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5 Ways to Look More Photogenic in Portraits

Staff portrait of 3 business women in Guelph
Each of the women were photographed individually and merged together in Photoshop to create the perfect group portrait.

Ever had your picture taken and weren’t very happy with the way you looked?

This is very common, but it’s probably because you weren’t sure how to present yourself in the photograph.

There are a number of subtle things that people do to look their best in photos that you may not be aware of.

We’re going to cover 5 things you can do for your next portrait session that will instill more confidence in the way you present yourself.

After reading these tips we hope you end up with a wonderful and memorable portrait!

Hands on the hips.  

A common mistake many of us make to appear thinner in photos is to press our arms directly at our sides.

Instead of flattering the body, we are confining the figure, which might draw attention to the stomach area. Instead, place one or both hands on your hips to flatter the waistline and accentuate your natural curves.

Angling your body in addition to putting your hands on your hips is a useful combination to create not only an interesting and more engaging photo, but to look fabulous and appear more confident.

Sitting proper and standing straight.

Posture plays a big role in appearing photogenic.

When sitting on a chair or on a nice patch of grass in the park, it is important to roll your shoulders back and sit up straight to avoid slouching.

While sitting, try crossing your ankles to lengthen your body and appear slimmer – creating a more relaxed pose.

While standing, rolling your shoulders back is key to presenting yourself as confident and calm. Try imagining a string pulling through your body to the top of your head to keep your position poised, tall, and calm.

Chin should be up and out.

Though it might seem like an odd concept, it has been proven time and time again that this trick helps with the one thing many people want to avoid – the double chin effect.

To avoid the double chin, trying positioning your head slightly up and forward.

Doing this will elongate the neck and slim out the skin underneath the jawline, which will prevent drawing attention to any unflattering angles.

This trick should be combined with rolling the shoulders back so your posture appears confident.

Your head will already be slightly forward, and from there it will just be a matter of adjusting to the ideal position that you are comfortable with.

Avoid bulky clothing or mix it up a bit

A big misconception when it comes to being photographed is that bulky clothing will hide the parts that we feel the most uncomfortable with.

Though it may be more comforting, it can create an unflattering look since it can be hard to tell where the body ends and the clothes begin.

Instead, try mixing your baggier clothing with snug clothing options.

Not only will you still be able to feel comfortable, but it will also flatter your natural shape while displaying a happier and more positive look!

If you are wearing a short to medium length skirt, try pairing it with a long baggy top and throw a blazer over it for a complete look.

With pants, especially if they are wide-cut, it is best to pair them with a snug top.

A rule of thumb to draw attention away from an area is to wear the looser clothes on that area and tighter clothes on the area where you want to place more focus.

Wear solid, dark colours

When we think of slimming colours, black seems to be the most popular choice, and for good reason!

However, just because black is a slimming colour, it does not mean that this is the only option for you.

Dark colours give a nice interest to the photograph, even if it is subtle.

Navy, maroon, or even eggplant are excellent choices for creating a more photogenic portrait and will have a similar effect to black.

By wearing solid colours, it will draw the attention away from the body and focus more on the face, which is your most beautiful feature!

In addition, it is recommended to steer clear of patterns when possible, as this will have the opposite effect of dark colours.

Some options of solid colours that are flattering on most people would be any medium-toned blues and teals.


If you were wondering about how to look your best on the day of your portrait session, we hope that your questions have been answered with these strategies.

In addition to these tips, always remember that a smile and positive vibes are your best friend for looking good in a photo.

If you were thinking about getting a portrait taken soon, check out our portrait photography page to view rates or contact us at the studio to book your session!