Photo ID experts offer ten tricks to help you look better in photos

Grab your phone and take a minute to scroll through your Instagram profile. Take that holiday photo album off the shelf. Have a rummage through the cards in your wallet. Which photos are you quite chuffed with? Which ones do you look at and want to die of shame?

Try to spot patterns in the pics you do and don’t like. Are you smiling in the selfies you love? What pose were you actually attempting to strike in that unflattering Facebook post? Did you keep closing your eyes in those photos you had to get re-done for your photo ID card?

Passport and ID Card photos do have to follow strict guidelines but you can be more creative with selfies and photos of you with your friends and family. Whatever the occasion, if you need a few pointers on how to make the lens love you, take a look at these top tips. You’ll never feel camera shy again.

Wakey wakey, sleepyhead
To avoid looking like you’re having a snooze, close your eyes before the picture is taken and open them slowly just before the camera clicks.

Demon eyes
Halloween only happens once a year, so avoid red eyes in photos on the other 364 days by looking towards (but never directly at) a light before the camera shutter closes. Brighter lights shrink your pupils, minimising the zombie look.

How many chins?
Most of us have been photobombed by a crowd of our own chins at one time or another. Try this trick: tip your chin down, imagine sticking out your forehead, and elongate your neck.

Find a new angle
They say that turning your head to a three-quarter position will deepen your features and create a more flattering effect than being head-on to the camera. Whilst this is great advice for fun snaps, do remember with passport or photo ID card pictures that the rules state you need to be facing the camera and looking forward.

Diet schmiet
Lost your gym pass down the back of the sofa? For a full body shot where you want to look slimmer, put your hand on your hip, angle your body to the side and turn your head towards the camera. Who needs boot camp now? If you’re taller than the photographer, keep in mind that a photo taken from just above you will be more complimentary than one taken from below.

Hold the cheese
Cheese is for crackers. But unless it’s a photo ID card or passport photo, you are allowed to smile. Make it seem more natural by thinking of the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you. Not that many laughs lately? Say “money” instead. The sound makes the corners of your mouth rise, creating a smiley illusion that will disguise even the grumpiest mood.

Don’t be a goofball
All the celebs know this one. Tuck your tongue up behind your teeth before you crack that smile. It will make your grin look less wide. Sounds weird but it works like a charm.

Background issues
Your make-up looks alright in the mirror. The doc says there’s nothing wrong with you. So why does your skin tone always end up looking slightly odd in photos? Standing in front of a white background helps most camera settings find the right color balance for you.

Lost in the shadows?
When you stand directly under a light, it can cast strange shadows on your face. Depending on the setting, try facing a window or stand sideways-on to a soft lamp.

Britain’s next prop model
That camera devil makes bad photos from idle hands. Cuddle a puppy, pick a flower, clasp a cocktail or hug your mates – just hold on to something! It makes you look less random and adds interesting context to photos with friends and family.

One photo that it’s always worth showing off is your My ID Card – official proof that you’re over 18. Check the My ID photo requirements here.


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