10 Ways to Look Less Bad in Photos

Look, I'm not a model or photographer. But when you're starting a business that relies on visuals, you quickly realize that the easiest, most accessible, and cheapest(!) subject to exploit/photograph is yourself. So hell, you just figure out a way to fake it!
To spare you some of the agony I've endured these past few months, I've made a list of 10 simple things you can do to make you look less bad in photos. Check it. <3

10. Crop out the lame shit

A big part of looking good in photos is cutting out the clutter so the camera can focus on your big awesome self. In an ideal world, we'd all have access to an Uber for helicopters so we can fly to cool, remote locales, but let's be real—most of the time we're standing in front of a kinda-white wall trying to capture a good hair day before the goddamn lighting changes again. This is why the crop tool is your best friend. Snap the photo, bring it into an editing program (I'm too broke for Photoshop so I use the web-based pixlr.com instead), zoom in on the part with the most visual impact, then crop that shit. <3

9. Turn sideways slightly 

This one is old school. I've got hips and tend to look bottom-heavy in photos, so when I want the emphasis to be on my top half, I do this little trick. Face the camera, but turn your hips a little to the side and let out a little fart. It's subtle but if you look, you can see I'm doing it in the shot above.  

8. Do something

Swing your handbag, whine to your boyfriend (like I'm doing in the shot above), sip warm pig's blood from a straw, just do something. Save the big dramatic movements for a professional photographer (those krav maga high kicks are tough to capture correctly), and instead think subtle gestures. I won't lie: you're going to get some awkward shots, weird facial expressions especially, so just make sure you take a buttload of photos and you'll be good. You'd be surprised at how many personality-filled, "effortless" looks you end up with just by moving like a real human.

7. Look to the side

Just keep your body facing forward, and turn your face to the side. It's tough but give it a try! It's these kind of small yet profound body movements that make for a compelling photo.

6. Smize

Tyra Banks is ridic, but she did coin this useful term which means "smile with your eyes." Those little crinkles that show up around a person's eyes when they "smize" really does make their smile look genuine. Please note my conscious decision not to use this method in the below photograph.

5. Get handsy

Use your hands to guide your viewer's eye. In the shot above, I place one hand on the top of the jacket and another on the bottom. This helps create a pleasing S-curve that moves the eye down and elongates the subject. Strategically placed hot sauce/blood/body fluid stains are equally effective.

4. Tell a story

The lady moto rider on this shirt is proper and demure, but everyone knows Harley Davidson is a brand for dirty old skids. I played up the badass vibe by letting my hair get good and scraggly, and showing off my righteous tattoos. Even better would be if I was riding a real motorcycle in this photo, but since I prefer to appropriate looks from subcultures without really understanding the depth, nuance, or history of their cultures, I chose to skip it this time :p

3. Pose with a pet

There's that whole thing about pets and babies being tough subjects, but I find an animal's unexpected behaviours usually lead to some surprisingly great photo ops. Plus nothing relaxes a person more than hanging out with a rad animal buddy, especially when you have no human friends, amirite?!

2. Be confident

You're a babe! Do whatever it takes to make you feel most like yourself. Me I like blasting some T Swift or Cannibal Corpse to put me in the playful, rebellious mood I feel best in. You do you and it'll always come across in the photos.

1. Wear sunglasses

Hiding your most expressive feature is hands down the easiest way to look cooler in a photo. Emotions are lame! Take it from me: it's much better to affect the appearance of a person who is dead inside. <3 
Kate ReidComment