Ever wonder why some people look amazing in photos, whereas you look like someone accidentally used photo aging software? With profile pictures and tagged photos taking the place of real-life first impressions, a great shot is more important than ever (and we all know that once it’s online, it’s there forever). Though it’s true some are just naturally more photogenic than others, taking a great picture is about more than looks; angles, lighting, and colors all have a huge effect, and can make the difference between “Wow, you should be a model” and “Wow, you’re better looking in person”. Here’s how to make sure you’re putting your best face forward:
1. Start out in front of the mirror. Try different angles, poses, etc. to find your best “side.”
2. Pose in different lights and spaces to discover what works best for your complexion.
3. Find your natural smile. Don’t force it. If you’re cheeks start to hurt, it’s too much.
4. Wear your most flattering colors – keep in mind that what looks best in person might not look best on film.
5. Backlighting is better than overhead lighting. Overhead lighting causes excessive brightness as well as unflattering shadows.
6. Stance counts. Stand at a 45 degree angle as opposed to facing the camera directly. Put one foot slightly in front of your body but keep the weight on the back foot. Try different “hand on hip” stances.
7. Keep your head level and then drop your chin slightly. Hello big eyes!
8. Whenever possible, shoot from a position slightly above you, so you’re almost looking up into the camera.
A lot of picture perfecting is trial and error, so snap until you can snap no more!
Photo courtesy of Peter Lindbergh for British Vogue, January 1990