7 Ways To Look Better In Photos

11 years ago by

I’m the opposite of photogenic. The camera hates me, which is upsetting cause I love her very much, pfffff tough love, I’m telling you.

No, no, no, shhhhsh, don’t go telling me I’m wrong. I didn’t say I’m ugly. I’m not talking about that at all. I’m just saying I’m not photogenic.

It’s just how it is. Some people capture the light just right, others don’t.

That’s why a girl could look amazing in a photo and then just so-so in real life, or the opposite. Ugly in photos, sublime in day to day life. Okay, some are beautiful in both, but we knew that already. It’s because there is no justice in the world. But we knew that too.

When you’re a photographer, it becomes even more clear… Taking a photo of someone photogenic takes about three minutes.

On the other hand, taking a photo of a non-photogenic person requires you to take your time. Learn their face, wait for the right light, put them at ease (non-photogenic people are so used to being ugly in pitctures that whenever they see a camera, they start to get nervous which is very bad… For the photo. Vicious circle.)

The thing is that we live in such a visual world that even if you’re totally fine with how you look, it’s tough to resign yourself to not liking yourself in every picture.
When you look bad on your passport, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Google, etc, in the end it gets a liiiiiiiiittle depressing.

Since I’m an ugly duckling in photos but Gisele in life (Bahahahaha! Of course Garance, yep, definitely), I thought today I’d share some of the tricks I’ve been forced to figure out (being tired of looking at pictures and thinking oh, look, I look like my grandma here! Oh and here, I look like the Big Lebowski! Oh, and here! I look like I am Tom Waits wearing a dress!) on how to be prepared when a camera is around. I used to think that looking bad in photos was just a fact of life… But there are some things you can do to change.

Okay, enough with the ramblings, HERE’S MY ADVICE.

All my advice here is predicated on the fact that the person taking your picture probably isn’t Scott Schuman or Peter Lindbergh or Bruce Weber. If one of them is taking your picture, let them do it all for you. You’ll be fine. Don’t even bother asking questions.

1/ Photoshop yourself.

Light used well is like natural photoshop.

When you’re inside, always stand facing wherever the light is coming from (the window) it will erase everything from your wrinkles to bags under your eyes.
Inside or outside, don’t go in direct sunlight.
It will cast intense shadows. Unless, of course, it’s very early morning or sunset, in which case the light is amazing, soft, and makes everything and everyone beautiful.

If none of these apply, find a spot where the light is a little more moderate (or wait for for an overcast day).

At night, it’s war because it all depends on your camera (and on the flash, the setup, and the ISO settings) so just try to control the other stuff, and by that I mean my other six other tips here.

2/ Powder your nose

Pat McGrath is the only one who can make shiny skin turn up good in pictures and it takes her hours. If you have shiny skin, grab a tissue and tap it on your T zone. It’s simple and works great.

Red or dark lipstick isn’t very photogenic, it can make your lips look thinner and give a pinched look. Transparent lip gloss, on the other hand, is perfect.

Smoky eye is a miracle as well and works 100% of the time in photos. It gives an interesting contrast and a touch of mystery.

Oh, I was about to forget : moisturize ! Legs, arms, hands, feet…
It’s a big thing on shootings and changes everything. My favorite lotion for the perfect voluptuous shine is the Crème de Corps, from Kiehl’s.

3/ Be a poser.

It hit me the other day when I was reading Bazaar and look at an article about Ulyana Sergeenko who, walks around to the shows as if the entire world is her catwalk.
She’ll take the same pose for hours, working on the perfect pose for each outfit (Have you seen the photo with the overalls and stripped sweater? Try and find me a photo of that outfit where she doesn’t have her back to the camera) and honestly sometimes, it gets close to ridiculous.

Yes, but. All the photos of her are perfect.

I’m not saying to follow her example, but it doesn’t hurt to figure out and master a few poses that make you look good.

Okay okay, I’ll give you mine.
For close-ups, looking over my shoulder is cute. Or something a little more simple, chin down, big smile, open eyes.
Whenever I try to give the camera a “sexy look,” I end up looking ridiculous.
For a full body shot, I try to face the camera, because I have boobs, a profile shot can make you gain 20 pounds right there. What. It’s true! I swear!!!

4/ Figure out your best profile.

We all have one. It’s usually the left one.
Know which one is which and it changes EVERYTHING.
You can ask a friend to take a few pictures to figure it out because it’s hard to do it with a mirror.
Once you’ve found it, use and abuse it.

Celebrities do that all the time. If I am ever interviewing one, she’ll say to me, “Do you mind if I sit on this side instead? It’s my good side!” and they should – it’s their job to look good. I, on the other hand, have to say ok ! and sit on my bad profile side. Oh well ;)

5/ Ask yourself : where is the camera?

If you’re standing and the camera is above you, you’re gonna get squished and lose 5 good inches, so not fair.
It’s best to have the camera at chest height to avoid any deformations.

If you’re seated, however, a shot from above is a Godsend.
Lift your head toward the camera which is usually where the light is coming from (remember the light Photoshop effect) and it hits all the right angles, defines your jaw which and can thin you up a bit (and seeing as the goal in life of the modern woman is to look thin, you know…).

This is also my number one advice for selfies : look up!

6/ Play.

Learn to love yourself. Have fun. It’s hard to do but to be beautiful in photos you have to play with the camera a little. Move, laugh, do something silly, make a sexy face.
Don’t keep the same overly frozen smile for five minutes while photos are being taken. Try to find different emotions within you, crack yourself up, chat it up, have someone tell you a story, move.

So, play the game, BUT….

7/ Say no

Sometimes, conditions are perfect for a horrible photo.
You’ve just spent the whole night out, you’re exhausted, the light is shitty, you’re wearing the Big Lebowski clothes (it happens to everyone), you’re sweating, your hair looks like it just spent three days at Katz, oh, well, it’s just not your day.

Say no to the photo. Simple as that.

It’s tough, I know. I could never say no to a photo at first. We all want to please others and end up saying to ourselves “Oh pffff, who cares if I look ugly in photos?!” but when you can, saying no is sometimes the best solution.

Ok, if you really can’t say no, do what the fashion editors do : put on the biggest sunglasses you can find. Yes, even at night. So what?

Ok, I think that’s everything I know. Have I forgotten anything? Any questions you want to ask?
Oh, and, just a little survey… Do you consider yourself to be photogenic?


Add yours
  • Ah, Merci pour ce post!! Ca fait un moment que je l’attendais …. car je suis comme toi, pas du tout photogénique !!!!!Gros bisous

  • Merci pour les tips! C’est génial :-)
    Paris-NYC Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Fashion Blog
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    Xoxo Cory

  • Oh, I’m definitely not photogenic. As long as a picture is taken from the front, it’s bearable, but from the side my face looks so strange! And it’s never like that when I look in the mirror!! I’m gonna try out your advice :)

  • Right!! A photo front-on looks soooo strange for my face. I am like, wait wait wait, why do I not see the goddess I usually see in the mirror? /sarcasm

  • Trop drôle, trop bien, trop vrai. Quel talent ! Vous devriez faire blogeuse

  • Merci pour ce chouette article ! Je ne suis tellement pas photogénique personnellement que je vais garder tes conseils précieusement :)


  • **gaelle** April, 23 2013, 9:24 / Reply

    merci pour les bons conseils Miss, si déjà on en retient un ou 2 lors de la prochaine photo, ce sera déjà pas mal !!!et pour la photogénique, non non non (et pour cause, j’ai un strabisme et donc même avec des lunettes qui corrigent super bien, c’est super du d’arriver à avoir un regard normal au moment de la prise de photo) bref je fuis les photos et c’est bien dommage…

  • THANK YOU Garance for these tips!!!! No I am not photogenic so could use all help I can get! I’ve been getting by using the wearing sunglasses all the time trick……:-)

  • If your hair is a mess, pretend you’ve just been to the beach for a surf and/or swim. Granted, this works only if you’re not too far from the beach! Which here, in Australia, isn’t hard.

  • aha j’adore cet article ! c’est pareil pour moi je ne suis pas photogénique mais alors pas du tout ! pourtant je crois que dans la vie réelle mon physique passe plutôt bien mais en photo c’est toujours la catastrophe ! ce qui m’a toujours créé de bons complexes et des remises en questions perpétuelle du genre ” dans la glace je me trouve pas trop mal mais au vu de cette photo je crois que tu t’es toujours vu dans le miroir comme tu le voulais car tu es clairement laide sur ce cliché … ” bref je pensais donc que mon succès était due à mon “charme” non visible donc sur une photo, mais la réponse est peut être tout simplement que je ne suis effectivement pas photogénique !!

  • Thank you for this Garance! I am not photogenic and it kills me to get a good photo!

  • Pas du tout!! :( Mais merci pour tous les trucs Garance! Hopefully I can have that gisele look with tour tips;)

  • Très instructif :) Merci Garance

  • Je suis zéro photogénique, et c’est marrant, parce que comme toi je me sais jolie dans la vie de tous les jours… l’appareil photo, par contre, me fait ressembler à un petit monstre grincheux (sérieusement, c’est triste). On dirait que des boutons poussent de nulle part sur mon visage dès que le flash de la caméra me surprend (et là, je me rue direct pour voir le résultat qui me déçoit tout-le-temps).

    C’est dommage, parce que j’aimerais bien fermer la gueule à ceux qui me harcèlent pour que je mette une photo de profil sur Facebook !! Merci pour tes conseils Garance, j’y arriverai peut-être !


  • Héloïse M. April, 23 2013, 3:19

    Ah ah! La réflexion sur Facebook me fait bien rire car ça doit faire des années que je n’ai pas changé de photo de profil car je ne suis PAS DU TOUT photogénique!!! Quelle galère! En tout cas, merci Garance pour tes précieux conseils que je vais tenter d’appliquer pour la prochaine fois! ;)

  • I am so NOT photogenic and it’s awful because I have a blog, in which I like to appear, obviously, and I usually end up the day not posting any pics because of my face when the outfit is perfectly fine. Drama queen here haha!
    By the way, through the years I’ve come up with some little tricks as yours to survive the bad pics, so let’s hope they’ll continue working.

    Love your work, BTW, Garance ;)


  • Anayas Review April, 23 2013, 9:33 / Reply

    Super article avec plein de bons conseils! Mais parfois la lumière en appartement (surtout avec les ampoules basse consommation) font un vieux teint jaunatre, surtout avec la peau noire…que faire quand on habite à Paris et que la lumière du soleil est bloquée par de beaux immeubles Haussmanien (je les aime beaucoup sauf que je veux du soleil)?

    Thanks so much Garance

  • Tu as raison, j’ai oublié d’ajouter : éteignez les lumières !!!

  • huh, why is one’s best side usually the left side?? true for me too..

    great tips! it is so true that good lighting is like natural photoshop haha.

  • They say it’s because it’s the emotional side… I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s certainly cute !

  • Caroline Mt April, 23 2013, 2:57

    i have a theory about this : because people sleep on the right side!!

  • Hello Garance, pour t’avoir vu en vrai je peux te dire que tu es aussi jolie en photo que dans qu’en vrai.

    Encore un post qui m’a fait sourire :)…combien de fois j’ai entendu la phrase ” T’es belle!!! T’es mieux en vrai qu’en photo!” …euh…je ne sais jamais comment réagir en fait. C’est un compliment ou bieeeeen…? Bref, le pire c’est qu’ils ont raison sur les photos je suis moche, franchement hein, alors qu’en vrai je me trouve plutöt jolie. J’ai mis quelques années á comprendre que les machines et autres appareils photos me détestaient. De toute façon moi aussi je les déteste voilà! :p


  • I am ridiculously unphotogenic (to the point that friends and family rarely recognize me in photos). I usually get around it by refusing to face the camera in pictures but I’m excited to give these tips a test drive- it’s difficult and embarrassing to constantly hide your face or feel compelled to step out of photos so you don’t “ruin” them.

