12 Tips on How to Look Good in Pictures

Being photogenic seems like an impossible task, especially since some cameras tend to distort facial features. But don’t despair – you simply need to figure out how to behave in front of the camera. The tips below are used by bloggers, models and celebrities during photo shoots and events and help look good in pictures.

12 Tips for Looking Good in Photos

If you consider yourself a non-photogenic person, that is because you aren’t familiar with the following handy tricks.

1. Determine Why You Don’t Like Your Photos

how to look good in pictures common mistakes

The first thing you need to understand is why you don’t like your appearance in photos. Take a look at the recently taken shots (preferably both the ones you enjoy and hate), or snap a selfie at the present moment and study your selfie poses. See at which conditions you are satisfied with your appearance, and at which conditions your face or body looks unflattering.

The lighting, inappropriate poses, bad make-up, skin imperfections, the choice of the hairstyle or outfit, lack of creative photography ideas – all this can ruin your overall look in the picture. Identify problematic areas to know what exactly needs to be improved.

2. Find Out Your Best Sides and Angles

how to look good in pictures angles

One of the greatest tips to looking good in pictures is to be aware of your flattering angles. To find this out, practice different poses in front of the mirror and remember the ones that appeal to you. Also, see which one of your sides you enjoy more – left or right one.

Since there is no perfect symmetry within our face, either a left or a right side will appear more attractive. Typically, the hairstyle helps define which side is better, in particular, if you have an asymmetrical hairstyle.

Never pose in an uncomfortable or bizarre way. Of course, the pose is supposed to be flattering, but mind to keep it natural and give preference to relaxed poses. Also, don’t forget that the poses are supposed to match the atmosphere of selected portrait photography ideas.


The part of the body that is closest to the camera will also appear to be the biggest one. Unless you want a certain part of the body to be especially prominent, don’t put it too close to the camera.

3. Wear Outfits that Flatter Your Body Type

how to look good in pictures outfit

If you are wondering how to look better in photographs, remember that the outfit counts as well. Improperly picked-out clothes will definitely ruin your appearance in shots. That’s why you should stick to the styles, colors and textures that suit your body type and skin tone. Generally, solid-color clothes are a better option than patterned ones.

To make your body visually slimmer, opt for dark colors. For thin people, I would suggest a light dress or light-colored sports coat. The choice of the outfit also depends on the theme of the photo shoot. In order to be ahead of the game, check out different portrait, boudoir photography outfit ideas or family photo outfits ideas in advance.

You are bound to look more attractive if you wear clothes that put you in your comfort zone. For instance, if you never apply bold makeup, don’t do it just for the sake of shooting. If you aren’t a fan of high heels, wearing them just because they go well with your dress is a bad idea.


Patterned clothes tend to deform the person’s shape and size in pictures. But if you are still inclined to wear something with a pattern, let it be just one item from your outfit, and stay away from small, busy patterns.

4. Get the Right Makeup to Define Face

how to look good in pictures makeup

To get that flawless picture, take into account the way you choose and apply makeup. Both lens and the flash are known for distorting makeup, so you really need to think your makeup routine through. Since cameras snap a two-dimensional picture, apply makeup not only to look more appealing but also to “frame” your face.

Besides, the lens and the flash can diminish the facial features and even make you appear pale, so don’t be afraid to go a little extra with makeup. When it comes to skin tone, remember to pick the shade of your foundation accordingly. Otherwise, once a flash reaches the skin, your face may end up looking too white.


Use bronzer to outline your bone structure, make your skin healthier-looking with the help of the blush and add a highlighter on top for a beautiful glow.

5. Avoid Flyaways and Add Shine to Your Hair

how to look good in pictures hair

One of the key tips on how to look good in photograph is to style your hair. The camera’s flash emphasizes even the smallest hairs sticking out, which you wouldn’t notice in real life. To tame the frizz, take advantage of pomade or serum while making your hairstyle. Pour a serum or put a pomade into your hands first and rub them together before the product gets onto your hair. The last step is to add shine to the hair in order to give it a healthy and natural look. A spray-on shine will do its job excellently and can be applied in seconds.

Don’t forget about the proper placement of the hair. Putting it on shoulders would be a terrible idea. I recommend placing it in front of you, behind you, or over one of the shoulders instead.


