You might think that you are either born photogenic or not and that if you are a Chandler Bing and wince any time a camera is around, this is something that can never be changed. Wrong. You can fake it, as there are several tricks that our editors use to look better in photographs. But more importantly, these nine tips make them feel more confident in front of a camera. Whether you're looking to up your selfie game, or be more prepared for group shots at weddings, keep scrolling for the nine, rather unusual, tips our editors use to fake the perfect smile in photos.
1. The Close-Your-Eyes-and-Open Trick
Our editor in chief, Kat Collings, lives by this trick. Here's how it works: Close your eyes a couple of seconds before you know the picture will be taken, and then slowly open them (not super slow, but don't jerk them open either), and slowly draw up the corners of your mouth to smile. This resets any of the awkwardness you may feel about taking a photo and makes sure that your smile doesn't seem forced.
Tyra was not wrong—smizing actually works and will elevate your face, turning your photo from ordinary to model-like. How to do it? Laugh on the inside to create a relaxed face, tilt your chin, and squint slightly using just your eyes.
"So, this is a really weird one," says Byrdie's deputy editor, Shannon Peter. 'But when I'm smiling for a selfie, I sort of concentrate on my nose, tensing its muscles—but not flaring my nostrils. It's more of a (very strange) reflex than anything but I feel like it helps me hold my head with more poise—my chin automatically lifts, my lips purse without pouting and my gaze looks a little stronger."
If you could be a professional selfie taker, Byrdie UK's editorial director Amy Lawrenson certainly qualifies. Her main tip is to suck in your cheek bones and slightly pout your lips, tilt your head to one side, and do your best smizing.
Ask Who What Wear US's market editor, Nicole Akhtarzad, how she always looks great in photos and she'll suggest placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and smiling without your teeth, which tightens the muscles in your face and neck. As US editor Michelle Scanga says, it helps her create a "natural"-looking smile and sit up straight and readjust her posture for photos.
This one might sound a bit strange, but hear is out. If you want to create a big smile filled with personality, then it helps to make a laughing noise out loud. One of our favourite photographers at Who What Wear often gets us to say 'Ha ha ha!' — it helps you feel less awkward and just have fun.
7. Take the Picture From Lower Down
Who What Wear UK's editorial director Hannah Almassi often holds her phone lower down, as the slightly 'up' angle is really flattering.
8. Ask for Someone Else's Opinion
Often your friends are the best judges of whether it's a good picture or not, as they will pick the one that looks like how you smile when you are happiest.
9. Just Go for It
Associate social media editor, Isabel Mundigo-Moore's advice is to "just go for it." Throw your hands in the air and beam as widely as you possibly can.