  • Oh là cet article est pour moi !! Je suis horrible en photo mais comme j’ai enfin crée mon blog il y a 4 mois (après des années à vouloir y aller et puis non…) je suis bien obligé d’apprivoiser la caméra (merci les lunettes), n’étant plus une jeunette (moi je ne suis pas fraiche comme la rosé du matin mais comme la bouteille de rosé de la veille – dixit Florence Foresti :-)) et puis je n’ai pas de supers copines à photographier comme les tiennes (pardon les copines !) et de toute façon je ne suis pas photographe. Moi mon truc c’est le stylisme (profession que j’ai exercé) alors j’essaie, mais ce n’est pas facile de se lâcher ! Bon peut-être que ce n’est pas complètement pourri parce que Tumblr m’a choisi pour la page focus de leur sélection mode et que j’ai déjà 2000 abonnements en 3 jours :-) Bon toi tu es la Rolls des blogs, quand je ne suis que la Twingo :-) En tout cas je vais suivre tes conseils. Garance tu es mon model hi hi je plaisante mais à peine !!

  • I really love how the light looks on your pictures and I understand that it has to do with the light first and foremost. But do you mind sharing perhaps what setting on the camera you use normally for a good portrait in a good light? What is the F stop, ISO, etc? if you don’t mind of course, I would love to capture my little girl in the same sublime light :)

  • I feel like i was just reading about myself!! No one understand the whole ‘not ugly in real life, but beyond ugly in photos’ syndrome. And yes on the sexy pose!! I can those attempts my ‘I smell a fart’ face–its so not cute. And it’s why I’ll have the same profile/facebook/profesh headshot for years because when i finally get a good one I have stick with it, haha! Ill def have to try a few of these tricks and see how they work out!

  • No, I am not photogenic. I am pretty, though… i would send you a picture to prove it but, you know :)

  • Love this article, it totally rang true and cracked me up at the same time. I am not a bad-looking person in person, but sometimes in photos, wow, terrifying! At least to me. Which is another factor, because I think it’s sort of like hearing your voice on a recording, everyone else thinks you sound fine and you’re thinking ‘that is NOT what I sound like!”. But it is true that some of us just aren’t photogenic. The one factor I’ve found for myself, in addition to all these things, is that the more at ease and relaxed I am, the better the photo comes out. And to try and pretend like you’re actually looking at something or someone when you look at the camera rather than just an evil little black hole that will make you look funny, it really transforms your expression.

  • Moyen. se tenir droite, éloigner les bras du corp pour qu’ils aient l’air minces (les mains sur la ceinture)… POur les cheveux je ne suis pas encore sure (je ne les avais jamais eu plus longs que les épaules): les ramener tous d’un côté pour dégager le cou?
    Pour les jambes, non plus. Bon j’imagine que raprocher les bouts des pieds doit amincir, car tout le monde le fait sur les photos de redactrices etc…

  • Great tips. I think this will definitely help a lot of people. You are so right about so many people looking amazing in pictures and then you see them in real life and you’re like “hmm?” and vice versa. My best friend is gorgeous but she looks TERRIBLE in every picture. It really boggles my mind, I should probably send her this post because her wedding is in a month and she is super worried that she will look terrible in all her photos.
    Great post.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  • MelleVaness April, 23 2013, 9:51 / Reply

    Au vu des photos que l’on voit de toi sur ce blog, je trouve que tu as l’air photogénique… mais difficile de juger puisque je ne t’ai jamais vue ‘en vrai’!
    Quant à moi, je me trouve immonde sur 90% des photos mais la plupart de mes amies jurent que je suis photogénique! Donc de deux choses l’une, ou mes amies me mentent (les bi-atch!) ou je suis encore plus moche que je ne le crois haha!!
    Je crois qu’il faut surtt que j’apprenne à ne pas être écroulée de rire sur toutes les photos (eh oui, je pense à la tronche que j’aurai dessus et ça me fait rire) … promis, je vais suivre tes conseils et essayer d’ê un peu plus mystérieuse…

  • great post! good advice! almu

  • Great article! Thanks so much. I tend to look awful in photos and I think this can help me.

  • Non, je ne suis pas photogénique du tout mais ton post est super! Maintenant je comprend comment toutes les filles que tu prend en photo ont l’air magnifique!

  • Camille April, 23 2013, 9:56 / Reply

    Depuis que j’ose poser, je crois pouvoir me décrire comme photogénique! Merci pour ces trucs :-)

  • I am the most unphotogenic duck there is..I swear there’s a double chin that appears just when the camera goes ‘click’…the only silver lining is that my children are the complete opposite. Maybe it’s age..maybe it’s the light…and maybe it’s just life… xxxxx

  • Ce post est parfait !! Je suis exactement comme toi Garance, anti-photogénique. Lorsque je me regarde dans le miroir et que après on me prend en photo, c’est pas du tout la même chose. On me dit toujours que je suis mieux en réel, tant mieux remarque, mais sur facebook je rage devant les photos de mes copines. En plus je suis timide donc ça n’arrange pas la chose. Ce qui fait que oui j’ai souvent le sourire crispé et on croit que j’ai envie d’aller aux toilettes -horrible-. Tes conseils sont vraiment bien tombés, je vais essayer de m’entrainer et voir ce que ça donne. C’est vrai que ça parait un peu bizarre, mais bon comme ça vient pas naturellement, il faut bien trouver des moyens pour avoir de belles photos.
    Merci pour ce post, love it.
    PS: j’ai pas envoyé de com sur le coup, mais wow trop canon ta coupe de cheveux !! Franchement tu es sublime comme ça. Je sais pas ce que pense Scott, mais je suis sûr qu’il doit adorer. :D

  • Même non photogénique (enfin ça c’est toi qui le dit), on t’aime Garance :)

  • MERCI d’aborder ce thème… Moi même blogueuse, je suis pas du tout photogénique, mais j’y travaille et mes photos sont de “mieux en mieux” mais il y a encore du boulot. Je maudis tout de même la pose en “plein pied” qui est pour moi la plus dure à maîtriser… Un conseil Garance ?

  • Great post! I think the key to a bad photo is being nervous and thinking it will be bad, like you say. I definitely freeze up because I assume I’m going to hate the photo, haha! will definitely try these. I feel like I’m photogenic when I take my picture, because I’m able to get the angles right and I’m comfortable posing for myself. But snapshots?? pfffffff (as is said).

  • P.S: J’oubliais … L’illustration est vaiment vraiment top! xx

  • No! I do not consider myself photogenic! I am a person in motion and being still…ugh! I have figured out how to photoshop wrinkles away…but it is time consuming. I usually just pick up my puppy hold him close to my face and hope people look at him instead of me!

  • Article très interessant pour une fille comme moi : pas photogénique du tout!!!
    Une catastrophe ambulante, du coup soit je me retrouve avec des photos où je fais la gueule soit avec des clichés où je fais la débile histoire de noyer le poisson…et j’ai beau savoir dire non, avec mon homme hysterique de l’appareil photo ça ne marche pas… soupir…

  • Someone mentioned the double-chin above – the best way to solve that is to jut out your chin at photo time. It feels completely strange and odd and awkward, but it really works!

  • Pierre-Baptiste April, 23 2013, 10:20 / Reply

    Je pense pas être réellement photogénique, en fait comme tu dis, je pense plus que c’est une question d’instant parfois une photo te transcende alors que tu n’as rien fait d’extraordinaire. Je pense qu’il faut que plusieurs éléments soient réunis pour te mettre en valeur, d’ailleurs je vais te piquer deux, trois conseils et vérifier si ils fonctionnent :)

  • Great tips! The pictures you take are beautiful and those of your subjects. What do you do when a friend keeps asking for you to take a picture but you know she is not photogenic (mostly due to her late nights and you don’t want to spend hours and hours on your iMAC airbrushing away her bags and sun damaged skin)? Living in sunny Florida, most women down here love the sun and consume many alcoholic beverages with a side of cigarettes. Not the right conditions for photo-op.

  • Tanya : I think a good photographer can make anybody look amazing – and that’s what I try to achieve.
    Everybody has a beauty to them and you have to try to capture it.

    As I said, put them in the right light at the right angle in the right moment.
    That’s also why a lot of you say I mostly shoot thin girls, but it’s also cause I am very conscious of the way I shoot people and try to have them look their best – they are not all skinny, believe me ;)

    For unphotogenic people, it just takes more love and more time :)

  • Thank you for your gracious reply “For unphotogenic people, it just takes more love and more time :)”… you reminded me to always be gracious :)

  • Thanks Garance, great tips! Will try to follow them as much as I can because no, thank you very much, I don’t look good in photos!

  • Trop mignon ce post!!!
    mais perso personne ne me demande de me prendre en photo… je n’ai donc pas à dire non…
    Je prends note pour le jours ou je serai célèbre;-)

  • Good advice! This is good to take outfit poses! Thanks Garance!

  • Ah! This post is too good to be true! I am bookmarking it on every computer, laptop, but most importantly my phone. I am über self conscious of having photos taken, and am so unphotogenic! My sisters pose, pull faces and look gorgeous…I just look…silly in every pic. Thanks Garance!!!


  • Haaa, that is really perfect post. I like it. Have a nice day.

  • This seriously made my day…week?…month? year? As always, Garance, you have tackled a tough issue with whit, grace and humor. Just another reason I come back every day! This one I’m bookmarking, so I can return when I’m feeling blah and remember I’m not alone! Then I’ll laugh again, take your advice and go one with my day.

  • April, 23 2013, 10:40 / Reply

    I definitely fall under the non-photogenic category, but after this 7-step tut, things are looking up (thank G!) for me!

  • Great tips, I’m slowly learning how to be comfortable in front of the camera.


  • Françoise April, 23 2013, 10:42 / Reply

    WHAT A LOVELY ARTICLE ….. I needed these steps in every way…. my god lol!

    for an amazing finish on legs and arms try Prtty Peaushun – this will become a crazy staple on all your shoots and for your personal handbag – this stuff is amaaaaazing

  • Merci pour tous ces bons conseils, c’est bien utile! Pour mon cas, je dirais qu’un coup je suis photogénique, un coup non!

  • I’m not photogenic and I hate it.
    When I see myself in the mirror I kind of like what I see, but when I see a picture of me I always hate it and I’m starting to think tha maybe I’m ugly and everybody knws that except me…so sad!

    You looks amazing in every phtos!!!!!

  • Non absolument pas ! je me déteste en photo du coup dès que je vois un appareil, je me crispe et là c’est pire que tout – je me tasse sur moi-même = sur la photo j’ai pris 20 kg – je ne souris pas, je baisse la tête = 20 ans de plus et un double menton en prime – Les photos où j’arrive me trouver pas trop mal ce sont celles où je n’ai pas fait attention que l’on me photographiait –

  • Ah ah ça me fait bien rire parce que en lisant les commentaires… Personne ne se trouve photogénique ( ah si en fait il y a Camille! L’exception qui…). Donc soit toutes les filles photogéniques n’ont pas pris la peine de lire ton post, et pour cause, elles sont déjà canons en photo. Good for you girls! Ou bien autre hypothèse… n’aurions nous pas un peu toutes tendance à être dure avec nous même, ou notre reflet?? Combien de fois vous êtes vous trouvée hideuse en photo, et entendu: ben non t’es bien là sur la photo, c’est quoi le problème? Le problème?? Heu, mon nez de travers, ma mèche folle, mon sourire niais… C’est bon ou je continue? Alors merci pour tous ces super bons conseils, et voici le mien: écouter (aussi) l’avis du photographe ( parce que de toute façon en cherchant bien on trouvera toujours quelque chose qui cloche!!)

