#1767 How to look good in a photograph

She knows how to look good in a photograph. Photo: Haw-lin

Let’s be honest: we are living in the age of vanity. The Vanity Age, if you will. Never before has it been so important to put your best face forward. We’re all ashamed to admit it, but the facts speak for themselves: everybody reading this is on Facebook. We’ve all curated a utopian online world for ourselves filled with fun and exciting life facts, profound quotes and good looking photographs. But what happens when the perfect world gets spoiled? What happens when we’re tagged in an unflattering photograph? Or, even worse, what happens when a nasty photograph surfaces in print… Or on a blog or website with no ‘Untag’ functionality? Darkness, that’s what. And it could happen at any time – at a party, walking down the street, hanging out at your friend’s house. You’re never safe. The solution is simple: always be prepared. Learn how to look good in a photograph. Here’s what the experts (that I talked to and/or googled) have to say.

When I was working at a modelling agency back in 2007, the biggest tip we used to give to guys who walked in the door was this: keep your head tilted down in photographs. Men have this natural, subconscious reaction to out-macho everybody within a five mile radius as soon as a camera is raised. They lift themselves up and tilt their heads back like baboons. The result is that most men end up looking like baboons in photographs. When a man’s head is tilted just a little bit forward, it defines his jaw line. When it’s tilted just a little bit back, he loses any jaw definition. Men: keep your heads down in photographs.

According to male model Mark Cox, “Don’t try to look like Zoolander!”

According to a female model who preferred not to be named, “If you think you look weird when you smile, don’t smile.”

According to celebrity photographer Josh Kessler, “The most important thing is to feel comfortable and relaxed.”

According to every Myspace user, ever, make sure your face is at least a metre below the camera.

According to an interview with Gisele Bundchen I read about four years ago, girls should imagine they have a 50 cent piece between their lips (like the girl in the photograph above). Don’t pout, but don’t keep your mouth closed either. Apparently it makes the lips appear fuller.

According to Tyra Banks, “Smize!”

According to Kiwi photographer Benjamin Walls, “Practice, practice, practice!” (I assume he means in front of a mirror.)

According to photographer Louise Hatton, “Chin forward and down! That is the key! Gets rid of any double chins and stretches the neck to look long!”

According to photographer Oliver Rose, “We all have seen unfortunate freezes when streaming video content which highlight that we all look absolutely hideous mid speech. Find something to do with your mouth and the rest will follow. Check Zippora Seven’s common poking the tongue out backstage expression for inspiration.”

According to Colin Mathura-Jeffree, “No matter how you hold your expression if you want your eyes to scream beyond the page then think of someone you HATE or LOVE. Colinisation.”

According to Rhiyen Sharp of 62 Models, “Know your good side and stick to it, turn your head slightly so you get some jawline definition, and then eye the camera like it’s an ex who left you watching you deliver your Oscar acceptance speech. Oh and suck in your cheeks.”


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  1. Whatevs says

    I’ll pass this on for sure – I hate it if my friends don’t put an effort in to photo’s – makes me look bad by proxy, and you just don’t need that on FB.

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