Asian woman taking a selfie

“Photogenic” is not an inborn skill. You don’t need to have been born with so-called perfect skin and shampoo ad hair. It’s not passed down through genes (except maybe in the case of Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber), but it can be taught. It can be studied. So, yes, you can get as good as your favorite celebrities when it comes to posing for the ‘gram. Want to look great in photos like photogenic people? Here are a few tricks to keep in mind the next time someone says, “Picture tayo!”

Know Your Good Side

We all have a side that’s better than the other. If you don’t know which one it is, practice posing in front of a mirror. Better yet, practice taking selfies with your front camera. Without anyone watching to make you feel self-conscious, you’ll feel more confident about experimenting with angles, expressions, and even makeup. Review your camera roll and once you figure out your good side, make sure it’s the side that’s always facing the camera.

Create Angles and Spaces with Your Limbs

Extend your legs to the side to create length instead of folding them under you.

Events photographer Magic Liwanag makes sure to advise his subjects to create spaces with their arms and legs. These angles form dynamic shapes so you’re not one big awkward blob on camera. For example, do the chicken arm. Put your hand on your waist but point your elbow slightly backward. This solves multiple problems: 1) Tones the arm, 2) Creates interesting spaces, 3) Gives the arm something to do. Another thing to always do is stretch your legs when sitting instead of folding them under you to add length. 

Press Your Tongue Against the Roof of Your Mouth

A tongue resting position called “mewing” can help give you a more defined jawline, as well as a toned neck and face instantly for photos. When you’re not smiling with your teeth, place your tongue against to roof of your mouth to make your face appear lifted. Don’t worry, it’ll still look natural in photos. In addition, the National Library of Medicine states that it can also help with jaw alignment issues and bite problems over time.

Highlight Your Best Features

As Lucy Liu famously advised in Charlie’s Angels, “flip your goddam hair.” If your hair is a feature that makes you feel confident, by all means, use it as a prop in photos. Keep in mind that what’s neat in real life can look flat on camera. Adding volume by flipping it to one side or letting it dramatically curtain your face can do wonders. This is what gives photogenic people that X-factor. To boost smoothness and shine, use VitaKeratin Ultra Rich Shine, which nourishes hair with vitamin B5, keratin, and rose oil.

Find Good Lighting

Always find good lighting, especially if you’re taking selfies with your front cam!

If you want naturally good-looking, unfiltered photos, find some good lighting. This one is subjective, but in general, fluorescent lights are unflattering. LEDs with warm tones are better at simulating that sought-after “golden hour” light. Lighting consultant Don Peifer, who illuminates JLo’s music videos, said in an interview that you want the light to be indirect and without glare. Better yet, go outside at around 430 to 530 p.m. and take advantage of nature’s best filter. 

Moreover, don’t be afraid to face the light with your good side! Use POND'S Bright Triple Glow Serum to highlight your glow, minimize pores, and make your skin fresh and dewy. 

Smile with Your Eyes

Photogenic people love this, and if you grew up watching ANTM, you’d know this trick well. It may sound and feel weird but squinting just a tiny bit can enhance your facial expression. Like mewing, smizing, or smiling with your eyes pulls the face together and creates an illusion of lift. It also adds “soul” to the photo — you don’t want to be smiling with your mouth while being dead in the eyes. This nifty trick livens up your smile, too (it’s especially handy if you’re wearing a mask!). 

Now, if you are smiling with teeth, use a toothpaste that brightens as well as cleans. Try closeup Natural Smile Toothpaste, which uses lemon essence and sea salt to remove yellow teeth stains for a brilliant smile.

You don’t need expensive equipment or supermodel looks to look great in photos. Try out these tricks photogenic people use and easily elevate your ‘gram game.