Camera Facing

Clarify your skin. 


  • The focus of most portraits is the face, so make sure that yours is in tip top condition. Modern cameras are able to capture the smallest of changes and textures of skin, which is both a blessing and a curse. 
  • Keep your skin clean and smooth by washing, toning, and moisturizing your face before having your photo taken. 
  • Doing this should be a daily morning/evening ritual but is especially important before a photoshoot.
  • If you wear makeup, make sure that your concealer and foundation are smoothly applied and match your skin tone correctly. Blend them slightly down your neck and near your ear lobes to create the most natural look.
  • Oily skin can ruin a photo by reflecting too much light. Use oil blotting sheets or tissue paper (actual tissue paper, not Kleenex) to dab off excess oil on the T-zone of your face.
  • Use an exfoliator on your face to slough off any dead skin cells which make your skin appear dull and lackluster in photos.
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  • If the skin is too oily, it is often advisable to discontinue the use of dairy products, for a period at least.
  • Don’t allow your skin to become dry–dry skin wrinkles faster than well-lubricated skin.
  • Don’t take frequent or prolonged hot baths unless expressly for therapeutic purposes. While they do relax, they have a tendency to dry the skin, and are also demagnetizing. Best time to take hot baths is at night.

2. Focus on what makes you unique. One of the characteristics of photogenic people is their confidence in their appearance. Many times we get concerned about something wrong with our face; our freckles, the gap in your teeth, how squinty your eyes get when you smile. Instead of trying to hide those things, embrace them! You will look much more photogenic in your photos that way.

  • It’s what most hiring decision-makers want to know when screening resumes or planning an interview.   The question seems reasonable, even obvious, but during a job search, it’s easy to overlook.  The answer to this question is what sets you apart from  candidates who could have the same credentials and background. These are your soft skills.
  • One of the best ways to address the question is by writing a strong resume summary. A summary helps you focus on what makes you unique and will improve your resume and help you gather your thoughts before an interview, as well.
  • I recently met with a group of job seekers — recent grads and those who had been in the workforce for a while. When I asked them to describe themselves, I heard: a loyal worker, team player, dedicated, good ethics, trustworthy and dependable.  After each person identified what they thought employers wanted to hear, I pointed out they all basically were describing the same person.
  • Not once did anyone say what they really did that made them stand out from the group. The relied on frequently used phrases they turned to without much thought. Here’s the point: During a job search, interviewers want you to tell them who you are by using your own words not phrases that blend in with everyone else.

3.Show your emotions. It is easy to spot someone who is photogenic from someone who is posing; the former doesn’t have to fake their emotions. Although getting your photo taken can be nerve-wrecking, don’t let it get in the way of your true feelings. 

  • Don’t create the smile you think you need, use your regular smile. The same goes with the shape of your eyes and the curve of your cheeks. 
  • The more you allow your natural emotions to show on your face, the better your pictures will look.
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  • Always smile with your teeth, because you would never laugh at a funny joke with your lips together. True smiles show off a toothy grin, not tightly pressed lips. Keep your face natural by allowing a real smile to peak through. 
  • When you are showing emotions your entire face is affected. Although many people associate a look of happiness with just a smile, your eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and forehead are all affected equally as much. Make sure that you are allowing freedom of movement in your entire face.

4.Don’t look the camera straight on. As the old saying goes, “the camera adds ten pounds.” But it doesn’t have to! Because the camera is using reflected light to convert a 3D object into a 2D image, the shapes of things are flattened and compressed. 

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  • Looking straight ahead at the camera will show the fullness of your face and remove/reduce any natural shadows. Instead, turn your face slightly to the side to create natural highlights and shadows and slim the shape of your face.

5.Adjust the angle of your face. The angle of your face is tied to the direction you are looking at the camera. Just as how you shouldn’t look at the camera straight on, you also should not tilt your head up when taking photos. 

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  • This will make your face look larger and get a good shot up the inside of your nose. Tilt your head slightly down and to the side for the most photogenic of looks.


Posing Your Body

1.Work your assets.

  • Photogenic people have the magnificent ability of knowing what their assets are and the best way to work them. This goes hand in hand with knowing your physical weaknesses. What parts of your body are the most attractive, and which might be a tad more unflattering in photos? Do what you can to play up your best parts while turning those more negative aspects of your body away from the camera.
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2.Turn away from the camera. 

