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If you’re one of those people who always look great in photos then you are what’s known as ‘photogenic’. Someone or something that is photogenic looks good on camera regardless of lighting and other conditions.
There is something oddly charismatic about people who are photogenic and more often than not this is not directly related to the normal societal definitions of ‘attractiveness’. Although it just comes naturally to some people, there are actually ways that you can improve how you look on camera and become more photogenic!
What is the opposite of photogenic?
The opposite of a photogenic person is someone who doesn’t look good on camera. This may be the case despite that person being extremely attractive in ‘real life’ but for any number of reasons they just don’t photograph well!
What makes someone photogenic?
It’s quite an elusive quality and difficult to specifically define exactly what it is that makes someone photogenic. You might have noticed that some of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood are rather strange looking and not what you might normally define as ‘attractive’, but nonetheless, they look absolutely great in photos and on camera! Similarly, someone can be very beautiful but not photogenic!
There are some universal features that tend to make someone photogenic. Strong cheekbones and angular, well defined features often look great on camera because they catch the light well, creating pleasing contrasts and a good overall look.
People with round faces don’t tend to be so photogenic, although there are of course exceptions to this general rule. The main reason for this is that the light reflects in all directions from off of a rounder face which means that the features will not be so well defined and the overall look on camera can end up appearing blotchy.
How do you become more photogenic?
It can be a huge confidence booster if you look great in photos, but if you don’t always look your best in pictures then there are a few practical things that you can do to help yourself become more photogenic!
- Practice, practise practise! That’s right, you really can practise to become more photogenic. To start off you can use a mirror to get an idea of how you are going to look in a photo, try different poses and become aware of the features on your face and how they come across in the mirror. Alternatively you can use the self timer feature on your camera and pose for photos. Once you’ve taken some photos look back over them and try to notice what is looking good and what isn’t. Then go back and try again making a conscious effort to emphasize and repeat the looks that work. You might feel a little bit self conscious at first when you start to ‘practise’ taking pictures of yourself but remember nobody needs to know that you have been practicing on your own!
- Confidence is a crucial part of being photogenic. Once you have been practicing taking photos of yourself and learning ways that you can emphasize your better features and pose in the most flattering ways your confidence levels will naturally start to rise and in no time at all you will be feeling very confident in photos and looking much more photogenic!
- It’s always a good thing to show some emotion in photographs because this will really bring out your personality and help to show the elusive qualities that make a great photo.
- Before you take a photo take a little time to prepare yourself. Don’t be afraid to be expressive but at the same time try to maintain your poise while you are being photographed!
- While you are practicing taking better photos you need to be aware of your ‘best angles’. Very few people have a symmetrical face and we all look better from some angles than others. When you see yourself in pictures make a mental note of the angles at which you look your best and then in future photos pose in a way that allows you to present those angles to the camera. It might seem a little premeditated but models, actors and other people who are often in front of the camera all know their own best angles and make good use of this knowledge!
- You can try squinting a little bit in photos or ‘smiling with your eyes’. This is the advice that Tyra Banks from America’s Next Top Model has given in the past and obviously uses to great effect. You can practise this by trying to smile without moving your lips and you’ll find that your eyes immediately brighten up and will really come out well in photos!
- Don’t stand facing the camera directly but instead pose on an angle. If you want to create the impression that your body is smaller than it is for example, then you can pose with your head leaning forward and to the side. Tilting your head a little bit and turning slightly away from the camera will give your body a more relaxed and natural look which is often highly photogenic.
It’s undoubtedly a difficult thing to learn but with a bit of practise, confidence and self belief you really can become more photogenic!
Beauty is truly in the Eye of the Beholder.
I knew early on that I was not photogenic. I obviously love photography, but I do not like appearing in one. I have taken thousands of photos in the streets of Philadelphia, but have appeared only in a few of them. Physical attractiveness and how photogenic people are can often be a sensitive subject for obvious reasons, but as with all subjective things, the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Standards of beauty have changed over time and vary from one culture to another, however, that said, there are certainly things you can do to make yourself more photogenic and ultimately look better in photographs.
You can experiment with different poses and find easy and comfortable ways to really bring out the best in you. Confidence is always an attractive trait and it really does shine through in a photograph, so be yourself, smile and use your better angles to your advantage and you’ll be looking more photogenic in pictures in no time at all!
Are you photogenic?