Most people are not naturally photogenic...and I am one of them. Up until a few years ago (pretty much when MySpace and Facebook entered the scene), I was an awkward mess in front of the camera: my shoulders would creep up to my ears, my eyes would bulge out and a maniacally wide smile would spread across my face. And if what I'm about to say next sounds narcissistic, it's because it is. I practiced. Over the years I became more comfortable getting my picture taken (which is pretty important considering it's a big part of my job), and I've picked up a few pointers along the way. So with that, here are five tips to becoming more photogenic.
1. Practice. Whether you practice a pose in front of the mirror or use your camera's self-timer, a big part of looking good comes with feeling comfortable. So loosen up, smile, and pretend someone's snapping your picture.
2. Know your angle. Most people don't have perfectly symmetrical faces and I am one of them. I would say 98% of the pictures taken of me are of the left side of my face and that's because I look significantly better from that angle.
3. Prepare a bit. If I know I'm going to be photographed, I add just a touch more make-up than I'd normally wear, since it will look better in pictures. A subtle swipe of dark brown eyeliner adds a bit of drama without the severity of black, which I balance out with a light pink lip. I like to wear colors that I know suit me (like olive green, white and peach) versus those that wash me out (yellow and orange). And lastly, right before the shot, I try to smile as if I'm looking at someone I love and not just at the camera. This helps it look less posed and awkward and more sincere and flattering.
4. Show some emotion. I used to try this thing where I'd open up my eyes really wide since I figured it would make my eyes look bigger. Well, not only did they look bigger, but I always looked slightly crazy. Softening my eyes a bit and thinking of something that makes me happy makes me look far more relaxed and ultimately, more like me.
5. Make slight adjustments. While there's nothing wrong with a straight stance facing the camera, a few little tweaks make it a lot more flattering. I like to move my arms away from my body because when they're squashed against you, they tend to look bigger. I turn my body at a slight angle to show off my waist and put one foot slightly in front of the other. And lately I've been liking the look of my hair pulled to one side to show my neck as well.