that for the camera. 

Take a deep breath. If you feel yourself tensing up, take a slow, deep breath in and out and release the tension in your lips and your shoulders. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

Lastly, if you are getting professional photos taken, find a photographer who knows how to pose you. You’ll be able to relax in front of the camera if the person behind it is giving you specific instructions and positive feedback. Feel beautiful, confident, empowered, and provide them with encouragement that helps them feel this way. Find someone who will be a cheerleader for you!