Say Cheese! (Or Don’t.) Cameras are being pulled out by the second and you know what that means. Your stunning look is about to be plastered all across social media. In this age of serial clicking, photos—even when they’re shot by a pro—aren’t just for your frames anymore. You can bet you’ll be seen far and wide, and for a long time to come. So how do you choose a photographer? How do you stand in photos and smize (that’s smile with the eyes, people), like Tyra Banks? No matter the season, we could all use some “model tricks” from the guy behind the lens, right? And we’ve got em. Read on.

Wanna look good in pictures?


Having professional photos taken is an opportunity to look your best and capture priceless moments, says photographer Liam Hennessey. He knows clients who visit his studio are nervous when it comes to posing, but he has a way of making them feel at ease. Check these out.

How to Look Great in Photos

By BrazenWoman

10 Ways to Take Your Best Picture Ever

  • Go Glam!

    By BrazenWoman

    Treat yourself to a new outfit and professional hair and makeup. You'll see the investment in your photo.

  • Think Timing

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    When to have your photo shoot is just as important as where. Schedule photography around seasons—and milestones like special trips, birthdays and anniversaries.

  • Location, Location, Location

    By BrazenWoman

    The setting of your photo is key. If you've got a special place in mind, let your photographer know. It will inspire creativity.

  • Props (Or Nots)

    By BrazenWoman

    Your photo shoot is an opportunity to show who you are and what you're into. Using props is a great way to visually show your personality.

  • Have Fun

    By BrazenWoman

    Don't take yourself too seriously. Loosen up! If you're not having fun, it will show in your photos.

  • Get into it

    By BrazenWoman

    Share your vision for your pictures with your photographer. If you leave it all up to him, you may end up looking nothing like yourself. 

  • Play Copycat

    By BrazenWoman

    Show your photographers images that you love. There's nothing wrong with finding inspiration in other pictures and in fact, they will inspire more creativity. 

  • Make Friends

    By BrazenWoman

    Ask your friends what they loved and didn't about their photo shoots. Getting advice will help you decide how you want your pictures to look.

  • Dig Deeper

    By BrazenWoman

    Check out the work of various photographers along with portfolios so you get a sense of what you're in for. Every photographer has different skills, styles and prices.

  • Go Au Naturel

    By BrazenWoman

    You don't want to appear stiff in photos. Here's a trick: Move around so that the photographer can get a natural shot. 


Treat yourself to a makeover. It’s worth it. You know that feeling you get when you buy a stunning new coat or a butt-hugging pair of jeans? That little swing in your step with a new cut and colour? Yeah, that! Bring that to the shoot. Go ahead and treat yourself to a new wardrobe and some professional hair and makeup work. It sets the stage for the entire shoot and helps build the excitement.


Schedule your photo shoot around seasons and personal milestones. The moments we want to capture can sneak up on us. The autumn leaves are fleeting, and a cold winter skate under the falling snow might only be possible a few times a year. And you don’t want to arrive at a birthday or anniversary celebration only to realize it’d be the perfect time for a photo shoot—if only you’d planned ahead. Whatever season or milestone you want to remember, plan your shoot around it.


Where you take the photo is key. If you have a great setting in mind, tell the photographer because that spot opens up a world of possibility for your shoot. Not only will you inspire some creativity based on what’s around, but you’ll add special meaning to the photos.


Your photo shoot should reflect your personality. If you like picnics in a field, pack a basket, bring some wine and head into the setting sun. But if you’re not into props and quirky elements, don’t force it. A photo shoot should be a fun experience that reflects who you are and what you’re about. It’s an opportunity to play make-believe, or be completely silly. Props can be as simple as a hat, or as extravagant as an ATV and some ice-fishing gear.


Don’t take yourself too seriously. Photographers all have lots of little tricks and tips to help you relax and forget about the camera but you have to remember to loosen up. If you’re stiff, that will come across. You have to let go and show who you are—starting from the inside, starting with having fun.


Collaborate with your photographer. If you leave it all up to the photographer, you just may end up feeling forced to cuddle in a crowded restaurant—when you and your husband cringe at PDAs. If you share your vision with your photographer, he can help you achieve the result you want. Are you gamers or sports fans? Speak up. Are you just not a smiler? No problem. Tell your photographer so he doesn’t have you Saying Cheese.


Don’t be afraid to bring along reference images. If you’ve seen styles and poses you like, bring them along and share them with your photographer. Nobody wants to copy someone else’s work, but sharing gives your photographer a great idea of what you like.


Get advice. It’s so valuable. Ask your friends who have been photographed what they enjoyed and what the experience was like. Look at their entire collection of photographs from the shoot. Ask them what they liked and what they wished they had known before the shoot.


Research photographers. There is no barrier to entry and almost everyone is a photographer these days. That means there’s a wide variety of skill levels on both the photography side and the business side. Don’t hesitate to ask to see previous similar work and a more in-depth description of what you can expect from the session, including what’s included and what’s extra.


Always mind your hands and feet. Professional photographers will help you pose in different lighting to help you look your best and to make the photo believable and real. A photograph of a couple whose connection is expressed in their body language is more compelling than one where they stand with their hands at their sides, staring at each other. Couples should start by touching. Soon, you’ll be laughing and fumbling and falling into a natural embrace. These genuine moments make for great photos, and your photographer will help bring them out.

10 ways to look great in photos

Photographer and Nikon Professional Services member Liam Hennessey launched Applehead Studio with the dream of reinventing the business of photography. He’s a risk taker who has created innovative photography collections for couples all over the world, from New Zealand to New Waterford. 

About the author

Brazen Woman

BrazenWoman Editors share the latest and greatest tips, trends, reviews, contests and giveaways.

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