Style & Beauty

4 Genius Tricks To Look Better In Photos Based On Your Body Type

These are great tips!

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Sometimes we can be our own worst critics, especially when we’re looking at ourselves in photographs.

Maybe you don’t like your smile or the way you’re standing. Or maybe photos from your friend’s wedding make you vow to never again wear anything remotely form-fitting.

Thoughts like this are all too common. So common, in fact, that decades of research has been conducted in an attempt to understand the science behind why so many people dislike pictures of themselves. It turns out it’s because of a psychological phenomenon called “mere exposure,” which basically means that we see ourselves more frequently in mirrors than in photos, so we develop a preference for what we look like in the mirror.

While it might not be possible to rewire your brain to prefer the way you look in pictures rather than mirrors, there are tricks you can use when you pose for photos that will bring out your best features (and downplay your less attractive ones). And it all comes down to positioning yourself the right way based on your body type.

1. Change Your Angle To Appear Slimmer

You’ve probably heard it said that the camera makes you look heavier. True or not, we do know that changing the way you stand can have a big impact on how you look in photos. Just watch the video below. By turning your body slightly—as opposed to facing the camera head on—you can appear thinner in photos. After angling yourself, shift your weight to your back foot. Voila—you just lost those 10 pounds the camera adds!

2. Avoid A Double Chin By Sticking Your Chin Out And Tilting Head Forward

This may feel a bit unnatural at first, but it’s all for the sake of preventing you from appearing to have a double chin. New York City photographer Peter Hurley, who also has modeling experience, explains how to execute this trick in the video below. He demonstrates how something as simple as moving your head forward can make a drastic difference in pictures.

3. Look Less Bulky With Strategic Arm Placement

Celebrities are no stranger to the camera, so you’ll notice them using this trick: Bend the arm that’s closest to the camera. Put your hand on your hip and point your elbow toward the camera. This strategic pose will make you appear thinner than leaving your arm flat against your body. If that feels too unnatural, try positioning your arm ever so slightly in front of your body instead.

red carpet photo
Getty Images | Jason Merritt

4. Coordinate Clothing With The Background For A Stronger Presence

Bill Hurter, author of “Portrait Photographer’s Handbook,” says that what you wear in a photo is important. If you’re taking a photo against a light-colored background, wearing light-colored clothing is your best bet.

“For a man, a light-colored sports coat will help fill him out; for a woman, fluffy dresses or blouses will disguise thin arms,” Hurter told LifeHacker.


RELATED: How This Teacher Dropped 115 Pounds After Deciding Against Surgery

Next time you find yourself in front of a camera, don’t scurry away or slink into the background. Just try these tips, which should help you look great and feel fabulous, too! And check out LifeHacker for more ways to strike your best post.