Before you hear that camera click sound, freshen up your hair by pulling it down and ruffling it slightly using your hands. This makes the hair more voluminous and prevents it from looking too flat.

6. Use Even Lighting to Avoid Harsh Shadows

how to look good in pictures lighting

Stay away from sunlight and overhead lighting by all means – this contributes to rough shadows falling onto the face and focuses even on the slightest flaws. The same goes for bright lighting, which often highlights blemishes and wrinkles. Therefore, another tip on how to look good in photo is to shoot in consistent lighting that illuminates you evenly from the forehead to the cheeks and to the chin.

In case you are after backlit portraits, I suggest placing the light source behind the subject. Get ring lights for photography or a light phone case with LED lighting on two sides. This helps achieve gentle light – no flash required. Moreover, such devices are rather universal and allow taking shots in any lighting and at any time of the day.


The first hour after dawn and the last hour before dusk gives warm natural light, which makes for stunning golden hour photography.

7. Switch Up Facial Expressions

how to look good in pictures facial expressions

People, who don’t know how to look good in a photo, often have an unnatural smile on. If you are smiling in the same way again and again, the face is more likely to get tense. However, apart from smiling, there are numerous facial expressions to experiment with.

Try a funny face, a gentle, even slightly shy smile, or a neutral expression while staring into the distance. For a more genuine look, open the mouth a little bit. Better yet, if you are shooting with a friend, they can make you laugh and have you smile genuinely on camera.

8. Use Apps to Enhance Your Images

fixthephoto photo retouching example fixthephoto photo retouching example

These days, many people don’t even bother learning how to look good in pictures. For awesome results, they simply edit the picture in one of the free photo editing apps. If you are interested in applying top-notch filters, try VSCO. If you need professional capabilities, pay attention to Adobe Photoshop Express, Snapseed and FaceTune. These are the greatest applications to retouch skin, remove imperfections and add effects in several clicks.

If you don’t want to delve into the specifics of picture editing, approach the FixThePhoto services that will take into account all your wishes. For an affordable price and in the shortest time, you will receive a perfectly retouched shot.

9. Use Props to Occupy Your Hands

how to look good in pictures props

While the pictures are being taken, many don’t know what to do with their hands and where to place them. Props will save the situation. They sort of guide hands in the right direction and add dynamics to shots. If you don’t have spare money to invest in props, make DIY photography props, purchase cheap photography props or take advantage of props that you have at hand, like a book, sunglasses, a glass, a flower, etc.


The simplest and the most obvious prop is hair. Playing with hair strands or flipping hair playfully keeps the hands busy and makes you look like a real person, not a robot.

10. Save Reference Images on Pinterest or Instagram

how to look good in pictures poses pinterest

The most effective way to find out how to look pretty in pictures is to examine female poses and male poses ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. If you follow some bloggers on social networks, most likely, they use the same Instagram poses on a regular basis.

So, whenever you are scrolling through the Instagram feed, snap some screenshots to draw inspiration later on. Also, pay extra attention to bloggers with the same body type as yours since their poses will look just as flattering on you.


Create a separate Pinterest board for posing ideas or save inspiring shots that you come across on Instagram. This way, you can take a glimpse at the saved portrait photography poses any time during the shoot, for instance, in case you suddenly run out of ideas.

11. Use a Tripod to Create More Distance Between You and Camera

how to look good in pictures tripod self timer

While trying to implement selfie ideas, avoid extended arm selfies. Since the camera is rather close to the face, it makes your facial features appear distorted. To take top-notch selfies with sufficient distance between you and the camera, purchase an iPhone tripod or make a DIY iPhone tripod. Tripods allow for all sorts of experiments with angles and poses.

12. Use Clean Background

how to look good in pictures background

The background isn’t supposed to distract from the main subject, especially if the subject is the person. Before snapping a picture, ensure that the background is decluttered. The minimalistic background guarantees an appealing and profound shot.

The secret of how to look better in pictures is to pick a plain background that will contrast with you. Those with dark hair should avoid black backgrounds. If you have a total white outfit, don’t conduct a photo shoot on a white background.

Bonus Tools

bonus tools for photography

If you use the Lightroom mobile app to edit shots on the smartphone, try these presets. They will help you quickly achieve professional-looking and stylish results without any prior experience in picture editing and will also save you plenty of time.