  • Céline April, 26 2013, 8:48

    Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec toi !! En lisant les commentaires je voulais trouver quelqu’un qui se trouve photogénique et le constat est que 99% des personnes se disent “non photogénique”.

    Je crois surtout que quand nous regardons une photo de nous, nous avons tendance à nous focaliser sur nos défauts (que nous sommes souvent les seules à voir sinon comment expliquer que nous trouvions les autres toujours tellement mieux que nous en photo?!) et nous oublions l’émotion ou le bon souvenir que la photo dégage.

  • Mélanie April, 23 2013, 10:47 / Reply

    Belle illustration!A quand en poster??

  • Love this post!!! (and will practice ;)


  • All I can say is thank goodness for soft light… and when you get a little older, like me… insist on black and white! Great post… xv

  • STOOOOP les filles!!!
    J’ai toujours dis que je suis pas du tout photogénique jusqu’à ce que mon partenaire (qui est photographe, ouf!) me dise: “Pas du tout! Tu es très photogénique, tu es simplement camera-shy …”. Et c’est quand même nettement plus gentil et moins bloquant, non?

  • Thanks for this, some great tips. Like you, I am soooo not photogenic. Not trying to be self-deprecating or anything (like you said, note that I did not say “ugly”), the camera just doesn’t love me. I have even had a professional photo shoot done for work (not a common occurence in my industry), and I told the photog when done “Just choose the least awful one”, which cracked them up. But I was serious. Those shots were even lacking (I don’t think that the photographer went to the Garance school of photography ;). Yes to the sunglasses!! Yes to the other tips as well. Thanks, as always, Garance!! :)

  • Oh, my! I am sooo unphotogenic! Thanks for the advice–maybe it will help me not to constantly feel badly at the possibility that the revolting creature in photos is what I ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE! :)

  • Nathalie April, 23 2013, 11:10 / Reply

    I chuckled my way through this delightful article because it perfectly sums up all of my efforts to look decent in photos. I am by no means photogenic, I am quite pretty in real life, but the camera just always manages to catch my funny features and present them in a very unflattering way: take my crooked smile for example. Luckily, through a lot of trial and error (and a lot of bad pictures, duh!) I’ve found my good side (the left one) and some poses that work for me. Plus, I keep blotting papers and face powder with me at all times!

  • Not only are you witty, and adorable…you have amazing tips for better photos. Thank you so much for sharing! XO!


  • Anonymous April, 23 2013, 11:12 / Reply

    I am the most unphotogenic woman on the planet. I think this is because my face is seriously asymetrical and also because I have no prominent bone structure. I have tried all your tricks above before, but I am resigned to the fact that the only good pictures of me will be the ones taken from very, very far away.

  • Jane with the noisy terrier April, 23 2013, 1:49

    I’ve never seen you, yet I know what you say isn’t true. Every woman is beautiful, in fact, often asymmetrical faces are the most intriguing and memorable. Nobody really wants to look like Barbie! I may complain about those wrinkles by my eyes when I smile, but you know what? I’ve earned every one of them–from laughing until you can’t catch your breath, from crying from heartbreak, from squinting to read a handwritten note or from opening my eyes wide in amazement. So please try to fall in love with your face and the story of your life that it tells. As that quirky beauty of her day once said, and I paraphrase, “happy people are beautiful!”

  • Anonymous April, 24 2013, 2:18

    To Jane with the Noisy Terrier-
    Thanks for your response to my comment. You made my day! (You really did.)

  • Lucy Loo April, 23 2013, 11:14 / Reply

    The open eyes and chin slightly down always works. And the look over the shoulder is a little cheeky look. But I never realized red lipstick would tend to make lips look thin. But either way, I believe people should always have their eyes wide open and wearing a big smiling. You never know when someone is going to happy snap you.

  • I’m pretty photogenic but it’s because I literally practice. Every time there’s a mirror in site I’m seeing the angle and way I’m standing, sitting, leaning, etc. Sometimes you look are thinking- omg worst posture ever, this is a bad angle, this is NOT what I really look like is it?! That’s when I decided to find the poses/angles that will work for me every time, even if it’s an impromptu shoot.

    My posing trick:
    Get photo ready. Then, pretend there’s a small string on your chin. Act as though someone’s slightly pulling that string towards them (directly to the camera). Just your chin though, not your shoulders or anything else. It’ll elongate your neck and give even the softest of jawlines a little edge/shadow.


  • superbe post!
    pour ta question, c’est mon profil qui est photogénique.

  • Thanks for your tips!
    I wanted to ask you: what is your opinion about the “trending” pose of the moment: hands making a heart shape?
    I find it annoying!!

  • Thank you very much for this post, Garance! I can definitely use some of these advices.
    Playing with the camera is the most difficult thing for me, as I am not a confident person at all, I’m quite shy.

  • I have the same problem ! So not photogenic, but I don’t think I am ugly ! I remember at my first fashion week with all these want-to-be photographers wanting to take your picture, the most uncomfortable moment ever ! Thanks for the tips ! xxx

  • Great tips… which I suppose I should have started years ago with all the behind the scenes we do! I heard yesterday that the left side of your face is always the most photogenic. Does that sound right to you?

  • I’ve been having this problem for the past couple of years. I think I look ok, but on pictures it’s always like…”gosh, please delete!!!” Thank you so much for these tips & tricks, so helpful!

  • ahahah
    merci pour les conseils ça va m’être d’une grande utilité!!!!!

  • Danielle April, 23 2013, 11:27 / Reply

    Love the illustration Garance

  • I’m not photogenic, far from it, but ones in a while there is someone who just gets it all perfect and then this is such fun, ahh, a picture where I look good, what a pleasant surprise! Thank you Garance for your tips! xxx

  • Jane with the noisy terrier April, 23 2013, 11:34 / Reply

    I used to be more photogenic in my younger, less wrinkly, slimmer days. (the terrier has remained super photogenic and definitely knows his best angles. Look towards the biscuit or ball, whichever is being offered.) having seen you both in person and in photos, I can understand where you’re coming from. It’s not necessarily that you’re not photogenic but that you have this lovely vibrant energy about you, you hum and radiate with it, that’s near impossible to capture in still photography.

  • Ha! Thanks for the tips!

    I just had to take pictures of 14 – 18 year olds either swimming, getting ready to swim or chatting on deck waiting for a race. AGONY!!!! No make-up — and shooting someone while they are swimming is like shooting someone while they are eating! Plus — where is the sun???? Thank god they were young (and in the case of the boys – ripped!)

    In the end there were half-a-dozen shots that almost always worked…there is a system for everything…except for me who has no chest and less than perfect thighs. Somehow taking a shot of just my waist…never seems to get the job done…

  • I am always much better live. Garance your smile is 100 watts no need for a nearby window.

  • Article intéressant mais l’utilisation de caméra pour appareil photo tout le long c’est par snobisme? Oui, je suis réac des fois…

  • Me and my Gran look identical (at the same age obvs). Everyone says it and when I look at photos of her from when she was my age it is like looking at myself. However she was a model, naturally very photogenic! I’m not the most unphotgenic but that’s though learning to work the angle, light etc. Not naturally. It’s interesting how we have the identical face but one is photogenic, the other not so xxx

  • My situation is quite depressing!people tell me i’m photogenic, which basically means i’m not as hot as I look on pictures but pictures (and mirrors) are the only way i have to know what i look like…. and i don’t see myself that pretty on pictures! I kind of hope it were the contrary! And regarding le bon profile… on a tendance à n’avoir que des photos de 3/4 de soi. Genre Mylène Farmer, il est de plus en plus rare de la voir de face, du coup toutes see pochettes de singles se ressemblent! Un peu comme mes photos de profil… Oops! Au moins, je ne fair pas le “pout” insupportable!

  • Not a photogenic person? Are you talking about me??? I always look weird in photos! Thanks for the tips!!!!
    : )

  • I so agree with you!
    Paris-NYC Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Facebook Page
    Xoxo Cory

  • Dis Garance, tu exagères un peu! Je viens de te googler et tu es vraiment belles sur tes photos. Ce qui fonctionne à mon avis (et que tu ne mentionnes même pas comme un conseil!!!!!) c’est ton sourire soleil. C’est cela qui te rend photogénique parce que cela touche et change des expressions figées et un peu vide.

  • isha jain April, 23 2013, 12:22 / Reply

    I love these tips and i agree on all of thm totally. I have certain poses that works for me always …. however everybody makes fun of me for having signature pose !!!!

  • Excellent advice – this is something that is relevant to everyone, with everyone and their dog whipping out a camera or their phone at the slightest provocation. I think most people are photogenic as children and they somehow lose that with self-consciousness and tension, but by relaxing and not trying too hard, looking essentially natural and artless, I think you can recapture some of that. I especially like candid shots like that. I had an unfortunate decade or more of photos but I think my photo-luck is turning!

  • This is fantastic! I am not photogenic at all, so I only have like 4 pictures around my apartment with myself in them. Looking at ugly photos of yourself is depressing. I’ll definitely keep these tricks in mind the next time I’m in front of a camera!

  • from one gisele to another – excellent tips!

  • am most unphotogenic! thanks for the tips!
    do the same apply for video filming?


  • The hardest thing for me is when my boyfriend is trying to take pictures of me. I freeze, I get that stupid look and laugh uncontrolably. Definitely not photogenic ;)!
    Thanks for the tips, now I can go in front of the mirror and practice my poses, ha! :)


  • unfortunately… absolutely not! but the head titling does help – the playing with the camera isa great tip! i always feel so plastic with a huge smile on for 5 minutes while someone learns how to work the camera

  • Great tips and tricks Garance. Thanks for this super useful post.

  • Merci pour ces bons conseils! Je commence à travailler avec des photographes et il est vrai qu’en s’observant bien, on se rend compte des postures qui nous flattent. Mais je n’avais jamais pensé à la lumière

  • People who do not respect the last tip are the bane of my existence! I look awful in photos. My husband has actually admitted he never would have dated me if all he’d had to go on were photos (I’m certainly Gisele in real life!). And people who don’t understand seem to think “I’m not photogenic, please don’t take a picture” is some sort of humble-brag. No, I’m leaving myself out of this photo so that it doesn’t have a one-eye-half-closed Quasimodo in it. Please respect my decision and don’t photograph me or argue with me about it!!! Soooo frustrating.

    Any tips for those of us with a superb blink reflex? I tend to look half drunk and half crazed in photos and “just try to hold your eyes open” isn’t really good enough, even with a diffuse flash. :-3 The last time I had passport photos taken, the poor man had to take 20 shots to get one that met the government’s standards. It was almost an impromptu modeling session in the passport office!!!

  • Moi j’ai aussi appris un truc lors dela photo officiel du boulot: pour éviter d’avoir un double menton en portrait, faut complètement avancer la tête…ça se voit pas sur la photo et ça fait un jolie cou!

  • Chou chou April, 23 2013, 1:09 / Reply

    I think I look great in real life, then I see myself in photos and wonder who that snarly beast is!

  • Nastassia April, 23 2013, 1:11 / Reply

    * Décrisper les mâchoires, voir entrouvrir légèrement la bouche (sans tomber dans la caricature, genre bec de canarad !)
    *Fermer les yeux pendant quelques secondes, et les ouvrir au dernier moment, ça aide à redonner du naturel après 10 minutes immobiles devant l’objectif

  • Oh, it`s always such a problem for me – how come the girl I see in the mirror is perfectly fine, well dressed even sometimes pretty (near beautiful), but all I see in the pictures of me is a fat weird face creature with no cheekbones whatsoever T__T

  • I did a post on this not so long ago because I am NOT photogenic and find I always look (and feel!) better in person! I’m learning how to work with it all because of my blog but let me tell you, if I had to go online dating, I’d throw up a picture of Pocahontas and hope it works out.
    Beautiful illustration as always!

