How to look good in photos

Over 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. Other social media web sites and applications like Pinterest and Instagram rely even more on photos, urging members to share their pictures as often as they can with friends, family members, and even total strangers.

All these pictures mean that hardly a day goes by without someone pulling out a camera or a smartphone and pointing it your way for an impromptu picture. Whether it’s a casual gathering at work, a more formal family occasion, or a night out with the girls, the inevitable cameras are there, ready to snap a few pics and upload them to who knows where.

While there are lots of tips on how to take a good photo, there is very little advice on how to make a good shot. Whether your photo is going to be seen by a few friends and family or subject to comment by your entire high school graduating class, there is a lot of pressure to “put your best face forward.”

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, a world-renowned facial plastic surgeon and professor at Boston University School of Medicine, has completed a number of “attractiveness studies” and knows what makes a face look good. He offers the following tips:

  • Women should slightly look up towards the camera as it will make your eyes larger and raise your eyebrows, creating the attractive look of large eyes.
  • Men should slightly protrude your chin. This creates a strong face and eliminates a double chin. For men and women, slightly lean your neck towards the camera.
  • For women – a minute before your photo, tap on your lips a few times (somewhat stronger than you would think!). This will send blood to your lips making them redder and fuller, both considered attractive. Similarly, you can pinch your cheeks a few times to get a little bit of a rosy glow.
  • Stand at an angle to the camera. This creates a slimmer body profile and adds some interest to the photograph. Also, try slightly lowering your shoulder towards the camera. This will relatively elongate your neck and slim it out.
  • Blink just before the camera goes off. If the photographer is counting to three before shooting, blink deliberately on two. This will help guarantee that your eyes are not closed during the picture, and importantly, will capture you with the most open and bright eyes. Remember, bright eyes are critical to a good looking photo.
  • Smile with your eyes! A fake smile is just your mouth. A true smile is when your whole face is laughing. Think about sending energy to your eyes or smiling with your eyes, and your beauty will shine through.
  • Be relaxed. Think about relaxing your face and trying to convey that to the camera. That emotional change will show in your photos.

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