10 Secrets to Looking Great in Photos

by Alli

My 10 Secrets to Looking Great in Photos will make you red-carpet worthy! Or at least ready to post those kissy-face bathroom shots all over the web! Just kidding!

Are you photogenic or are you always hiding behind the camera (like I used to do)? Do you want to know the secrets to look great in pictures? Of course, you do!  

Want to look younger, slimmer, more natural? Then you’ve come to the right place, baby! (OMG – I sound like an Infomercial!)

I’m Not Photogenic. I Have To Work Hard To Look Good In Photos

I’ll be the first to confess that I do not like having my picture taken. I’m usually the one hiding out once the camera appears unless I’m being directed by my daughter, an amateur photographer. She always makes me look presentable.

Sometimes she has to take a few shots to get me to relax before she snaps that magical one that makes me look a tad bit younger. Ah, it’s miraculous!

My Facebook Rule

I have one simple Facebook rule: No one in the family is allowed to put pics up of me without my approval. And they all know it. I’m serious.  

I changed my Facebook settings eons ago so that no one can tag me in a picture without my A-OK. Yep, I have to click that tag to approve it. That way, it may show up on their timeline, but it won’t show up on mine.

Two of my daughters and all of my grandsons are photogenic. All I have to do is say the word camera and they are posing and ready for a photo shoot. Me, not so much.

Consult With My Daughter

So, I scheduled a consultation with my daughter.  Actually, as she was walking by my home office (aka the corner of the family room) on her way out the door, I hollered at her and asked for her very best photography tips.  

She rattled them off with no hesitation whatsoever, while I scrambled for a pen to write them all down. So, being the trusting mom that I am, I did a little recon (my detective speak for research) on the web, and lo and behold, her tips were almost exactly the same tips that I found from a famous photographer.

My daughter’s got it going on!  🙂 But I already knew that.

And I have to give a shout out to my daughter for patiently posing for me, a pretend photographer!

10 Secrets To Looking Great in Photos

(Hint:  Read the entire list:  Number 10 is really the number one secret). The next time you have your picture taken, you can do so with confidence! And you can thank me later.

1.  If it will bend, bend it

I’m talking arms, legs, etc – but keep it natural looking. You’ll learn more as you read the tips.

Photo of a couple placing their hands in the proper place for a photo

2.  Think posture 

Keep your shoulders back and down (do a shoulder roll right before that camera snaps the pic). This trick works wonders!

Son #2 - Quincy - Christmas Photo Drama


3.  Tilt your chin slightly down, not up!  

Most people who have a double chin think that if they tilt their head up, it will go away. Au contraire! It’s more noticeable that way!

Tilting the chin down just a bit eliminates it!  Note: My daughter doesn’t have a double chin but I do! 

4.  Angle your body 

Do you ever look at a picture and think, “OMG, I gained 20 lbs. overnight! You really didn’t!  It’s all about the angle.

Turn your body 45 degrees to the right or left. Slightly bend that knee (see secret #1) closest to the camera, put your weight on the hip furthest from the camera, and position your body so that your bust and up is facing the camera. (This is the classic red carpet pose that most celebrities have down pat).10steps

5.  Placing your weight on the front leg or facing the camera directly will make your legs and thighs look heavy.  

Just say no and do #4.

6.  After you’ve done #4, turn the toe of your bent knee back toward the camera. 

The more you practice this stance, it will be less awkward and will eventually become second nature the moment someone vaguely mentions taking your pic.

7.  Smile – Naturally – Another tip for looking great in photos!

A tip I’ve learned (from trial and error) is that when I smile, the parenthesis around my mouth goes away! It’s pure magic! When I don’t smile, it ages me . . . a lot.  Smile!

8.  Indirect light is always best!  

It softens wrinkles and lines. Not that we have any, of course.

9.  What do we do with our arms and hands?

I never know what to do with my hands and end up looking awkward! 

Well, I do now! If it bends, bend it (# 1)! Place the hand closest to the camera on your hip, then shift that entire arm backward and the face a tad bit forward. When we just stand with our arms next to our bodies, it makes us look wide.  We don’t want wide.


10Make sure the camera is positioned a little higher than your head and pointing slightly down at you!  

This is actually the number one tip! I can attest that this one works!  

I actually try to get my daughter to stand on a ladder or maybe on the 15th floor of a building and look down on me.    As the camera looks down at you, drop your chin a little, look slightly up and lean forward a bit (but keep good posture). This pose is flattering to everyone!

My youngest daughter, Caitlin

Bonus Tip:  To get great shots of your children, get down on their eye level. Awesomeness! You twisted my arm into showing off my very favorite pic of my grandkids. Again. This is an old photo but still a favorite. 

4th of July photo of 4 boys - 10 Tips To Looking Great In Photos

What tricks do you use to look great in photos?