More than 95 million pics and videos are uploaded per day to Instagram. And yes, many are filled with drooling babies, zany cats, and landscapes ruined by the use of wonky filters. Additionally, there are also painfully awkward poses from people who clearly don’t don’t know how to take a photo. While we can’t stop idiots from posting moronic photos — dude, we get it, your cat is super cute and cuddlyy — we can help you avoid looking awkward in photos. Whether you’re taking a selfie or a “youie” — you know, when someone else takes a photo of you — here are six tips to use to look more human and less Igor the Hunchback in your next crop of pics to show up on social media:
#1. Don’t Slouch
It’s a good rule to follow in general, but when you’re hunched over like you’re suffering from scurvy it throws your proportions out of whack in photos. Keep your core tight, don’t puff your chest out, and imagine you’re trying to gently pull your shoulders back to touch each other. When you feel them strain, you’ve gone too far. If you stop just before that you’ve hit a sweet spot.
#2. Don’t Square Yourself to the Camera
Try to angle yourself and shift your weight to one leg and put your hands in a natural position, whether that’s in your pockets, against a wall, or around the person who is standing next to you. Doesn’t matter. Pint is, if you put your hands in your pants don’t put them down front Al Bundy style, perv.
#3. Keep Your Eyes Up
And your head and chin, too. Just don’t strain.
#4. Count to Three
To avoid looking worn down, fatigued, or like you’re struggling to smile, which happens when you try to hold a pose too long. Try keeping your peepers shut until the photog gives you a three count. Prevent looking like a red-eyed demon by looking at the light source. The weirdo red-eye effect happens when the camera captures light that’s reflecting from the retina when a flash is used in darker or dim-lit environments.
#5. Smile With Your Entire Face
Smile with your mouth and you’ll look like a guy who is having his photo taken at gunpoint. Smile with your face and don’t try to hold it for minutes at a time. If you need a second, ask for a second to recompose. You don’t have to be happy, you just have to look the part.
#6. Use The Environment
Avoid standing under direct light to limit shadows. Nothing’s weirder than a dude who has one side of his face lit up and the other shadowed over like a Phantom of the Opera cosplay. Remember: light surfaces (like white walls) will underline your skin tone and facial features.