Awkward smiles and blank stares make everyone look awful in photos. Even models. Fortunately for them, they know how to avoid these picture pitfalls.
But you can learn their secrets with these tips from Andy Speer, a longtime Men’s Health model who also happens to be a world-class trainer. (For Speer’s strategies on sculpting a cover-worthy body, check out The Anarchy Workout—one guy lost 18 pounds of pure fat in just 6 weeks!)
Step 1: Angle Your Body
To play up your masculine features without looking like you’re trying too hard, pull your shoulders back slightly. Point your feet toward the camera and shift your torso so that your shoulders are angled 10 to 15 degrees out of line from your feet. “This’ll give you more dimension,” says Speer.
Step 2. Keep Your Chin Down
If you’re lifting your chin or looking up at the camera, chances are you’re showing the world a perfect view of the inside of your nose, says Speer. Keep your chin pointed down and turn your head slightly away from the camera. The angle will highlight your jaw and make it look stronger.
A lot of men forget to “smize,” a term coined by supermodel Tyra Banks that means letting your smile spread to your eyes. You can see the difference even without actually smiling. With a straight face, look at yourself in the mirror. Now try to only “smile with your eyes.” It’s a slight change, but makes a huge impact on camera.
The trick to a smile that lights up your whole face is to let out a breathy laugh, says Speer. Thinking about something that cracks you up gives you a look of general happiness. Letting out a barely audible breath pushes air out of your stomach and gives you the added bonus of a tighter midsection. And remember: If you’re not achieving a natural smile this way, it’s probably because you’re not smizing.