People who are naturally photogenic are truly lucky. The ability to be caught off guard and to still take great photos means that when people look you up online, or when they see you in a friend’s photograph you will always look great. It means that those embarrassing photos where you are caught mid-changing expression or with an odd grin will be something of a rarity, and it just generally ensures that the celluloid ambassadors out there will be making a good impression on all who see them.
For the rest of us though, what can we do? If we were not born photogenic then how can you improve how you look in photographs? Here we will have a look at how best to become more photogenic – or at least to practice some damage limitation.
Practising your smile is a very good idea. People will likely tell you that you should smile in a way that is natural and that doesn’t appear forced as a result. However for some of us our natural smile is not actually our best one and it can be the smiles that don’t feel natural that actually look better on camera if they aren’t quite so broad or aren’t quite so cheesy. Practice these in front of the mirror and find the one you like, and then make an effort of recreating this smile for the camera (you will need to see how it feels in order to achieve this). One tip though is to make sure that you are smiling behind your eyes too and this is what will make you look genuinely happy rather than like some kind of robot.
Learn Your Good Side
Unfortunately few of us are completely symmetrical and that means that there are some differences between the two sides of our face. You’d be surprised at just how much of a difference these slight changes can make and your ‘good side’ might be considerably better looking than your bad side. Make sure then that you know which one is which so that you can put that side forward for photos.
Tilt Your Head Back
If you get a little prior warning on the photograph then it is a good idea to tilt your head upwards just slightly and to the side (while keeping eyes forward). This looks like a confident and casual pose but it is very powerful in improving your looks as it eradicates any double chin or trace thereof that you may have and it also outlines your jaw more clearly to make your face look more chiselled and defined.
Choose Your Lighting
What can also make you look more or less defined is to carefully select your lighting. This can cause shadows to be cast in certain places around your body and can thereby increase contrast and definition such as improving the tone of your muscles and improving the strength of your cheekbones etc.
Choose Your Makeup
If you are a woman then you’ll be in the fortunate position of being able to use makeup to change your appearance quite drastically and this can make you appear more photogenic. Look at your old photos and decide – what is it about them that you don’t like? For instance many women find that their lips are a similar colour to their skin tone when they smile and stretch them and this can make it look like they have no lips. Likewise their eyes might look washed out and dull. You might think meanwhile that your nose is a little too wide or that you have too many wrinkles.
To combat either of these effects makeup can add a touch of colour and make the features you are proud of stand out and to conceal things like your lines and wrinkles or your nose. For instance a bold red lipstick can make your mouth show up more in photographs and this will make your expressions stand out more and your teeth look whiter too. Likewise if you want to make your eyes look less tired, use some dark eye-liner and you will make them look bold and smoky and hide any lines or wrinkles. Use foundation on your skin to improve skin tone (blusher can help to bring out the cheek bones) and if you want to make the nose slightly smaller then use a foundation one shade darker on the sides of it to make it look like they’re shadows and the top is slimmer as a result.
Make sure that whatever you use you try to create a matte effect on your skin as this will help to counter any shine that can be picked up by the flash on the camera. This can be achieved using a foundation or a moisturiser.
Tanning is a great way of making sure that you look better in photographs as it will hide your lines and wrinkles, and because it will make sure that the flash of the camera doesn’t wash you out too much which can sometimes happen. If you don’t have any handy sun to hand, then try tanning by using a self tanning moisturiser.
Another aspect of your appearance that will have a huge impact on your appearance is your hair and this is something you need to spend a lot of time getting right. Look at old photos and find your favourite style and then use that to influence your future choices. Some people just look better with a fringe while others don’t so much.
Take Lots of Photos
Being in lots of photos is something that you will get better at with time – like everything else practice will make perfect. Don’t make the massive mistake of most un-photogenic people by being completely camera shy then as you will just find that you end up never improving. Instead seek out lots of photos and then learn by looking at the outcomes how to improve for next time. Eventually the camera will learn to love you.
However if they’re your photos and you want to be more photogenic on Facebook then there are ways of cheating using Photoshop. This will allow you to retouch areas of your face that have blemishes or lines to create a much smoother skin tone and texture, it will allow you to improve or change your makeup, you can even change the size of your features and clear up loose ends. If you’re okay with cheating then this is a great way to ensure you look like a model in every picture.