For some of us, we’re not so photogenic. When people take photos of us there’s always this short pause where they glance at the photo and say something like, “that’s ok, it’s a digital camera, I can take another one”. We all know the usual suspects: the guy with his eyes always closed, the woman whose mouth is always open, and someone’s strait-laced aunt who always manages to look fucked up on drugs because her eye is drooping and her false teeth have slipped down.
I’m here to tell you that no matter how many photos you snap with that camera, these and other violations of human nature will always showup and ruin the shot. These days though we have Photoshop, that little gem of a program that can whisk away those wrinkles, brighten those lazy eyes and yes, even make aunty at least look like she’s out of rehab. But not all of us have this expensive software nor do we have the time to change pixel after pixel until we start to look at least a little normal like the others in the shot. So in this entry I propose 8 alternative ways to look better in photos without having to resort to Photoshop:
1. Wear a wig. The ancient Sumerians understood the value of a good wig. Wigs cover unsightly bald spot and divert attention to the lovely do that you have. I’m in the picture below taken on some mountain in Colorado. Add a wig and all of a sudden I become Hiker Paul, windswept and mysterious. Wigs can and should be used at any opportunity, but maybe not going through customs…
2. Try not to smile. For god’s sake, hide those teeth, you’ll make Yaks horny. Some people just have shocking teeth but insist on showing them in every photo…bad move. Instead pensive and mysterious by staring into the camera with either: pursed lips (picture) or a closed mouth (picture). Under no circumstances should you show your smile if
a. You have more gaps than teeth
b. Your teeth look more like baked beans than enamel
c. More than 5 or your teeth look like they’re trying to escape from your mouth in every direction
3. Stand further back in the picture. If your features are not as good (or were never) it sometimes pays to stand a little further back so those peculiarities you inherited from generations of alcoholism are less noticeable. How far do you go? Well that’s up to you but here’s a little scale to help you decide:
a. You’re an adult with pre-pubescent acne: walk back 0.5 metres
b. You sweat so much you look like you’ve just done 10 rounds with Tyson: +1.5metres
c. People speak slowly to you thinking that you’re retarded: +2 metres
d. You still live with your mother (not that that’s creepy or anything): +5 metres
e. People refer to you as “that guy with the eyebrows”: +10 metres
f. Kids point and stare at you but are so frightened they can only mouth words: +15 metres
g. People ask you “So when did you become a woman”: keep going, keep going
4. Have photos taken of you while you sleep. I grew up thinking that I looked really good when I was asleep. Don’t ask me why but I think I was asleep on a bus for a school trip and woke up to find a girl from the row in front of me looking and smiling. Ever since then I would pretend to sleep in as many social situations as possible. Waiting in queues, in the classroom, driving, when being interviewed by the police…
5. Refuse to be in staged photos. We’ve all got that friend or family member that insists on taking staged photos at every event. “C’mon everyone, let’s get a group shot. Smiiiillllle!” and then we’re all forced to smile maniacally while the photo is taken. Staged photos make us look even more awkward than we already are. Instead insist on random impromptu shots when you’re in a more natural setting. For example, in conversation, playing with children, or watching TV… just as long as you don’t already look bad doing these things. A general rule of thumb here: keep your hands above your waist, I’m saying anything…just keep those hands high fella.
6.Stand behind the tall girl. Every photo has one, so make sure you are behind her at all times in case there is a random snap here and there. If the photographer asks you to come forward so you can be seen, simply reply in hushed tones that you have a medical condition that no one should be ‘down wind’ from. No one will ever ask again.
7. Play to your best parts. Some people have a favourite side, or think they look best with a cheeky smirk or tilting their head to the side, or resting on their hand. However warning bells should ring for you when one of your best sides is your…punctuality or god forbid, your “personality” . Let’s face it, in photos, your best part is being able to take the photo for the beautiful people…
8. Pretend you are protesting against something. Protesters are edgy, protesters are changing the world, protesters are beyond the petty vagaries of look – they have much more important things to do. Dude, in all honesty, protesters carry banners a lot and wear bandanas, both of which cover up their faces – so give that a try.