Confidence is attractive.
But it can be difficult to look confident in front of a camera. Researchers from the Psychology and Human Behavior Department of USC put it this way: “Photographs really cause us to focus on the gap between the true self and the idealized self.”
The result is we feel suddenly vulnerable and self-conscious, and our pictures show it.
But they don’t have to. With a little awareness, anyone can look and feel more self-assured in pics.
Knowing the key differences between photos of the same person with low and high “confident” ratings on Photofeeler, here’s 4 of our best tips.
1. Avoid looking wide-eyed
First, model and media mogul Tyra Banks taught us to smize.
Then, photographer Peter Hurley taught us to squinch, as the photo above demonstrates.
The big idea here is that a slight squint in the eyes photographs better than wide eyes.
And it’s true. Wide, open eyes are perceived as fearful, vulnerable, and uncertain. Therefore, to look more confident, it’s a good idea to squint ever-so-gently in photos (as you’d do naturally in a genuine, relaxed smile).
2. Take up a lot of space
Confident postures commonly referred to as “power poses” are used by professional actors to show the audience that a character is powerful, strong, or self-assured.
As you can see in the image above, low power poses generally involve making yourself seem smaller. Power poses, on the other hand, involve spreading out, taking up more space, standing tall, or opening yourself up.
Consider working a few of these moves into your repertoire.
3. Take the picture at a slight “up” angle
If you really want to look confident in a pinch, try taking a picture from slightly below eye level.
This makes the viewer feel like they are “looking up to you.”
Conversely, it’s best not to be photographed from above, as these pictures “look down on you” and can be infantalizing or otherwise rob you of a sense of power.
4. Avoid try-hard expressions and just be natural
It’s common for a nervous photo subject to “make faces” for the camera. Doing so can temporarily relieve feelings of anxiety and vulnerability. It’s a lot like wearing a mask, as the goofy expression stands between the camera and the genuine person.
Because this impulse is so common, pictures that show a person cheesing like crazy or making a goofy face are not perceived as confident. A relaxed, genuine expression is.
If you suffer from this problem, try taking one deep, slow breath to calm your nerves and allow your muscles to relax.
That concludes our tips for looking more confident in pictures. Put them to good use and we’ll see you on Photofeeler with your next batch of shots!