No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you live, if you’re living in modern society in 2018, you’ve probably stopped to take a photo. And whether you want to admit to it or not, you probably care (even if it’s just a little bit) how you look in the photo.
You don’t have to be a blogger, a model, or a celebrity to look good in photos. You don’t need a professional photographer either (they do help – especially for special occations). What you need are a few easy tips to keep in mind before you say cheese and hear that camera click next.
If you’re looking for how to look good in photos, this blog post is for you! I’ll be sharing a few tips on lighting and posing that I’ve learned over the years.
Here are 8 tips to look good in pictures:
How to look good in photos Tip #1: Take photos in good lighting
Photos taken in the dark or taken too bright of a light will immediately challenge your photo. In both scenarios, your face, body, and smile probably can’t be seen. People want to see you clearly in photos. So when you’re deciding where to take a photo, make sure there is plenty of light.
I also recommend shooting in even lighting – where you aren’t taking photos in the middle of a shadow or right underneath the sun. If the sun is directly overhead, the lighting may be too harsh.
Additionally, if you live in the Pacific Northwest like me, embrace those cloudy days! Cloudy days with no rain means even lighting for your photos. The clouds and overcast skies over Seattle diffuse the light, which means the lighting in your photos will be softer.
Examples: This two photos were taken on a typically cloudy day in the Northwest!
How to look good in photos Tip #2: Figure out your best side and your angles
Have you ever had a friend who switched sides with you before you took a photo because she wanted to make sure she stood on her “good side”? Well your friend is onto something. One tip to taking good photos is to understand your best angles in front of the camera.
While it may seem silly at first, practicing smiling, turning your head slightly, and posing in front of the mirror will help you figure out your best side.
I’ve personally figured out that turning my head slightly in selfies and in fill frame outfit photographers works well for me.
Here are a few examples of slightly turning my head in photos:
How to look good in photos Tip #3: Learn from others
If you really want some posing inspo and want to get comfortable in front of the camera, browse through Pinterest and Instagram. Your favorite bloggers are probably repeating the same poses over and over again. And Pinterest always has great photo inspiration for how to pose in photos.
Advice: You can set up a Pinterest board like “Photo or Posing Inspo”. You can also start saving photos on Instagram that inspire you!
For posing ideas, you can also check out:
How to look good in photos Tip #4: Decide on a focal point of the photo
I’ve learned over the years of shooting for my blog that the best photos have a clear focal point. If you’re the subject in the photo, make sure you have something that really stands out in picture. For instance, a bright red lip will highlight your smile. Whatever you decide to make the focal point of your photo, make sure it’s photographed in good lighting and in focus.
In this photo, I wanted my focal point to be my smile. I wore a bolder lip color to draw your attention to my smile!
In this photo, I wanted the Museum of Ice Cream Popsicle background to stand out. So I wore plain jean skirt and simple cropped top (by the way this is an iPhone photo!):
How to look good in photos Tip #5: Make sure your hair and makeup compliment the outfit
If you’re getting dressed up for a holiday party, you might compliment your dress or jumpsuit with a glam make up look. If you’re getting ready for a weekend trip to Whidbey Island, you might rock more of a natural, toned down makeup look.
Whatever the occasion is, make sure your hair and makeup compliment your outfit. If you’re a blogger like me, you might be shooting 3-7 outfits a day. I tend to pick a more natural look with a bolder lip color so it goes with all the outfits I’m shooting that day!
Example: A weekend to trip to Whidbey Island on the ferry = a neutral lip color and everyday make up look
How to look good in photos Tip #6: Wear what you’re confident in
If you’re getting ready to shoot family photos or Santa photos, I always advocate for wearing what you’re comfortable and confident in. If you never wear fake lashes, don’t feel like you have to put them on for a special photo occasion. If you never wear super high stiletto heels, don’t feel like you have to wear them with your holiday outfit.
I advocate for wearing what makes you feel confident and proud of yourself because discomfort is so easy to capture on camera. If you’re not comfortable with what you’re wearing, chances are your face will show it on camera. I’m way more comfortable not wearing super high heels or fake lashes. So you’ll usually find me in low block heels or kitten heels – even for my holiday outfits.
Examples: You’ll always find me in block heels because they’re comfortable and I feel confident wearing them!
To check out this entire outfit, you can head to: Behind the Scenes NYFW- What you DON’T see on Instagram
This two tone pair of kitten block heels are a staple in my closet. I recently featured these shoes in: 4 important lessons I learned in my first 4-figure brand collaboration.
I have so many pairs of block heeled booties! I featured these block heeled shoes in 7 tips to help you prepare for night classes.
How to look good in photos Tip #7: If you’re shooting in a dark place, wear light colors. If you’re shooting in a light place, wear dark or contrasting colors.
My friend/photographer Karya came up with this tip. She reminded me that white reflects light and dark colors absorb light. When you wear a white shirt on a white background, it’s easy to get a blown out photo. Your white shirt and white background are reflecting the light.
Advice: If you know where your next photo shoot location is going to be, I would scope out the place or look up photos online ahead of time. You can determine if there is a light or a dark background or walls. This will also help you figure out what to wear in the photos!
Example: Even taking photos against the Christmas trees are a nice dark contrast to the light, cozy cardigan:
How to look good in photos Tip #8: Be aware of colors and patterns
(Thank you again Karya for this tip!)
Did you know that smaller, tighter patterns don’t show up well on the camera? If you want to wear something patterned, I would opt for a bigger more spaced out pattern.
Here is a great example of wearing polka dots:
This dress as small polka dots in a closer, tighter pattern. You can see that the smaller pattern isn’t really translating well on camera.
This blouse has bigger, more spaced out polka dots. You can definitely tell this is a polka dotted shirt.
There you have it friends! I hope you enjoyed these tips and I hope this helps you the next time you take a photo!
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec