You get that little blue pop-up that tells you you've been tagged in a photo, and you hold your breath while you wait for the picture to load. Could it be profile-worthy? Or will you want to hide under your bed when you see it?
Most of us have been there, and it doesn't always end well. Luckily, Facebook lets us untag ourselves from less than flattering photos, but in the back of our mind we know they're still floating out there somewhere on the internet. So, what can you do to prevent cringeworthy photos from being taken in the first place? Well, as it turns out - a lot! There are tips and tricks people use to make sure they're never caught off guard, and today you'll learn 15 of these quick fixes for taking gorgeous photos!
15 Think Happy Thoughts!
There's a classic quote from children's author Roald Dahl that says: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” While you may not have actual sunbeams coming out of your face, a positive attitude and happy thoughts will at least make you look like you're not in pain (and - GASP! - maybe even enjoying yourself!) and that will translate into photos of you. There's a time and a place for moody, sultry looks in pictures, but most of the time, a happy and smiling face is the best option.
14 Know Your Face Shape
Whether your face is wide, round, or long, keeping your face at a 30 degree angle from the camera lens will usually result in a great photograph for most people. If you do have a particularly wide or round face, a photo from an angle is the best option for adding definition to your jaw and cheeks. If you have a long face, you may still want a slight angle, but try playing around with the angle of your chin more than your whole face to get the look you desire. Another thing to take note of on your face? Eye size! If one is bigger than the other, keep the bigger eye closer to the camera to showcase your stunning peepers!
13 Hands On Your Hips
Standing shots can be awkward, especially when you don't know what to do with your hands. If you're wearing a flow outfit or if you feel like you blend into the background, try placing your hands on your hips. Not only will this define your waist and give you a great shape, it also makes your arms look thinner and longer. Another bonus? It will give you an immediate posture boost! Having your hands on your hips also conveys power and confidence, so this is an especially good pose if you're using it for business shots.
12 Lengthen Your Torso
When you have your photo taken while seated and there isn't a table or other structure to rest your arms on, it can be really hard not to look stiff and uncomfortable. Another problem with seated pictures is they can make your torso look short and stocky. Try scooting close to the edge of the chair and straightening your spine. If you'd like, you can also try elongating one side of your body by draping one leg over the other and placing your hands on your legs or on the chair and keeping your arms straight while supporting your body.
11 Dark Clothing Is Super Flattering, And So Are Vertical Stripes
We all know black or dark coloured clothing can make us look slimmer, but in pictures, this is especially true. If possible, try wearing a dark shirt and pants and then accessorize with colourful jewelry if you want a pop of colour. Avoid wearing horizontal stripes in photos if you're worried about looking wide on camera. Poofy sleeves or capped sleeves should also be avoided because they cut off the arm right at the thickest part. If you're worried about wearing dark clothing because you might blend into the background, remember you can put your hands on your hips to define your shape and make sure you stand out from your surroundings.
10 Make Sure The Camera Is At Least At Your Eye Line
NO ONE, let me repeat, NO ONE, looks good when their picture is taken from under their chin looking up. Unless you're trying to get some laughs, this is not a good angle to choose. One expert also explains shots from below can make you appear "aggressive and masculine," so if that isn't the desired effect of your photo, steer clear of that angle. Whether you're taking a selfie or having someone take a picture for you, ask them to keep the camera AT LEAST straight on with your eye line, if not from even higher. This is a way more flattering angle for your face and body
9 Camera Flash + SPF Makeup = Bad News
It can be so frustrating to spend copious amounts of time perfecting your makeup before a night out just to see yourself in a picture looking like you're wearing foundation that's three shades too light. If you're sure that your foundation or concealer isn't in fact too light for you skin, check if it has SPF in it. SPFs reflect flashes from the camera, and that's the reason you might end up with a ghostly glow. Opt for makeup that's SPF-free when you're going out at night. This is likely when a flash will be used anyways, and you won't have to worry about sun damage when it's already dark out.
8 All Your Sides Are Great
Iconic fashion photographer Nigel Barker believes you don't have a bad side, and with a resume like his, how could you argue? He says instead of focusing on a good side or a bad side you should, “Focus all that energy on looking into the camera with confidence and slightly turning your body at an angle to either side. This will help show off your ‘WOW!’ figure.” I don't know about you, but if Nigel Barker says so, I believe him. I mean, have you SEEN him on America's Next Top Model? If Tyra trusts him, so do I!
7 Don't Try Too Hard
Okay, so you might think that if you're reading an article about taking great photos you're already trying too hard. But the truth is, there's NOTHING wrong with wanting to look great in pictures, especially when they're being taken for a specific purpose. By "don't try too hard" I'm referring primarily to your smile. A big cheesy grin can be appropriate at times, but generally it just makes your eyes look scrunched and it can make your face appear wider than you'd like it too. Try a soft smile (you don't even need to show teeth) and remember to think those happy thoughts so your look seems genuine.
Practice makes perfect, and it makes for picture perfect, too! Play around with a camera and see which angles are most flattering for you. Try different smiles, different heights, and different lights and see which one works best for you. That way, next time someone yells "Cheese!" you can quickly move into your best possible picture position. Did you know the Selfie Queen herself, Kim Kardashian, admits to taking about 300 photos in one selfie session until she gets the perfect one? That's likely a little (okay,WAY) extreme for most of us, but that way she also learns the best way to position her face for red carpet photos, too.
5 No Duck Face!
If you want to look like an adult instead of a twelve-year-old girl, it's best to avoid duck face (you know, when you stick your lips out in an exaggerated pout). Duck face is not only the subject of many memes now, it's also the subject of a lot of jokes. It does not showcase maturity or sophistication, so if those things are important to you, stick with a regular smile instead. Another thing to keep in mind is that it can accentuate any wrinkling around the mouth and make your lipstick look feathered. Yikes!
4 Place Your Tongue On the Roof of Your Mouth
One of the quickest things you can do to help your photos turn out well is to push your tongue to the roof of your mouth when the flash goes off. Why? Well, experts explain this tightens the muscles under your chin and it will make your skin look firmer and smoother. Once you've done this, you can also jut your chin out slightly to further smooth the area, and it also gives nice definition to your jawline. Think of it like a super quick and super temporary face lift - no surgery required!
3 Find Your Favorite Smile
Just like you will already know your go-t0 angle when someone wants a picture of you if you practice ahead of time, you should know the smile you want to go with, too. Genuine, big, goofy smiles are so endearing in person, but you might want to practice with a more subtle smile that still looks natural for pictures. Have this smile in your back pocket, so to speak, when your photo is being taken and take comfort in knowing that if nothing else, at least your smile is on point.
2 Lighting is Everything!
All the makeup and all the posing practice in the world will be rendered useless if the lighting is terrible in a photo. Aaron Gil, a professional potraiture photographer explains: “Avoid harsh shadows which accentuate blemishes and cause contrasting dark areas under your eyes or beneath the nose. Complementary lighting is even from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, as well as from cheek to cheek.” So, if you are not looking to emphasize blemishes and dark circles (and I'm guessing you are not) follow Aaron's advice!
1 Try Squinching
Squinching sounds like something painful you'd want to avoid, but it is actually just a helpful tool for looking your best in photographs! Don't believe it? Well, even Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie have used this trick! So, what is it? It's basically a half-squint. You raise your lower lids to give yourself a smouldering stare. by doing this, your eyes narrow slightly and give the impression that you're really focusing on something, or that the photographer has totally captured your attention. Give it a try and see if it gives you the sultry gaze you've always longed for!