We all want to look and feel our best as much as possible, but this is especially true for the way we look in photos.
Nobody wants to look back at photos from good times like holidays, family gatherings and days out, only to cringe at the fact your eyes are closed, you’re standing at a weird angle or you’re displaying some weird, awkward smile for some reason.
I used to hate having my photo taken, because there would always be something I hated about the picture, and I’d end up thinking – oh god, is that really what I look like?!
Over time though, I came to see that lighting, angles and how you pose for a photo, can completely change the way the image looks, and you can be unrecognizable in a snap from your real life self if you get these things wrong.
So I have put together a few top tips, that will help you learn your angles, understand how lighting affects your look and generally help you take much more flattering, memorable and aesthetically pleasing photographs.
8 Clever Ways To Look Better In Photos
FIND YOUR GOOD SIDE
We’ve all got one.
It’s not a myth, every person has a side to their face which is slightly nicer to look at than the other. Whilst you wouldn’t be able to tell that the two sides of your face are different if you were to look at yourself face on, if you were to cover each side of your face respectively, you’ll then realise subtle differences.
It might be that the arch of your eyebrow is slightly better, your smile is wider or your hairline is slightly straighter on one side.
These small details make a huge difference – so play around with old photo’s of yourself, spend some time in front of the mirror and really learn your own face and which side works best for you.
STAND AT AN ANGLE
If you’re wanting to look slimmer in photos, then stand sideways onto the camera, rather than straight ahead.
Standing face to face with the camera will make the light shine directly onto your body, highlighting everything – even the things you don’t like.
Standing sideways on will not only make you immediately look narrower, as your body is smaller from the side than it is from the front, but this forces the light to create shadows in certain places on your body, and if you stand at the correct angle, you’ll be able to conceal any less flattering features and highlight what works best for you.
GET THE LIGHTING RIGHT
Lighting is key when it comes to capturing the perfect photo.
You want the light to illuminate the photo itself, so you can see the people, background and any other features as best as possible. Plus, lighting is a great tool to accentuate your best features and hide what you don’t like.
If you’re taking photos outside during the daytime, then never stand in front of the sun. This will block the light, and the photo will turn out super dark.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to stand directly facing the sun, as this will cause you to squint and can make your face look shiny. The best position is to stand with the sun to one side – this will give you the perfect balance of brightness whilst not causing issues with squinting.
If you want to get the best photo possible, then try to head outside during the golden hour. This is the time of day shortly before sunset and will make you look your absolute best – the sunlight will give you a beautiful natural glow, and the low sun will cast a beautiful warm golden-red tint on the photo, making you look stunning.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY IF YOU ANTICIPATE PHOTOS
If you know you’re going to an event where people will be taking pictures, then keep this in mind when you’re getting ready.
Pick an outfit that shows off your best features, hides any areas that you aren’t as confident about, and more importantly, that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
You can always pick out the person in a photo who didn’t want the picture taken – distaste for being snapped always results in you looking away from the camera, stooping, not smiling – or over smiling, and just gives you a general look of uneasiness.
So if you’re heading somewhere and you anticipate photos will be taken, then prepare for it. Choose your outfit, hair and makeup just right so you feel your most confident!
STAND IN THE RIGHT PLACE FOR GROUP PICS
If you’re taking a group photo, think about who you’re standing next to and how they might make you look in the photo.
If you’re a particularly tall or small person, then try to stand next to somebody who is a similar height to you. If you’re shorter, then make your way to the front of the pic and if you’re taller, stand further back.
A 6ft person standing next to a 5ft person in a large group pic is not going to do any favours for either of those people, it’s just going to make both of you look out of place. There is nothing wrong with being tall or short – but learn where to stand in photos so that you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Another tip that will make a huge difference, but might take a little more commitment, is to actually look at the colour clothing the people standing next to you are wearing. If you know that you really don’t suit the colour red, then don’t stand next to somebody wearing red clothes in a photo… even if you yourself are wearing you most flattering colour, if the person directly next to you is counteracting it with their outfit, it could make you look worse.
PRACTICE YOUR SMILE
Practice your smile in the mirror until you get it just right – it’s going to feel silly and uncomfortable at first, but when it comes to looking great in all your future pictures, you’ll be so glad you did it!
Getting the perfect smile is an art, and there is no top secret tip that any article can give you, because everyone’s face is different – you have to find what works for you.
Smiling just right will make you look naturally happy, relaxed and confident in photos, whilst also stopping you looking cheesy, goofy or creating smile lines that make you look older, and give away the fact that you’re only smiling for the photo.
The best photos are the ones that look the most natural – so learn how to smile in a way that makes you look like you were already smiling before someone pulled out their camera.
PULL YOUR SHOULDERS BACK
Posture is everything. Standing slumped over will make you look bored, uninterested, sloppy and as though you lack confidence. You should try to practice excellent posture at all times, but particularly if you’re posing for photo.
Standing up straight will also do wonders for making you look slimmer – especially for men. By standing up tall, you can literally make yourself look several stone lighter than you really are, as good posture will pull in any problem areas around your mid section.
CONSIDER THE WIND
Finally, consider which way the wind is blowing if you’re taking photos outside.
If you’re standing facing away from the wind, all your hair is going to blow towards your face, and the camera will catch every stray hair that’s out of place – making you look really messy and unpolished in the photo.
If there’s a very light breeze, then standing with the wind blowing towards your face will give you a very flattering, windswept look. If there are strong gusts of wind, then stand very slightly sideways on to the wind, and you’ll still get that windswept look, but you won’t look washed out or like you’re about to blow over.
To Finish Off…
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and that I’ve given you some useful, actionable tips that you can use to take much better photos in future.
Whether you’re trying to improve your selfie game, or just want to know how to make the camera work for you before you go travelling around the world taking holiday pictures, if you follow these top tips, then you’ll be taking stunning photos in no time.
Make sure to let me know any of your best tips for taking the best photos, and check back here again soon as I post brand new lifestyle, fashion and personal finance tips on The Angelina Archives every single week.