article top

by Esther Lambright

Whether it’s a full-on portrait shoot or a quick snapshot, I think we can all agree that we like to look our best in photos.  And while selfies might seem like the thing for most, others (like me) employ their Instagram spouse to always get the right angles. In any scenario we all want the best, so I’ve put together 5 tips to enable you to capture your best side no matter the occasion. Mix and match these tips to level up your photo game immediately.



It’s the first on our list and possibly the most obvious if you want to capture naturally vibrant expressions.  A genuine smile spread across your face gives your photo the power to truly connect you with the viewer. Are you someone who doesn’t know how to naturally smile when you’re in front of the camera? Think about something that makes you laugh or brings you joy. Allow yourself to experience those feelings in your body and exude the natural radiance of that feeling from your face.


#2 Create Angles & Triangles

Using your arms and legs to create space and accent your natural body line adds a pleasing dynamic to your photo. Bend your knee, pop a hand on your hip, and play with your hair. All of these give a sense of natural movement while also creating lines for the viewers eyes to follow.


#3 Chin forward and down!

When it comes to eliminating the dreaded ‘double chin’ this is one of the best solutions.  My clients often refer to it as the ‘chicken neck’ . It feels a bit awkward, but try it out and you’ll see that it is perfect for slimmer neck and cheeks. Simply extend your chin straight out in front of you and then drop it down slightly. This will also open your eyes to the  camera and slightly slim your cheeks and jaw.


#4 Camera angle matters!

The angle of your camera also has a huge impact on your image. Example 1: For a more confident pose, hold the camera below eye level and angel up slightly. This is great for full body shots and for making you look taller.

Example 2: For a slimming effect, bring the  camera above your eye level and angle down slightly.  Now your eyes and face become the main focus, giving your photo that friendly, girl-next-door feel.

#5 Body language

Finally, the way you own the space you’re in matters. It’s a powerful way to level up the way you show up and are captured in photos.  If you want to be cute, own your cuteness.  If you’re going for a confident look, then be confident.  If you want to portray joy, feel the joy bubbling up inside of you.  Flirt with the camera and it’ll flirt back, love the camera and I promise it will love you more and more!


As you can see, these tips are simple and I know if you try them you will see just how effective they can be.  If they help you elevate your photo and selfie game I’d love to hear about it. Tag me at #capturedimagery when you post to Instagram. Have fun implementing these ideas into your photos.

Esther Lambright Patterson is a portrait photographer and the  founder of Captured Imagery, a photography studio on the island of Oahu. It is her mission to give an opportunity to each person in front of her camera to be seen, celebrated and documented. For more information about this article, her business or anything photography related please contact her via email or her website

Photos by Captured Imagery




Leave a Reply