How To Look Great In Pictures When You’re Not Naturally Photogenic

The quality of being naturally photogenic is elusive. What makes a person photogenic? You’ll get a different answer depending on whom you ask. If you feel you aren’t one of those naturally photogenic people who seem to look good in every photo, use the following tips. You might start to seek out opportunities to be photographed instead of hiding whenever you see spy a camera lens.

Face the Light

The person taking the photo should always be standing with their back to the light. That means you need to be facing the light. You can position yourself so that something—a tree branch, the shingle of a house—is blocking the sun just enough so you don’t end up completely closing your eyes.

Choose Amber Lighting

Amber light is the most flattering on human skin. Your best chances to wind up with a good picture is to be photographed in natural light first thing in the morning or during sunset. This is when the sun’s rays filter through the atmosphere and cast an amber hue over everything.


You may hate your smile, or feel embarrassed about your teeth. But practically everyone on Earth looks better when they smile versus when they don’t. If you try to maintain a serious expression without smiling, you’ll just come across as stern or even angry, like that couple with the pitchfork in Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting.

Laugh a Little Just Before the Shot

Many pictures don’t work out because the subject – you – are not relaxed. To project a natural, relaxed smile, give a soft laugh just before the photographer takes the shot. This will result in the most genuine expression of your smile. Remember – a light laugh, not a guffaw. You don’t want to look like a Honey Boo Boo cast member.

Tilt Your Chin Upward

Even slim people can come across in photographs looking like they have a double chin or chicken neck. To prevent this, just lift your chin slightly to stretch out your neck.

Tilt Your Head

After you lift your chin slightly, give your head a little tilt. This will enhance the angle of the shot, as well as giving you a more casual look that will make it look like you’re not posing at all. “Who me? I always look like this!”

Forego the Mask

Heavy makeup doesn’t work very well with photographs. When you’re planning to have your picture taken, go easy on the makeup. The less war paint, the better, especially around the eyes. If you are too heavy-handed with eye shadow, liner and mascara, you could look like a raccoon instead of the ephemeral goddess that you are.

Take Control

You can only do so much as the subject of a photo. Most of the power comes from the person holding the camera/cell phone. If you sense that they don’t know what they’re doing, take control. Change your position, or direct them to come closer or move back. Most picture takers will be happy to oblige, unless your photographer is Annie Leibovitz, in which case you should probably just let her do her thing.

If all else fails, just come to terms with not looking great in photos. Think of it this way. You can always look forward to people saying, “Wow, you’re so much more beautiful in person!”


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