Thanks to smartphones, every day is picture day. We’re all equipped to capture the most unexpected of moments and we’ve almost become forced to constantly look camera-ready. So, in this selfie age, there’s no better time to learn how to look better in photos. Here are a collection of tips, designed to help you look your very best in every picture.
1. Figure out your good side
Your “good side” is not just one of those things that people jokingly refer to. According to both fashion photographer Garance Dore and a scientific study mentioned in The Huffington Post, it’s usually the left side of the face that’s most attractive. This also explains the phenomenon of why portraitists tend to paint their subjects’ left profiles.
2. Position your head correctly
3. Maximize your presence
Whether it’s a group photo or just a photo of yourself, to look great means to maximize your presence in the picture, getting the best overall view of your body. The ideal angle, according to Bill Hurter, author of the Portrait Photographer’s Handbook is the seven-eighths view. “The Seven-Eighths View occurs when the subject is looking just slightly away from the camera. In other words, you will see just a little more of one side of the face than the other when looking through the camera. You will still see both of the subject’s ears in a seven-eighths view.”
What you wear is also important, Hurter added. Light-colored clothing and a light colored background is great in maximizing your presence. For men, the idea is to appear a little wider, garnering presence, so if you’re skinny, turn your full body to the camera so you appear as wide as possible.
4. Wear what you know looks good
It’s tough to wear your ideal outfit all the time, but dressing in flattering clothing all the time helps tremendously. When it comes to looking good in photos, self-awareness is king: If you know what looks best on you, it will show on camera.
5. Most importantly, smile
Unless you’re all posing and giving Blue Steel, smiling helps you look better in a photo. Prepare yourself for a relaxed smile just before the picture is taken: Close your eyes, take a deep breath, open your eyes just before the snap, and smile.
One last tip: Sure, not all of us love having our photo taken, but try and get out of that mindset — those emotions translate into the photograph. Relax buddy.