Some clients are anxious about being in front of a camera and are worried their anxiety will show. In contrast, others have body image issues and genuinely fear having their photography session.
Whatever a client's reason for asking this question, I've learned to look past the question itself and hear what the client is trying to ask. My female clients all want to appear graceful, beautiful and relaxed in their photos, and my male clients want to appear strong, handsome and confident.
Instead of offering tips on how to be photogenic, I decided to sit back and reflect on my experiences over the years and come up with a list of things that encompasses what "being photogenic" really is. Still, it's up to the client how closely they want or can follow all of these tips. You'll see that some of the things written on this list aren't necessarily easy fixes (like confidence building) but are achievable over time. Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list here.
Table of Contents
- 1 Being Photogenic: Tips to Consider
- 2 Tricks to Be Photogenic
Being Photogenic: Tips to Consider
You have to want to have your photo taken! I've shot not only a billion and a half weddings but nearly as many portrait sessions, too, and I've noticed that there are two kinds of clients: those who want to have their photo was taken and those who don't.
Those who don't want their photos were taken never appear as relaxed, comfortable and natural in front of the camera, nor do they listen to the photographer's direction because they are in a situation in which they don't want to be in! So what happens if you don't like having your photo taken?
For Non-Wedding Portraits:
If you don't like having your photo taken, don't book a portrait session! If you feel like you should have pictures were taken (i.e., a traditional yearly family picture), you need to note not focusing on yourself in the photos and enjoying them because they contain your loved ones.
If you don't like to have your photo taken but still want the memories of your wedding day, tell your photographer that you do not want a formal photo session and keep it to only candid. Explain to the photographer how you feel about being photographed and, if they're a good fit for you, will be happy to comply with your requests.
Know the difference between 'Photogenic' and 'Attractive' – You would think that this is obvious, but in reality, many people get the two terms confused. I've seen clients look at a photo of themselves and say, "ugh, look at those freckles and crows feet – I'm so not photogenic".
Having freckles, wrinkles, or crooked teeth do not make you less photogenic, although you may feel like those things make you less attractive. You can be photogenic even if you have a few so-called "flaws" here and there; being photogenic is about so much more than perfect skin or a Colgate smile.
Get in touch with your sensual side, and don't be shy about it! Whether you're posing with your partner or by yourself for a glamour shoot, don't be afraid to get in touch with your sensual side!
You might be asked to put your arms around your partner or touch your collarbone and shoulder, and the more comfortable you feel doing this, the more natural and relaxed you'll appear in the photo. You don't need to be giving "sexy eyes" at all times; don't be afraid to put your hands on your own body!
Listen to your photographer's instructions – they are the experts, not you! If your photographer tells you to put your arm back, do it – put it back. Even if you may have issues with the size of your arms,.
Listen to your photographer! You've put the money into hiring a great photographer so let them pose you properly because they know what they are doing! If you let your self-image issues interfere with your ability to comply with your posing directions, you're sabotaging your photos.
Some poses are uncomfortable, and that's okay! – Your photographer may ask you to post in a certain way that feels unnatural to you, and you might wonder why they heck they are asking you to move like that. It's simple: it looks great in a photograph! Like a great pair of shoes, photography poses might look great but not always be comfortable.
As you can see, being photogenic has nothing to do with being "attractive" or "pretty", and even if you have a few flaws, you can still take beautiful photos! As long as you hire a great photographer who has a fantastic ability to pose their subjects into flattering positions (and make sure you follow their advice), you'll be impressed with your final results!
The general rule for finding the most flattering picture is to remember that it's all about ANGLES. Never stand facing the camera, but position your body to one side or the other and even cross one of your legs. If you don't want to cross your legs, then bend one of them to break the shape.
Use This Body-Shrinking Move
We found that if you lean into the camera and stick your head out forward and tilting down a little bit (it takes practice, and you may look crazy from the side!), your head will look more prominent, giving you the optical illusion of a more petite body. I also cock one hip AWAY from the camera because whatever is closest to the camera always seems more significant.
Don't Force a Photo.
Avoid forced situations like pretending you are having a good time. Take the shot when you are happy and in a natural, comfortable environment!
No One Has Said "attention!"
Don't stiffen your posture. Be natural. This means that your elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles should all be comfortably bent. Add both movement and a sense of natural poise to your photos by allowing your joints to bend slightly.