  • Facing a camera straight on does the same thing to your body as it does to your face. Your body will become flattened in a photograph, so a shot from the front will show you from the widest angle and make you look extra round. Turn ¾ to show your body from an angle and create shadows and depth in your pose.
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  • To slim your arms, put one on your hip and angle your elbow back and away from your body. Although you may feel silly doing it, there is a reason many celebrities adopt this pose – it is ultra flattering!
  • If you are sitting for the photo, turn so that the camera is at your side rather than directly in front of you. Bend your knees and stagger your legs slightly. If you choose to cross your legs, cross the leg closest to the camera over the top of the other.

3.Bend your joints. 

  • How often do you find yourself standing or sitting perfectly straight, with all your joints in line? Probably very rarely or never. Add both movement and a sense of natural poise to your photos by allowing your joints to bend slightly. 
  • This means that your elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles should all be comfortably bent. If it can bend, bend it!

4.Lean towards the camera. 

  • The way we see things works so that things that are closer are larger while things that are further away are smaller. 
  • In order to create the illusion of a small, sleek body, lean into photos slightly with your head first. 

5.Do what’s comfortable. 

  • All the posing advice in the world can’t make you more photogenic if you aren’t comfortable with the changes. In the end, it is helpful to keep all the posing tricks in mind, but it is best to do whatever comes naturally to your body. 
  • Being photogenic means walking the thin line between acting incredibly natural like the camera is not there, and perfectly posing every inch of your body. The best way to reach this happy medium is simply to allow your body to fall naturally into its most comfortable positions.


Considering the Photos

1.Dress to impress. 

  • It is truly hard to be photogenic if you are wearing your dirty sweatpants and torn-up sneakers. If you know you’re going to have your picture taken, choose outfits that photograph well. 
  • Neutral tones and muted colors work best because they simultaneously enhance your natural characteristics without distracting from you in a photo.
  • Avoid anything that hangs or drapes very loosely on your body, as this will look bulky and large in a photograph. On the other hand, don’t wear anything too tight as the flash from the camera will highlight every little flaw hiding under your clothing.
  • Don’t wear anything for photos that you wouldn’t normally wear in real life. Your goal is to look like yourself at your very best; you can’t look like yourself if you’re wearing something totally out of your comfort zone or style range. 

2.Find the light source. 

  • The source of light in your photo will greatly dictate the quality of your appearance in the end shot. A light source directly above you will give you dark shadows under your eyes, while one from the side will create bold background lines. 
  • Work so that your light source is in front of you and slightly above you. Whenever you can, take your photos in natural light near a window or outside.
  • The best lighting for photos occurs in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. When you can, try to take your pictures during these times.
  • Although some photographers can use light metering to add brightness to a dark foreground, it is best to avoid taking pictures with your light source behind you. A light source coming from behind will darken your entire body and ruin a greatness.

3.Choose a great location. 

  • Although the seat in your car or in front of your mirror may be the easiest places to perfect your pose and get good lighting, they don’t allow for the most scenic of backgrounds. Being photogenic has a lot to do with working your surroundings in addition to showing off your facial and bodily posing skills. Take photos in a comfortable environment where you are the focus.
  • Busy restaurants and bars add a lot of noise to the background of a photo, taking the eye off you as the subject. If you must pose in a crowded area, blur the background to keep the viewers eye on you in the foreground.
  • If you are taking a group photo, try to insert yourself in the center of the group and away from the ends. The two people in the ends of a group shot will always appear the largest and are not often the focus of a picture.

4.Don’t be afraid of props. 

  • Although you don’t necessarily want to be tossing around a football or holding eating utensils, adding fun and interesting props to your photo can add interest and highlight your idiosyncrasies. Hold something in your hands, lean against a prop, or incorporate something related to a hobby or activity you enjoy into your photo.
  • If you love reading, try holding a book casually in your hands. It will force your body into a more natural position and add detail to your portrait.
  • Don’t use large props or anything that is too distracting in your photos. The goal is for you to appear photogenic with the aid of something small and related. Adding in big props or anything brightly colored will do more harm than good. 

5.Act confident. 

  • Confidence will show in a photo, and is the key to being photogenic. Even if you don’t feel confident, act like it for the camera. The quality of your appearance in photos will greatly improve with a bit of personal knowledge that you look good, and that your photos will turn out great because of it.

Here are a few of our favorite tips that will help you bring out your inner supermodel.

1. If you tend to blink in photos, close your eyes just before the picture is taken and open them slowly before the camera clicks. No more half-closed eyes!

2. To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit. Think of sticking out your forehead and tipping your chin slightly down. It might feel awkward, but it will look great — promise.

