When the camera comes out, a lot of people instinctively declare that they look awful in pictures. Learn how to be more photogenic and put your best face forward.
Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.
Not everyone looks like a model, but there is no reason to look like you’re dazed or grimacing in pain in every party snapshot. Unless, of course, you happen to be drunk and photographed immediately after being attacked by hornets, a scenario not covered in wikiHow’s helpful guide to being more photogenic.
The first step is to forget everything you know about posing for a photograph. Don’t face the camera dead-on; turn so you are facing the camera with one foot slightly ahead of the other and your shoulders slightly turned. Don’t stare the camera down; look just slightly above the lens which on top of looking more natural also reduces red eye. Don’t stand up perfectly straight and throw your shoulders back; keep your shoulders relaxed and lean—leading with your head—very slightly towards the camera to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fat around the neck and face. The best tip of all? Forget you’re being photographed.
Many people end up looking odd in photos because they freeze into odd facial expressions with a “say cheese” type of smile on their face. If you’re used to having bad pictures taken of yourself, you probably get nervous in front of the camera, and this can make things even worse. If you know a picture is about to be taken, take a deep breath and exhale naturally, relaxing your arms and shoulders. As you exhale, smile or strike whatever pose is appropriate. Don’t hold your breath, either in or out, otherwise you’ll appear as though you’re tense or suffocating. If you see the photo coming too late, don’t panic and try to strike a pose. Keep doing what you’re doing and try to ignore the camera. It may not turn out perfectly, but you’ve got a better chance than if the camera catches you quickly trying to change your facial expression. The more comfortable and relaxed you appear, the better the photo will turn out.
Armed with the extensive list of tips at the wikiHow guide you’ll quickly find that after a few rounds of photographs the results aren’t as horrible as you remember. Soon enough, relaxing and throwing a well timed pose or two at the camera will quickly become second nature. Whether you’re terrified of the shutter or the most animated in any family photo, sound off in the comments below.
How To Be More Photogenic [wikiHow]