  • eleanor April, 23 2013, 1:20 / Reply

    Not. Photogenic. At. All. When I did online dating, guys always told me I looked better in person. Thanks for these pointers. I am going to write them down!

  • Thank you so much for these tips, Garance!! They are soooooo helpful! And who doesn’t want to look great in pictures? You’re a photo angel.


  • oh, I just remembered, is there any tricks how to look good on the documents photos (passport, visa ext.)?
    they always tun out to be the worst even tragic at some point :D

  • If I may add as NO. 8. Just make a wacky pose. So even of the end result is ugly, its wacky anyways :)


  • a couple of friends strongly recommended that i follow your blog… and i am so glad they did. this post… the ‘taking care of yourself’ post… it is as if you are writing for ME :). i cannot wait to dig further into past posts / words / tips / humor…

    {i am not photogenic. there are days where i think that my hair/make-up/etc. look good, and none of it is captured that way on film. i’ve made some changes on my own which have helped (powder, eye make-up, …working on the angle! thank you for your advice! this will definitely help.}

  • This post rocks Garance!
    I look up to you as though you are a photo god…you always look excellent in your photos (even if you aren’t photogenic). I do not consider myself photogenic, but have discovered the my left side is best and am slowly starting to use it to my advantage. Its so weird that you can’t judge someone by a photo, because they might look better or worse in real life. Is that trickery or what?!
    Anyways, you’re lucky to have a boyfriend that gives a serious damn about how you look in your photos.


  • pas du tout!! c’est une horreur, j’ai pourtant été “face” mais meme sur les photos “mannequin” je ne m’aimais pas quand mm…. c’est terrible, je me braque des que je vois un appareil…. Mais c’est une verité parce que meme certains de mes amies me disent que je suis vraiment beaucoup plus jolie en photo et que les photos ne me ressemblent pas…

    Garance en en tout cas les photos que j’ai vu de toi sont toujours ravissantes…. Mais quoique que mnt que tu le dis… Ton sourire et ton rire restent insaisissables!

  • Stephhh April, 23 2013, 1:44 / Reply

    Mille fois merci Garance pour ce post.
    Eh oui je fais partie de celles qui ne sont pas photogéniques, et nous donner tes petits tips c’est vraiment chouette de ta part. Se détester en photo c’est très dur à vivre (bon j’exagère évidemment, mais quand même, c’est agaçant de toujours se trouver moche en photo alors que dans la vraie vie on est pas si mal que ça haha), on en vient à fuir les appareils photos, c’est dommage…

  • Alexandria April, 23 2013, 1:45 / Reply

    Ah! Love this post – yes some of us are just not photogenic, but you CAN be if you practice. I look exactly like my mother and she photographs beautifully. Every picture of her is perfect….mine – not so much, until my mom told me her secret. When she was a teen/early 20’s – she spent hours looking in the mirror and perfecting her smile. You see, we have one of those classic big English teeth smiles (too much teeth and you get a lot of Mr. Ed jokes). So my mom figured out her best angle – always facing forward, chin up and soft smile. So I practiced….a lot. And now I know what works for me. I can’t do a profile shot or something too candid, but if I know my picture is being taken – I can get into my “pose” and know that the photo will be beautiful. Practice makes perfect.

  • I have to agree the most with #6. If you make it fun and natural, it’s hard not to look like “what it is supposed to look like”

  • Tu es super en photo ! Bon ok, toujours shootée par des pro et sélection drastique, mais ce qu’ont voit ne rend pas l’idée que tu n’es pas photogénique.

    Idem, ma photogénie est un desastre. Du coup les photos de moi sont rarissimes, et je crois que c’est simple, il y a au moins 5 ou 6 années ou il n’y en a pas. J’ai même demandé à une copine de faire des photos de moi pour en offrir a ma mère car elle était triste de ne pas en avoir. Mais bon, je crois que je vais lui demander de les détruire ahah.

    En septembre, alors que je prenais un verre avec mon livre en terrasse ensoleillée, un apprenti-photographe m’a demande si on pouvait faire une séance de travail. Visiblement je dégage quelque chose. J’ai dit oui pour le challenge. Le pauvre a du souffrir car c’est galère de me prendre en photo. D’ailleurs il n’a osé m’en envoyer que 7, et il y en a une ou j’ai l’impression d’avoir 40 ans (j’en ai 23). Duuuur. Qd je vois des copines qui passent facilement pour des mannequins sur leurs photos, je me dis que la vie est vraiment injuste.

  • Je crois savoir que je suis plutôt photogénique, mais ça ne m’empêche pas de me trouver totalement hideuse sur certaines photos, que je ne montrerais jamais oh (au?… :/) grand jamais à personne, même sous la menace!

  • Aaah super conseils!
    Par contre Garance, c’est faute d’orthographe galore… Désolée d’être chiante mais là il y en a vraiment pas mal et ça ne rend pas justice à ton écriture ;)
    Un proof-read ne serait pas de trop :))

    xx big fan

  • Thank You very much for this post! I am one of those – very NOT photogenic, always stressed and tense when anybody wants to take a photo of me… The result? I have plenty (99%) of photos, when I look just horribly (as I am really ugly person), which is not true, rather the opposite. And the very few photos – in which I look very good. All of them, are those, in which people used all the tricks, You mentioned or I tried them (even – when by accident or let’s say “unconsciously”) That’ all damn right, what was said in your post!

  • Really enjoyed this post! No, I absolutely do not consider myself photogenic, so of course, I was devouring the advice :] But I do not have photoshop, nor do I powder my nose often as it just sits atop for me. And yes! I, too, have just thought I can never take a good photo so “oh well”. As for the Uliana Sergeenko thing…I mean, I guess…if one has the time to??

  • Aaaaahhhhh!!! This is so perfect and helpful. I’m definitely not photogenic. I feel like I’m always pulling some bad face, while my beautiful friends look gorgeous as always.

  • Nathalie April, 23 2013, 1:56 / Reply

    I’m not photogenic AT ALL, so I appreciate your quick tips!
    Garance, if you don’t mind me asking (and I know that you probably had answer this like, a hundred times) which camera do you use? I’m going for a Nikon D3100 this week (I’m starting in this) and I was looking for advice.

    Thanks a bunch!

  • maite lopez April, 23 2013, 2:10 / Reply

    Thank you for the tips.
    I am in the group that look terrible in the photos so I give up in trying look better.
    I’ll try your tips
    Thank you.
    And thank you for the beautiful page ! It’ always amazing !!!!!!!!

  • thank you for the advice! i’m not a photogenic person but definitely find #5 helpful!

  • Sorry Garance, no matter what advice is on offer, I’ll still sprint like a rat out of your focal range if you point a lens at me. Sincerely, Unphotogenic G (the other).

  • NOT Photogenic!!!
    It’s so frustrating, when is my husband taking the photo I ask him to do it several times, because I know the result…but if it’s someone else, there is no hope…


  • Coco Choen April, 23 2013, 2:34 / Reply

    I’ve never seen you in “real life” but either you are mistaken about being un-photogenic or these tips work astonishingly well. You are–or you seem–insanely photogenic.

  • Sincèrement, je ne sais pas si c’est à nous de juger si on est photogénique ou pas car en général on fait le modeste et on ne se dit pas photogénique! Personnellement je ne me trouve pas photogénique, d’ailleurs à chaque fois j’embête mon copain (avec qui je tiens mon blog) car je trouve des photos de moi hideuses alors qu’il les trouve très biens. Déjà si il y a le flash en route sur l’appareil photo, ce n’est même pas la peine de me prendre en photo car il est sur à 100% que je ferme les yeux ou que j’ai la tête d’une fille qui a trop bu. Après sans le flash des fois ça passe des fois ça casse mais je me trouve toujours un défaut et au final la photo ne me plaira pas. Je pense que l’on devrait laisser juger les autres lorsqu’on se fait photographier car il me semble très compliqué de juger d’une photo de soi-même sachant qu’on aura rarement un avis positif même si j’admets que des fois on peut se trouver bien sur les photos. Voilà pour mon avis! Encore une fois super article, tes conseils sont tops, j’y penserai la prochaine fois que je me ferai photographier! Merci pour ses articles tous aussi géniaux, ton blog est de loin mon favoris, je pourrai y passer des heures car j’adore ta façon d’écrire et ce sur quoi tu écris!

  • pendant longtemps j’ai été anti-photogénique. Et puis du jour au lendemain… tout a changé. Toutes mes copines l’ont remarqué “mais voyons depuis 6 mois tu es toujours parfaite sur les photos !”.
    Je sais pas trop pourquoi. J’ai trouvé mon bon angle et surtout le bon regard pénétrant sans avoir l’air d’une dingue. Quand un appareil est sorti, je me calme, je ferme la bouche sans la serrer alors qu’avant je dégainais mes dents en-veux-tu-en-voilà genre “youhou qu’est ce qu’on se marre !”. à la place, je préfère sourire avec les yeux, en plissant juste un petit peu les paupières du dessous. c’est gai et c’est sexy (un peu trop des fois, il faut faire attention !).

    Du coup, plus je suis sûre de ma photogénie, plus je suis à l’aise et l’assurance change tout.

  • A mon grand désespoir, PAS photogénique! Je pense d’ailleurs que cela a un peu joué sur ma confiance en moi. Quand je me vois dans le miroir, je ne suis pas si mal, en photo à chaque fois c’est l’horreur, à tel point que c’est un cercle vicieux, que j’ose à peine regarder les photos, et si c’est le cas, 99% du tps j’efface la photo. J’ai bien analysé le pb, découvert que mon visage ne prenait pas la lumière au bons endroits (un pb de peau ou d’os je ne sais pas), que mes yeux se plissent au moindre rayon de soleil, qu’avec mon 90D, suivant les angles mon corps paraît lourd, que de profil c’est juste pas possible, bref j’ai limite fini par être convaincue que j’étais moche. C’est pour ça que je suis tjs étonnée/gênée quand des personnes me disent que je suis belle, quand on me dit “c’est sûr avec le physique que tu as, tu ne dois pas avoir de pb dans la vie”, que j’ai l’impression que c’est une blague quand mon chef s’étonne que je sois aussi réservée alors que j’ai tout pour être ultra sûre de moi. Tout ça pour dire, il faut que j’essaie tes conseils!! Je vais peut-être finir par capter le truc.

  • Merci Garance pour les conseils! Perso je ne me trouve pas toujours photogénique, il y a des poses avec et des poses sans :). Par contre on ne me reconnaît pas forcément d’une photo à l’autre, bizarre…

  • Marina B. April, 23 2013, 3:02 / Reply

    C’est vrai que la photogénie est une notion subjective. Souvent la personne qui dit : “oh, non, ne me prends pas en photo, je ne suis pas photogénique!”- ne se voit pas du tout telle qu’on la voit, et c’est vrai que chez chaque personne il y a “un truc” , qu’on peut essayer de faire ressortir avec tout les éléments dont tu parles. C’est super bien dit.
    Pourquoi “Gisèle” ? Parmi les mannequins il y’en a des belles filles – Vodianova, Coco Rocha…- , mais Gisèle ??? C’est comme à l’époque de “Claudia et Cindy” – wtf ??, j’ai jamais compris. Helena Christenstein – oui, c’est une belle femme (mais bon, ça aussi – c’est subjectif!!))

