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taking a better picture (for the people smiling)

December 6, 2011

Disclaimer:  My knowledge of photography is fundamental at best.  I’ve read some articles and books and I pay attention, but I’ve never received any formal instruction.  That said, this topic could make a big difference in the quality of your photographs.  For real.

Here’s the tip:  if you’re the subject of a photograph and you’re looking directly at the camera, smiling, tip your chin down just a little bit.  And if you’re the photographer and your friends and relatives are lifting their heads with chins level to the ground, ask them to tuck their chins down a fraction of an inch.  Nothing drastic.

It will make a big difference.  Here’s an example.  This is me holding my head up.

That’s not a bad picture, but it looks so stiff — could be a lot better.  Here’s an extreme example, below.  It happens to us a lot when we take pictures of ourselves.

Looks like we’re tilting our heads back and when that happens, it looks like your eyes start to close ever so slightly.  Here’s an example another self-portrait where the eye problem is more pronounced.

The solution is to tilt your head ever so slightly down and look up toward the camera.  It keeps your eyes open and offers a more flattering perspective of your face in two dimensions.  Let’s look–here’s an example where I was consciously dipping my chin down in order to look upwards to the camera lens.

and here’s an example of me and Cristy both remembering to tilt our chins down a tiny bit.  Big difference from the earlier photos of us.

So please ignore those helpful tips that tell you to hold your head up to avoid the dreaded double chin effect.  I read one of those so-called helpful articles not two weeks ago published on the msn site.  So not true!!

Moving from a three dimensional world to a realistic representation in two dimensions is tricky enough, this tiny adjustment makes the transition a little smoother.

Wishing you better photos as we move into party-holiday-smile-for-the-camera season!

And just in case you haven’t caught up with the latest installments of Make it Merry (for shame!!) follow these links for the DIY fabulousness 🙂

Heather at Inspire Me Heather

Laura at Decor to Adore

thank you for reading!!




sharing with
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Hodge Podge Friday at It’s a Hodge Podge Life
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring
6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 2:33 am

    … but if I dip my chin too much, then I have two. 🙂 Such a beautiful photo actually. The one of you alone and the one of the two of you. Beautiful women. Hugs,

  2. December 6, 2011 2:48 am

    ” if you’re the subject of a photograph and you’re looking directly at the camera, smiling, tip your chin down just a little bit.”

    GREAT tip, Diane! I had never heard the before, but it makes total sense.

    FAB photos of you and Cristybella!

    And have I told you lately how stunning you ladies are?

    Well….you ARE!

    (((( Diane + Cristybella ))))

    Much X to you both!

  3. December 6, 2011 3:03 am


    Great tips for self portraits. You also see the eye issue when photographing yourself looking into a mirror. i think everyone has one of those shots on their Facebook page!! haha

    Have a great day,


  4. December 6, 2011 4:01 am

    OK~that does make a big difference! Great tip.
    Have you ever seen the pictures of how to stand? 3/4 turn, arms slightly back and bent. Then go look at all the red carpet photos~they’re all standing the same way! Now I’m going to have to go look some photos up and see if they’re all tucking their chins slightly downward. 🙂

  5. December 6, 2011 7:38 pm

    Hi Diane!

    Wow, great points and much needed on my end!

    I usually don’t like my picture taken so perhaps these tips will change that a little bit! 😉

    Hope you’re staying warm and enjoying the season…time for some of that soup!


  6. December 7, 2011 3:17 am

    Ahhhhhhhhhh…..great tip IF one took photos of oneself.

    <– smarter than that! *laughing*

    AND I threaten anyone who even looks like they're aiming their camera in my direction…..that's without putting my chin down–which I will now remember to do! 😉

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