How to Pose for Pictures and ALWAYS Look Good: 10 Tricks Every Girl Should Know

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 3: Singer Caroline Vreeland wears all Barbara Bui with Thierry Lasry sunglasses, with Fashion Stylist Shea Marie who wears a Thierry Mugler top and trousers, Barbara Bui fur, Celine sunglasses and Dior shoes on day 5 during Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016/17 on October 3, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

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Chances are, even the most confident, self-possessed woman has occasionally fallen victim to the scourge known as the unflattering photo. Even if we’re completely satisfied with the way we look in the mirror, a truly bad picture can harness a power so strong that we often find ourselves miserable for days, even if we think we know how to pose for pictures.

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The good news is this: Unless you’re being shot by a photographer with professional lighting and sets, odds are you’re not going to look stunning in every shot. After all, a really good picture is less about reality, and more about knowing how to position yourself for the camera and mastering some cute poses.

That said—in the interest of never taking a shitty photo again—here’s a quick tutorial on how to pose for pictures, with 10 tricks every girl should know.

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1. Use your tongue. 
This is one of best tricks out there—and the weirdest. It might feel strange, but by pressing your tongue on the roof of your mouth while smiling is an effective way to help avoid the dreaded double chin, as it elongates your neck and your jawline. We’ve tried it, and it works! It also works for Heidi Klum and Renee Zellweger, who are fans of this trick.

how to pose for pictures

Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth elongates your jawline. Getty Images

2. Angle your face.
Unless you’re being snapped by a professional portait photographer, it’s key to avoid direct head-on shots. Why? Because there’ll be an absence of shadows, which could make your face look wider, larger, or slightly discolored. Instead, stand slightly sideways and tilt your chin a little bit upward or a tad downward. From there, be sure to look at something just above your natural line of sight.

how to pose How to Pose for Pictures and ALWAYS Look Good: 10 Tricks Every Girl Should Know

When your head is tilted slightly up or down, it’s more flattering than getting snapped head-on. Imaxtree

3. Twist your body and position your arms
Ah, the old red carpet trick: Position your body 45 degrees and put the arm closest to the camera on your hip. Then plant one foot slightly in front of the other, point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back leg.

Ever wonder why every celebrity poses with her camera-facing arm on her hip? It’s because that particular move ensures that her upper arm isn’t smooshed against her body making it look flattened (read: larger.) If you find the hand-on-hip pose to be a bit forced, try holding your arms out from your sides ever so slightly.

how to pose for pictures

The ol’ hand-on-hip trick. Getty Images

how to pose for pictures

If hand-on-hip feels too posed, tilt your body toward the camera slightly, with one leg in front of the other. Getty

5. Cross your ankles.
If you’re being shot head-on (maybe for a street style snap?) cross your legs, starting at the calf. This stance will make your hips look narrower and your legs look longer, plus it looks a bit more casual. It’s worth noting that the pose also works when you’re sitting. Although it’s always preferable to stand in pictures, if you happen to be on a chair or a couch when someone comes at you with a camera, sit up straight and cross your legs at the ankles. It’ll be more flattering than not doing anything with those stems.

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Cross those ankles for a more flattering shot. Imaxtree

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 29: Fashion blogger Sofia Grau is wearing a green pink dress with floral print and grey long cardigan from Zara, bag Chloe Faye, belt vintage, sunglasses Rayban, olive shoes Aquazzura tribeca boots on March 29, 2016 in Berlin, Germany (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

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6. Don’t follow the group.
The key to a stellar group shot? Not all doing the same pose. Not only is that hokey (hello, standing in height order on prom night) but everyone is shaped differently, so the viewer’s eye will naturally gravitate to who looks best in the pose, not the picture. Instead, be sure to stand comfortably without mimicking the people directly next to you.

how to pose for pictures

Getty Images

7. Learn to smile for the camera.
Smiling is a tricky thing when it comes to photos. Too big, and you look silly, but none at all can make you look broody or angry. The solution? The ‘natural’ smile you so often do when the camera’s not on you.

Smiling too wide on purpose will cause your face to tense up, your eyes to squint, and your cheeks to puff out, which aren’t the benchmarks of an attractive photo. Instead, take a beat to relax your face and open your mouth  slightly, so that your lower lip matches the curve of your upper teeth. This is universally flattering, and allows you to decide how much teeth you want to show. Not a fan of smiling with teeth? Learn to smize (smile with your eyes, for the uninitiated.)

One thing to note: When you smile naturally, the area around your eyes tends to crease a bit, which reads as much more sincere than stiffly smiling just with your mouth.


A genuine smile can be spotted a mile away–and always makes for a more flattering photo.



8. Practice good posture.
You’ve heard it 1,000 times, but standing up straight really does make a difference. Not only will it elongate you in photos, but it gives you an aura of strength and confidence, which is naturally alluring.

how to pose for pictures

9. Understand proportion. 
It’s a basic rule: Whatever is closer to the camera will appear larger.

zclosefar How to Pose for Pictures and ALWAYS Look Good: 10 Tricks Every Girl Should Know

zznearfar How to Pose for Pictures and ALWAYS Look Good: 10 Tricks Every Girl Should Know

10. Loosen up.
Unless you’re a professional model, odds are that most of the photos you find yourself in are fun, casual shots with friends. As much you think “posing” for these types of pictures will make you look better, the fact remains that loosing up and having a little fun will almost always make for a more flattering snap. Since you’re not trying as hard, there will be less room for error.

how to pose for pictures

Getty Images

zzzfun How to Pose for Pictures and ALWAYS Look Good: 10 Tricks Every Girl Should Know


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