Lighting Is Everything!
- Always find the best light! If the lighting is on point, you will look amazing.
- Shaded sunlight or soft light during dusk and dawn are best.
- High-noon light will put shadows under your eyes and other features.
- Stand facing a natural light source, such as a window, or in a spot where soft light hits your face from the side.
Know Your Best Features
- Everyone has at least a pretty feature to bring to notice. So, highlight that quality. Photogenic people have the extraordinary ability to know their assets and the best way to work them.
- Discovering the best features can be fun! Try looking at your different angles in the mirror or in pictures to find your best asset. That will help you know your look much more.
- The angle that side or feature of your face to the camera.
Eyes Are the Windows of Soul
Add a twinkle of a smile to your eyes. It gives your look a little spark. How to make your eyes smile?! Just think of a happy moment or a particular person and squeeze your eyes a little.
If you're trying to make your eyes seem more significant, raise your eyebrow and breathe out through your mouth—sounds funny?! But it works.
The camera uses reflected light to convert a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image. So, the shapes of things are flattened and compressed. Looking straight ahead at the camera will show your face's fullness 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.
- Tilt your head slightly down and to the side for the most photogenic of looks. Think of sticking out your forehead and tipping your chin slightly down. It sounds awkward, but it does look great.
- To create the illusion of a minor, sleek body, lean into photos slightly with your head first. The way we see things is that closer things are more significant, while further away items are smaller.
- Turn around 30 degrees to show your body from an angle and create shadows and depth in your pose. Don't get freaked by this 30 degree-angle thing; stand at an angle and not squarely. That is it!!
- To slim your arms put one on your hip and angle your elbow back and away from your body. It sounds tedious but not so if you put it in practice.
- To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit.
Never stand the closest to the camera in a group shot. You'll look disproportionately larger. Instead, position yourself on an even plane with the other people in the photo.
If you are taking a full-length photo, always take it from a lower angle. A lower angle visually stretches your figure, making you look taller and leaner. Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.
Dress to Impress
- Neutral tones and muted colours work best because they enhance your natural features without distracting the focus 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.
- Be natural. 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.
If you wear makeup, make sure that your concealer and foundation are smoothly applied and match your skin tone correctly. When a foundation is too pale or dark for your skin tone, it becomes apparent when a flash hits the skin. Blend them near your hairline, 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 to dab off excess oil on the T-zone of your face.
- Avoid sparkle on your face. Anything glittery on the skin doesn't look nice in a photo, a soft, glowing highlight is excellent, but if you have oily skin, it can exaggerate the effect and make you look very shiny.
- Keep the face matte or velvety.
- Add a little highlighter to just the cheekbones' tips and the bridge of the nose with a powder highlighter that has a very soft sheen.
- Don't forget to blend the makeup well. Streaky makeup will never make you look good.
- Steer clear of dark matte lip colour. It can look aging and unflattering. Stick with brighter colours. Wear bright, cheerful colours!
Tricks to Be Photogenic
To become a subject of beautiful and attractive photos, we must also practice a lot, finding our best sides of the face and the right angles for the shot.
Find Your Angle
Among the first tricks to be photogenic is the exercise in photography. Try to put yourself in various poses in front of the mirror or to take multiple selfies. Find the right attitude in front of the lens, which makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Smile and pretend someone is taking your picture. Try to understand the angles from which your face looks the most beautiful – in fact, most people don't have perfectly symmetrical faces. Therefore, one of the tricks to be photogenic is to be photographed by a better profile, which will be more harmonious with our figure.
Red Carpet Makeup
Put your tongue behind your teeth when you smile, create a perfect smile, and turn your head in a three-quarter position to give depth to your features. This mail is a cliché, but it works to help you look slimmer too. A few minor tweaks to your poses make the shot a lot more flattering. For example, try moving your arms away from your body because they tend to look more significant when they are pressed against you. Otherwise, try wearing your hair pulled to one side to show your neck as well.
Smile Without Showing Your Teeth
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and smile mostly with your eyes, thinking about the things that make you happy.
Take a deep breath and close your eyes before smiling. Place your tongue behind your teeth to achieve a natural look.
