Avoiding the camera has become much harder now that smartphones make it easy to snap a shot any time, any where. People are documenting every meal, every social gathering, every place they go, and tagging who they’re with — and posting it all on social media for their friends (and yours) to see. Seeing yourself in photos online can be a real buzzkill if you’re not comfortable in front of a camera, but it can also be a lot of fun if you change your mindset. Basically, if you can’t beat them, join them. If you’re going to get tagged on Facebook or need to post a selfie, your best bet is to learn a few easy tricks for looking your best in photos.
- Don’t be intimidated by the camera. If you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera, you’ll look uncomfortable in the shot. Even if you’re nervous about wrinkles or a double chin, you need to show confidence and comfort for a naturally good shot. Laugh, smile, play around with fun facial expressions and show some personality.
- Keep shooting until you’re happy. Ask to see the photo(s) and then, if you’re not happy, switch things up and keep taking pictures. Change your angles, change what you’re doing, change your pose. The more selection, the better. Eventually you’ll get your “money shot”.
- Flatter yourself. Pay attention to your outfit and your grooming. Wear a color that flatters you and avoid crazy patterns, striped/checkered shirts or clothes that are too baggy. These outfits can not only be distracting, but they also add weight. Make sure your hair is brushed, your make-up is done, and consider whitening your teeth, if necessary.
- Put yourself in the best light. Direct sunlight and direct flash both can cause harsh, unflattering shadows. Plus, they can make you squint. Shady spots and soft light smooth wrinkles, open up your eyes, and diminish shadows. Also be sure the background isn’t too distracting. Look at what is behind you, and aim for a clean and simple background that contrasts with you.
- (Don’t) strike a pose. Move around, dance, and take your mind off the photo. It will make you appear less “posed” and rigid. Interact with a pet or a child, or link arms with someone else. Also, do something with your hands — hold a glass or your eyeglasses, clasp your hands in front or back, but never leave them hanging at your side. Keep shoulders back, neck elongated, chin tilted upward and head slightly turned. Lean your head slightly toward the camera and make sure the lens is above you.
- Get a youthful glow. Foundation and translucent powder are quick fixes, but if you still aren’t happy with your skin, consider some non-surgical remedies such as BOTOX, Facial Fillers, IPL Photofacial, Profractional Laser and/or Laser MicroPeel. These simple procedures can greatly improve your look in close-up shots by evening out your skin, eliminating unwanted hair and spider veins, and diminishing wrinkles and fine lines. BOTOX and facial fillers are non-surgical rejuvenation services that minimize wrinkles, restore volume to skin, and provide a more youthful appearance with little or no downtime. Advanced lasers like IPL Photofacial, Profractional Laser, Laser MicroPeel are used for hair removal, spider vein treatment, sun damage, freckles, melasma, uneven pigmentation, rosacea, acne and broken capillaries of the face of certain skin types, all with minimal downtime.
- Don’t double your chin. If the lens is below your eye level, you’ll look like you have an extra chin. Bend your knees or sit, so that you are looking up at the camera. Although it might seem a little awkward at first, try sticking your chin out a little further than normal. You’ll have a long, thin neck in the photo.
- Turn heads. For an instantly slimming look, and to create more drama and personality, turn your head and body slightly so that you are looking at the camera at an angle. Most people’s faces are asymmetrical. Turn your “good side” to the camera for a great shot every time.
- Take the red out. If you always look possessed in pictures, try looking at a lamp or another light source right before your photo is taken. This will get your eyes ready for the flash and reduce the red eye.
- Play with props. Do something with your hands and use props. Wear hats, hold objects that show who you are, and have fun.
The best advice is to be confident and happy in front of the camera. Take charge of your look, the angle, the background and the lighting. Once you “own it”, you’ll start to love seeing yourself in photos (and you’ll also love reading all the Facebook comments on your photos).