Whether you’re preparing for a portrait, group photo or love taking selfies, it pays to know how to look great in photographs.
Summer brings graduations, weddings, celebrations, and vacations… which bring photographs that will either last a lifetime or be instantly broadcast to your social media network.
In our smartphone, selfie era; every day becomes picture day. And looking our best, 24/7, can be doable… with a little forethought.
Determine your best feature. Determine your best asset.
And then, highlight those features.
Here are 7 ways to help you do just that.
1. Dress-Style Tips
Clothes. Wear solid colors and vertical stripes to slim your features. Wear patterns selectively as they can broaden your shape and size. Experts advise choosing one pattern element in your outfit rather than patterns from head to toe, avoiding small and busy patterns as they tend to strobe.
Colors. Lighter colors add youthfulness while darker colors add maturity.
2. Makeup Tips
Foundation. Wear minimal foundation that closely matches your complexion and use concealer to cover any imperfections or red spots. Powder based foundations can make your skin cake, emphasizing any fine lines.
Lipstick. Avoid taupe and brown lipsticks, instead opting for a warm pinky rose or peach. Matte or slightly shimmery is best.
Shoes. Choose a heel to elongate and create a lean silhouette.
3. Hair Tips
Volume is everything.
To give your hair a quick touch of volume, flip it upside down and shake through your strands with your fingers. When you flip it back, you’ll be left with an imperfect and tousled look that will appear textured in photos. For even more dimension, pull your hair into a loose topknot in the moments leading up to your photo. Take it out and give it a quick spritz of dry shampoo. (Reader’s Digest).
“When prepping myself before a photo, I like to refresh my blow out (wavy or straight) with a wide-tooth comb, then shake my hair and use my fingers to make it a bit tousled and imperfect,” says celeb hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, who has done everyone from Mindy Kaling to Zooey Deschanel.
4. Posing Tips
Control your chin. When you pose, elongate your neck and push your forehead and chin forward a bit. Even though it may feel awkward, it helps define your jawline, giving your face a lift.
Look at the top of the camera. Smile genuinely and aim your gaze at “the top of the camera lens, which will draw your eyes up and make them look brighter and bigger,” says image consultant Holly Ernst, the owner of Sparkle!, an image-consulting firm in Minneapolis.
Do something with your hands. If you’re standing, place the hand closest to the camera on your hip; this adds definition to your upper arm. If you’re sitting, gently clasp your hands in front of you.
Take a breath. Right before the snap, take a deep breath and release it. This will relax your features, giving you a more natural look.
5. Angling Tips
Angle your body. The least favorable angle is facing the camera head-on because it accentuates the widest part of your body. Practice the Red Carpet Pose.
Instead, turn your body about 30 – 45 degrees to the right, then turn your head left in the direction of the camera, looking toward your left shoulder. (If your right side is better, reverse the direction.) To look your slimmest, put your weight on your back leg and turn your front foot toward the camera. This will instantly slim your body.
Seated. If you’re sitting, perch near the edge of the chair and sit up straight, elongate the body. If you want to slim your face or jawline,extend your chin forward and slightly down.
Casual Pose. In more casual poses, rest your elbows on your thighs and lean slightly forward. In a big group shot with people of different heights, avoid crouching, a position that flatters no one. If you can’t stand, try sitting on the floor with one knee up, crossing your legs yoga-style, or sweeping them to the side.
Selfie. Selfies come with many options and you can change the camera’s angle every time you take one. This will prevent routine pictures and you will look photogenic all the time. Make sure your image is in the upper corner. This is a more flattering way of taking selfies rather than simply having you in the screen’s center.
Side Note: In one Wake Forest University study, researchers found that the left side of the human face is more appealing than the right side. For the study, participants were asked to rate photos of 10 male and 10 female faces, in both their original and mirror image form, reports the Huffington Post. Photos showing the left side were rated more “pleasant” than those of the right sides.
6. Lighting Tips
To get beautiful lighting every time, celebrity makeup artist and photographer Troy Jensen advises, “If you’re not using a flash, be sure you’re facing the light source straight on, not from the side. It should shine directly on you to clean out the face.” Jensen also notes that a window, lamp, street light, or doorway can also work as great light sources; just face in the direction of the light, and snap. (Refinery 29)
Smile genuinely. Forget about yourself and smile at the camera as if it’s a long lost friend. Be confident. Have fun.