The Smart Side of Beautiful

How to Smile in Pictures: A Few Simple Steps

by Nicole C. Bridge
Group of girls taking a picture of themselves.
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Thanksto social media and smartphones, a picture can make the rounds pretty quickly.Once you say cheese, that pic might be shared with your family, close friends and even casual acquaintances. A big, bold smile can turn a photo from drab to fab instantly. Follow these tips for how to smile in pictures so that you look natural, confident and beautiful every time.

1. Start with a Natural Facial Expression

You can't fake a real smile so don't even try! Look in the mirror with a blank expression and think of something that makes you giggle. See that? Your mouth naturally settles into the correct angles. Notice the way your eyes join your smile when you're feeling genuinely happy. Natural smiles cause your cheeks to press a little against your eyes.

2. Smile with Your Eyes

Now that you know that real happiness sends your eyes into a smile, make sure you squint a touch when you're taking a picture. Just be careful your eyes aren't so happy that you can't see them. Try closing and opening them just before the camera clicks, and then try to make your eyes into small half-moons.

3. Practice!

Be natural, squint, but not too much ... these are a lot of instructions! For that reason, the best advice is to practice. Look right in the mirror and test out the recommendations until you find the right look that feels OK too.

4. Flash Your Pearly Whites

Once you've nailed the perfect smile, give your teeth a little love to make it extra beautiful. If you're a frequent coffee or tea drinker, for example, you might need to address some staining or yellowing. Try Colgate® Optic White® Toothpaste, which is formulated to lighten stains and discoloration. If used properly, it can whiten teeth up to three shades lighter*.

5. Smile Early and Hold It

When it's finally time to say "cheese," smile ahead of the camera click so that your grin settles into its widest and happiest spot just as the picture is taken. Don't forget to keep your tongue behind your teeth.

6. Consider the Lighting

Any movie director will tell you that lighting makes a huge impact on how anything and anyone looks. Stay away from heavy shadows because they only serve to highlight skin imperfections. Make sure lighting is evenly distributed across the length and breadth of your face. Stay away from direct sunlight or an aggressive flash.

7. Strike a Pose

Photographer Mira Zaslove, writing for PetaPixel, says not to slouch. Make your neck long and tilt your head a touch. Lean into the camera and ask the photographer to take the picture from above you.

It might sound like a lot to remember, but practice makes perfect! You'll get it. Follow these steps on how to smile in pictures so your natural beauty shines right through the lens.

*Optimal results based on brushing twice daily for four weeks.

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