3. Make sure your makeup is a perfect match, says mark Celebrity Makeup Artist Fiona Stiles, who’s prepped everyone from Halle Berry to Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks for the red carpet. “When a foundation is too pale for your skin tone, it becomes very obvious when a flash hits the skin.” She advises, “Match your skin to your chest and add a thin layer to your neck if your neck is paler (as is the case for most people).”

4. Curled lashes and mascara are musts, Stiles insists (she swears by mark Scanda-Lash Mascara). “Both open up your eyes, and the eyes are the focal point of a picture. You want to draw people into a picture, so you want to maximize the impact of the eyes. They more open they are, the more the light hits them and that’s what makes them twinkle!”

5. Take a look at your favorite pictures of yourself and try to spot a pattern. Do you like the way you look from a certain angle? When you smile a specific way? Try to replicate your best poses next time you have your photo taken.

6. Try this old school red carpet trick: Put your tongue behind your teeth when you smile to avoid a goofy, too-wide grin.

7. Fill in your brows. Not only do your eyebrows convey character and emotion, they often mean all the difference between looking wide awake and washed out on camera. You may even consider using a slightly darker brow pencil if you know you’ll be photographed, since features tend to look lighter in pictures.

8. Make sure your hair is shiny. “Spray-on shine is great for a last minute add-on shine,” says hair stylist Serge Normant, who’s worked with Julia RobertsReese WitherspoonJulianne Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker throughout his years in the biz. He recommends misting hair with his Serge Normant Meta Sheer Dry Oil Finishing Spray

9. A photo can highlight flyaways, so make sure your style is sleek. “A good pomade or dry oil will help, but use lightly,” Normant advises. “If you are afraid to use too much, spray on your hands and then lightly try to control fizz.”

10. Look toward a light right before someone snaps your photo. Doing so will shrink your pupils and help you avoid red eye.

11. Surprise photo op? Try this five-second prep: Blot your face with a tissue or single-ply cocktail napkin, then pinch your cheeks to create a rosy glow (yep, it’s old school, but it works).

12. A couple drops of Visine will help your eyes look brighter and more awake.

13. Blush is a must! Without some color on your cheeks, your face can look two dimensional in photos. Use a medium pink shade on the apples of your cheeks to help shape your face.

14. Think about angles. Facing the camera straight on is rarely flattering; instead, turn your head to a three-quarter position to give your features depth.

15. Try the “red carpet” pose: put your hand on your hip, angle your body to the side and turn your head towards the camera. It’s a cliché, but it really does work to help you look slimmer.

16. Avoid serious sparkle on your face. “Anything too shimmery on the skin can just be too much in a photo,” Stiles says. “A soft glow is nice, but if you have oily skin it can really exaggerate shimmer and make you look very shiny. If you are a shimmer addict and just can’t help yourself, keep the face matte or semi-matte (a velvety finish). Add a little highlighter to just the tips of the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose with a powder highlighter that has a very soft sheen.”

17. On the other hand, a bit of sparkle below the neck can give your skin a pretty sheen. Dust your collarbone and shoulders with a shimmering powder such as Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder in Moonlight ($52, chanel.com), which has the perfect finish for playing up assets.

18. Stand in front of a white wall. A light-colored backdrop will help brighten your face. Using a white background also helps a camera’s automatic settings find the right color balance, so your skin tone doesn’t end up looking too pink or yellow.

19. Wear bright lipstick. “Dark lipstick can have a minimizing effect on lips,” says Stiles. “Steer clear of a dark matte lip color. It can look aging and unflattering. Stick with brighter colors.”

20. Be in more pictures! People who think they’re unphotogenic tend to pose for fewer photos overall, but photography is a game of averages. Even Kate Moss doesn’t nail it on the first frame. The more shots you let your photographer take, the more likely you’ll be happy with one or two of them.

21. A photo shot from just above you is way more flattering than one shot from below. If you’re taller than the person holding the camera, grab a seat.

22. Avoid standing directly under a light, which can cast weird shadows on your face. Instead, stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, or in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side.

23. Grab a prop — preferably not a red Solo cup. Holding onto an object such as a flower or decoration can help you relax your posture and add personality to a picture.

24. To make your eyes sparkle, look at a light source. A lamp or brightly lit Christmas tree will create a flattering gleam in your pupils.

25. Forget saying “cheese,” and instead think of something funny. Better yet, joke with the photographer. A natural smile trumps a fake one every time.

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