10 Tips to Always Look Good in Photos

August 26, 2010 · 24 comments

in Tips & Tricks


As a photographer, you look great behind the camera, but what happens when the camera is pointing at you? A lot of photographers tend to freeze up, or go in for that fake, cheesy smile. But you’d be happy to know that you don’t need to be born photogenic in order to look nice in photos. Just follow these 10 simple tips to ensure that you’d always look good in front of the camera.

1.) Dress to impress

If you know that a photo opportunity will present itself at an event (which it always does), dress nicely. Try to avoid wearing stripey outfits, clashing colors or uncomfortable clothing and accessories. Keep it simple, neat and ironed. If you’re wearing something sheer, realize that it will become more transparent under certain lighting and camera flashes.

Photo thanks to g-mikee

2.) Do a quick check

If there’s a mirror around or a reflection, take a quick glance at yourself. Check that your clothes aren’t crumpled, hair’s not messed up or something stuck between your teeth. If you can’t find a reflection or there’s no time, ask the photographer to do a quick check.

3.) Don’t hunch

Slouching not only makes you appear shorter in photos, but often brings about unsightly stomach rolls too. Straighten up and stand tall, as if you’re head’s being pulled by a vertical string.

4.) Relax the shoulders

When we’re nervous or stressed, our shoulders automatically tense up without us knowing. Take notice of them and subtly roll them back and push them down.

5.) Think happy thoughts

There’s nothing worse than a forced smile, so think back to a moment when you were truly happy. That vacation you went on? Maybe last year’s Christmas celebration? Or that person you have a crush on? Hopefully that happy thought will bring a more genuine smile to your face.

Photo thanks to mcpeak_michael

6.) “Smeyes”

Model Tara Banks will always stress on the importance of smiling with your eyes (aka smeyes). If your lips are smiling but your eyes are all tensed up, you’d end up with an awkward photo. Simply relax the eyes and eyebrows and don’t strain your eyes trying to look at the camera. If needed, close your eyes for a second before opening them to take the photo.

Photo thanks to Sara* Eloise*

7.) Location, location, location

An interesting background can make a huge difference to the photo. Have a look at your surrounding and see if you spot anything intriguing. It can just be a textured wall or a colorful backdrop.

Photo thanks to Bzuk

8.) Strike a pose

No need to come up with the extreme poses you might find in fashion magazines. Maybe just twisting your body slightly, or putting your hands in your pocket. Also, have some fun with your poses or maybe interact with a prop or another person.

Photo thanks to Geekr

9.) Use the light

As a photographer, you know that lighting can make or break the photo. When you’re in front of the camera, make sure that the lights will hit your face at a desirable angle. For example, Standing directly under harsh lighting can make shadows appear under your eyes, so you may need to lift and tilt your face.

Photo thanks to Simon Pais

10.) Practice makes perfect

Yes, practicing in front of the mirror will make you a pro when you need to look your best in front of the camera. When you’re alone, practice a few poses, try out a few different smiles and work out your better looking side.

Photo thanks to another.point.in.time

Article by

1 part ad agency. 2 parts freelancer. An avid urban photographer, traveler, and streetwear lover. Geeky curator of all things awesome. Sustains on Vegemite, meat pies and lamingtons. Follow me on Twitter or Flickr.

Yi has written 69 awesome articles for us at Photoble

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540061509 Dave Hodgkinson
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540061509 Dave Hodgkinson
  • con_tempo

    Thx for the tips!

  • con_tempo

    Thx for the tips!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    Glad you like it!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Glad you like it!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    I think that’s a great portrait. Shows a bit of attitude and personality. :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    I think that’s a great portrait. Shows a bit of attitude and personality. :)

  • Crystal Diesel

    Cuuute :) but isn’t it “smize”?

  • Crystal Diesel

    Cuuute :) but isn’t it “smize”?

  • http://twitter.com/barcelonamade Robert Machado

    Very interesting!

  • http://twitter.com/barcelonamade Robert Machado

    Very interesting!

  • http://snowball4u.wordpress.com/ Irvan Ferdiansyah

    Ok! So this has got to be my fav post.

    Recently I’ve found myself stiff and awkward in my photos, I seriously don’t know why. Every smile seems an utter fake! ( ¬ .¬)”

    I hope this tips will help. I’ll seriously note on “Think happy thoughts” and my “Smeyes”.. Cheese! (^O^)

  • http://snowball4u.wordpress.com/ Irvan Ferdiansyah

    Ok! So this has got to be my fav post.

    Recently I’ve found myself stiff and awkward in my photos, I seriously don’t know why. Every smile seems an utter fake! ( ¬ .¬)”

    I hope this tips will help. I’ll seriously note on “Think happy thoughts” and my “Smeyes”.. Cheese! (^O^)

  • Irvan Ferdiansyah

    Oh! And another thing about take photos that SERIOUSLY bugs me.. I find myself shooting cute and awesome photos of my friends in almost every event, but when I hand over the camera to someone (or one of my friends) to shoot me, they always find a way to make it “blah!”. Grr.. I think they need some 101.

  • Irvan Ferdiansyah

    Oh! And another thing about take photos that SERIOUSLY bugs me.. I find myself shooting cute and awesome photos of my friends in almost every event, but when I hand over the camera to someone (or one of my friends) to shoot me, they always find a way to make it “blah!”. Grr.. I think they need some 101.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    Haha! I think it’s time to do the whole stretching out the camera in front of you! I find that if there’s enough ambient lighting, turn off the flash. However, if the lighting doesn’t work in your favor, then turn the flash on but make sure you’re at least 3 steps away from the camera.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Haha! I think it’s time to do the whole stretching out the camera in front of you! I find that if there’s enough ambient lighting, turn off the flash. However, if the lighting doesn’t work in your favor, then turn the flash on but make sure you’re at least 3 steps away from the camera.

  • Joyful7

    Great photos and tips. I’m not a photographer but I strive to take good pictures.

    http://www.greeneearthoriginals.blogspot.com

  • Joyful7

    Great photos and tips. I’m not a photographer but I strive to take good pictures.

    http://www.greeneearthoriginals.blogspot.com

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone App Developer

    Nice information.. How to look good in photos

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone App Developer

    Nice information.. How to look good in photos

  • Pingback: 8 Conseils pour bien apparaître sur vos photos | Créatif Pixel

  • Meganrose51450

    Very hepful

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