One of the times when we’re most self-conscious of our smiles is when someone pulls out a camera. It always seems like our smiles never look right in pictures. Some of that is the stress of being in the spotlight. This issue is especially important now that we’re going into the holiday season where we’ll be taking many pictures with our friends and family.
But there are also things you can do to make sure your smile looks its best in pictures. Here are a few tips to help you get the best smile in photos.
It helps to be prepared. Especially these days when everyone is carrying a camera with them everywhere, you never know when you’re going to suddenly be captured and posted to Facebook or Instagram, or get tweeted for everyone to see. So it’s a good idea to keep your smile in mind when you’re deciding on makeup choices.
When choosing lipstick, avoid anything that tends toward the yellow, since this will make your teeth look yellow. Avoid gold, orange, and any reds that tend toward orange like scarlet or vermillion. Eye makeup can make a big difference for your smile, too. Remember, a Duchenne smile (also called a true smile) is as much about the eyes as the mouth. Define your brows and lashes to help your eyes shine.
And remember, even if you don’t wear makeup, a nude lip gloss can give your lips a little shine that will help your smile to stand out.
The body has a natural design that looks best when it’s in its most natural position: standing upright. When you slouch or contort for a picture, parts of your face and neck can crumple or bulge in weird ways and that can interfere with the way you look.
A straight posture helps everything fall where it should.
Tilt Your Head Slightly
We know this seems contrary to the previous advice, and there’s a little bit of judgment and experimentation you have to exercise here to maximize your results. But, in general, tilting your head slightly to the left or right can affect the way light from sources that are orthogonal (straight on or straight down) plays across your face. It adds interest, texture, and depth to your face, and it can make you look much more attractive.
Avoid tilting your head too much, and never tilt your head downward, as this will definitely cause your neck to bunch.
People look best when their smiles seem natural, not posed or forced. There are many great rituals that people use to get a natural smile. This photographer’s blog made a short video to highlight some good smile tricks. Some of them are,
- Close your eyes before smiling
- Don’t say “cheese,” say “money”
- Think about something that makes you happy
- Be crazy for a moment before the picture
Some of the others are more relevant for professional photo sessions, but they can also be useful for everyday shots.
Be Confident in Your Smile
Part of the problem with our smiles in pictures is that we often defeat ourselves with a self-fulfilling prophecy. We think we don’t have an attractive smile, and, lo and behold, that’s what comes up in pictures. Don’t forget to account for the fact that selfies may not represent your smile accurately.
Try to feel good about your smile. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. And it’s what people want to see in the picture.
Of course, if your smile has problems, it can be hard to have that confidence. If you’re unhappy because your smile is discolored, teeth are chipped, you have cavities, or your gums are unhealthy, then it’s time to do something about it.