Thursday, September 13, 2012

TEN tips to look good in EVERY photo!

These days any photo taken anywhere can end up online in just a few seconds, and live forever, whether you want that or not!  That's why it's so important to take a great picture the first, and every time. (All shots below are amateur photos and all are used with permission).

Here are my TEN tips learned from years of posing:
  • FIRST and foremost...With digital cameras many people hold the camera low when taking a photo. They think they have to do this to look at the screen. They don't. This is the WORST angle possible and can make anyone look bad. It creates a double chin and adds weight to the subjects. Don't let the picture taker hold the camera below chin level. It's best to hold the camera at the height of the subject's heads and then tilt the camera down from the top at an angle. This is the most flattering to all.

Karen Wendt, natural light, pleasant background, waist up
  • Whenever possible have pictures taken with NO flash. Flash, even with today's camera flash delays can still make eyes red, faces pale, and hair off color. Natural sunlight especially with a partly cloudy cover is the best light for pictures. If the sun is bright make sure the sun is behind you, and not the subjects of the photo.

  • Have photos taken of you from the waist up. Full body shots are best left to the pros. If you are going to be in a full body shot, twist your whole body 1/4 to camera at the shoulder and stick one foot out in front of you. This breaks up the line giving your body dimension and thinning you out. For guys, make sure your shoulders are straight and put your weight on one foot more than the other, this will give you a casual line so you don't look like you're in a police line up.
Good casual guy shot, Bob!
  • If you are not wearing make up or just tired grab a pair of sunglasses then apply lipstick or lip gloss. Quick fix!
Anna Wendt after make up has worn off on the set of
"Now You See Me"
  • Open your mouth slightly in the photo and don't press your teeth together. Leaving a tiny space between your upper and lower teeth enhances your cheekbones and pulls up your chin in the process! Do not say "cheese"....say "eeeease" instead, this will help you remember this tip.
Julie Lumpkins...casual nature shot
  • Make your background pleasant and keep it simple; a tree, blue sky, even a brick wall or old barn can be nice if its all that's behind you. Don't stand closely in front of your background. Stand at least 2 feet away to give the photo depth and to avoid the "mug shot" effect.
  • If you are in a picture where the flash has to be used don't look directly at the camera but slightly above it. This will reduce red eye.
  • Never ever sit down on a sofa or soft chair in a photo if possible! It will make you look heavy and dumpy. If you sit in a chair make it a dining chair, a stool, a side chair, and sit at a slightly different angle rather than head on, giving the shot personality. If you must sit on a sofa sit on the edge!
Anna Wendt seated pose
  • If you are in a picture with two or more people do not lean on the other people and try to keep your hands OFF their shoulders. This way, if someone wants to crop the photo for your use or someone else to highlight just one person, this can be done without a strange hand stuck to a shoulder!
Kelly Osbourne, Celebrity Host, Karen Wendt and Anna Wendt Host Stand Ins
Miss USA Pageant 2012, (example of 4th person cropped out)
  • Remember there are some FREE basic photo edit programs that offer quick and easy color correct, crop, exposure, even minor airbrushing. Some you can download and some come with your camera and smart phone software. Taking the few extra minutes to do some quick edits makes all the difference!

Make a deal with your friends like I have. If you look outright "bad" in a photo (or they do), delete it or at least edit it as best you can! That's what friends are for.

Say "eeeease"!

Copyright 2012  Anna Wendt


  1. I have never known how to take a good picture. People have even teased me about my awful posture in photos. Yesterday I tried using your tips and I can't believe the difference. One of the photos I look like I've lost 10 pounds. I am really surprised by this. I was doing everything wrong. I've learned you can flatter yourself; if you pay attention. Thx~

  2. What are some of the free photo editing software out there?