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The photographer’s worst nightmare: being hauled out from behind the lens and forced to stand in front of a camera.
Why must people photograph us? Yes, photographers are adorable, and yes, we have unparalleled style. But we are shy, and we prefer to hide behind our cameras like frightened woodland creatures behind large trees.
Still, people do insist on taking our pictures. So, what to do when you can’t avoid being photographed? Stand tall and follow our tips for instant photogenicity.
Ten Things You Can Do to Look Fantastic in Photos
There are approximately a kajillion tricks, tips and gimmicks that are supposed to make you look great when the shutter clicks. Having combed through most of those, we’ve condensed it to the ones that actually work.
1. Dress Nice
If you know you’re going to be photographed, don’t wear horizontal stripes or crazy patterns. Opt for neutral colors over bright ones unless you are one hundred percent certain that color looks great on you.
2. Check the Mirror
Do a last-minute check of your face: cover up any pimples, put drops in your eyes if they’re red, and make sure you don’t have food in your teeth.
3. Don’t Shine
If you’ve been sweating or if your face is greasy, make sure to wipe your face. Use oil-blotting papers if you wear makeup, or blot with a slightly damp paper towel.
In a pinch, wipe your face with your sleeve before venturing in front of the camera.
4. Stand Up Right
Slouching makes you look nonchalant, but it also makes you look short and/or dumpy.
Place one foot behind the other, and lean back just a little bit. You’ll still look relaxed, but you’ll also look tall.
5. Twist It Up
Stand facing slightly away from the camera, then twist at the waist to face the camera. Make it subtle- if you overdo it you’ll look like a stray from a beauty pageant.
6. Stretch Your Neck
Turn your head slightly away from the camera, extend your neck, then tilt your head down. Your face will look thinner and you won’t have a double chin.
7. Flee the Flash
Avoid the unforgiving bare flash at all costs. If you can’t get around it, search your pockets for a translucent candy or gum wrapper and put it over the flash to diffuse it.
8. Choose Your Light
If you can choose when and where you’ll be photographed, pick an outdoor shoot in the morning or late afternoon. The light is more flattering at those times.
If you have to be photographed in the middle of the day, stand in the shade.
9. Watch Where You Stand
An interesting background will make you look more interesting too. Choose a pretty outdoor scene to stand in front of, or look for a wall with interesting texture or colors. Avoid standing in front of plain or drab backgrounds.
Of course, if you can’t find a pretty location, you can always stand next to someone ugly. You’ll look great by comparison. (Just kidding. Or are we?)
10. Meditate for a Moment
Ask the photographer to count to three before taking the picture. Close your eyes and breathe in. Then, just before the shutter clicks, breathe out, open your eyes and smile. Your face will look relaxed and your smile will be real.
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Published on October 7, 2008 — See more Guides
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