21 Tips on How to Look Good in Pictures

How to Look Good in Photos

Daily, 4.7 billion pictures are taken. Many of these photos end up on social media, but some are for families, business and commercial purposes, too. If you want to learn how to look good in pictures, we’re here to help.

In fact, we’re going to cover 21 tips to make sure your pictures always look good.

21 Tips on How to Look Good in Pictures

Tips on How to Look Good in Pictures

Tips 1-5: How to Look Good in Selfies

Many people want to know how to look good in pictures because they want to take selfies. Selfies are an art, and these few tips can help you take photos like a professional or influencer.

1. Find Your Best Angle

Angles are everything. The right angle:

  • Adds symmetry
  • Makes you look thinner
  • Accentuates your good features

Practice taking pictures of both sides of your face and at different angles to find one that looks best for you.

Related: Instagram Photo Frames to Make Your Photos POP


2. Use Natural Light or a Ring Light

Golden hour, or the time when most people prefer to take pictures, is the best time for natural light. If you can’t wait until this time, you can use a ring light. The source of light should:

  • Remain in front of your
  • Leave no light behind you

If you have light behind you, it will create unflattering shadows on your face.

How to look good in selfies?

3. Use the White Paper Trick

Have you ever tried the paper trick? If not, you can place a piece of white paper right underneath your chin. The idea is that the natural light will hit off of the paper and reflect across your face.

Since the light is bouncing off right below the chin, it reduces shadows and eliminates any shades that can lead to a double chin in your photos.

4. Point the Camera Down

Do you want to slim your face? Try pointing the camera downward when taking a picture. The camera’s angle will also slim your face and entire body. Make sure to practice this type of camera angle to see how it works for yourself.

5. Put Your Tongue Behind Your Teeth

Models have a lot of tips and tricks that they use to make their photographs look amazing. One trick that has been used extensively in the fashion industry is to place your tongue behind your teeth.

This sounds like a weird trick, right? But it is also very effective and easy to do.

When you smile in your photo, be sure that the tongue sits behind the teeth to make yourself look:

  • Happier
  • Natural

Give this tip a try for yourself to see the magic behind using your tongue to make your smile look naturally beautiful.


Tips 6-10: How to Look Good in School Pictures

How to Look Good in School Pictures
How to Look Good in School Pictures

School photos are unforgiving. If you take a bad picture, it will end up in the yearbook whether you like it or not. Try and make your pictures look great by following these tips.

6. Roll Your Shoulders Back

How do you keep your shoulders in photos? Ideally, you’ll roll your shoulders back to keep yourself looking:

  • Natural
  • Relaxed

If you hunch your shoulders, take a deep breath and roll back your shoulders.

7. Elongate Your Neck

A surprising hack for your photos that works so well is elongating your neck. When you elongate your neck, you’re stretching out your skin and working to hide a double chin (if you have one) and accentuate your jawline.

You can help create the illusion of a longer neck by:

  • Pushing your chin forward
  • Wearing off the shoulder tops
  • Wearing a vest

Speaking of clothes, you need to wear the right ones.

8. Wear the Right Clothes

Sometimes, people take school pictures too far. Don’t wear clothes that aren’t you. Instead, wear an outfit that fits well and makes you look your best.

How to Look Good in Photos

9. Keep it Natural

When you look back on your school pictures, you want to see the natural, real you. Cautiously choose your makeup, clothes and look. The goal is to be yourself – the real you when you’re out with friends or family.

10. Think of Something That Makes You Smile

What makes you happy and puts a smile on your face? Whether it’s a crush that you have or an inside joke with a friend, think of it when taking your school photos. Happy thoughts will put a grin on your face and make you look naturally happy in your photo.

Tips 11-15: How to Look Good in Photos Without Smiling

Not a fan of smiling? No problem. You can still take great pictures. Here’s how:

11. Smile with Your Eyes

Here’s a trick that models and influencers use: Smile with your eyes instead of your mouth. It sounds strange, but just imagine that you’re smiling with your eyes. Concentrate on the muscles underneath your eyes and move them like you would your mouth when you’re smiling.

