How To Look Good in Photos

Hi there and welcome back to Stylefyle — I’m Jen Su.  With the recent Oscars, and Fashion Week from New York to London — plus of course, our social media — it’s all about how to look good in photos.  

I mean, duh, who wants to look bad, right?

But there are some clever tips and tricks, to make sure you look your very best when posting that photo on Instagram or WeChat.  

We’re in a great time of our lives, where in the past, only those millionaire Hollywood movie stars could get their faces retouched for all their publicity shots.  Now — you, me, and anyone — can basically download an app on our smartphones that can make our wrinkles, warts, baby fat, shadows, and imperfections disappear.  The best thing, is that you won’t need to spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, Botox or Liposuction. 

So the goal is, that you don’t want to look over-photoshopped.  We Asians, myself included, I admit —  tend to smooth and lighten skin, and slim oneself, to the point that it looks unrealistic and too overdone.  

Look, there’s nothing wrong with tweaking and getting rid of a few unwanted lines and shadows — but when it gets to the point where you see the person in real life, and they look like a totally different person than in their Instagram photos — or that their nose is half missing and their features are distorted,  you know that it’s too over-done.  

The goal really should be, to look great and radiant — but not over-photoshop.  I’d even go a bit under — just to make sure you don’t get called out for looking to “plastic-y”.  The worst is, if your online dating profile is super photoshopped, where you’ve got no warts or pimples, you've slimmed and elongated yourself to the point where you’re six feet tall in the photo but actually just four feet nine in person, and a little bigger around the edges, than your photo shows.  Don’t be surprised if that potential special someone, looks at you and feels disappointed and even, cheated.  

Make sure that your beauty app settings, are on the lowest setting, so that any editing and tweaking, is done incrementally, and not too drastically.  Sometimes those face and body slimming techniques, will cause the surrounding parts of the photo, to “bend in”, so to say.  If you tweak too hard, most people will see how the background’s bent in to accommodate.  

Lighting is really important for looking good in photos.  The general rule of thumb, is to make sure the light source is shining on you when taking your photo.  So for instance if you’re facing a window of bright light, the person taking the photo of you will have their back at the window and you will have the light shining on your face.  Try to aim for soft lighting — stand in front of a window for some indirect window light, a well-lit but semi-overcast sky, big lighting panels like what would be used in a Hollywood movie.  

Taking photos in the middle of the day with harsh sunlight on your face, gets all the warts and wrinkles in full view — so try to avoid that if you can. Also, when you take photos of someone against a window or there’s a light shining behind them, their face is totally dark in the photo — so just remember you want to face the other way and get the light shining on you!  

Experiment with different looks, outfits and angles. 

The best selfies are taken outside at sunset.  It’s a perfect time to take in the soft, warm lighting around you.  Also, standing in front of a large sliding glass door, or large window, gets you that really wonderful natural light for the best selfies.  Outside, trees are your best friend and the shade — can block some of the sun and help to create beautiful light for your photo.  Under a big tree or next to a tall building is a great place for photos.  

When you’re in a group, try to stand in the middle, so that you don’t get on the very end of the group photo, which avoids “big arms” and a big face due to the angle that the photo is taken. 

If you’re just taking group photos, you can wear a bit more makeup — but if you’re doing anything close up, try to stick to a more matte, more natural look.  And fix your hair!

Your Stylefyle recap on how to look great in photos:  1) Soft lighting  2) Take photos at sunset!  3) Stand in the middle for your group photos 4) Experiment with different looks; and 5) Don’t over-photoshop yourself — sometimes a few little imperfections and a bit of extra baby fat, show that you’re human — learning to love yourself for who you are, will always be the best!

Follow us on Instagram @stylefyle3 — thanks for joining us on TeenTime

2020-02-03 by Jennifer Su
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