We’ve all been there. We think we look photogenic, but then photo evidence appears and shows that we have lumps and bumps in all the wrong places. This week, I’m going to reveal my secrets that can help you look great in any photo.
Whether it’s your figure, your hair or your complexion, it’s gut wrenching to discover that what you thought was a cute look is actually conspiring with a camera to make you look a fright. I love photos. Capturing the moments of my life is fun, and looking back through memories can be a real treat. But if you avoid the camera because you feel that you can be more photogenic, then today’s post will help you reveal your inner supermodel.
Let’s be honest here: Who can really avoid a camera these days? We live in an age of social media where ‘selfies’ infiltrate your thought stream multiple times a day. If it’s not selfies then other digital portraits are floating around on social networks, making it a good idea to look camera ready when you least expect it. I’ve also noticed a trend of professional photo shoots becoming popular as of late. People are taking photos as a recreational activity. With so much emphasis placed on taking good photos, it would help to know what makes a good photo and how to be more photogenic. I’m not saying that you need to walk out of the house looking like you’re going to a photo shoot daily, but there are some things you can do when the photo opportunity arises that can help you look your best.
Look at the photo overall, rather than nitpicking flaws. I bet that your friends and family won’t notice that you’re having what feels like a bad beauty day.
Okay, this one is a real problem. I’ve been the one who always looks like I’m asleep in a photo, but the cure is easy. Just as everyone else is saying cheese, close your eyes and slowly open them. As the shutter goes off you’ll have open, sexy eyes.
The solution to this will feel contradictory but I promise it works. Before the photo, tuck in your chin ever so slightly, elongate your neck and lead with your forehead. While you might think it will worsen the look of your chin, this technique actually draws attention to your whole face rather than your chin and looks far more natural than jutting your chin out.
So, your eyes are open but they appear to have shrunk? No problem. Pre-photo, grab your eyelash curlers and mascara. A touch of attention beforehand can really emphasize your eyes, but the best tip here is to smile. A real twinkle in your eye can light up a picture.
Blush and bronzer can be your best friend in a photo. The flash or bright sunlight can make your face appear two-dimensional, so adding a little extra color can add shape. In an emergency, pinching the apple of your cheeks just before a photo can add shape and color too. Some old school beauty tricks really do work.
Trying to take the perfect ‘selfie’? Then hold your phone high. That’s right, by holding the camera above your eye line you have to look up and this is universally flattering. If someone else is taking the photo, then be conscious of your body positioning. Standing at an angle versus directly facing the camera will be more flattering.
No good can come from being tense or nervous on camera. I know it’s hard to do, but relaxing can make the world of difference. If you’re among friends, then try to organize some real-life photos of all of you sharing a joke. By forgetting the camera is there and acting natural, then in all likelihood you’ll look happier. (Of course, if you combine this tip with all my others than the odds will be in your favor.)
You already know that relaxing will help, but somehow knowing doesn’t make doing any easier. My advice? Try props. Lean against a wall, hold something in your hand or invite others to join you in the photo. By concentrating on doing something other than holding a rictus grin, you may find it easier to forget about some of the pressure you’re putting on yourself.
For a great photo, a light background can be a huge asset. Light bounces, so a light background can reduce the appearance of blemishes. We’ve all seen photographers holding light reflectors to cast up extra light to help with a model’s dark circles. You can use the same camera-beautiful trick at home. A light sand beach, a snowy scene or even a white wall can help make you glow.
This sounds obvious. Simply look at the camera but don’t necessarily stare right down the lens. This is for three reasons: 1) Unless you’re taking a passport photo, you don’t need to face a camera straight on. 2) The person taking the photo is usually where the good light is, so pointing your face towards the light will help you look flawless. 3) Some photographers say to look just above the lens to create an air of mystery—and reduce the risk of red eye.
When it comes to wardrobe, there are some outfits that look fabulous in real life but can get misconstrued in photos (think flowy tunics or oversized jackets). On the other extreme, there are outfits that show just a little too much. If you know you’ll be taking lots of pictures on a given day, you may benefit from taking some pictures of yourself while you’re deciding what to wear. A nicely tailored outfit can make you look more photogenic than ill-fitting clothing.
No matter how much we prepare, there are bound to be a few less-than-gorgeous photos of all of us out there in the ether. That being the case, I urge you to embrace the camera. Think of photos as a law of averages: the more photos you appear in, the more likely that you will look photogenic.
There are plenty of things that will help you capture your beauty on camera. And if you really aren’t feeling it, say no! You don’t have to capture the moment your hair just fell out of the perfect updo, or you’re wearing tight shoes that make you scrunch up your face after a few hours. There will always be another moment for you to show off your supermodel features.
I want to make you all feel beautiful and confident. Following this advice will help you take a great photo, but sometimes a moment of preparation can make a world of difference to those of us who aren’t naturally photogenic. And you know what? We all look stunning in real life.