Capture Your Best Photo in 2018

Whether you’re a professional, an entrepreneur, starting a side business or creating an online dating profile, you need at least one good photo of yourself to serve as your social media profile pic.

That selfie in the bar with the margarita or the one of you wearing the sunglasses and bikini on the beach? You might think you look good, but it may be that neither is the best representation of yourself.

We talk with Jenn Cady — a professional photographer, visual branding expert and the woman behind the lens of the photos in skirt! magazine — for tips about how to present our best selves in 2018.

Hire a professional photographer who specializes in headshot or branding photography. Look for a photographer who knows how to pose you and is willing to take the time to find your best angle. “Everyone has a best side,” Jenn says.

Once your shoot is scheduled, do some prep work. Plan to get your hair and makeup done the day of the photo shoot.

Use high-definition makeup without SPF. Jenn says SPF can make you look greasy in photos, so reserve that for your everyday wear and use another foundation for nighttime and when you’re being photographed. Always carry around a good finishing powder.

Know what hairstyles look good on you and whether you need highlights or lowlights. Date your stylist until you find the perfect fit, Jenn says, even if that means breaking up with your current stylist. We know it’s hard, but you will feel better after you do it.

Hire a fashion stylist to help you shop your closet for the right outfit. For your photo shoot, avoid patterns. They tend to distract from you. Choose one statement piece of jewelry.

On the day of the shoot, don’t say, “Cheese.” Jenn says that longtime trick actually causes us to tuck our chins, which is not flattering. Instead, lean into the camera and keep your shoulders back. A good photographer can make you laugh, so you have a natural smile. But, Jenn says, not everyone is a smiler, and that’s OK.

Of course, you can’t hire a professional photographer to follow you around every day, but you can follow these tips to make sure you look your best even in amateur iPhone photos.

When you’re shooting photos with friends and family, make sure you find a good light source and face toward it. If you’re inside, face a window. If there’s no light, turn the flash on. “Light takes away wrinkles,” Jenn says.

If you’re outside, find open shade, where you can still see the sky, but you are under cover. A covered porch works well. Ask the person taking the picture to raise the camera and point it down for the most flattering angle.

Know your best side and stand on it. Model with your chin and roll your shoulders back. Be proud. Don’t stand straight. Stand at an angle. “Once you turn, you have life,” Jenn says.