Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

If the thought of a selfie is enough to make you shudder and you’re the type of person who avoids the camera at all times due to a history of unflattering captured moments, know that you are not alone and can indeed overcome this. Most of the time, being camera-shy on its own won’t impact your everyday life; it’s anxiety and self-consciousness about smiling that really drives people to make a change. Here are five secret ways you can perfect your smile today.

1. See A Really Good Dentist

A common cause that lurks beneath a lack of confidence when taking photos is insecurity about your teeth. A solid dental care routine is a must for maintaining a white and healthy smile, so always make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day and limit your consumption of dark-colored drinks that cause staining (the worst culprits include coffee, tea, and red wine).

To reduce the appearance of staining you already have, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening. This popular treatment will leave you with noticeably whiter teeth and a brighter smile in just one visit.

2. The Right Shade of Lipstick

A simple way to enhance the appearance of your smile in just a few seconds is with your lipstick choice. There are a few different lipstick application tricks that can help your teeth look significantly whiter, but choosing a strong, cool-toned shade of lipstick works as a general rule. If you’re not really sure what shade suits you, a little chat with a makeup sales representative is all you need. Ladies and lippy enthusiasts have been using this secret for years, give it a go yourself today.

3. Don’t Say Cheese, Say “Haha”

Contrary to what you’ve probably been told forever, saying “cheese” and similar words with that “ee” sound is not the best way to encourage a natural smile. In fact, stretching out your face to make the “ee” sound can be an unflattering look for even the most photogenic people. You’re much better off laughing for real before someone takes your picture. This is one of the easiest things you can do. Even if you have no reason to laugh or cannot think of something funny, committing to a loud, fake chuckle is usually all it takes to inspire real laughter!

4. Relax Your Face

This goes hand in hand with the above point about not saying cheese. When you strain or forcefully move your facial muscles to pose for a picture, the awkward fakeness always shows through in the final photo. Not only will lines and wrinkles appear more prominent, but a fake smile is all the more obvious. Try closing your eyes for a few seconds before the picture is taken, relax your face, and think “less is more.” Just be sure to open your eyes before the shot is taken!

5. Practice

The truth is, nobody is naturally photogenic. Models and public figures who get their pictures taken all the time only seem to be naturals because they have so much practice! Like anything, the only way to become more comfortable on camera is to face your fears head-on and get as many pictures as it takes until you don’t have to think about it too much anymore. This is the one tip that will enhance all of the above points. Feel free to take inspiration from your favourite figures when posing!

Now you’re familiar with some of the attainable ways to achieve a bright and photo-ready smile, it’s time to put these tips into practice!