A Professional Photographer Reveals 15 Simple but Effective Tricks to Always Look Great in Pictures

Bonnie Rodríguez is a journalist who offers customized photography services. Her passion, however, goes beyond just taking pictures. She likes to teach people how to be photogenic by using examples taken from their own social media shared content. She basically shares easy tips and explains how to feel and look more comfortable when you’re in front of the camera. From slightly changing your pose, to adding some significant detail that makes your picture special, Rodríguez has found many simple ways to stage and take great pictures. But that’s exactly why she’s a professional, because she knows how you can improve your pictures and, luckily for us, she shared her knowledge with us.

And from our conversation with her, the Bright Side team collected a few of the best tips this pro uses every day to make great portraits. She also shared some of the poses that can potentially make you look amazing. Take a look!

1. Use light to your advantage when taking a selfie.

Make sure that the source of the light in a picture is located in front of the face you’re trying to capture, in this case it’s yours. This will help you to get a picture that has a more natural feel. In later stages, it will also make it easier for you to edit your picture and improve its quality if you like using retouching software. In contrast, when taking a selfie with light coming from the back, the whole scene loses brightness, detail, and makes editing much more difficult.

2. Find and use lines in the photo composition.
© Bonnie Rodríguez Krzywicki / Instagram, © Bonnie Rodríguez Krzywicki / Instagram

A useful technique for both men and women is to create triangles with their bodies. This produces a more interesting, eye-catching, photographic composition. Another option is to use the surrounding lines to frame the subject, as seen in the second picture we selected. There you can see how the lines of the balcony were used to direct the observer’s eye to the person being photographed.

3. Create a powerful look, even when sitting down.

When sitting, you can create a double triangle, as well as raise your torso, like the one you can see in the second pose (image on the right). This way, you can create a powerful look, even if you’re sitting down. If you cover your body, like you see in the first pose (image on the left), observers tend to perceive you as an insecure person because that’s what your body language is communicating.

4. Go into fashion magazine shoot mode using a simple trick.

If you want to look like a celebrity whose picture came right out of a magazine, there’s an easy trick you can use: go for a monochromatic look. Wear the same color clothes that match the background to evoke an editorial kind of touch.

5. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to create voluminous hair.

Some simple details can make all the difference between a normal picture and a professional one. One of them is to place a hand behind your hair, to create the impression that it has more volume. Such a simple trick, right? But it works wonders.

6. Capture motion

The flat, motionless pictures, as seen in the first pose (picture on the left), tend to be perceived as boring. A great picture is one that captures motion, like Rodríguez did in the second pose (image at right). In order to do that you can simply take one step forward and one step backward, for example.

7. Create visual layers

Instead of using just a single, flat visual layer, use depth to your advantage by creating angles and diagonals. Look, for example, at the way the 2 girls are posing in the second picture (the right picture).

8. Use angles to define your silhouette.

When posing for a picture, it is better to stand at a slight angle instead of right in front of the camera. This is especially important if you want to make your silhouette look slimmer.

9. Couple pic: the essentials

3 basic tips: get closer, one should hold the other by the waist, and make sure you choose a pose that creates a triangle.

10. Use your hands to create movement.

Today, posing without doing anything can convey a certain sense of discomfort and stiffness. A simple piece of advice to avoid this is to move your hands a bit, to create an impression of ease.

11. Make your accessories stand out.

Highlighting an accessory like a handbag, earrings, or a necklace can also be useful when you want to turn a normal picture into a more professional one. To add rhythm to your composition, you can simply take a step back.

12. Lift your head a little when lying down.

A tip for when taking a picture while you’re lying down is to avoid lying completely flat on the ground. By raising your head a little, your hair will fall naturally. You can also add some movement to the picture with your hands, like we said in previous points.

13. Take care of size differences.

When you’re posing with someone who’s very clearly taller than you, you want to avoid creating an off-balance sensation. An easy way to solve this problem is to have the smaller person take a mini-step forward.

14. Lift your chin a bit when taking a portrait.

For a professional-style frontal face shot, Rodríguez advises you to lift your chin a little (not too much) to create a stylish and elegant impression.

15. Pulling off the water effect

To pull off the special water reflection effect, you have to:

Pour some water on the floor.
Turn the phone upside down to better capture the effect.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to look better in pictures? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share these tips with someone you know would like to improve his or her look in a picture.