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5 Tips for Posing in Photographs

Updated on May 9, 2015
janikon profile image

Stuart has spent three years trying to convince his boyfriend he is not hiding books under their bed and they are certainly not multiplying.

this should never happen to you!
this should never happen to you! | Source

There is something truly disheartening about waking up the morning after a big party, signing into your facebook profile and slowly, in horror, clicking through the tagged photos taken of you the night before. A knot forms in your stomach and you, instantly, want to throw up - do your friends hate you? Who - calling themselves a friend - would take the time to upload such horrendous photos of you onto the juggernaut of social media sites today.

With each click of the mouse or tap of the tracking pad a new question comes to mind - do I really have that many chins? Does my stomach really stick out that far? What was I doing with my hair? How drunk was I? Who is that guy posing with me? Why has no one told me I have terrible skin? Why did I wear that shirt? Do I really have a lazy eye?

The rest of your day is inevitably ruined by this throng of horrible photos, you pull out your biggest and oldest clothing and eat ice cream, by the gallon, out of the tub. Your life comes to a screeching halt as you are unable to work for fear someone from the office may have seen those twenty-nine unflattering, stomach-turning, shots and the dinner you planned with your friends? HA! You are no longer speaking to that group of mindless sycophants who led you to believe you looked good.

Well, my fellow unphotogenic friend, I understand your pain and have spent many a day crying whilst clicking through the many unflattering photos my friends deemed fit to upload. The greatest Facebook creation was the 'untag' feature, allowing the user to be removed from the listed names under the photo, and, one day, I pray they - Zuckerberg and his minions - will create the 'delete permanently from existence while disliking the uploader' feature, which I will shamelessly abuse. But until then - the holy day for social media, as the unphotogenic will deem it - I have a few tips and tricks to improve the photos taken of you.

a couple of tips for your next party: learn, love, share

Knowing your angles is the bread and butter of a good photo, something any red-blooded Myspace'r could tell you before inviting you to view their arsenal of a hundred bathroom-mirror-from-a-certain-angle photos. There are beautiful people in this world who have beautiful photos taken of them - from any angle - and then there are beautiful people who, for some reason, resemble Quasimodo in the group shot. It's an oddity we'll never be able to explain but fear not, there are ways of coping with it.

  1. the head tilt - if someone is taking your photo head on try tilting your head a bit forward and looking up into the camera. This will eliminate any chance of a double chin rearing its ugly head and ruining not only the picture but your self-esteem.
  2. over the shoulder - if someone is taking a photo from behind you, position yourself so you've raised your shoulder half an inch over your chin. This again will eliminate the odd double chin effect of too much flash - a smile with your lips (not your teeth) will finish this photo off well.
  3. the group shot - if there is a part of your body you're uncomfortable with then I suggest you bend forward a bit - or if there are people sitting, stand behind them again leaning slightly forward - this will eliminate the awkward self-sucking or uncomfortable look every self-conscious person does.
  4. the friend shot - these are always really ones you do not want to be 'ugly' in since your friend will undoubtedly look gorgeous and insist on plastering it all over their walls. If the photo is being taken, simply lean into your friend and tilt your head down a bit - very similarly in the 'head on' tip - and DO NOT over smile because you should never look TOO happy to have a photo taken with your best friend.
  5. the lone shot - this is usually done at graduations and ceremonies of any kind, often done by your parents whom apparently love you enough to torture you for years by hanging this horrendous photo for the world to see. Learn from my personal pain, my friends, and never smile with teeth for these ones - for some reason you end up looking completely insane (I blame parent-picture taking for this conundrum) and opt for a refined slightly disengaged smile. If you have long hair, and are female, I suggest pulling on side of your hair behind your ear to create a focal point. Can you do bedroom eyes? I suggest you do them here, you and I both know your mother has the camera on night flash and if you do not protect your eyes then you will look slightly drunk.

wide-eyed zombie looking girls are scary not hot
wide-eyed zombie looking girls are scary not hot | Source

some final words on posing for photographs

So, there we go, five tips on how to look fantastic in photos or, at least, will not spend days crying in your bedroom whenever you sign into facebook. Unless you live like Ted Kaczynksi - he should've really learned these tips for his mugshot though - there is no escaping someone wanting to take your photo at least a few hundred times in your life. Apart from drivers license and passport photos, which are meant to be horrible (its like the law of the universe), there should really never be a truly ugly photo of you hanging on a wall or floating around cyberspace.

You've played second fiddle to your gorgeous photogenic friends enough in your life, it's time to show them up - with a little help from a well-placed head tilt.


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    • Escape2Paradise profile image

      Escape2Paradise 6 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      Great one! Love those pics lol funny tho :)

    • profile image

      OC 6 years ago

      Lolls.Really enjoyd reading and imagining my old pics.

      Thanks for sharing it.

    • Hanz16 profile image

      Hanz16 6 years ago from Olongapo City, Zambales (Philippines)

      thanks a lot for the info! helps a lot! :)

    • janikon profile image

      Stuart A Jeffery 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      @Simone Smith ugh, I hate when something hilarious happens and everyones put away their cameras or phones. I often strike weird poses and facial expressions, if you look odd in the photo at least you can say, "that's what I was going for" :)

      @hisandhers this is not possible.

      @LCaverson I'm that guy in the photos but I hope these tips help you to show up your annoying photogenic friends. Thanks for the read!

    • LCaverson profile image

      Leslie Caverson 6 years ago from Virginia Beach, VA.

      You must know me? Because I am that girl in every picture I take. =) So thank you!

    • profile image

      hisandhers 6 years ago

      Or you could just stop taking photos of me- that could be a solution. :)


    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Hahaa, this is great! My approach: Just ALWAYS strike a weird pose and weird facial expression. Eventually, folks stop trying to snap photos altogether... and when they do, something hilarious always results.

    • janikon profile image

      Stuart A Jeffery 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      @RNMSN thanks! I'm happy you enjoyed it - I'm always appreciative of hublove!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      this is wonderful!! I had to read bits out loud to hubby and daughter!! thank you for a great read!