One of the most common questions I get as a photographer is, how can I be more photogenic?

While some people are naturals in front of the camera, like my friend Mercedes (pictured) – others find being photographed an intimidating situation. And rightfully so because unlike your eyes, which see in 3D, the camera only sees in 2D. This explains how even the most beautiful individuals sometimes won’t translate well in photographs. 

So to answer the question, here are a few tips I always give my clients + friends:

1 - Relax: the more nervous you are, the more it’ll show on your face. Just stay calm and ease into it.

2 - Know your angles: angles make a huge difference. They affect how light bounces off your face and back to the camera, which results in how you appear on screen. The more angles you give the camera to work with, the closer to life you will be able to represent yourself. Long story short: know your good side.

3 - Practice: it may sound narcissistic spending that much time staring at your own reflection, but the more you see your own face, the more aware you are about those angles.

4 - Lose the crazy pose: that insane leg move thing Coco Rocha did may have worked inside the glossy pages of Vogue, but probably not when framed on your mother’s mantel. 

5 - Turn your body: don’t face the camera straight on.

6 - Tilt your head: trust me.

7 - Don’t say cheese: say “money” instead. The former can feel like you’re baring your teeth. The latter will pull your mouth into an effortless smile.

8 - Smize: cue montage of Tyra Banks repeating this to Top Model contestants over and over again. But really, it’s the truth. The actual action is more like a focused half squint. 

9 - Shoot from below: if you’ve asked a friend, relative, significant other, or random stranger to snap your picture – instruct them to shoot from a lower angle. It’ll give you the illusion of appearing longer and leaner.

10 - Look above the camera: and not at it. That’s right, pick a spot that’s slightly above the camera (or beyond it) and rest your eyes there. It’ll help you keep your head up and avoid any awkward double chins.

And that’s it, folks! Now go out there and conquer that next profile picture!

Using Format