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How to Make People Look Good in Photos

Learn how to make people look good in pictures from professional photographer Joe Sinnott in this Howcast portrait photography tutorial.


I'm Joe. I teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York. This is some tips for helping people look better in pictures.

Have them show up groomed. Have them show up wearing nice clothes. People look better when they're dressed up a little bit. They don't have to wear an evening gown and a tuxedo but it's better if they're not wearing torn jeans or tee-shirts with a lot of writing or logos on them.

Have them show up with their hair done. If they're the kind of people that need a shave, have them shave before they show up for the shoot.

Have your subjects show up with their hair and make-up done or groomed, if that's what they need.

Never photograph people with a wide-angle lens when you're doing a portrait. Lenses in the focal length from 75 to 105 millimeters are pretty good for portraits.

Try not to photograph people from below their eye line. It's better if you get a little bit above. It has a slimming effect. It makes everybody look a little thinner.

Syd, roll your left shoulder back a little bit. Photograph people on a little bit of an angle across this way. They look thinner.

Have them look right into the lens so they're engaged with you. Talk to them while you're shooting.

And have them smile. Smiling people look good. You put a smile on anybody's face. Happy people look good.

Roll that shoulder back even more, Syd. Even if you've got to turn from the waist down a little. That's terrific. Turn your head a little bit to the right. That's terrific. That's great. There's the face. That's terrific.

And those are a few tips for helping people look better in pictures.

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