3 Hacks To Looking Great in Photos
Up your selfie-game with these quick tips
Looking great IRL doesn’t always represent well in photos - You already look great. Even actors and models who are considered ‘beautiful’ have photos they don’t look good in. The photo’s they do look good in, have been meticulously constructed. Before these celebrities even walk onto the photo-set, they’ve spent hours in hair and makeup, a stylist has studied their body-shape and hand-picked their garments - So when they walk onto set they already look awesome. But even after all this prep-work there are certain techniques that are known to photographers and models alike, which ensure the shots are a slam-dunk. Let’s take a look at these secrets to looking great in photos:
1. PERSPECTIVE & ANGLES
Whatever’s closest to the camera will appear largest. If you’re taking a selfie, photographing yourself from a high angle will make your eyes and cheekbones appear larger. In comparison, your cheeks and the rest of your body will appear to be much smaller.
If you’re being photographed by a pro, they’ll generally be shooting you from somewhere between eye-level and waist height. Shooting full-length shots from a lower angle accentuates the length of the legs and neck. You can further enhance this effect by lifting a leg and placing it onto the ball of the foot. By placing this raised foot half-a-step closer to the camera, you can elongate your legs even further. If you’re being photographed in a seated position, lean forward towards the camera. This will make you look more engaged by making your face look larger and your stomach smaller in the frame *TIP: This is a great trick for photographing guys who have a tendency to lean back in their chairs.
Yes, poses can definitely flatter body-shapes - but something we don’t realise is that a flattering photo is not defined solely by looks. As human beings, we tend to prefer photos of people we feel a connection with. This is why my first key to posing is feeling open and relaxed. Find your self-confidence, and let it influence any closed-off body language like slouched shoulders or crossed-arms *TIP: Tilting your head slightly to one side in selfies, makes you appear engaged and accentuates the jawline.
Creating dynamic shapes with your body makes an image interesting and flattering. Instead of facing the camera straight-on, turn your body off to the side and bring your head back to face the camera. Place one hand on the hip, and the other at your side with a slight kink at the elbow. The leg closest to the camera, lift it and place it onto the ball of the foot. Well done! You’re in a basic starting pose. There are a number of different poses that may feel more comfortable to you, but this one I’ve found is almost universally flattering. For a more masculine feel, Instead of placing a hand on the hip, place this hand onto the inside of the lapel (lower collar) of your jacket, and the other into your trouser pocket.
If smiling is your thing, remember to smile from your eyes. If #RBF is more your vibe, part your lips slightly and breathe out of your mouth while taking the shot, making your lips look fuller.
3. LIGHTING THE FACE
Our eyes take in a lot of detail, but our brains prioritize brighter areas. If you’re taking a selfie under a ceiling-light, the high-angled light will illuminate the top of your cheek bones and jaw-bone, which most people find flattering. Your actual cheeks and below the jaw-bone will fall off into shadow making these areas look smaller.
Soft light coming through a window at eye-level is flattering to most face-shapes. It illuminates the eyes and face with an evenly diffused light. If someone photographs you gazing out of a window, the centre panel of your face (forehead, eyes, lips) will be bright, while the rest of your face feathers-off into shadow, making your face look slimmer. I use this technique a lot for wedding-prep photos. *TIP: Rounder faces look amazing under soft, feathered light. Angular faces look amazing under a hard light that casts sharp, black shadows.
So there you have it! I now pass these secret hacks onto you.
Before you continue browsing, remember that there is no set of ‘perfect’ features. I find almost everyone can look great in a photo as long as they feel good enough to be there. So the next time you find yourself in front of a camera, selfie or otherwise, remember that you are awesome. And throw that hip out.
If you’ve used one of our tips above, tag us in your shots so we can share them too.
May your selfie-game be strong (: