Anyone Can Be Photogenic!
8 Easy Steps to Looking Great in Photos
By Polina Roytman
Anyone can be photogenic. Yes, really! It just takes a little practice and know how. Most of us refuse to admit it, but let’s be honest we all want our photos to come out good, in fact better than good would be that icing on the cake.
1. The Angles and The Eyes:
A slight turn or a ¾ view is the most flattering pose for most people. First thing to understand is that a person is 3 dimensional, where as in a photo you are 2 dimensional. Meaning you get flattened and widened, losing depth. Depth perception is typically what makes a person attractive. A ¾ view, versus a straight-forward shot, tricks the eye into seeing more depth. Just remember to still look at the camera even when slightly turned. Doing this makes sure you’re always keeping eye contact with whoever is looking at the photo. Look at the camera as though you’re looking into someone’s eyes. Try not to think of it as a camera, see through it the way you would if it were a person.
This sketch demonstrates depth perception. The sketch on the left is a simple black and white line drawing. There is no shading. It looks flat and wide. The sketch on the right is shaded in, giving more depth and looking more realistic and attractive. A photograph is the same principle.
2. I Feel Good About My Neck:
Extend your neck slightly forward toward the camera. It helps to hide a double chin, evens out wrinkles and adds some facial definition. Try to avoid tilting your head down as this can sometimes make it seem like you have a double chin.
Whenever possible try having the camera a tad above you, so you are looking slightly up. This keeps your head at a comfortable slight turn and your eyes open wide in a natural way. It’s also a great angle to hide a double chin.
3. When Not to Look at the Camera:
If you’re in a situation where the camera is at a lower level then try and look directly forward. If you look at the camera your eyes will appear to be closed or mostly closed.
4. Posture Posture Posture:
Standing, or sitting, up straight elongates your entire body. This works wonders. It flattens your stomach, smoothes out cellulite, perks up the bust, and naturally lets your neck elongate as well, which makes you look taller and slimmer, as well as adding definition to your face. Think of it like putty. The flatter it is the more slouchy and round it looks. The more you stretch it out, the thinner and longer it gets. Your body works the same way.
If the photo is being taken from more of a side angle, holding your arms just a tiny bit (a few centimeters at most) away from your body will make them look slimmer. Having your arms too close to the body could give the appearance of flabby arms.
5. Breathe and Forget About the Cheese:
Don’t hold your breath and suck it all in thinking it will make you look slimmer. Instead this makes you look uncomfortable and stiff. Saying “cheeeeeeese” and holding it until the snap has the same effect. You’re basically holding your breath, along with an unnatural smile, and it shows. Instead try to imagine something funny and genuinely smile or laugh, even make a laughing sound if you must, a few seconds before the photographer clicks.
Try thinking of your lover and a fun time you had together. Anything that makes you smile and even blush a bit does wonders for a good photo. A mischievous thought will put that happy grin on your face, and the camera loves it. A slight smile and a sexy glance with your eyes, truly smiling with your eyes, will do wonders for a great photo.
6. Group Photos:
If taking photos with a group of people try to keep your posture straight. Often times, be it standing or sitting, we lean in to try and get closer to the person next to us, which tends to show up as hunched over or poor posture in a photo. Try to take a step to stand closer to the other person versus leaning your body in. If you’re sitting try moving your chair closer to the other person’s chair. Remember try to slightly angle yourself even while sitting.
7. Shine On… Just Not In A Photo:
Try to keep down the shine in your t-zone [forehead and nose]. You can use powder or blotting papers, or even lightly pat with a paper towel if you have no other options. If that ends up being the case make sure no paper towel debris is left on your face.
8. Clothes Speak Volumes:
What you wear matters. Figuring out which color suits your complexion best would be the way to go. A quick basic guide is to look at the veins on your arm in good natural light. If they appear bluish you are a cool skin tone. If the veins appear greenish you are a warm skin tone. Cool skin tones tend to look best in jewel tones such as royal blues, rich emerald greens, pinks, purples, and magentas. Warm skin tones tend to look best in yellows, oranges, browns, and earthy greens.
Busy patterns and stripes tend to overwhelm most people in photographs. Red, black, and white can be tricky as well depending on the type of lighting and background, as well as the type of camera being used. When in doubt stick to solid and neutral tones.
Some of these steps may feel silly at first, but the more you do it the more second nature it will become for you, and the better your photos will get. A lot of times people avoid these steps for fear that others will think it looks ridiculous. Know that in the moment your photo is taken no one is paying attention to you and what you look like or how you’re posing. They are too busy and concerned with how they themselves look and are posing. Ultimately, the picture says it all, and I’ve never known anyone to complain when looking good in a photo. Practice these steps at home in front of the mirror or by taking photos of yourself, or having a friend take photos of you. Doing this will help you figure out what your best side and angles are. The more you practice the more it will become second nature. It’s worth the time and effort and will make you feel more confident and comfortable when it comes time for your ‘real’ close-up. It’s a domino effect. Once you’ve nailed down how to get one good photo, the rest of the photos follow suit!
Photograph by Kyria Lydia Abrahams
Sketches by Arkady Roytman
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Originally posted on June 18, 2013