Look Good in Pictures

Ever feel you aren't photogenic and can't take a good photo? Taking good photos means knowing how to work the camera. With some knowledge of your body and understanding of what makes you look good, you can also look great in photos.


Preparing For Taking Pictures

  1. Determine why you look good (or bad) in pictures. Study photos of yourself. When did you look good? When did you look bad? Can you spot the difference? Look at pictures of other people and find out why they look good. Some problems might be:
    • Lighting of your photo
    • Squinted or closed eyes
    • Wrong angle on your face
    • Not using your best smile
    • Cosmetic issues, such as blemishes and black heads, or a hairstyle or clothing choice that doesn't suit you
  2. Practice posing in front of a mirror or a camera. The best way to find out your best angle or smile is to practice. Decide what positions you look best in.
    • Decide if your right or left side looks the best. Our faces aren't completely symmetrical, so one side generally looks better than the other.
    • Try angling your body so that you will be familiar with how to position yourself when you get in front of a camera. You need be turn about 45 degrees for the most flattering pose.
    • Your hair style usually helps determine which side looks better, especially if your hairstyle is asymmetrical.[1]
  3. Wear the right clothes. Wear clothes that you know look good on you. Dress in flattering cuts for Dress-for-Your-Body-Type. Know what colors look good with your complexion and hair. This is important for looking your best in photos. As a general rule, solids look better than patterns.[2]
    • When wearing patterns, make sure to choose them carefully. Patterns can make you look bad, depending on your body shape. Smaller patterns can look busy and messy in a photo. Instead of wearing patterns from head to foot, pick one patterned element in your wardrobe.[3]
    • If you want to look thinner, wear darker clothes. If you're thin, try wearing a light dress or light-colored sports coat.[4]
    • Most importantly, wear clothes that you are confident in.
  4. Smile naturally. A fake smile can make you look bad in a photo. It looks forced and doesn't meet your eyes. When you take a photo, you need to give your best, most natural smile so you look your best.
    • To give your best smile, you need to feel some kind of emotion. If you aren't happy in the moment, think of a happy memory, your favorite meal, or something that makes you laugh.[5]
    • A real smile engages the eyes. Try squinting with your lower lids. This can help you look more natural.[6]
    • Put the tip of your tongue on the back of your top teeth. This can help you smile naturally and avoid a too-wide grin.[7]
    • Get someone standing out of the picture frame to make you laugh.
    • Practice in a mirror. Learn to feel the difference between your natural smile and your fake smile.
  5. Get the right makeup. For women, makeup can help make you look great (or terrible) in photos. Learning how to highlight the right areas can help make you look good in just about any photo.
    • Use concealer instead of thick foundation. Use concealer for those trouble spots on your face, like red areas around the nose or dark circles under your eyes. Place concealer on the shadows on your face, which can be found by tilting your chin down while looking in the mirror. Then place translucent powder on your T-zone - the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. These areas can look greasy.[8]
    • Line the eyes with eyeliner to help them not disappear in a photo.[9] Pair that with mascara to help your eyes pop.[8]
    • Place some blush on your cheeks to make them look less flat. Try a medium pink, coral, or peach shade on your cheeks.[7] If you don't have blush, pinch your cheeks right before you take a photo to give them color.
  6. Give your hair some life. Before posing for a picture, flip your head over. This gives some volume if your hair has gone flat. You can also try running your hands through your hair to fix your part or fluff it up.
    • Go easy on the styling products. Hair that looks wet or crunchy from too much product won't photograph well.[10]
    • Control frizz so you don't see flyaways in your photo. Put some pomade or dry oil on your hands to help sleek down your hair.[7]
    • Also think about posing your hair. Don't have it on your shoulders. Instead, have it in front of you, behind you, or over one shoulder. Practice beforehand and decide which placement flatters you most.[11]

