I am not photogenic. The camera hates me, which is upsetting because I love her very deeply. No, no, no, shhhhsh, don’t go telling me I’m wrong. I didn’t say I’m ugly. This is not what I am referring to. I am not photogenic. It is just the way it is. Some people catch the light perfectly, while others struggle.
This is why a girl can look stunning in photos but be mediocre in real life. Beautiful in photos but awful in real life. We knew that some people are beautiful in both. Because there is no justice in this world. We knew this too. Blah.
It becomes even clearer when you are a photographer. It takes approximately three minutes to take a photo of someone who is photogenic.
You must take your time when taking photos of non-photogenic people. Take the time to learn their faces, wait for the right lighting, and then put them at ease. Non-photogenic people have gotten so used to looking ugly in pictures, they get anxious whenever they see a photo. Vicious circle.
It’s not that you don’t like yourself in every photo, but we live in such an image-driven world. It can be a little depressing to see your photo on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and other social media platforms.
Although I look ugly in photos, it is my life! I thought I’d share some tricks that I have learned (because I get tired of looking at photos and thinking, Oh, look! I look just like my grandma here! Here, I look just like the Big Lebowski! And here! It looks like Tom Waits in a dress!). How to prepare for a camera. I used to believe that photos of people looking terrible were a part of everyday life. But, there are things you can do.
Okay, enough of the ramblings. HERE’S MY ADVICE.
My advice is based on the fact that most likely the person taking your photo isn’t Scott Schuman, Peter Lindbergh, or Bruce Weber. Let them take your picture if they are the one taking it. It will be fine. Ask no questions.
1. Photoshop yourself
A well-used light is like a natural photoshop. Always face the window when you are inside. It will help erase all your imperfections, from wrinkles to bags. Inside or outside, don’t go in direct sunlight. It will cast intense shadows unless it is very early in the morning or at sunset. In which case, the light is incredible, soft and makes everyone and everything beautiful.
If none of these options apply, you can find a spot with a bit more light (or wait until it is overcast).
It’s nighttime war, because it all depends upon your camera (and flash, setup, ISO settings, and other factors), so try to control other stuff.
2. Powder your nose
Pat McGrath is the only person who can make shiny skin look good in photos. It takes hours. Grab a tissue and rub it on your T-zone if you want shiny skin. It’s easy and great!
It’s not very photogenic to wear red lipstick or dark lipstick. This can cause your lips to look smaller and pinched. Transparent lip gloss is the best.
The miracle of smokey eye works in photos 100% of the times. It adds a sense of mystery and contrast.
OMG! I forgot to moisturize! Legs, arms, hands, feet… It’s an important thing to have on shoots. Creme de Corps from Kiehl’s is my favorite lotion to achieve a perfect, voluptuous glow.
3. Be a poser
The realization hit me as I was reading Bazaar, and saw an article about Ulyana Serenko. She walks to the shows like the whole world is her runway. She will take the exact same pose for hours, perfecting each outfit. Yes, but. The photos are all perfect.
While I don’t recommend following her lead, it’s a good idea to master some poses that will make you look good.
Okay, let me give mine to you. You can also look over shoulder for a closer-up, with your chin down and a big smile. Every time I try to make the camera look “sexy”, I end up looking absurd. A full body shot requires to face the camera.
4. Create your best profile.
Each of us has one. It is usually the left. It is important to know which one you have so that you can make the right decisions. It’s possible to ask a friend for a few photos to help you figure it out, as it can be difficult to see the mirror. Once you have it, make sure to use it.
This is something celebrities do all the time. When I interview one, she will say to me: “Do you mind if we sit on this side? It’s my side!” they will say, and it is their job to look good. On the other hand, I have to be ok! I will just sit there with my poor profile. Ah well.
5. You might ask yourself: Where is the camera?
You can get 5 inches shorter if you stand with the camera above you. To avoid deformations, it is best to keep the camera at chest height.
A shot from the top is great for those who are seated.
You can lift your head towards the camera, which is often where the light comes from (remember the light Photoshop effect?). It hits all the right angles and defines your jaw, which can help you look thinner.
This is my number one tip for selfies: Look up!
Love yourself. Have fun. You can’t help but look beautiful in photos if you play around with the camera. You can move, laugh, try something new, or just make a flirty face. Do not keep your smile static for five minutes while you take photos. Find different emotions in yourself, laugh, talk to someone, and move.
Play the game BUT ….
7. Say no
Sometimes the conditions are ideal for taking a terrible photo. After a long night, you are exhausted, the light is dim, and you’re wearing Big Lebowski clothing (it happens to everyone), your hair is greasy, and your hair looks like it has just spent three days at Katz.
You can’t refuse the photo. It’s as simple as that.
It’s hard, I know. I would never refuse a photo. All of us want to please others, and we end up thinking “Oh pfffff, who cares that I look ugly in photos?” Sometimes, however, it is best to say no when possible.
Okay, if you truly can’t say yes, put on the most expensive sunglasses you can find. Yes, even at night.