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How to look great in photos (and look a bit thinner)

Updated on February 5, 2013

We all have them. Those photos that we just cannot bear to look at because we think we look so bad in them. Whether we think we look too fat, ugly, silly etc in that photo, we always end up hiding them away in the back of the photo album and wished they had never been taken in the first place. My friend hates her photo being taken, so much so that she refuses to look at the finished photograph. Then of course there are those of us who fear the flash and cannot pose on cue and when the camera person tells us to say cheese we end up looking like Chandler from friends in that episode where he knows the flash is coming, then grits his teeth like a horse and looks constipated. Luckily for us all there are a few things we can do to avoid looking like a constipated horse gritting our teeth.

  1. To look your slimmest try standing with one foot slightly in front of the other and gently pivot on your feet so that your body, including your shoulders, are at a slight angle. And putting your hands on your hips can make your waist look smaller.
  2. If you're sitting down, lean forward and rest your elbows on your knees.That way you'll disguise wobbly thighs and look slimmer.
  3. Brighten up your clothing. Dark colours can be slimming to wear, but black can drain the colour from your face, so choose brighter colours for your top half, to bring out the best in your skin tone (I have to admit I am a huge fan of black clothing and it makes up about 60% of my wardrobe. So it is a welcoming change to add a splash of colour, even if it's just for a photograph being taken.)
  4. If you have dark circles or bags under your eyes, try lifting your chin to avoid shadows falling on your face.
  5. Don't forget to smile. It sounds obvious, but a lovely smile really does take the focus away from the bits you're less happy with. It's surprising how many of us forget to smile when having our photo taken, and worst yet even pull sad looking faces in the attempt to look happy.
  6. Poker straight hair can pull your face down (I should know, most of the time I look like Mortica Adams because my hair is so straight. So for those special occasion photos I try to add a little curl to my hair with the tongs.)
  7. Ask the photographer to take more than one photo! The more you have taken, the more likely it is you'll be captured from a flattering angle.
  8. Make-up tricks work a treat. Apply a light foundation only where necessary, such as to the sides of your nose or over spots.
  9. To avoid that shiny face look in your photo, stick to matte make-up for your blemishes and only use creamy, reflective concealers for your eyes.
  10. Flatter your best featres, Apply blush over the apple part of your cheeks. Never overplay the eyes and the lips. Choose between them.


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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting and so useful ninavoice.Looking forward to many more of your hubs now. Have a great day


    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      Hi teaches12345, Nice to see you again and thanks for stopping by and commenting, always much appreciated. Thanks for the vote up too, glad you found some of it useful :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you for the advice. Next time I have this done, I will look my best. Love the suggestions on what to wear and hairstyles that look best in photos. Voted up.

    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      Hi hawaiianodysseus, nice to see you again. Firstly you don't look sixty, you look much younger! :-) It's great to see you again and thanks for stopping by and finally hurray somebody else that gets it!! :-) lol I agree. We should all be able to look and feel our best no matter what age, size, race or gender, when ever we want. So if it takes a little makeup, a haircut or a nice photo to make us feel good, then why not. Thanks for commenting.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Nina, I'm sixty...and I totally GET, empathize with, and celebrate people of all ages wanting to look and feel their best. Nice hub, and I admire you for always being honest in your writing. Great job!

    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      Hi KT Banks, Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree with you about some people being more photogenic than others. Or 'The camera loves them' phrase. Beauty is def in the eyes of the beholder where a camera is concerned.

    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      I think that is a slightly ageist comment. To suggest that young people only care about the exterior image of a person and not about their personailty first. I'm young and I think that a personality is the most important trait over exterior appearance. My hub is titled how to look great in photos, it in no way suggests that young people care only about appearance and judge others based on their appearance.

    • profile image

      Jean Valerie Kotzur nee Stoneman 5 years ago from Germany

      You've proved my point. We are as we are, some people are more photogenic than others, some can be made to look good with the right make up and clothes, but surely the personality of the person is what is important. Sometimes it is difficult to understand these things when you are in the blossom of your youth because the exterior is more important than anything else. However, we all learn as we get older. Nonetheless, at certain points in our lives we all need a good photographer.

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 5 years ago from Texas

      It's not as simple as, "We are as we are." Some people are way more photogenic than others. Have you ever seen a beautiful magazine model - in a commercial (or video) and all of a sudden they don't seem so pretty? Every good photographer knows this. That is where the word photogenic comes from.

      You have given us some great tips, Ninasvoice! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      I agree silkekarine, but try telling that to a bride on her wedding day for example, who is stressed out and wants to make sure she has the best photos of the day, so she has a visual record of her memories. Every woman wants to look and feel her best in her wedding photos and I don't think she is thinking I hope my personality looks good in this photo. She is probably thinking I hope this photographer captured my dress in the right lighting, so I can show my grandchildren what I was wearing in years to come.

      Hi carol thankyou, great to see you :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Good job with excellent suggestions..We all like to look our best..why not????

    • profile image

      Jean Valerie Kotzur nee Stoneman 5 years ago from Germany

      We are as we are and the camera does not lie. Why do we always have to pretend that we are thinner, sweeter, more attractive or more athletic than we are. If other people judge us by what they see then they are often missing out on something really worth knowing. Believe me, as you approach seventy your priorities have more depth of meaning.