“Say cheese!” — A phrase is used by many to coax a subject into showing off their pearly whites for the camera. However, smiling isn’t as easy as it seems. For many, taking pictures can be a nerve-wracking and uncomfortable experience, especially if you’re unhappy with how your smile looks.
If you are ready to level up your smile for pictures, follow the tips and tricks below.
Tips and tricks for a more photogenic smile
According to studies, 68 percent of people say a smile makes you seem more confident, trustworthy, and approachable. Photos are forever, so ensure you’re showing off your best self by practicing these five tips to feel confident the next time someone picks up a camera.
- Think happy thoughts! The best thing you can do to portray a happy smile is to think about things that naturally make you smile! Whether it’s your adored pet, a favorite memory, or an inside joke between you and a friend, picture this thing in your head and let those genuine feelings shine through.
- Give your teeth some love: Be sure to practice good oral hygiene by following regular brushing and flossing routines and keeping up with visiting the dentist. If your teeth are prone to yellowing or discoloration, a whitening treatment may help increase your confidence.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth: If you’re someone that prefers to smile without your teeth, this trick can help accentuate your features by tightening the muscles in your face and neck.
- Keep your eyes closed: No, silly — We don’t mean during the actual photo. Keep your eyes closed until just before a picture is taken to help keep your smile natural. Try to resist opening them abruptly, and instead – open them in an easy and relaxed way, then pull the corners of your mouth upward.
- Don’t forget to smize! Your mouth isn’t the only thing that can portray happiness. Your eyes, too, can elevate your face and smile. To smile with your eyes (i.e. smize), relax your face, tilt your chain, and slightly squint.
Practice makes perfect!
You want your smile to be warm, welcoming, and, most importantly, natural. So don’t be afraid to stand in front of a mirror, practice your smile, and play around with different poses to figure out which angles best capture your features. If you have a camera or smartphone, snap a few photos and review them to find a smile you feel confident and radiant in sharing with the world.
Why smiling is important for your health
Photos aside, smiling is important for your overall health and has many health benefits that can improve your physical and emotional well-being. According to various psychological studies, flashing a smile can:
- Alleviate stress
- Fight illness
- Reduce blood pressure
- Strengthen your immune system
- Reduce pain
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Relieve anxiety
- Improve your overall mood
Can smiling make you happy?
Yes, it can! New York-based neurologist Dr. Isha Gupta found that smiling can increase levels of hormones like dopamine and serotonin in the body. These results correlate to improved moods and can, as a result, strengthen your relationships with others and help build trust.