  • I am definitely not photogenic… I have black/dark circles around my eyes, I believe that when I really smile from my heart my teeth look so big and naturally my eyes look smaller, sigh :( so I pretty much end up following advice no 7 most of the times.
    I appreciate knowing there are other 6 tips I can and will follow… so thanks, this post is now bookmarked to my browser:)

  • Ça c’est un post que j’aurai dût lire jeudis passé…
    J’avais un shooting vendredi matin, mon premier professionnel et je ne me trouve pas particulièrement photogénique, d’ailleurs le client m’a proposé de faire la sélection de photos avec et j’ai dis non… A part voir tous mes défaut je suis pas constructif dans ces cas là.
    Ce qui m’a fait marrer c’est le photographe “Vous êtes photogénique et la sculpture rend aussi bien” je sais pas encore si c’est vrais mais j’ai bien ris :) le résultat c’est pour jeudi dans la presse… J’appréhende…
    Pour terminer, inutile de dire que sur 5 filles présentes, aucune n’avait de poudre… Oui je m’hydrate le matin donc je brille.
    Dans tous les cas j’imprime et me le garde sous le coude pour jeudi… Je remet ça devant la presse:)

  • Héhé, je fais partie des 3% de personnes qui ne peuvent être prises en photo au flash ….. impossible de me voir les yeux ouverts.

  • Au fond, la question à se poser est-elle bien celle de la photogénicité (Mmh, pas sûre que ce mot existe…)? Je pense que les femmes sont tellement critiques envers elle-mêmes (la faute à Gisele) que de manière générale, elles ne se trouvent jamais bien en photo (et je ne m’exclus pas du lot). Il y a toujours bien quelque chose qui ne va pas: le sourire de travers, une pustule au milieu du front ou une mèche en désordre. Mais parfois, nous sommes les seules à voir LE détail qui cloche :) Je parie que même Miranda Kerr pousse des cris d’épouvante en regardant les photos de sa dernière soirée!

    Mais sinon, tes conseils sont super pour “limiter la casse” :D

    Bisous et merci pour tous ces posts criants de vérité :)

  • i dont think im photogenic at all – i’m usually making terrible awkward faces – but one of my favorite photos of myself was taken when i’d just entered my friend’s house after my first run in a year! we did have a photo light but it’s a beautiful photo, sweat and frizz and all – never say no!

  • Pendant longtemps, je n’ai pas aimé mon portrait. Mais depuis que je me mets à côté de la fenêtre avec la lumière douce, je peux avoir pas mal de belles photos de moi. C’était un découvert, depuis je cherche la même situation et maintenant j’ai plein de photos entre 16h et 17h avec les fenêtres différentes!!!
    J’adore ton illustration !

  • I find if my picture is taken using a really cheap camera with hardly any pixels, then the quality is so bad, it looks like what they used to do years ago, when they put a gauze over the lens to give a hazy effect….an old fashioned sort of air brushing I suppose!! P.s great tips I’m ready to POSE! x

  • Oh Garance a girl after my own heart. Thank you thank you thank you for your advice as I will be trying out all of it. Someone actually once asked me why an attractive girl like me looked so bad in photos? He was genuinely perplexed and I was genuinely mortified… The cameras actually loathes me and for years I let it until a friend (who always looks amazing in photos) told me it was all fake and she had practised a smile till she got it right and that was her photo smile. Changed my life. I can’t say I look great now but I at least try and I occasionally get a photo I feel okay about showing people. You are a doll, your honesty makes me laugh every day as you always know how to hit right at the heart of the matter. Love & kisses

  • Deeyarah April, 23 2013, 4:09 / Reply

    {Garance, I smiled the whole time while reading this…}

    I used be VERY unphotogenic, every side was my bad side… UNTIL,

    I decided to study Paris Hilton, who at the time (couple years ago) seemed like a walking posed photo. And then I practiced, and spent some time in the mirror just appreciating all my lines and everything as well as doing some of the things you suggested…

    And now, I’m photogenic. I think.


  • *Cécile* April, 23 2013, 4:14 / Reply

    Alala, je ne suis pas du tout photogénique, c’est une horreur! Et ma belle soeur qui n’est pas terrible dans la vie est canon en photo! Ca m’énerve!! Life is so unfair ;)
    PS : pour le profil, c’est aussi mon gauche le meilleur, strange isn’t it?

  • how much I love this post! I certainly ain’t a photogenic, and the advices you have written definitely are very useful! :)

  • Merci Garance,t’es un vrai ange:)

  • I’m a lame poser, the moment I feel a camera close to me, I do a weird face… and of course, it goes so bad… My boyfriend loves to take portraits, to anyone… but me. He’s resigned.
    Thanks for the tips :)

  • Je crois que tu viens de sauver les photos de mes dix prochaines années.
    Merci ! :)
    (Très drôle, j’adore ce billet !)

  • Susanne April, 23 2013, 4:37 / Reply

    Great tips! not only because of the content but also the way you mentioned them….Thanks a lot

  • Any advice on passport photos where the subject has no control. Im due to renew my passport and I am not photogenic and therefor I am dreading taking this picture and having an ugly picture for the next TEN years.

  • Perfect post. I can’t help saying THANK YOU!!!!!

  • My friend told me something interesting about this. She said one of the reasons some people are really photogenic, but not that good looking in real life, and vice versa, is that we perceive people as attractive and good looking if their face moves a lot. You know, subtle, frequent changes of expression. Those people are hard to photograph, because they’ll always make a weird face just when you snap, or it’s just not possible to capture their beauty in a still picture. On the other hand, people whose faces are very still usually photograph well, but look a bit dull in real life. Don’t know if that’s true, but it does make sense, doesn’t it?

  • I wouldn’t say that I’m not photogenic at all, but I always need some time to get started in front of the camera, the first few shots are always bad (unless they are unimportant pictures, like Instagram, these shots are always right the first time, haha)


  • I take it personally when people take photos at an upwards angle. Nothing says glamor like face fat and a Mussolini jaw.

  • Merci Garance!
    Avant ce post, je pensais que j’étais photogénique; déjà parce qu’on me le disait, mais aussi parce que j’arrive à être pas mal en photo, je commence à connaitre les poses qui m’avantagent.
    Mais après ce que je viens de lire, je me dis qu’effectivement, sur une série, il y a un paquet de clichés où je suis moche. Oui, je n’irradie pas la pellicule à chaque prise.
    Conclusion: je ne suis pas si photogénique que je le croyais.
    En tous cas, s’il y a bien un conseil que j’applique à chaque fois, c’est le sixième. J’ai beau prendre la pose souvent, je ne suis pas pour autant à l’aise, alors je fais la folle, ça me libère, et ça me fait marrer. ;-)

  • You will never find anyone less photogenic than me, seriously. I just loathe getting my picture taken because the result is always dreadful! Don’t believe me? Check out some of my self deprecating selfies on my blog. Thank you for these tips, I will study them and practice them!

  • Excellent advice Garance. I am a photographer and my father is a photographer, so anytime I get my picture taken I know: chin down slightly, head forward slightly to avoid a double chin (not in profile or you’ll look like a loon!!), head tilt slightly (know your good angles). All through school the photographers on picture day loved me! Feet to the side, shoulders to the camera, head tilt, smile! All this said, the camera does not lie! It’s the brutal barometer of where you are on any given day. The mirror may say, “Oh, my dear, good job, so beautiful!” but the camera says, “HOT MESS!” This is why I have a love/hate relationship with the camera and why I am often BEHIND the lens.

  • I’ve been told I take alright photos – have a family of professional photographers.

    But it sucks, because I always find myself being told I look way different in person, being 5 ft 3″ definitely doesn’t do any favours. So decided to work out a lot, get myself in shape, and live my life on heels. Thankfully, there is a solution to everything in this world..

  • thanks for these tips – i’m constantly shocked by how awful i look in photos, and think “that can’t possibly be me!” i’ll have to try them all.

  • Garance,
    Moi, je suis photogénique. Et je voulais te dire que ce n’est pas toujours confortable.
    Il suffit de dire qu’un jour je regardais les photos de l’anniversaire d’une copine, et un ami à elle était avec nous. Une photo de ma copine et moi venue, toutes les deux avec des gros sourires, bien habillées etc, le mec a dit: wow!, présente-moi cette fille, qu’elle est belle!!! C’était moi – j’étais juste en face de lui et il ne se rendait pas compte. Et non, il me draguait pas, c’était pour de vrai.
    Donc, pas facile la vie. Des photogéniques comme des non-photogéniques. ;)
    J’aime ton blog.
    Bisou du Brésil

  • I believe that everyone has its beautiful side. When I take a picture of a girl I don’t look for a classic beauty… rather for something interesting. You don’t have to be thin, tall and model look so I would like to take a photo (although I wouldn’t mind to take pic of these girls either heheheee)
    I love when I manage to take pretty photograph of someone who has always felt completely unphotogenic and then they tell me they like it. Maybe I like challenges or just showing people how beautiful they actually are… even when they sometimes don’t see it!

    Speaking of myself… I have my good and bad days… most of the time I feel very unphotogenic (therefore I hide behind the camera) but I also have this friend who can take the most loveliest photos of me… so I feel like she is my secret weapon hihiiiii…

    Another thing I don’t really get is people posting ugly photos (usually bad quality) all over the internet (both, of them and their friends)… I mean with my photos I want to make people happy not to upset them.

    Anyways, thanks a lot Garance…. as for me as a photographer wannabe this is very helpful! :))))


  • Great post. I will certainly work on your points to a pretty photo, thanks.

    Do you know why the black and white photos of our parents look so good?

    Slim and dressed in lovely dresses, my mother looks like a starlet. My father in a suit, usually photographed near a car, looked so cool….I wish I could look as sophisticated as they did! But when I try it looks so fake. Was it their attitude? the film? a combination?

  • oh, it is weird, like why has no one commented? oh well. no, I don’t feel I’m photogenic. I don’t like to pose and smile for photos (I feel artificial and self conscious with it). but I will consider all your tips. it’s not being modest. I think I am prettier now than when I was around college age (that is like the peak of youth?). but I still don’t really like taking photos much. I like getting dressed up though or playing with my look.
    thanks for your post and your self deprecating humor. it is fun.

  • oh, strange, all the comments popped up now. I forgot that I liked the illustration for this post. I liked how you placed your text.

  • MondayPartlyCloudy April, 23 2013, 11:18 / Reply

    I love this post! I’m one of those who people swear is attractive in real life, but when I see photos of me I looks ridiculous and rarely reflect the me I see in the mirror.

  • I am not photogenic. (But when my husband takes my photo, I always miraculously look beautiful!)
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  • Dear Garance,

    Thank you so much for this post!! I seldom like the way I look in digital photos, and agree that in today’s snap-happy social media culture — when we’re constantly bombarded with oh-so-perfect pics of everyone we know — this can be a bit of a bummer. So for you to talk about this issue is really refreshing. I sincerely appreciate your honesty, as well as all of your great tips!

    : )

  • Hi- Could you please shed some light as to how to pose your arms/legs/limbs? They often end up looking the least photogenic!

    Thanks :)

  • Christelle April, 24 2013, 1:43 / Reply

    Merci Garance. Pour moi qui vais débuter la photo en amateur, tes conseils sont une mine d’or…Et surtout cela va m’aider à être “regardable” sur une photo…:-)..
    Je viens de lire également ton billet sur Cannes dans le Vogue de mai…J’ai passé un super moment ..drôle et très émouvant sur la fin…

  • Great tips Garance! Thank you. I’m not photogenic at all, meaning most of the photoes don’t make me happy. (Hope) I look much better in mirror, in real life. So there’s definetely a room to improve the way photoes turn out.