To-Do a Smizing
Relax your lips and let your eyes do the work for you and try to make a seductive look if you feel uncomfortable; practice in front of the mirror and through selfies until you master this pose.
Focus on Your Hair
Before taking a selfie, settle down and try applying a polishing spray to give depth to your hair too. Another use is for avoiding red eyes. Look directly into the light just before taking a picture. This will make the pupils narrow and will help you avoid red eyes.
And, Don't Forget Your Outfit.
Not only you but also the clothes must be photogenic. Although fabulous in real life, some dresses like floating tops and tunics often create a weird effect when photographing. You need to adjust your outfit to get the correct proportion of your body, including your legs, in general, tight-fitting or otherwise combined dresses.
Last but Not Least, Confidence!
It is the key to being photogenic. The quality of your appearance and your photos will turn out great because of the magic of confidence.
Not everyone looks like a model, but there is no reason to look like you're dazed or grimacing in pain in every party snapshot. Unless, of course, you happen to be drunk and photographed immediately after being attacked by hornets either, a scenario not covered in wikiHow's helpful guide to being more photogenic.
The first step is to forget everything you know about posing for a photograph. Don't face the camera dead-on; turn so you face the camera with one foot slightly ahead of the other and your shoulders turned somewhat. Don't stare the camera down; look just slightly above the lens, which reduces red-eye on top of looking more natural.
Don't stand up perfectly straight and throw your shoulders back; keep your shoulders relaxed and lean—leading with your head—very slightly towards the camera to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fat around the neck and face. The best tip of all? Forget you're being photographed.
Many people end up looking odd in photos because they freeze into weird facial expressions with a "say cheese" type of smile on their face. If you're used to having bad pictures taken of yourself, you probably get nervous in front of the camera, and this can make things even worse. If you know a picture is about to be taken, take a deep breath and exhale naturally, relaxing your arms and shoulders.
As you exhale, smile or strike whatever pose is appropriate. Don't hold your breath, either in or out. Otherwise, you'll appear as though you're tense or suffocating. If you see the photo coming too late, don't panic and try to strike a pose. Keep doing what you're doing, and try to ignore the camera. It may not turn out perfectly, but you've got a better chance than if the camera catches you quickly trying to change your facial expression. The more comfortable and relaxed you appear, the better the photo will turn out.
Armed with the extensive list of tips at the wikiHow guide, you'll quickly find that after a few rounds of photographs, the results aren't as horrible as you remember. Soon enough, relaxing and throwing a well-timed pose or two at the camera will quickly become second nature. Whether you're terrified of the shutter or the most animated in any family photo, sound off in the comments below.
Studies support the idea that a photograph only shows you a fraction of what we consider physically beautiful about a person. You cringe looking at yourself photos because you think that a picture is an honest reflection of what you look like. You believe that beauty is a static, fixed quality that you either possess or you don't. But decades of research reveals that beauty doesn't work that way.
In one study, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers found that "an individual's attractiveness encompasses much more than simply her or his physical qualities…a great deal of empirical research has suggested that beauty is a multi-faceted feature that should include variables of dynamic attractiveness."
Dynamic attractiveness is something the researchers talk a lot about; these are qualities that are nearly impossible to capture in a photograph, like body language, sense of humour, charisma, tone of voice and physical energy. Have you ever met someone that you were mainly indifferent to physically, but then the more you got to know them, the more attractive they became? Have you ever met someone everyone thought was stunning, but you didn't see it? That's dynamic attractiveness at work. It's natural beauty beyond the photograph. It's something much harder to fake, commodify, and manipulate.
In a study by Dr. Ronald Riggio, he and his team brought college students into a lab where they were videotaped and photographed speaking and meeting with people who would rate them on their physical attractiveness. They found that dynamic qualities of beauty predicted who would be rated as beautiful far beyond the effects of static attributes of beauty. In this sense, what makes you attractive goes far beyond a simple two-dimensional representation. You are your movements, grace, posture, voice, kindness, wit, and smell. You are an accumulation of a million things the camera cannot see. Our cultural definition of beauty needs to be expanded to include a person's dynamic qualities. At Vogue Ballroom we have compiled a list of the Best Photographers in Melbourne to help you choose who captures your magical day.
We're all grown-ups; we're all responsible for our own decisions – if you choose not to listen to your posing directions, then you're not letting your photographer do their job to your expectations.