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Looking good in photographs

Nicola Jane Ford is a freelance writer and the author of the novel Scatter, a psychological suspense mystery. She is a frequent contributor to SheKnows.com, often writing about home and travel.

Celeb tricks to look great in pix

Here are some flattering little tricks (like the celebrities use!) that you can try to look your best in photos -- whether a quick snapshot or a family portrait.

What's your best side?

Take some photos of yourself beforehand to see which angles are most flattering. Jennifer Love Hewitt posingThe classic actress/model pose is one foot in front of the other with the body at a three-quarters angle toward the camera. This is typically the most flattering positioning, but needs to be used with care to avoid looking unnatural. Many actresses also cross one leg in front of the other (see Jennifer Love Hewitt doing that at right) which gives the benefits of the above-mentioned pose and also appears to elongate the legs.

The basics

Without taking it to extremes, remember these basics for posing: Back straight, shoulders relaxed, chest out, stomach in.

Don't bite

To make your face appear thinner, don't clench your teeth -- leave your jaw loose.

Stick your neck out -- literally

By moving your head slightly forward, you will smooth and gently stretch the skin along the neck, making your face look thinner and more defined (and also to help minimize any double chins).

Your chinny-chin-chin(s)

To reduce the look of a double chin, position the camera so it's just above eye level and tilt your head down slightly.

Sit up straight

Good posture (note we didn't say a stiff, uncomfortable posture) will make you look relaxed, healthy, alert -- and wonderfully slender. (Just don't tighten your shoulders.) One good way to get the right posture is to imagine you have a clothes hanger in the back of your shirt, and it's hanging you up.

From the hip

Another red-carpet tip is to put your hand on your hip, elbow out. First, this keeps your arm from pressing against your body, which squishes it a little and makes it appear larger to anyone looking.

From the hip

If you're not comfortable with the hand on your hip tip (above), at least help your arms to "float" a little -- hold them just a little bit away from your torso to make your arms look thinner.

For eyes

Skip the glasses unless they are an important part of who you are. The lenses will reflect light, causing shadowing and distorting your face.

More tips for better photos

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