Whether it’s in a regular picture or in a selfie we’re trying to take, standing in front of a camera can feel incredibly awkward. Smiling on command seems forced, trying to look natural feels unbelievably *un*natural, and what on earth are we supposed to with our hands? Well, for those of us who aren’t Instagram gurus and feel like all cameras hate them, we have some good news: it’s all in your head! You don’t have to be born naturally photogenic to look good in pictures, you just need the right tips, and we have those right here.
Look up at the camera
If you’re taking a selfie, you should know that the most flattering angle for most people is an upward angle. Hold your phone slightly above your eye line so you have to look up to it or raise your chin a little. This angle creates bigger doe-like eyes and a longer, more slender neck. Plus, if you’re wearing any eye makeup, this angle is sure to make it pop.
The key to a natural smile
We usually tend to look better when we don’t know we are getting our picture taken. But having a camera in your face makes everything awkward, and it definitely shows. But it doesn’t have to be like that. One of the reasons our smile looks artificial in non-candid pictures is because we hold it for more than a second or two when there is nothing to smile at. The answer is simple — don’t smile until the very second you’re about to snap your pic. If someone else is taking the picture for you, have them count to three. Use the one and two to breath, look down, and do absolutely nothing. Raise your head and smile on three for a genuine-looking smile.
Avoid an awkward body position
If someone is taking a full-body picture of you and you find yourself becoming all stiff not knowing how to hold your body, don’t be alarmed. There’s a way around this one too. One thing you can do is lean up against a wall. This will make you look a little more relaxed. Another thing you can do is shift your weight on to one leg. We’re not saying you should act like a flamingo, but try straightening one knee and relax the other so most of your weight is resting on one leg. This minor weight-shift makes for a body position that looks a lot more comfortable.
But what do I do with my hands?
Ah, perhaps the greatest question of them all. The answer depends on the setting. For an indoor picture at the office or out with friends, there are usually items on the table you can hold to keep your hands busy and natural-looking. A pen or a glass usually do the trick. For outdoor pics, it gets a little more complicated. Obviously, if you have pockets, put your hands there. Otherwise, try swinging your bag a little or resting your hand on your glasses, hat, or belt if you’re wearing any.