Learning How to Take Good Pictures

  1. Tilt your head. When you look at the camera, don't look straight at the camera. Look slightly above or slightly below. Then, tilt your head up or down slightly.[1]
    • To get a stronger jawline and reduce the likelihood of a double chin, elongate your neck and tilt your chin down. It might feel funny, but it'll help you look great.[12]
  2. Find the light. Lighting is important when taking good pictures. If there's no flash, find a light source that shines on your face, not on the side of your face.
    • Lamps, streetlights, windows, and doorways can give good light sources when there's no flash.[13] They also can produce nice soft light for more flattering photos.
    • Move around rooms to find the lighting. Try putting the lighting behind you, above you, and in front of you to find the best placement.
    • One hour after sunset and one hour before sunset provides nice lighting for photos.[14]
    • Avoid lighting which places harsh shadows on your face. This can accentuate imperfections and give you unflattering dark areas. Bright lighting can also emphasize wrinkles and other trouble spots. The sun or bright, harsh overhead lights can cause this unflattering light.[15] Look for lighting that creates an even glow from the forehead to the cheeks to the chin.[16] Try taking photos on a cloudy day or using a lamp or softer light.
  3. Angle your body to the camera. Turn your body 45 degrees away from the camera instead of taking a photo full on.[4] Pose-for-Pictures gives a slimming effect and creates angles that look better in a photo.
    • Pose like you're on the red carpet. Put your hand on your hip, angle your body away from the camera, and turn your face towards it.[7]
    • Turn your torso so one shoulder is closer to the camera than the other. This helps make you look slender.[17]
    • Whatever you put towards the camera looks the biggest. If you don't want to emphasize parts of your body, make sure they are not the closest to the camera.
    • Pull your shoulders back and straighten your back. Good posture can make a world of difference when you are taking a photo.[18]
  4. Position your body correctly. Instead of having straight, limp arms and stiff legs, try bending them to give them life. Bend your arms and hold them slightly away from your body. This also helps create shape to your midsection instead of bulk.[11] Keep your hands relaxed and slightly bent.
    • Bend your front leg and place your weight in the back leg.[19] Or try crossing your legs at the ankles.
    • Pull your arm away from your body and bend it slightly to make it appear slimmer.[20]
  5. Take a lot of photos. One of the best ways to get the best picture is to take more than one! Even models go through numerous frames to get that one perfect picture. The more pictures you take, the better likelihood you will get a great photo.[7]
  6. Feel confident. Make sure you feel proud of who you are. You are unique and have great features. Focus on that instead of any faults you think you have. Being happy and giving a genuine smile in the photo can make a world of difference.
    • Don't try to bend your body into uncomfortable or awkward poses. Pose to flatter your body, but make sure to stay natural. Being stiff will just make you look awkward, which will result in a bad photo.


  • Try out poses and see what looks best.
  • Be happy when taking a picture.
  • Make sure the makeup (if you wear any) looks natural.
  • Be happy,smile and don't forget to show your feelings.

Related Articles

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://lifehacker.com/5879115/how-to-look-your-best-in-photos
  2. http://www.refinery29.com/how-to-look-good-in-photos#slide-20
  3. http://www.refinery29.com/how-to-look-good-in-photos#slide-3
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://lifehacker.com/how-to-look-better-in-photos-based-on-your-body-type-1640221096
  5. http://lifehacker.com/5809554/become-more-photogenic-by-knowing-how-genuine-facial-expressions-feel
  6. http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/how-look-good-photos/take-good-pictures
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 http://dailymakeover.com/how-to-be-photogenic/
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/how-look-good-photos
  9. http://www.refinery29.com/how-to-look-good-in-photos#slide-15
  10. http://www.instyle.com/beauty/10-ways-look-better-pictures#166207
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/7-posing-techniques-for-non-models--photo-15608
  12. https://www.photofeeler.com/kc/how-to-pose-for-flattering-profile-photos
  13. http://www.refinery29.com/how-to-look-good-in-photos#slide-1
  14. http://improvephotography.com/19446/how-to-pose-for-a-selfie/
  15. http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=10032&pq-locale=en_US&_requestid=2822#wg04_1_title_1
  16. http://www.thefashionspot.com/life/174405-picture-perfect-11-ways-to-never-look-bad-in-a-photo-again/
  17. http://www.instyle.com/beauty/10-ways-look-better-pictures
  18. http://www.refinery29.com/how-to-look-good-in-photos#slide-12
  19. http://lifehacker.com/if-it-bends-bend-it-to-look-better-in-photos-1558996391
  20. http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2013/10/ask-lauren-how-to-look-amazing-in-photos-posing-tips-lauren-conrad-october-2013/