Not Photogenic or Photogenic Enough?

So not all of us are blessed with those good looks. You know those killer eyes, that flawless complexion, that cute expression? Even in a badly taken photograph, the person comes out looking cute or even scary cute. They are cute none the less. Some of us, look alien or even ugly. Some of us are unrecognisable in our photos. We look so different from how we are in real life. People keep saying to us, oh but you look much better in real life!

Then there are some people who are not so good looking, but their photos come out really good!! That’s what is called when you say someone is photogenic. Their face is made for camera. They have that look and their eyes say a story. Most of us, have trouble with photographs. There have been cases where people have developed a phobia of cameras and/or their photos being taken, because they don’t like the way their photos turn out. They hesitate when someone tells them that they are going to upload their photo on to Facebook. They develop mental issues.

So, how can you improve how you look in your photographs? Is there a way? Yes there is. Small few things if a person does, their photo will come out looking really good. I went through my mind and came up with a few tips that I wanted to share with you all. Just so all of us have better looking photos of us that we can proudly gaze upon and share with other people.

1) If you are going to use your iPhone or Blackberry to take your picture, do not use your flash. Do not take a picture of you at night, indoors with minimal lighting. The picture will come out grainy and you won't look good. Also if you are going to take a picture in a dark room, with just light enough to glow your face, in that case use flash. Otherwise your picture will come out ghostly white and faded.
2) It is always best to take pictures of one's self using natural lighting, without flash. (I am speaking in non-professional terms. In professional terms, best would be studio lighting. 3 point lighting system and stuff.) However, since studio equipment and fancy cameras are not available to everyone, best alternative is to not use flash, but sunlight.

3) Do not take photos of yourself in extreme sunlight areas. Like outside where there's no shade. Use objects outside to bounce sunlight on your face to take pictures and this way your photos will come out good and there won't be any shadows around your eyes on the face. The picture won't be overexposed as well. Find a spot which has light enough, but not too much. I am sure you will be able to figure it out.

4) Every one person has this one particular pose that suits them really well. It seems like a mundane and boring thing to do, but take lots of pictures of you in different poses and angles. Find that one pose/angle which suits your face really well.

5) Whenever taking pictures of yourself, do not just take one picture. Take at least ten and then select whichever you think came out the best. Do not ever rely on just one photograph. If it didn't come out good, chances are you will be disappointed and would be too lazy to take out the camera and take your picture again and then upload it to the computer to view it.

6) Believe it or not, what camera you have does make a huge difference on how photographs turn out. A general rule of thumb is to avoid Panasonic etc. Stick to Sony and Canon for Point and Shoots or if you want to go for a DSLR, then recommendation is Nikon. Although Nikon also makes really good point and shoots.

7) Do not just instantly take your picture. Find the few seconds to hold the camera steady while doing a self portrait or photograph, or if your friend is taking a picture of you, tell them to hold the camera steady up to 20 seconds after they have pressed the shutter button, to stop the photographs from becoming blurry.

8) Do not use high intensity flash in an already well lit area. Like a wedding or a party or outside. What will this do? This will cause Red Eye. In your photos your Corneas will look bloody red and that doesn't look that good.

9) Avoid taking pictures of yourself at night. The flash causes the face to look unnatural. The face is illuminated too much, while the background becomes completely dark.

10) Compose your photographs. Do not just take them at random. If you properly photograph yourself, even if there's some thing slightly wrong, it will be easier to edit later.

11) See what kind of makeup you are wearing when taking a picture. Some kinds of foundations look ghostly white when a flash is used on them at night. Some kinds of foundations highlight your facial pimples and acne even more in a photograph. Use photo ready makeup. When wearing makeup, it is generally a good idea to not use a flash. (Again I am not talking about a professional flash that camera men use, but a flash in a normal commercial camera).

Finally for now, the last point I would like to give is, invest in Adobe Lightroom or Paintshop Pro Photo X2. Slightly edit your photos. If there is red eye, you can do red eye reduction, you can correct the lighting in the pictures, sharpen them up a bit, crop them etc. Even the pro-photographers always shoot in Raw and then process their photos, so no harm in doing this. Hope these tips help.


  1. The post definitely helped! Although the tips have been written about countless times but I doubt people follow any of them.

    Second, I'd love to have you write up a post on the post-processing. What are the tips and tricks to take from photograph from good to great.


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