How To Look Amazing In Your Holiday Photos - Every Time!

Learn some simple things you can do to make sure you look amazing in your holiday photos. You can listen to episode 33 of Camera Ready With Val Brown here: visualbridgecommunication.com/podcast

Dreading the holiday family photos at Aunt Margaret’s? 


Or are you going to an event and everyone is wearing their holiday sweaters and you would rather walk over hot coals?


I’m pretty sure we all have our share of photos from a holiday gathering that don't match our great memory of the event.


Has this happened to you?

When you look at your holiday photos you think everyone in the shot looks great except you because:

  • Your eyes are shut.

  • You hate what you are wearing

  • The camera angle is unflattering

  • You have dark circles under your eyes because of bad lighting 

I’ve experienced every one of these. 


Worry not, there are some really easy things you can do to make sure you look your best in your priceless holiday photos.


In this post we'll cover:

  • What to wear or not

  • Lighting, angles and tips to look slimmer on camera 

  • Timing

Okay, if you’re ready, let’s dive in!

What To Wear...

Holiday events drive your wardrobe so in that context, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you are going to wear a holiday sweater, wear a solid pants or skirt in a complementary color to balance out all that design on your body. Large prints will make you look larger.

  • Solid colors in mid-dark tones are slimming.

  • Whites and lighter colors can make you look larger and will make you stand out in photos.

  • Sequins, glitter and shiny fabrics will reflect light, so keep that in mind when you pick your place to stand.


  • Lighting, angles and tips to help you look slimmer on camera

  • Paying attention to this will have a bigger impact than anything else you do.

  • If you have any control over where the photo is being taken, suggest a location where there is an even light source when choosing a location.

  • Standing under florescent lights or lights shining straight down from the ceiling will cast unflattering shadows - always look for a location that’s well lit and incorporates the festive feeling of your occasion.

It’s fun to get more candid photos anyway vs. all standing in a row for a group photo. Some people sitting, others standing or leaning is less formal, and people are more likely to look natural.Just watch your posture, slouching can add pounds. And don’t forget to include your canine and feline companions, it’s always wonderful to include them in your memories.


Indoor shots are hard when there’s low light so here’s a quick tip: if it’s too dark, you can use your phone as an additional light source - go to a blank web page and turn up the brightness and position it to fill in shadows. Just don’t shine it on your face from below, you will look very scary!


How To Instantly Lose 5 Pounds on Camera

We all know the camera adds a few unwanted pounds os here are a couple of tips to help you look slimmer on camera:


This is one of my favorites - I know it sounds kind of weird, but….

  • Do the chicken - that’s right, tilt your forehead slightly forward and watch your double chin disappear. Go ahead and try it - this elongates your neck and tightens your jawline slightly and makes your face appear thinner (it’s like magic!).

  • If you have a tendency (like me) to smile so big your eyes disappear, touch your tongue to the back of your teeth when you smile to keep to help you keep your eyes open.

  • My friend and photographer Stephanie Marie who was on episode 11 suggests you turn your body slightly at an angle instead of facing the camera straight on - angles make a more interesting photo and this also has a slimming effect. Straight on to the camera is rarely the most flattering angle.

  • Tucking your your hair behind your ear can open your face up so you can see your eyes.

  • Putting your hand on your hip can draw your waistline in, however, try this only if it feels natural, I’ve seen people do this and because it’s not something they would normally do, and it looks staged.

  • Take photos form angle slightly above which is more flattering than photos from below.