  • Oh, so true! The more I try the worse pics I have. It’s so frustrating!

  • Thank god this is not a mambo jambo post with those silly tips ‘do this and you will become famous’! these are actually tips from a professional photographer and they make sense! unfortunately i am not a photogenic person either and in the blog scene that means that you are screwed sister! it is not hard to figure out that the beautiful queen bees from next door are the popular ones! and yes it is all about being popular, that is how our neo-liberal society works! anyway, thank you for those simple tips! especially the one about the light and sitting down! i am just 4ft11 so i knew that the camera could not be above me, but i did not know that when i was sitting down it was the other way around. maybe some photoshop tips could be helpful too? i use photoshop and i can handle the colors, but i always find it hard to manage my skin tone, sometimes it really looks so orange.

  • Love it! Now theres no excuse! now for a tutorial on the perfect smokey eye

  • I am definitely not photogenic! Its devastating, especially when I smile all big and cheesy, which I do without realising. Waaaahh death to cameras!

  • PLEASE HELP!! every photo that gets taken of me i close my eyes! I don’t know why, my friends say i ruin every picture. I could get 10 photos taken in a row and all 10 would have my eyes closed, it makes me look drunk! Please, please, please suggest something to me – and don’t just advise me to wear sunglasses, I live in Scotland ; ) – or maybe i should see an optician? do you think its the bright light? HELP!!!!!!

  • Hi Garance,

    Revitalising, inspiring, funny and pleaseing text! I can’t say “as usual”, because I started reading (yes READING) your blog yesterday. This blog mirrors all my idea of “dolce vita” :)
    To the point: I can’t find a good picture of myself and though I’m tall and slim I never tried modelling because I believe I’m not photogenic. I will however try to seduce the camera again with having all your tips in mind. Would love to be a challenge for you and your friends photographers, but this is just a nice wish…
    I also love camera with unrequited love. I take pictures of old beautiful buildings, but tha pictures are still in a mess on my hard disk. One day they’ll be commented and liked, I hope ;)

    All the best! I would eat the joy you spread with spoons!


  • Photogénique pas photogénique, selon mon mini expérience, effectivement tout est dans la lumière, en plein jour : au secours !
    J’ai l’impression que ma peau boit la lumière (quand les conditions sont réunies) et bizarrement je n’y vois aucune imperfection, alors que je n’ai pas du tout une peau sublime par contre une chose me laisse perplexe : mes sourcils que je trouve alors très fins ! Bien plus qu’en vrai pourtant je ne les épile pas à outrance. Ça reste pour moi un mystère.

  • pas

    la camera me deteste, j’ai trop des ombres sur le visage (long, nez long aussi, yeux enfoncès) et je sai pas quoi faire avec mes bras, le jambe, mon corp en general…
    mais – si j’y pense, je suis comme ça dans la vie reelle aussi


  • oh, i’m so not me in photos, but so nice in reality. yes, I like all the people in photos, but it’s not my reality. There are few friends, who knows me better. In their photos I look nice, natural, sweet and me.

  • J’ajouterai, “ne pas réfléchir”, quand on se pose trop de questions ça se voit sur la photo alors qu’en essayant de se vider l’esprit ça nous rend moins soucieuse!

  • Non pas du tout photogénique !!! Mais je retiens cette phrase “Moche en photo, sublime dans la vie de tous les jours.” ahahah

  • Merci du fond de mon coeur – je suis tellement tellement AWKWARDe dans chaque photo prise de moi… Ou comme disent les anglais: “gauche”. Imaginez le jour de mon mariage! J’ai carrément peur des résultats maintenant, ce qui me rend d’autant plus gauche en photo. Pfffff.

    Ceci dit, en dehors des photos je cartonne avec mon caractère lumineux ;)

  • estelle April, 24 2013, 7:19 / Reply

    Oh non! Pas photogénique du tout!! Merci pour tes bons conseils :-)

  • Un super post, plein de bons conseils! Je me sens bien devant une photo, mais je n’aime pas regarder l’objectif… Je fais semblant de n’avoir rien vu! hihi


  • Oh merci merci, Garance ! Moi aussi je fais parti des moches en photo. Mais depuis que j’ai ouvert un petit coin de Toile, je fais plus attention à l’image que je renvoie. La lumière, le bon profil et tout ça. Bon, merci au maquillage et aux filtres, quand même. Bonne journée !

  • Je ne suis absolument pas photogénique, je vais tenter d’appliquer tes conseils car je cache toujours mon visage sur les photos (du coup, ça sert à rien de faire une photo…enfin tu vois…) ou je fais une grimace,autant être super moche et faire passer la laideur sur la grimace et pas sur le naturel…

    La vision de ma tête sur photo c’est juste “putain, c’est moi ça? mais quel laidron!!”

    Alors merci pour ce post, je vais tenter ça la prochaine fois :D

    Passe une bonne journée!

  • Abisola April, 24 2013, 9:45 / Reply

    Great advice! I too have tired of hearing, “wow, you look so much better in person”. You would think this is Good, but now more than ever we live through photos. C’est la vie.

  • C’est sympa tout ça Garance mais je trouve que les photos que tu postes de toi sont bien en général car tu as un joli sourire enfin sincère et ça fait toute la différence! Je préfère mille fois ça à quelque’un qui peut être photogénique mais parait presque trop parfait.

  • Pff j’aurais aimé être le genre de filles qui dégage un putain de truc en photo, mais bon n’est Naomi Campbell qui veut! Je suis pas photogénique que je pose ou pas, bon résultat j’adopte la technique Cara Delevingne : La grimace! Aumoin t’as une raison de pas être belle!


  • Au-delà des problèmes de lumière, si la plupart des gens ne s’aiment pas en photo, c’est qu’ils ne s’y reconnaissent pas. Et pour cause : ils ont appris à identifier comme leur visage son image inversée dans le miroir. Or, aucun visage n’est parfaitement symétrique. Donc quand on se voit en photo, on ne s’y retrouve jamais tout à fait…

  • Very welcome advice!!! I’m absolutely NOT photogenic. However, I believe there is a difference between how you see yourself and how others see you. My husband and little daughter (my teenage daughter is way more critical!) maintain I look wonderful in a recent batch of photos, which I myself find DREADFUL! The best photos of me are those I didn’t notice being taken or when I’m really happy and relaxed (preferably tanned etc) on holiday. However one thing I have learned and do if I think of it in time is to turn my profile to the camera!

  • Garance!!! Moi non plus je ne suis pas du tout photogénique ET j’ai de la poitrine, comme toi c’est la galère.
    Moi en tout cas je te trouve très belle en photo, j’ai beaucoup aime la photo avec tes cheveux courts d’il y a quelque jours! x

  • Caroline April, 24 2013, 10:53 / Reply

    Merci pour ces bons conseils, c’est pas gagné parce que je suis du genre de Chandler dans Friends quand il doit prendre une photo pour la publication des bans de son mariage pour celle qui connaissent pas regarder le lien de la vidéo (c’est en anglais, j’ai pas trouvé en français mais regarder la séance ou il est chez le photographe) c’est tout à fait moi, c’est pour cela que sur les photos ou je suis prise par surprise je me trouve pas trop mal, mais dès que je sais !!!! OMG !!!!

  • oh, Garance, moi je trouve que tu es très photogénique, surtout dans tes vidéos de pardon my french!!!merci pour ces conseils, c’est vrai qu’il y a tellement de photos mal faîte!!!!

  • Not photogenic at all! Yes, I dread having my picture taken..

  • hehe lucky Barney Stinson, he NEVER takes a bad picture.
    PS btw yep, a “the Big Lebowski clothes” day happens to everyone… :)

  • Juliette April, 24 2013, 1:14 / Reply

    Je ne me trouve absolument PAS photogénique, mais une amie m’assure que si. C’est possible ou est-ce que c’est juste pour me faire plaisir ?

  • “Frozen smile” haha it happens to me all the time. I have to try smile more on the pictures.
    Very good post and i really like how you explain things by funny way:))
    Thank you for your advices.

  • Ah Garance, I love your little comments and ramblings about your looks. Your personality is so approachable and classy. I enjoy this when reading your blog, you make your readers feel as if we’re your best friends (small talk) I love this xo

  • Toute mon enfance et mon adolescence, je fuyais les appareils photos comme la peste.
    Je me trouvais immonde dessus alors que dans le miroir ça allait. 10 ans plus tard tout a changé. Je sais à peu pres comment sourire sans que mes yeux disparaissent (mon gros complexe quand j’etais petite !!). . J’ai appris il y a qqes années que j’avais de jolis yeux, je n’en avais aucune idée avant. Du coup, ça doit etre psychologique, je sais les mettre en valeur en photo et je ne me cache plus !! En revanche je deteste mon profil, MES DEUX profils et pourtant mon nez de face n’est pas immonde, mais sur le côté c’est pas possible. Merci pour cet article !!

  • Super pour les conseils, merci !
    Dis moi, toi qui es photographe, comment tu fais pour ranger/organiser/te retrouver dans tes photos ?
    Je me perds dans les mienne !
    Bisou !

  • Ah non pas du tout photogenique! Je me demandais toujours si, par les lois du hazard, toutes les photos prises dans ma vie etaient prises sur un mauvaise angle ou avec la mauvaise lumiere, etc ou bien simplement si je n’etais pas photogenique, du coup un jour j’ai fait le test… Je me suis regarde dans la glasse, sans sourire ni quoi que ce soit, j’ai pris un photo comme ca sans bouger pour voir la difference entre la figure ‘dans la glasse’ et la figure ‘dans la photo’… merde c’etait moche! J’etais deformee sur la photo… dans la glasse ca allait mais sur la photo… la cata!
    Enfin, maintenant j’ai tes tips! Merci Garance!

  • Alexandra April, 24 2013, 5:58 / Reply

    To date there are about three photographs in which I feel I look like myself, and aside from my complexion induced anxiety, present whether photographed or not, I actually quite like my appearance. Given that, I am one of the least photogenic people I’ve ever known. This is not to say I have a too low, or too high, opinion of my physical person, but confirmed each and every time sometime tells me, ‘Oh, you’re so much better looking in person’, or some version of that phrase, seems further confirmation of my lack of photogenic qualities! Also, I never know how to receive those statements: Am I being paid a compliment? Should I take it that, alas I am in fact correct, the camera is not my friend? Or, worse still, I am look even worse in photographs than previously believed? Maybe I should consider imposing an indefinite moratorium on any future photographs!?!In any case I am grateful for the helpful tips, which will be printed, laminated, and carried in my wallet in the event I don’t impose said moratorium!

  • Great tips! I’m never very good at thinking about light when I take a picture, or have my picture taken, but I will try to now!

    I wouldn’t really have said that I am photogenic, however, so many times when people have seen pictures of me they say “Is that you?!” and I know what they are thinking is, wow, you look good there! Hahaha! I think I’d rather look good in pictures because that’s what everyone can look back through at the end of the day :)

  • That was hilarious and totally love it! Will definitely use the advice! Thanks :)

  • I’d love to know What makes some people photogenic, and what makes others not.
    As a photographer can you instantly look at someone and figure out if they’ll look good in a photo?
    And on the flip side, why do some people look beautiful in real life, and then not so great in a photo?
    Is it all to do with bone structure?
    Love to hear your thoughts!

