On most days I feel completely confident. I’m happy with my wild curls, pale skin, and big eyebrows—which funnily enough are attributes I used to think were flawed. But every once in a while, I get caught in a spiral of I’m not good enough–type feelings. There have been several think pieces about the damage social media has done to our psyche—how it breeds jealousy and negative thoughts. I don’t really feel that way. I love Instagram, I love sharing parts of my life with those who care to look (and, hopefully, to like). But there is one thing I realized through all of it—I’m, unfortunately, and for a time, hopelessly, unphotogenic.
When I posted a picture, it was after several (that’s being generous) failed attempts. I thought I was “smizing” when I was scowling and standing up straight when I was slumped over. I just didn’t know how to hold myself for photos. So in order to keep my passion for a pretty feed and lots o’ likes going strong, I came up with a few rules to live by each time the camera clicks. Previously, we talked a lot about finding your light. But these have less to do with outside circumstances and more to do with you. To say they’re easy to follow is an understatement—I’m not a model after all. And who needs more hardships in life?
Keep scrolling to get schooled on the easy ways to be more photogenic.
Play With Poses
If you’re feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera, don’t just stand there. Move around a bit, play with your sunglasses, etc. It’ll make for a more interesting photograph, and it’ll put you at ease. Posing will get less difficult, and you’ll come up with a few familiar go-tos over time. It’s also important to understand yourself (and your vibe). Some can take unabashed selfies with pursed lips and look incredible—I am not one of those people. So instead, I’ve had to come up with a way to look (and feel) like myself in every picture.
Know Your Angles
It’s hard to look great straight on. Or at least, it’s hard for me. Instead, I’ve started to get a knack for how to position my face in a way that shows off my bone structure. My “side” is my left. So when posing for pictures, I make sure to keep my eyes on the lens but turn my face a bit to show that side off. I also began to notice photographers would consistently tell me to “lower my chin.” Raising it had become a reflex in order to ward off the dreaded double chin—but that’s just my own insecurity. Now, I keep my chin down while I pose, and it’s made a huge difference.
Go With Awkward Feelings
There’s no reason to pretend you’re someone you’re not in front of the camera. I posed for 20 to 30 pictures before landing on the above Boomerang. I just wasn’t feeling it—until I decided to get a little silly. Posing for photographs don’t have to be so serious all the time. Letting your personality (and yes, awkward quirks) shine through can make a picture. Do I look ungraceful? Sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Try Doing Something
Some of my favorite pictures are a far cry from the traditional composition. Instead of standing, popping a hip out, and flashing a smile, I feel more comfortable mid-move. Sipping a drink, flipping my hair, giggling over something—it’s all excellent for natural-looking pictures. It’ll keep them interesting for your friends to look at and easier for you to pull off.
Experiment With a Different Look
I have a go-to beauty look, and I rarely deviate from it. I found that after a while, I got sick of it. My pictures all looked the same, and my likes started to trail off. So what to do? I upped the ante a bit with a brand-new look that was different than my usual no-makeup makeup. I slicked my hair back, applied a bright orangey-red lipstick, and absolutely loved the results. It’s the easiest and most fun way to boost your confidence while you pose.
Consider Your Posture
A huge reason I was unhappy with most of my pictures was that I had such bad posture. I slump my shoulders habitually, and it can absolutely ruin a photo. Now when I pose, even if I’m looking down or away from the camera, I always think about my shoulders first. I stand tall, I pull my shoulders back, and I get ready for a really great photograph.
Do you have any tips for flawless photos? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was originally published on Byrdie on September 22, 2016.