It takes some practice, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to smile in photos.

12. Try “Squinching”

Squinching is another photogenic technique used by models and celebrities to take amazing photos without cracking a smile.

Squinching is all about narrowing your eyes to create a more confident look. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll look like you’re squinting. Practice makes perfect with this tip, so get to work taking selfies to try it out.

13. Learn How to Pose

If you’re not going to smile in a photo, make your pose the center of attention. When you take a full-body picture or an image from the waist up, people won’t notice that you aren’t smiling.

Your photos may come out even better if you’re posing somewhere interesting, like a park or city street.

Here are some tips to help you perfect your pose:

  • Shift your weight to create a subtle but flattering “S curve” with your body.
  • Don’t face the camera head-on
  • Relax
  • Don’t slouch

14. Play Up Your Makeup and Hair

If you’re going to take a selfie or a close-up photo, make your hair or makeup the star of the show. A playful hairstyle or bold makeup look will draw attention and can even help you pull off that sultry look that models have mastered.

Here are some tips:

  • Wear a bold lipstick color.
  • Shape and fill your brows.
  • Go for a voluminous hairstyle.
  • Try an updo for your hair.

Related: 10 Best Makeup Tutorials for Hooded Eyes

15. Find the Right Lighting

Tips-on-How-to-Look-Good-in-Pictures 2
Tips on How to Look Good in Pictures

Lighting will always play an essential role in how your photos turn out. The right lighting will be flattering, whether you’re smiling or squinching.

Make sure that your light source is in front of you and not behind you. If you want a more dramatic photo, you can try sitting next to a window and letting the light illuminate one side of your face.

16. Choose the Right Angle

Find an angle that’s flattering when you’re not smiling, like:

  • A 3/4 profile
  • A higher angle
  • Tilt your chin towards the floor to show off your jawline

If you’re not smiling, looking head-on at the camera can be a great angle. This may be the one exception to the photogenic rule of never looking directly at the lens.

Tips 17-21: How to Look Good in Passport Photos

Need to take a passport photo? These tips can help.

17. Smile Slightly

Many experts recommend not smiling in your passport. In fact, your photo may be rejected if you smile. Many people smile because they don’t want to look too serious or unfriendly.

Smiling slightly before the photo is taken works best.

18. Keep Your Hairstyle Simple and Out of Your Face

Passport photos are strict, so you’ll want to keep the hair out of your face and to keep it simple. A few points to keep in mind:

  • Ditch hair accessories – they’re not permitted
  • Keep hair out of your face
  • All of your hair must be within the border of the picture

Note: Your entire face must be visible in the photo.

How to Look Good in Passport Photos
How to Look Good in Passport Photos

19. Wear Color and a High Neckline

Color helps add contrast to your photo. Additionally, wear something with a visible neckline or a collar. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll avoid having a photo where it looks like your head is floating.

20. Keep Your Makeup Natural

Natural makeup is the best choice for a professional passport photo. You want your photo to look like you. If you walk into an airport and security doesn’t think that the person in the passport photo is you, you’ll be very sorry that you didn’t keep it natural.

If you want to hide your flaws and need to conceal blemishes, choose makeup that:

  • Looks natural
  • Uses tones close to your natural skin color

Otherwise, if the photo doesn’t look like the real you after a long flight in your sweats with no makeup on, you may be turned away at the border.

21. Sit Up Straight

Bad posture leads to low-quality passport photos. You can take your picture in one of two ways:

  1. Sitting
  2. Standing

You’ll want to sit or stand up straight without leaning or hunching over. Make sure that you’re facing the camera and looking directly into it.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to look good in pictures, the next step is to practice. Utilize the tips above to learn how to take the best photos for you. Even people who are not photogenic can learn how to look great in every pic they take.