Do What I Don’t: How to Look Great in Pictures

I recently had the pleasure of attending a team building activity with my entire department from work.

The event was fantastic.  We had a group cooking lesson and made our own dinner.  It was a wonderful experience to roll up our sleeves and roll out spring vegetable risotto balls alongside colleagues and department heads.

That night, I built relationships with many of my colleagues, and made a few friends, too.

That night, I also appeared in a number of photographs.  It wasn’t deliberate.  I guess that I just happened to be in the middle of the action at a few different points.

And when they made their way to my office in-box yesterday, I nearly had a fit.

But as I looked over each photo, I could see exactly what I did wrong.

So here are some of my recommendations for how to look good in pictures (some practical, some tongue-in-cheek):

Don’t wear prints.

El Profesor, this one goes out to you.  I am pretty sure you warned me about wearing that shirt before I left the apartment for the long day ahead.  I was insistent upon wearing it.  I said I would be comfortable.  I said I looked professional.  You said I looked like an old lady.  And do you know what?  You were right!

Print fabrics are also a bad idea because there is a risk of the photo being reprinted in black and white, and while prints look ridiculous in all pictures, they are especially bizarre looking in black and white photos.

Stick to solids when attending an event where you are sure to be photographed.

Don’t spend too much time standing next to people that are significantly smaller than you.

I am not a big girl.  I’m 5’4″ (okay, I’m 5’4″ in heels) and wear a small size.  Most people are bigger than me.  So typically, this rule isn’t a challenge for me to adhere to.

But there are two women in my department who are about 4’11” (okay, fine they’re like 4’11” in heels) and guess who I was rolling risotto balls next to all night?  Yeah.

So I kind of look like a WNBA player in all of those pictures, too.

Side note:  For dudes this rule might go the other way.

If you have a round face, make sure that your hair is not tightly pulled back.

My face looks huge in all of these pictures.  I was cooking so I had my hair tightly pulled back in a pony tail.  The circumstances dictated the look.  So the rule here is, if it is appropriate to have all or some of your hair down, do it.

If you’re wearing a short-sleeved shirt or a tank top and you have really muscular arms, make sure to have at least one hand on your hip when being photographed.

If you’re a chick with muscular arms, and they are just hanging at your side, they don’t look like sexy, sleek Michelle Obama arms.  The just look like big, thick arms.  If your arms are bent at the elbow, the muscle is flexed and that shows off all of your hard work at the gym.  Don’t let it be for naught ladies.  You earned that sexy picture.

Do you have any suggestions for how to look great in pictures?

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