How to Be Photogenic
Know someone who always looks great in pictures? Wish you could be as effortlessly photogenic as them?
These 4 tips are so powerful that they ought to get you 80% of the way there — even without any practice in the mirror.
#1 Whatever body part is closest to the camera will look the biggest
As a rule of thumb, whatever is closest to the camera will look the biggest.
Most people — but especially women — prefer the way they look when their head is closest to the camera. So keep this in mind.
For instance, just in time for a group picture, you might find yourself standing sideways with your arm smooshed against your side. Best to reposition so that your head is closer to the camera than your arm.
Unless, that is, you want your arms to look bigger!
Notice that the guy above has positioned his arms to be closest to the camera — giving them a boost in size.
#2 You look more confident sitting down or holding onto something
Being photographed makes most people feel stiff and awkward, but sitting down or finding something to hold on to seems to take the edge off in a pinch.
Some theory: standing makes us feel wholly exposed and requires us to think about what to do with all of our extremities. (e.g. Do I lean back on my hip? Cross my feet? What do I do with my arms/hands?)
Sitting, on the other hand, makes us feel a little bit less exposed and gives us some norms to fall back on. (e.g. I always cross my legs; I put my elbow up on the arm of the chair.)
Additionally, holding on to something with one or both of your hands gives your upper body a natural position. It also subtly gives your mind something to focus on other than having your picture taken.
Try grabbing onto a table, railing, back of a chair, glass, bag, or your friend’s shoulder.
#3 Easily fake a genuine smile using your eyes
Do you have a fake-looking smile in pictures?
Here’s how to make a smile look legit under pressure.
Genuine smiles contract the zygomatic major muscle (raising the corners of the mouth) as well as the orbicularis oculi muscle (raising the cheeks and forming crow’s feet wrinkles in the outer corners of the eyes).
See the difference?
The next time you’re forced to say cheese, remember to get your eyes in the game too. Voila. Simple.
#4 Use Photofeeler feedback to continually improve your pics
Photofeeler is a tool for photo testing. With it, you can find out exactly how you’re being portrayed in a particular pic.
(Note “in a particular pic”; giving your actual face a score based on a single photo is virtually impossible. If you test a bunch of photos, you’ll see they all get different scores!)
As you start testing photos, you’ll quickly learn which expressions and angles work best for you.
Then, when the time comes to have your picture taken again, you’ll know exactly how to get your best shot.