Photogenic is a word that you should be familiar with by now.
I bet there were a lot of occasions when somebody said … Darn, wish I was more photogenic or that picture looks good you are such a photogenic person.
In short words, a photogenic is a person who looks attractive in photos. How do you look good in a photo or say be photogenic?
There are a lot of factors that determine whether you are photogenic or not, for example, poses, angles, facial mimics, and much more.
In this article, we will discuss what makes a person photogenic.
Without further a doo, let’s start.
Photogenic vs. Non-Photogenic People
What Makes a Person Photogenic?
Let me answer your biggest concern right away, No, you are not “ugly”, if you can’t take a good picture simply means you are not photogenic.
As I mentioned above, being photogenic simply means looking good and natural in pictures. Some people synonym it with being physically attractive/good-looking, which is wrong.
You have no clue how many good-looking people I’ve seen that look awful in pictures. Even vice-versa, an average person looks like a 10 in pictures, just because they were good at posing and finding the right angles.
Having a natural non-forced smile, finding the right angle, and taking the right poses are the essential things that make a person photogenic.
What Makes a Person Non-Photogenic?
Simply put, it is the opposite of the above.
You probably had friends telling you that you look good today, and when they take a picture, you actually find yourself looking “awful” and awkward.
You simply don’t know how to pose correctly and can’t find the right angles.
The 3D and 2D Effect
You should be well aware that photos show us in a 2-Dimensional way, right?
Meanwhile, in real life, we see everything in a 3-dimensional way. That includes people too.
Those are the main factors that contribute to how we see someone.
The good thing about photos being 2D means that we can manipulate reality, and show only what we want in pictures. Basically, our most beautiful features.
The reason why a person appears better looking in real life is due to the brain. It sees the whole view in all aspects and ignores the imbalances or imperfections.
Besides that, our eyes can balance the light and the shadows way better than a camera can. I bet you had the chance to be in a club, you and your friends look good, but as soon as you take a picture with the flash on … oh god…
Anyway, what I mean is that both the camera and our brain have their own way of dividing things.
The “Secrets” of Becoming a Photogenic Person
Some people are just born photogenic, they pretty much look good in every single picture, even in those instant ones. However, some are made.
You can become one too, just make sure you follow the following tips.
Finding The Right Angle
George Clooney is known for his symmetrical face. However, the majority of the population has an asymmetrical face, there’s no perfection.
So what I mean by this is that you want to find the best angle possible for your face and to show the side that looks best or is more appealing than the opposite one. Lenses tend to mess things a lot, imagine what they can do to an asymmetrical face.
Don’t panic though, it is completely normal, some new studies even show that an asymmetrical face tends to be more attractive at some point.
All you have to do is find your “best side”.
Here’s an example of how George Clooney looks across the right and left sides.
Dress In a Stylish Way
Once you figure out your best side is time to pay attention to your clothing.
This is a really underrated part of being photogenic.
Having fashion sense drastically increases your attractiveness, also your picture outcome.
I am not saying to be flashy or flamboyant this will ruin the picture since your clothing won’t blend with the background. You also don’t have to wear things from top-tier expensive brands. Just make a simple, yet good-looking combination.
An alternative way would be to get one of the best photography backdrops and combine your clothes with it.
It is normal to feel awkward and not know how to pose, after all, you are not a professional model.
Just try to relax and try different things, like looking away from the camera lens, in order to feel more comfortable.
The pose I would mostly suggest would be the sitting one.
Try to get a chair or just sit on some stairs and relax your body. This way you will know what to do with your hands too and not just feel awkward with them.
Try to be as neutral as possible and don’t put pressure on yourself, it’s just a camera.
Not only does smiling make you look more attractive it also makes you look more youthful.
Do yourself a favor and smile more.
I mean smile, a genuine one, do not force or fake it since there’s no effect.
When we are in front of the camera we tend to fake a smile which can be told easily. However, when we smile genuinely every facial feature of ours, rises.
The mouth corner goes deeper and rises, the eyes “shrink” and the cheeks also lift up.
Below you will find an example of how a real smile looks compared to a forced one
Different Photographing Methods
There are tons of things that you can do with your camera or phone to get some good-looking photos.
Besides choosing the best settings for your camera, you can also try positioning the camera at different angles.
For example, if you want to look slimmer you can bend the camera down.
If needed, you can also get a selfie stick. That’s if you want to take some sleek selfies. Having the camera at a distance is the key. The camera lens tends to distort your face, keeping the lens at a distance still won’t show the real you, but at least it won’t make your nose look big.
Since you got the good news that you can actually become photogenic all is left is practice.
Practice makes everything perfect, so is the case with photography.
The ideal example would be models, I am sure that a big portion of them didn’t have completely photogenic skills, but they learned them along the way.
If they did, you can do it.
This is it, until next time, enjoy!
Photographer & Writer
I specialize in landscape, street and portrait photography and I have been featured in various galleries and publications. I believe that photography is a way to tell stories!