How To Pose For Pictures And Nail Your Look Every Time

If your camera roll looks anything like ours, it probably has about 50 selfie outtakes for every post-able frame. And don't get us started on candids (hello, awkward laughing face). Figuring out how to pose for pictures and nail your look in them can seem tricky. And between angles, lighting, expressions, and more, taking a solid picture — especially a headshot for posting on professional sites and using for work — often feels like an all-day commitment, but we promise you, it's definitely not. It's just a matter of mastering a few very easy and doable tricks.

As part of our ongoing partnership with COVERGIRL, we hosted three #IAmWhatIMakeUp Headshot Studios at WeWork spaces across New York City — in Chelsea with Women of WeWork, in Williamsburg, and in Harlem — giving employees a chance to get their makeup professionally done before sitting for headshots and snapping personal pics. There were eyeshadow palettes, cameras, cocktails, and plenty of makeovers. But most importantly, there were tips all around on how to prep (try experimenting with makeup) and pose (it's all about being yourself) for whatever picture you're in next.

Just Relax

The minute you start shifting and contorting your face into unnatural positions, you run the risk of an awkward picture. Just think about all the unfortunate duck faces you've seen over the years (guilty). "I get very frustrated when people feel like they have a good side or a bad side, or you must take it from above, or you must take it from below," says photographer Victor Jeffreys II, who captured attendees' headshots at the event. "If people would just look at the camera and not do anything, they'd realize how beautiful [they are]." So just relax, don't worry so much about posing, and be yourself.

Grab A Prop

There's a reason nearly every photobooth you come across includes a selection of funny hats, oversize sunglasses, or clever signs. Props add levity to picture posing. It's hard not to smile when you're holding glossy lips or a flame emoji in front of your face. (Although maybe save those for the personal photos instead of the professional ones.) Regardless of what the image is for, however, there's one rule of thumb you can count on with pictures, and that's happy people = good pics.

Experiment With Makeup

A photo is an expression of you, and what better way to experiment with different sides of who you are than with makeup? You can enhance certain elements of your personality, shift the way you come across, and draw attention to whichever features you want. At the #IAmWhatIMakeUp Headshot Studios, guests were encouraged to try out looks they may not have considered before. Some went with creative lip colors, others had the makeup artists create smoldering smoky eyes, and some chose a natural glow to bring out their best for personal and professional snaps.

Don't worry, though. You don't have to be a beauty blogger or have access to a professional makeup artist in order to nail a look. That's the great thing about makeup: It's the perfect tool for experimenting, so don't be afraid to play — with colors, textures, everything. And when it doubt: "Find that bold lip and a good mascara," says makeup artist Cici Barnes, who did makeovers at the event. "You’re never going to fail with that."

Bring A Friend

You go out with your friends, stay in with your friends, vacation with your friends, and basically do everything with your friends. And we bet you've already taken a solid number of pictures with your friends anyway, so why not keep the tradition going? Bringing a friend — or friends — into a picture diffuses the awkwardness of staring down a camera. And even if it's more of a solo headshot situation, having them around behind the scenes can still make the photos their best. Plus, everything is just more fun with your squad.

So whether you're snapping your next selfie or planning to update that job profile pic, remember these handy tips...and get ready for the compliments to roll in.

This post is sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Images: Kimberly Mufferi (12); Victor Jeffreys II (4)