  • Merci pour les conseils, va falloir que je fasse un effort sur mes photos de profil :)

  • WOW this was hilarious & informative at the same time. I am DEFINITELY not photogenic and most recently have begun to DETEST having my photo taken. I don’t like doing the “fake smile”, it makes me feel like a poser. I also get super self conscious when people in the background are staring as your photo is being taken. I wish I could have a professional photographer follow me around all day without me knowing it, because then maybe I’d get 1 or 2 photos that would be flattering. Alas, I am not famous nor do I have paparazzi (and nor do I want them) so I’ll have to either get over my shyness or learn which is my “good side!”
    Thanks for a fun read Garance!

  • ICE*BERG*CREAM April, 25 2013, 7:37 / Reply

    Morte le jour ou il m’a dit : C’est incroyable ce que tu es jolie (JOIE) en photo (heu merci!?)

  • I can say now…I used to be photogenic. When I was younger and skinnier and felt more confident about my appearance. However, after having a baby and years passing by, I just feel silly when people take my photo…and it shows. I know 30 years from now, I’ll look back and say that at 33 I wasn’t that bad…but for now, the comparisons to my old self take over. I’ll try and suck it up and follow your advice next time a photo op arises.


  • I am so not photogenic!
    I often find that if I like my outfit, the way my hair / make up looks or just generally think I look quite nice one day, I can take a photo in attenpt to capture this moment where I was pretty and then *BAM* the photo says you’re the ugliest person in the world today. It’s so annoying!

    Katie x

  • Merci pour tous ces conseils! :)
    Je ne me trouve pas du tout photogénique, mais j’ai remarqué que générallement, plus je m’aime et suis bien dans ma peau, plus je serai à mon avantage sur la photo, mais bon, même en mode “I feel good”, on ne peut pas lutter contre les personnes qui feront exprès de te prendre sous ton plus mauvais profil !^^

  • Thanks a million for this post, I never really like my photos because I’m not photogenic. Can’t wait to start trying these tips. very timely

  • un vrai photographe me trouvera photogénique; mais dans les photos “normales” des gens, c’est une cata. En principe j’ai un œil plus gros que l’autre, ou un œil plus fermé que l’autre…

  • Hello !

    Je pense que la photogénie n’existe pas. Je m’explique : bien-sûr, il existe des peaux qui captent mieux la lumière que d’autres (dixit Catherine Deneuve), et c’est ça qui fait beaucoup pour la “photogénie”.
    Ce que je veux dire, c’est que tout le monde peut être beau sur une photo, si le photographe sait faire son job. Quand tu dis que si on a été pris en photo par Scott Schuman, ça ne compte pas (lol, c’est trop mignon d’ailleurs je trouve :)), beh si ! Ca veut juste dire que, quelle que soit la personne qu’il prenne en photo, il sait regarder, et prendre son modèle en photo (pose, cadrage, lumière, etc). C’est au photographe de savoir repérer ce qui est beau chez une personne, et de savoir le mettre en lumière (en jouant avec son modèle, en le mettant à l’aise s’il ne l’est pas, en cadrant correctement, en l’orientant dans ses poses, etc). Donc, la photogénie n’existe pas en soi, car la beauté (et là, le mot pourrait faire débat pendant des heures ^^) est déjà là, dans le regard du photographe, quand il prend sa photo. Sinon, il ne la prendrait pas. Quand je décide de prendre quelqu’un en photo, c’est que j’ai senti qu’il y avait cet instant, ce regard, cette lumière, qui rendent la scène belle, vraie, et quand je déclenche, je sais que je ne me trompe pas (ou rarement) (c’est rare, mais ça arrive ^^).
    La photogénie, ce n’est pas la beauté plastique ou la minceur, j’ai déjà vu des photos de personnes grosses voire obèses, mais belles, très belles, parce que ces personnes captaient mon regard (peut-être en vrai, étaient-elles moches ^^?), qu’il y avait ce petit quelque chose en plus.
    Voilà, je pense que la photogénie est dans l’oeil du photographe. D’ailleurs, tu es toujours très belle et très lumineuse sur les photos de Scott, et c’est une beauté vraie. Peut-être que c’est ça aussi, la photogénie, la captation de la complicité entre un modèle et son photographe, cet instant suspendu où la vérité apparaît.
    J’aime toujours autant tes articles, qui me font décidément réfléchir ! Je pense que je vais faire un article là-dessus d’ici ce soir ^^ !

  • This. is. brilliant. and to answer your question…absolutely not. And yet my identical twin sister is very photogenic, the camera loves her….maybe she already got this memo!

  • I am absolutely unphotogenic!

    It’s not even that I look ugly in the photos – it’s that I simply… don’t look like myself.
    On a good day, on a bad day – the person that will appear in the photos won’t be me. My friends and my family don’t recognize me :| .

    And don’t get me started on personal IDs. It’s one thing for my nearest and dearest to not recognize me, but it’s a another thing to not be recognized by the police at airports!
    No wonder, really. Not only am I unphotogenic, but for all the personal ID photos I was forced to get up at an ungodly hour, raise my chin up, up, up and not smile (the always helpful birocratic personnel: “It distorts the face! Don’t do it!”).

  • Hi Garance.. I simply luuuuved the article cos I myself am a fashion blogger doing outfit posts sometimes and i can relate to each and every point mentioned above. It is extremely hard to look good each time every time especially if you are a not at all photogenic & in best of shapes. I still haven’t been able to figure out my right side hahaha. I particularly loved your point about boobs and side profile making you look 20 pounds heavier. it happens to me all the time and no matter how sexy i try to pose I end up looking ridiculous :-) Playing with the camera is another extremely valid point cos when you are at ease with yourself it shows and you get some great shots. I am trying very hard to loosen up with every shoot and will try and apply your points for my forthcoming shoots. I am sure one day i can lend some tips & share my experiences with my followers. Thank u for the post cos your article puts me at ease to know that there are many like me who share these feelings and not everyone is picture perfect!! x

  • Cristina Landi April, 28 2013, 8:18 / Reply

    That’s just what I needed! I really think I’m not photogenic! Perhaps that’s why I’m always the one shooting photos… Thank you for the tips! I’m loving your blog!

  • Jennifer April, 28 2013, 7:45 / Reply

    Very good suggestions. After many years and many awful pictures of me, (I’m a photographer, not the photographed), I’ve learned to stay out of photos. But one day, my kids will have no pictures of me so your suggestions are very, very welcome.


  • Merci pour ce post! Génial. Ces tips, ça faisait un moment que j’en rêvais… Même si, in fine, rien ne peut se substituer au travail d’un photographe de talent. Je ne suis pas photogénique, mais alors PAS du tout, à tel point que plus jeune, je tombais systématique “malade” les jours de photos de classe – la torture ultime!

  • Magali May, 1 2013, 10:09 / Reply

    J’ai totalement adhéré à cet article ! Je peux être très photogénique, comme je peux ne pas l’être pas du tout ! Par exemple il y a des jours où je me regarde dans le miroir et je suis une vraie bombasse, on me prend en photo : Déprime TOTALE !
    Et si on me prend à l’improviste je suis généralement pas photogénique. Mais quand moi même je me prend en photo, généralement j’arrive à en faire quelques unes qui sont bien.
    Conclusion dans ce monde très visuel : Dur dur de ne pas être photogénique !
    Je vais essayer de suivre tes conseils !
    ET j’adore ton blog, merci pour tous ces articles !

  • You’re a genius. Thank you thank you for this guide. =)
    I sometimes can be photogenic in photos, but I’ve come to the conclusion that those moments can be a fluke. I’ll forever remember these tips!

  • Je relis ce post avec toujours autant d’intérêt… ce soir premier direct sur une tv régional.
    Je sais pas ce que je vais pouvoir appliquer, la pose peut-être :D

  • Luísa June, 5 2013, 4:09 / Reply

    OMG! This post had me laughing all the time! So much fun! I’m gonna share it with my sister, she thinks she’s not photogenic and has bad time taking photos. She’ll definitely love your tips, as I did! Wonderful!

  • Heather July, 17 2013, 6:38 / Reply

    My daughter and I have both noticed about ourselves that a pretty mirror day does not always translate into a pretty photo day, instead it is quite the opposite. She though, IS photogenic whereas I am most definitely not. I have heard more times than I can count from people meeting me for the first time who have previously only seen me in photos, say how I look much better in person and I am not a beautiful person but neither am I ugly. I know this about myself. I am 54 years old and always cringe when a camera is pointed at me. I have had professional photographers tell me I am difficult to photograph and even their choice of a good photo of me usually isn’t mine. I can count on one hand, no exaggeration, how many good photos I have seen of me throughout my lifetime.

  • After reading your tips, Im now going to go and spend sometime just posing in front of a mirror (guilt free) and work out my best pose. I have that unbearable sin, an oversized nose, so Im always aware of it looking bigger than life in photos. I may also go and invest in some powder, light reflection could be making things worse! Thank you!*

  • Well, I always thought I’m a bit photogenic for my face but since I am a bit fat, I hate the fact that I can’t hide my huge thighs. :(

    By the way, love the you wrote this article. Made me smile while reading. :)

  • Dear Garance,

    I am terribly un-photogenic and it’s been a huge problem for me over the years as I try to avoid photo taking in every form. However, my work sometimes requires me to appear in publications and the results are always so bad that I get depressed for quite some time. The thought of it makes me so sad because photos are wonderful forms of memories when life passes us by so quickly each day.

    I’m beginning to wonder if plastic surgery might be the only solution for me even though I am perfectly comfortable with the way I look off camera.

    Seeking comfort in your post and the comments of your readers. Thank you for it.

  • Neil Styles September, 10 2013, 1:26 / Reply

    Such a great article! Thanks so much for the tips. Stay beautiful! <3

  • Ton article est juste su-per! Est-il conseillé de garder ses lunettes lors d’un shoot chez le photographe? Merci beaucoup en tout cas :)

  • Good advice! I personally love Ulyana Sergeenko’s style and her poses, so I did a “how to get her look” post here:

  • I thought I was the only person in the world, who suffers in front of the camera.
    Thank you so much, Garance, for doing this article. It reminded me that I’m not really ugly only on photos. ;)

  • I too have boobs, and whenever a picture of me is taken from the side I end up looking like Delta Burke !! Thank you for the tip.

  • angie May, 1 2014, 3:26 / Reply

    loved your article!! I can completely relate to it, thanks for sharing! :)

  • And you write about it JUST when I was thinking of “how-in-the-world-am-I-going-to-put-an-OK-photo-of-me-on-my-website!!!!” I am going to try the left side now!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

  • I just learned a lesson about myself after reading this. My best pictures are taken by my or with husband, because I completely let my guard down with him; I honestly never thought about it like that. When I get self conscious (like when a random photographer takes a pic or I’m in public trying to take THE perfect IG shot, the awkward shows all over my face).

    Re: Light, there’s a reason why they call dusk the “Magic Hour”. So true!! That’s my secret weapon!

    Re: Red Lipstick. Yikes, I didn’t really realize this…Lesson #2 learned…

    All of this is to say that Garance as a photog you take amazing photos and you know why? You put people at ease, it’s as simple as that! Thx for the tips :)

  • nastassia May, 1 2014, 4:00 / Reply

    Keeping the mouth slightly open usually helps (but sliiiiiiightly)
    Pushing your shoulder backward a little is usually good too, it gives some “structure” to the whole body posture… Making a funny face to relax your muscles (especially the mouth), and closing your eyes for a few seconds right before the picture usually helps to keep the expression alive and not completely frozen.
    Anyways, few things that helped me when I started modelling and felt so self-conscious and uncomfortable in front of the camera that getting a good picture was a struggle!

  • Antje May, 1 2014, 6:09 / Reply

    this post is a blessing for a certainly not really photogenic person – thanks!

  • For the survey: I do not consider myself to be photogenic at all :(
    So thanks for the great tips!!! Never thought it had a solution!!!!!

