Show your “good” side. Chances are, one side really is better, says Peter Hurley, a Los Angeles–based portrait photographer. To find yours, hold a piece of paper vertically over one side of your face, then the other, says Ian Spanier, a photographer in New York City. Your better side is the one with more upturned features—for example, the corners of your eyes and lips.
Control your chin. When you pose, elongate your neck and push your forehead and chin forward a bit. It may feel awkward, but “this position helps define your jawline and gives your face a more angular, lifted look,” says Hurley.
Pass the cheese. Despite what we’ve told generations of kindergartners, saying “cheese” doesn’t create a genuine smile. “A real smile forces the muscles under the eyes to contract,” says Hurley. To make that happen, squint slightly with your lower lids, Clint Eastwood–style, as you smile. (You might want to practice this in the mirror.) And aim your gaze at “the top of the camera lens, which will draw your eyes up and make them look brighter and bigger,” says image consultant Holly Ernst, the owner of Sparkle!, an image-consulting firm in Minneapolis.