How to Be Photogenic Phenom

There are some very, very unfortunate pictures of Femilady’s face out there. I’ve had enough bad pics that I know what to avoid:

  • putting my big face next to one of my best friend’s itty bitty face
  • drinking too much red wine so my teeth look purple
  • drinking too much so my eyes are closed or crossed
  • smiling so hard that my face is all cheeks and dimples

I could go on and on, but let’s get into some tips for taking a “Facebook-Twitter-Myspace-Instagram” worthy photo.

It’s holiday season, so there are bound to be quite a few photo ops.

At my parents’ holiday party, my sister, her bestie, my sister-in-law and I have ugly-scary-creepy ‘model’ photo ops that are equal parts terrifying, ridiculous, and embarrassing. There are a lot of “don’ts” lurking in those photos…see right for reference.

In an effort to be more positive and provide some “dos”, let’s consult Femilady’s Beauty Bible, the almighty InStyle.

<Here's InStyle’s break down the art of post-worthy photos.

Master a Signature Smile
A wide grin radiates warmth—but if it’s not your sexiest look, take a lesson from Kate Bosworth and go for something smaller and more mysterious. Once you’ve found your most alluring option, practice getting it just right. Take a deep breath and smile as you exhale, keeping your jaw open and unclenched so your face is relaxed.

Do the Sexy Scrunch
“The camera tends to shrink hair in photos,” says photographer Patrick McMullan. To compensate, make like Zoe Saldana and dig your fingers into your crown to scrunch hair right before the shot. This little move—a classic model trick—makes hair look thicker and less static (goodbye, helmet head).

Keep Your Head Up
This will help avoid the dreaded double-chin effect. And make sure the camera lens is at eye level or above. If someone shoots you from below, you’ll look so bloated, everyone will think you just chugged soy sauce.

Snap Out of It!
When confronted with deer-in-the-headlights subjects, photographers often ask people to do something silly (“Jump around! Whip your hair!”) to loosen them up. If you don’t feel comfortable channeling Willow Smith, look away for a moment. Think of something funny, then come back smiling just before the picture is taken.

Embrace Cloud Cover
The diffused light of an overcast day is actually ideal for photography. Stuck with blue skies? Fake softer light by using the camera’s flash setting in sunlight—it brightens and evens out skin tone.

Angle Your Body
Facing the camera straight on is rarely flattering. Celebrities like Blake Lively, Jennifer Hudson, Bar Refaeli and Eva Longoria often stand at a more slimming three—quarter angle, extending one leg out in front, pivoting, and planting the corresponding hand on the hip. (So, left leg out, left hand on hip; right leg out, right hand on hip.) The result is a long, diagonal line.

Have a Rosy Outlook
Makeup artists swear that a pop of pink on the cheeks makes everyone look better.

Clean and Correct
Apply under eyes and on the outer corners of the nose and lips for a fresh, clean looking complexion.

Brighten Your Smile
Infused with blue undertones, this balm produces the illusion of fuller lips and whiter teeth. Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Lip Gloss, $20.