We’re living in a time when Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media practically require us to look fab in photos.
When you add online dating and job searches on the internet to the mix, well, it’s crucial. And what if you’re the mother of the bride (or bridegroom)? It’s beyond crucial.
But are you ready for your close-up? Do you know how to put your best face forward?
I’ve lost count of the number of women who ask me for tips on how to look better in photos — for professional careers, dating websites, or just to post on Facebook, in case the high school flame does a search.
I’m happy to share a few tricks to improve your image . . . instantly:
Keep your chin out. When you push your chin slightly out and tilt your head forward, your face and neck look thinner and, dare I say, less jowly. There. I said it.
Find your best angle. Most of us have slightly asymmetrical faces, giving us one side that is more photogenic than the other. Go through photos of yourself and figure out which side is most flattering, then position yourself accordingly at photo time. Mine is definitely the left.
Look at a light. If there’s going to be a flash, look briefly at a bright light before looking at the camera. This will cause your pupils to constrict, reducing red eye.
Avoid overhead lights. Light shining directly above you will cast harsh shadows on your face. Instead, soft light coming from the side is ideal, especially if it’s natural light from a window. Avoid backlighting at all costs by facing the light, rather than having it behind you.
Stay below the camera. Looking down at the camera distorts your features and gives most of us extra chins. Instead make sure the photo is being taken from slightly above your face. That goes for selfies, too.
Strike a “Glamour Pose.” For a great full-length shot, turn your body 45 degrees away from the camera, put your front hand on your hip, shift your weight onto your back leg, pull your back arm a bit behind you, and turn your head to the camera. Voila’! You’re doing the “Glamour Pose”! Practice makes perfect.
Don’t overdo the smile. A smile is the best way to look friendly and engaging, but a smile that’s too wide or hard can distort your features and look forced. To keep your grin soft and natural, try thinking of something that makes you happy — your spouse, kids, that amazing dessert you had last night, cat videos, whatever — rather than saying “cheese.” Bonus tip from the models of the world: position your tongue behind your upper teeth (don’t ask me why . . . just do it).
Borrow Marilyn’s “Squinch.” The “squinch” is a time-tested way of getting a natural and very attractive look in photos — and you don’t have to be a screen legend to pull it off. Narrow your eyes slightly as if you’re looking into the distance. Only the lower lids will move, not any other part of your eyes or eyebrows, giving you a flattering look without distorting your features.
Get make-up camera-ready. Dewy skin is great, but a shiny fact isn’t, especially in photos. Keep some blotting papers handy, or use a tissue in a pinch. If you know photos are on the day’s agenda, bump up your eyebrows and blush accent your features. If there’s an impulse photo op, take a second to refresh your lips with a pop of bright color.
There are a heck of a lot of more tips to live a better, longer, happier life in the pages of my new book, LOVE YOUR AGE: THE SMALL-STEP SOLUTION TO A BETTER, LONGER, HAPPIER LIFE. Want to get it ASAP? Click here.