“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’re ready to level up your smile for pictures, follow the tips and tricks below.
How to smile for pictures
Pictures 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 an 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.
- Keep your eyes closed: No, silly. We don’t mean during the actual photo. Close your eyes just before a picture is taken to help keep your smile natural. Try to resist jerking them open, and instead open them at a steady pace and then drag 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, relax your face, tilt your chin, and slightly squint.
Practice makes perfect!
You want your smile for pictures to be warm, welcoming, and, most importantly, natural. So don’t be afraid to stand in front of a mirror, practice your grin, 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 radiant smile you feel confident 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 an article from the University of Alabama, cracking a smile can:
- Help your body release feel good hormones
- Improve interpersonal relationships
- Relieve stress
- Increase productivity at work
- May help you live longer
*Updated September 2023