I want to know how to look good in photos but “I’m not photogenic”, how many of us feel like that? Do you shy away when someone pulls out the camera? Do you delete most of the photos of yourself from your phone. You’re not alone. People who look effortlessly good in photographs are not necessarily film star beautiful, but are confident or oblivious to the camera. Think about it. Elderly people, children, models. You.

Wait. You? Yes you! When a candid photo is taken of you, or one where you’re unaware. You’re oblivious. You don’t freeze and put on an awkward smile. You could be playing with your son or daughter. You are showing genuine emotion, of happiness, pride, love. You will look good in photos effortlessly. Photos of people facing forward, standing awkwardly still against a white background are not natural and make us feel uncomfortable and it shows in our faces.

People who do not consider themselves photogenic don’t like to have their photos taken, when they do they’ll allow less to be taken than a confident person. This is itself is an issue. The more you have taken, the greater the chance there is of finding a good one. In an autumn mini shoot, I will take 500 photos, some will be technically imperfect (overexposed, underexposed etc) , there will be some duplicates, some with eyes shut, some with composure I’m not happy with. I could finish the final edit of a session with around 60 photos, but like to present about half so the impact of the perfect photo is more powerful.

The more photos you have taken, the more you let your guard down. That’s when the magic happens. Shoulders relax, attention directs from the camera to your family, the energy being used on being nervous, tensing the facial muscles, worrying how you look converts to joy as you enjoy the day out with your family. Because that’s all it is. A day out with your family,  a chat with a friend who just happens to be a photographer.

Tips on how to look good in photos:

There are further tips to follow to improve your chances of having the perfect photo taken with or without a professional photographer.

  1. Shoot in natural light. Window light is flattering, at certain times of the day. Experiment. Avoid mid day sun which will increase the chance of overexposure and unflattering shadows.
  2. Shoot at eye level or slightly above. This will naturally reduce signs of double chin. Everyone including children have them if they tuck their chins in, difference is children rarely do it.
  3. If looking at the camera, sit slightly sideways to naturally draw attention away. Lift your head up slightly and try and think about a happy memory.
  4. Avoid loud and tightly fitting clothing. Especially logos. If shooting outdoors, focus on clothing that compliments the surroundings. Red and yellow work well in autumnal shoots. Clothing with some movement work well. Flowing skirts, loose fitting shirts or t shirts.
  5. Avoid heavy makeup, but emphasis on eyelashes is always flattering
  6. Big or messy hair works better than perfectly combed flat hair.
  7. Try different perspectives. Sideways, top of head focusing on hands or eyelashes
  8. Don’t take photos when you’re just not in the mood. Be happy and you’ll naturally take better photos

black and white family photography Reading Berkshire

Newborn photography. Mum and baby

Mum in family photo. Greys Court.