  • Not photogenic at all!!!…but my youngest daughter is a freak – she never takes a bad photo. She had a shoot last week and the photographer was like snap, snap, snap – check photo – got it! The poor boy she was working with, who was such a handsome young lad, was taking 5 times as long to get his shots, lol!

  • Lilybelle May, 1 2014, 10:11 / Reply

    Absolutely, horribly unphotogenic and camera phobic here. I have forced myself to do some selfies for the sake of showing my face to online friends, but I think I look ugly and fat and old in photos – I mean, even more so than I already am!

  • love this post ; thanks for all the tips. Being a student digital photography, I now don’t even WANT to get from behind my camera anymore !
    I love taking pictures of people and try to catch them as lovely as possible. Luckily, I seem to be doing a great job.
    Me however, I just don’t want to ‘pose’ anymore .. I look ridiculous (except in Instagram selfies, they work out just fine) ; hate it when people ask for a picture ; especially when they appear out of nowhere and just came crawling out from under ancient cobblestones .. surprise !
    Always putting me in a ‘fait accompli’ situation (read: taking pics from my worst profile side = right side)
    Then you hear me screaming: Wait ! Another one .. use my left profile side !!
    And then they’ve suddenly disappeared .. aarrghh !

  • Merci beaucoup pour ce post Garance.Tu devrais en faire plus ,sur la photo,je veux dire.Je me suis mis du
    coté du photographe,car c’est mon hobby,et j’ai adorée ta phrase : “la lumière,bien gerée,c’est un Photoshop naturel”! J’ai horreur du Photoshop… je suis d’accord aussi que un bon photographe peut faire n’importe
    qui parâitre beau,c’est la cléf de ton succés!

  • Divya May, 2 2014, 6:21 / Reply

    I consider myself photogenic but I’ve noticed low energy and unhappiness= bad photo. I try and be in photos only when I’m not in some existential funk rather when I’m out enjoying the small things in life.

  • great post Garance! Very useful tips. I hate selfies, my forehead looks always huge, although it isn’t..

  • I am so not photogenic from the left or close up but from the right and further back, I look so different! Thanks for the tips, i”ll have to work on some of these!!

  • I love this post!
    same problems, good tips… :)

  • Lesley May, 4 2014, 10:47 / Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I have a very beautiful mother who was a model with these tips I hope to be able to get a decent photo of me with my Mum! Thank you :-)

  • Garance, j’aime beaucoup ton blog et je comprends pourquoi tu as tant de succès. Tu me fais rire, tu dessines tellement bien (donnes-tu des cours depuis NY ?), tu as beaucoup d’esprit…et c’est sans chichi, j’aimerais vraiment te rencontrer un jour ! et ton post mon Dieu merci merci, moi aussi je suis Gisèle dans la vraie vie !!!! Dingue ! mais en photo Miss Piggy, pourquoi pourquoi pourquoi ! Je vais essayer de suivre tes conseils et puis je vais dire NON maintenant, et sans vergogne aux photographes du dimanche !
    Je t’embrasse depuis Paris sous la pluie,


  • Loved this post. Thanks for the advice. Thanks for relating. Playing with the camera IS definitely key. Using smokey eyeshadow, I can do. I looked good after my daughter was born, because the pregnancy added a little fullness to my face and it rounded out my features where I was previously drawn. Since then, I’ve lost weight and have been trying to capture that again.

  • Nouhaila July, 26 2014, 5:30 / Reply

    Merciiiiiii ca aide vraiment trop coooool

  • nice tips …here the below article too provides a great approach…

  • Parfait – merci beaucoup! I need to get photos for my site and am doing them myself with a remote for the dslr. Your tips gave me great ideas! And you could add: get a remote for your camera or set it to multiple self timer and practise. Because what I noticed is that on a photo, I will not look like what I just saw in the mirror, even though I thought I was doing the exact same thing..

  • Hi!
    An interesting article.
    I am really angry at one photographer. A few days ago at work, I had to have my picture taken by a “professional photographer”. It all went wrong. The make-up artist told me I had “very sensitive skin”, which made me nervous, and after a few shots, the photographer said “you´re really not enjoying this, are you?”… a comment which obviously made me more nervous and stiff. In the end she asked me if I had a more “photogenic side”. I stood there for like 25 mins, just desperate to get a good shot. The final picture turned out “ok”. My ego has been totally destroyed by this experience though.
    I am 29, and when I was 19 I was scouted by a modeling agency. I quit after a few months, but they told me I was very photogenic bla bla. I was younger and thinner back then, but not to the extent that I would think it would make a huge difference today. I´ve been told by many people that I´m photogenic, and holiday pix turn out fine.
    So what was the problem? My “stiffness”, a “bad photographer”, or both? Could it also be that someone who thinks you´re good-looking tells you that you´re photogenic, and someone who doesn´t think you´re good-looking doesn´t think you´re photogenic?
    p.s. I think the picture of you is stunning.

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    He was totally right. This submit truly made my day. You cann’t consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info!

  • im really bad at takeing photod or others takeing pictures of me because i get shy and nervouse and starte sying no and walk away lol sometimes my pictures come out like crap i just want too look more like a tumblr girl.

  • I know I’m a little late to this post, but I have to tell you that your tips just saved my day. I needed to take a decent photograph for my work and had spent most of the morning avoiding it and the better part of my afternoon getting bummed out about how bad I looked in all the pictures I was taking. Your post describes me to a tee…I don’t think I’m bad in the mirror, but in pictures, I see a monster looking back at me. Once I followed your tips though, I was able to take a round of good pics and wound up with a few different shots to choose from. That’s literally NEVER happened before. Thank you so much for your help! You really are the best!

  • very true !!!

  • This is amazing Garance. It’s so nice that you’ve shared all these amazing tips, so many people wouldn’t. Thank you. I’m just starting to put my image out there and it’s a struggle, I don’t know how to stand, I’m not sure whether to smile or look serious. I see a bad picture and feel like I’m not cut out for it and then my friend takes a great picture on a day when I’m not feeling it and I feel confident again. These tips have been greatly received!!

    Vikki, xx

  • I always want to look amazing in photos especially in selfies. You have shared nice tips. I also share one. While you are taking a picture with your friends from your mobile phone then you should not stand in the corner. It is good if you choose middle place. Faces of people who stand in the corners often look bigger than others. So, keep in mind this simple tip.

  • Beatrice April, 3 2016, 2:45 / Reply

    I am in the super photogenic/so-so in life category which I always find myself apologizing for as people too often tell me how photogenic I am, like it’s a huge leap from reality. One time, I joined an online dating site and when I was looking for photos, I tried to find photos that looked more like me in real life, ie. bad photos, so that I wasn’t one of those girls… You know! Most girls want to look their best on their profile photos, not me!

  • Let me disagree;-) I took a picture of YOU last Fall at PFW and you look amazing as usual! (Can send you the proof). As for myself – I’m quite photogenic. But you know – shit happens ;-)

  • Maria Ruth Jobim April, 3 2016, 6:17 / Reply

    Oh, I loved this post! I consider my self the last photogenic person on earth. I that makes me feel so bad. I am going to try every tip then I will write you back :)

  • I’m not photogenic despite what my mom says (ha-ha). But I’ve noticed that it all depends on the camera – the better it is – the better photos I’ll get. And I disagree about red lipstick – all my best photos are taken when I’m wearing bold lips, but maybe it’s just me. Btw I love you writing style and really loved this post! Thank you for the tips !

  • Does the myth of photogenic face still holds true?

  • Thnx for sharing your tips! I can use them. I am the least photogenic person in the galaxy. (is what I prefer to think, instead of thinking of myself as plain ugly, lol)

  • I need this! As a teen and child I was very cute and photogenic but since having a child in my 20 s mid 20s through to now at 32, I have felt tired and ugly on pics. IRL, ppl tell me I look very young for 32 and I get ID’d regularly too, but I look ancient and thin faced on my pictures. Last year I hd some pics taken of me on the beach and I was shocked I looked not only Middle Aged and plain, but fat too, and I’m only 9 stones and quite tall at 5’9! I looked like a real dowdy Mom. I am not photogenic at all these days sometimes I get a rare good pic but most of them I look like Cruella De Ville. I wonder what tips i could use also for having a thin face with high cheekbones to get the best angle ?

  • Thank you so much for this post. I hate having my picture taken as it never ever seems to look like what I see in the mirror. I’m OK with what I see in it, but it never seems to translate to pictures. Up to a point were someone at a wedding kept snapping my picture (for a keep sake), looked puzzled at the camera, looked puzzled at me and kept shaking her head and kept snapping … it only got worse.
    My family knows that I hate to have my picture taken, I’m usually missing from most family or party shots or I make people swear they won’t ever show the picture to me. My father always tells me “Well, the camera only shows you what is.” Thank you for making me believe that this is not the case and that some people really are just not photogenic. Even so I’d love to know if there is an explanation or science behind it. My one last good portrait was taken in 2002 and it has been my profile picture everywhere ever since. Even so I haven’t wrinkled since then, I of course have changed. Apparently so much that someone I was meeting for a job didn’t recognize me. Very embarrassing. I hate that photos make me hate myself, if that makes any sense.

  • renee west September, 8 2017, 11:45 / Reply

    thank you! I just looked at pics of myself at my son’s wedding and as usual, I just cringe!! I wish I would have looked at these tips beforehand, did not even think about it. I kinda feel depressed being immortalized like that on fb, etc. This post makes me feel a little better, just a little. Maybe next time.

  • I am not a photogenic person. I hate looking my photos, and I don’t like clicks my pictures. Because of I am not looking like as I real. And then I’m going to get upset. Thank you for posting this blog. To give courageous tips, which can work to me.

  • lois samsin April, 11 2018, 11:44 / Reply

    I used to use Este Lauder’s Collagen Serum, but it did not work. I now have been using the Somaluxe Rapid Line Repair twice per day for about 4 weeks. I’m noticing less wrinkles on my forehead and my dark eye circles and puffiness are definitely improving. I’m excited to see what the next several weeks bring. The results were not over night but if you use twice per day and allow a few weeks to go by you’ll definitely start to notice a difference.

  • florence August, 7 2018, 5:27 / Reply

    Et ne pas oublier d’ouvrir les yeux! Je dois beaucoup cligner des yeux car sur toutes les photos qu’on prend de moi j’ai les yeux fermés ou semi-fermés…ça fait rire tout le monde sauf moi.

  • Great tips, I will use them for my photos! I also always dreamed of making such a portrait This is so original and creative!

  • I found a lot of information contained in this text back by

  • I’m always on a look out for good ideas. Thank you for sharing this

  • I look like a cross between Austin Powers and a pug in photos as I’m so animated. (I’m waaay better in real life!) I don’t pose, I don’t use social media and I generally don’t have any pics taken so trying to do online dating photos is a nightmare! My friend took about 100 different photos the other day in different locations. She’s ruthless and was like, nah, you look awful. I’m just going to buy a kitten! Haha!

  • Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative

  • I like your style

  • thanks for sharing this knowledgeable post. What a excellent post and outstanding article. Thanks author your awesome topic . Really I got very valuable information here.

  • Meredith D’Ambrisi October, 2 2019, 8:20 / Reply

    Grazie Mille!!!! I seem to have the opposite effect. I photograph very well for some reason but am less radiant in real life. Have you any tips for that?!

  • Hello
    Great Tips as always. A quick browse of my past blog posts. and i can see numerous example where i should have implemented this steps you describe .i am getting better ,But still room for improvement .
    I’m going to share to this ghost mannequin topic right now……………

  • Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • OMG I love the way that you wrote this article, can totally relate. Thank you for some great pointers, going to try them out! Xo

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