Four Ways to Look Better in Photos Instantly

By Insana Collins

As a portrait photographer, it's my job to make sure that the people I photograph look their very best. This means that every photo session becomes a mini lesson in taking better photos, and I encourage my customers to remember them for every photo they take in the future. Here are four ways that you can be better prepared for your next photo session.

1. Relax

Some people start off with the, “Do I look alright?” face, with body language to match. Sure, I'm over exaggerating by shrugging my shoulders in the photo below, but the point is: the camera can see how nervous you are about getting your picture taken. But if you relax as if you're just talking to an old friend, your photos will look that much better. So how do you relax? Draw in a deep breath, and as you slowly let it out, your shoulders will drop. And bonus: your face will appear less tense.

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2. Smile

Sounds obvious, right? Well, for starters, this is a tip mostly for men. Let us see those pearly whites! Check me out below: I'm in exactly the same good mood in both photos, but in the first image, you'd never be able to tell. I look like someone ate my sandwich. In the second image, I look like I got it back.

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3. Turtle

Every person I've ever photographed is now familiar with this term and they remember exactly what to do in subsequent shoots when I holler, “Turtle!!” All it means is to push your face forward, like a turtle might. It increases the space between your jaw and your neck, which reduces chin fat and makes everyone on the planet appear thinner. Some people have naturally awesome jawlines (ie. models) but for the rest of us, we must remember to turtle. Push your face forward, then move your chin down, just a tad.

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4. Angle your Body

This tip is for anyone who wants to look thinner in photos. When your photo is taken, your first instinct is to stand square towards the camera. But if you angle your body at 45 degrees, and turn your face back towards the camera, your waistline will appear thinner. Check out the images below. It may be subtle, but depending on the outfit, the lighting, patterns in your clothes, etc., it can make all the difference.

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Guess what? Posting these tips has already got me thinking about Four More Ways to Look Better in Photos, so stayed tuned! If these tips have truly helped you look better in your photos, comment below, or send an email to insana@insanacollins.com.

Insana Collins is an award-winning photographer and has been working as a photographer and writer in the DC area since 1999. She studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and her specialties include portraits, weddings and events, and commercial photography. Clients include radio and TV personalities, realtors, business owners, musicians, newlywed couples, moms, dads, and children. She also mentors amateur photographers and teaches photography skills to local Boy Scouts.

Learn more about Insana Collins and see more of her work at www.insanacollins.com or on the blog at www.insanacollins.com/blog.

4 Comments

  1. bubu
    August 5, 2014 / 3:51 pm

    Love this — I never knew about turtle neck, but it explains why I dislike so many photos of myself! Thank you – wish I’d had it on vacation last week, but I will use these tips going forward!

    • August 6, 2014 / 11:43 am

      Now each time I get my photo taken I hear my friend Insana’s voice hollering TURTLE in my head! 🙂

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