Ok, guys & gals. Did you know that YOU are photogenic? Yup, seriously! What if I told you it’s totally not your actual face or body that’s making you cringe when you see pictures of yourself? It’s the fact that your face or body looks different than you expect it to, plus we are our own worst critic. Luckily, there are some tried and true methods you can employ for your next photo-op that will make you go, “Yep, I’m one SEXY THANG.”
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind the next time someone waves a camera in your face:
1. Know your good side
Look at some pics of yourself. I’m guessing your feelings towards pictures of yourself falls in 1 of 2 camps: “why TF does my face look like that??” OR “definitely gonna post that sh!t.”
I’m also guessing that in the pictures that DON’T make you want to run away and cry, your head is angled (even slightly) towards the camera in a consistent way. Aka your good side is facing the camera.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out about myself. Take a look at the below…
Cute Pic! Baaaad side!
Cute Pic! Good side!
These were taken on the same day (by a wonderful photographer friend I might add). And, I mean adorable children make any pic awesome, but the black & white pic is what I would consider my “bad side.” My face and body just don’t look right in my opinion. The second pic is what I would consider my “good side.” I just feel like I look more like myself.
If you can make sure that your “good side” is angled towards the camera (and of you can’t get on that side of the group, turn your face in the right direction), you will be well on your way to being “photogenic,” my friend.
And by the way I keep putting “good side” in quotes because this is VERY personal and subjective. It’s just about what you feel.
2. Don’t press your limbs up against your body
Hanging your arms limply at your sides WILL press even the most toned biceps outwards and make you look bigger than you really are. Popping a hand up on your hip can work wonders, as can simply pulling your elbows back and creating a gap between your arm your body.
Good side? Check. Arm out? Check. Pic usable? Check.
Similarly, whatever is closest to the camera will look bigger (and conversely, whatever is further away will look smaller). So if you lean forward a little bit with your upper body, the rest of you will look smaller.
Chin up, buttercup! It’s tempting to pull your face back when you’re genuinely smiling, but try to keep your chin away from your neck, if possible.
And stand up straight! How, you ask? Pull your shoulder blades in towards each other and make space between your ears & shoulders.
4. Smile with your eyes
Yeah. Tyra Banks said this so it must be legit #projectrunway4life. But seriously, if you can figure this one out, you’ll avoid looking like a deer in headlights. When you paste a smile on your mouth, but the smile doesn’t reach your eyes, you end up looking a little fake / angry / crazy. Just a little crinkle around the eyes goes a long way to capturing genuine looking smiles.
5. Figure out 2-3 go-to poses, incorporating the tips above
Related to the above tips, if you figure out a few go-to poses for common pic situations, you’re way less likely to be unpleasantly surprised by how you look. Here are some common ones to figure out:
- Groups: Stand on the correct side (see tip 1). If you can’t stand on that side, angle your “good side” at the camera. If you’re at the end, pop that hand up on your hip. It also helps to stagger your legs (i.e. put one slightly in front of the other).
- Selfies: Ditto above.
- Photo of just you: Angle your body ever so slightly so your good side is facing the camera, then stand up straight, shoulders back. Don’t forget you have arms. Pull them away from your body (even slightly). Chin out a little bit.
Overdoing any of these postures will look weird and unnatural. Subtly is the ticket. Either try them out in the moment and tweak based on the resulting pictures, or be super cool and try it out in a mirror.
See! You ARE photogenic! Now go do your little turn on the catwalk, you beautiful thang!