How To Look Good And Feel Less Awkward In Photos

Not everyone’s a natural poser.
The queen of selfies.
The queen of selfies.

Kimmy K reckons she took 6000 selfies on a four day holiday to Mexico. At around 1,500 a day, it's safe to say she's pretty confident when it comes to having her photo taken.

Though not everyone is as stoked as Kim when they have a camera shoved in their face. The average punter might feel awkward, shy or unsure of what to do with their hands. Lucky, we've got some of Australia's top photographers to offer their tips.

"If you are taking a selfie, always try to hold your camera above your eye line, otherwise you'll look like you have no jaw definition which makes your face look a little strange," photographer Kane Vato told The Huffington Post Australia. He's the partner of and photographer for Pia Muehlenbeck (who has a cool 1.4 mil followers on Instagram), so it's safe to say he knows his stuff.

"Shadows can really hinder a photo if not used correctly, so I always suggest looking towards the light source in the room, or find a window or the sun. It'll also make any lines or wrinkles reduce too!"

Probably the most famous selfie of all time.
Probably the most famous selfie of all time.
Getty Images

Photographer Maree Homer suggests trying to get the middle spot in a group shot. She shoots a lot of interiors in which 'real people' are often featured, so she's used to directing non professionals who might be a bit nervous.

"If you're in a group photo always position yourself in the middle, as most mobile phone cameras have a wide angle lens and if you are positioned on the outer the lens distortion will make you look wider."

"I think for most people, front on is the most flattering but you need to work out what your best angle is. The camera always sees things differently to the naked eye so don't be shy just play around with different angles until you find one that works for you," Homer said.

It's important to consider your posture too, and work out what to do with your hands.

"Posture can convey body language through a photo so be aware that if you sit upright, you'll actually look a lot more confident," Vato said.

Even celebs get excited by the idea of a good selfie.
Even celebs get excited by the idea of a good selfie.
Al Powers/Invision/AP

"As for hands, I always recommend a prop of some sort. If you are in a social situation, something as simple as holding a drink, or even your phone, will make you feel more comfortable and your hands will take care of themselves. Girls have the added advantage of often times carrying a clutch or purse. Holding a purse with both hands always looks good, and it's cute too.

Homer suggests trying to relax as much as possible.

"Relax your shoulders, ease the tension in your face and get into a position that you feel comfortable with. Make sure your clothes are well fitting as loose baggy clothing can make you look larger than you really are. You can alleviate this by turning your body slightly to the side. If you're still stuck for a pose, browse through magazines and see how models position themselves," Homer said.

When it comes to your facial expression, don't force it.

"Your smile That really depends on how you feel about it. For years I had braces so my go-to smile was a closed mouth grin. Typically though, looking straight into the camera and letting out a little 'ha ha' (yes actually making the noise!) whilst smiling gives an ever so natural smile and makes it look like you are really enjoying having your photo taken too," Vato said.

With regards to lighting, Natural is always best

"Avoid flash, especially the LED flashes on a phone. Despite the advertising, they really aren't too good. I am a fan of the Lumee phone light case, it's a particularly good addition to own," Vato said.

A Lumee case is used on smart phones to illuminate the face.
A Lumee case is used on smart phones to illuminate the face.
Getty Images for BET

"I'd also avoid strong, harsh light and stick to overcast, flat lighting as this will eliminate bags under the eyes and give you an even skin tone," adds Homer.

Lastly, Vato suggests sending time to work out your look. Sounds wanky, but everyone does it.

"I suggest you find 'your look'. Lots of people, even professional models, have 'a look' that's tried and tested at home in front of the mirror that they know looks best. Take 10 minutes, take a million selfies and review them. When you find your favourite practice being able to 'get that look' every time you take a photo. Within an hour, you'll have a winning look imprinted in your mind for those moments when someone pushes a camera in your face," Vato said.

No one is immune.
No one is immune.
AFP/Getty Images

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