How to Look Good in Every Photo

June 08, 2012

Fed up of being tagged looking terrible? Check out these tips for mastering the perfect pose and start looking your best in every shot.

1. Favor the left side of your face. A US study conducted by Wake Forest University has revealed that the left side of the face is more attractive than the right, apparently due to the fact that this side of the face shows more emotion. To capture the perfect profile picture, look or angle your face slightly to the right to reveal your ‘best’ side. This can also help to give the illusion of a slimmer face for those with rounder faces.

(Now this is a must-try. Think this will answer the question why I can take perfect photo of everything but myself.) Hmm, what do you think?

2. Choose your makeup carefully. For the perfect photo-ready appearance, make sure you avoid light reflective or mineral foundations containing high amounts of titanium dioxide (a reflective pigment). Although these foundations are great for an everyday luminous look, the flash of a camera can quickly transform your dewy complexion to a ghostly white one as the white light reflects back from the camera. Once you have applied a suitable foundation, finish your look with some face powder to help eliminate shine. (Okay, I don't wear make up so I'm leaving this tip to those who do. :) )

3. Accentuate your best features. To look your sparkling best in photos, make sure you emphasize your favorite features to make them stand out in your snapshot. Love your eyes? Try playing them up with some eyeliner or false lashes! Think you've got great lips? Perk them up with some bright lipstick. Also, make the most of your best body features with an outfit that complements your shape and coloring.

4. Look away from the lens. Nobody wants glaring red or half-shut eyes ruining an otherwise great photo, so make sure you avoid this by focusing your eyes just slightly above or below the lens, or look at the face of the photographer. Looking directly at the lens causes light to flash off the retina; leading to the red eye effect. Looking slightly away from the camera will also reduce the risk of those mid-blink shots.

5. Avoid “red eye” shots. As “red eye” in photographs is caused by light reflecting off the back of the eye, those with large pupils are more likely to suffer from this pesky problem. If averting your gaze from the camera is not doing the trick, another tip for alleviating the red eye effect is to make sure photos are taken in well-lit environment or to look at a bright light just prior to the photograph being taken to make your pupils smaller. You and your friends won't end up looking like a cast of vampires.

6. Banish the double chin. There’s nothing worse than spotting a picture of yourself sporting a double chin where you previously only had one, yet sadly this happens to the best of us. To avoid the appearance of a double chin in photos, make sure that the camera is just above or at your eye level. Also, try tilting your head up and jutting your jaw out slightly–you may want to practice this one first in the mirror to stay looking natural.

7. Avoid direct light. It may not always be possible to control the lighting for your photos and, unless you happen to be a professional model, you most likely won’t have someone on hand to make sure it’s just right. Direct light from above can cast shadows on your face and accentuate the appearance of under-eye shadows. Opt for areas with softer lighting or head to the shade if outdoors.

8. Pose like a pro. If you’re posing for a full body shot, try the classic celeb pose of turning your body three quarters of the way towards the camera, with one shoulder closer to the camera and one foot in front of the other. This will make your body appear slimmer than if you were facing the camera face on. Try keeping your back straight with your shoulders back and your stomach in (just try not to suck it in too much, you won’t be fooling anyone!).

 (Okay, now will this do?)


9. Master the perfect smile. Many of us focus on our mouths when smiling; however, in the words of supermodel Tyra Banks, it’s all about the “smeyes” (smiling with your eyes). Rather than forcing a grin, think about something that makes you happy for a more natural smile. (Of course being with a loved one in the photo can make that smile come more naturally.)


10. Practice your pose. If you’re really keen to capture the perfect photo, the best thing you can do is practice beforehand. Experiment with different face and body angles, smiles and facial expressions (even outfits!) to find what works for you, either in front of the mirror or with your own camera. (Just do it in the privacy of your own room; cam-whoring in public is so unappealing.) Once you have discovered which looks you like best, you are ready to unleash them at every photo opportunity, making sure you look perfect each time.


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