We're not saying that looking photogenic is everything, but for those of us who don't have a glam squad following us around 24/7, a photo booth might cause a bit of panic. And thanks to the wonders of social media offering us the opportunity to upload and tag all our pictures, we live in constant fear of a Facebook picture appearing that we don't approve of. But what about that friend of yours who always looks incredible and somehow never seems to look moody or get red-eye in pictures? What's her secret to appearing photo-ready?
Being photogenic is not just about having a great face. Turns out, there are some really handy tips that will make taking a photo a little longer but will garner much more flattering results. From how to angle your camera and face to which word to say in order to give you a great smile (spoiler—it's not cheese), we've got 10 incredible tips that are guaranteed to give you a great-looking photo. Your friend is about to get some serious competition. Scroll down for the best tips on how to be more photogenic, and get ready for your close-up.
Most people know their "good side," but according to fashion photographer Garance Doré (and a scientific study), usually the left side of the face is more attractive. Try practising in the mirror to get the correct angle.
Saying "cheese" creates a very fake-looking smile, so you're better off saying "Thursday" which makes your face relax. When the lips are slightly parted, it creates more of a sultry look rather than a super-grin.
Looking at a light right before a photo is taken will shrink your pupils, which helps minimise the dreaded red eye. So if you're using a camera phone, digital or film camera with a flash then be sure to look at another first.
Putting your tongue behind your teeth when smiling will help you avoid a too-wide grin. Just remember to smile with your eyes so you don't look unhappy. We also find that fake laughing your way into real laughing can work wonders—you just need your photographer to be game.
You know the drill—the more uptight and self-conscious you feel about a photo, the more likely it will come out looking bad. If this means you have to take heaps to get into the swing of things, that's fine. Give yourself enough time to adjust. It can be a good idea to close your eyes just before you take a shot, and then open them and try to smile as naturally as you can.
If you're the one posting, it's a good idea to not crop out parts of your body (or parts of your face if you're doing a portrait) when looking at full-length pics. Try to get everything neatly in the frame to elongate and flatter.
When seated, ask the photographer to take the picture from above. Tilt your face up to meet the camera to help define your jaw. Says Doré, "A shot from above is a godsend!"
Never stand the closest to the camera or you'll look disproportionately larger in size compared to others in the photo. Instead, position yourself on an even plane with everyone else. Sorry, friends.
Turning your head slightly is more flattering than facing the camera straight on because it will give your features more depth. Hello, cheekbones!
According to fashion blogger Chriselle Lim, a lower angle visually stretches your figure, making you look taller and leaner.
Hurrah for no more de-tagging!
This story was originally published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.