Alternatives for smiling in photos

by: Sandy Johnson, RDH

If you’ve ever had braces or been embarrassed about showing off your smile because of the appearance of your teeth, then you know how difficult and stressful it is when someone says those two words: say cheese! Smiling isn’t for everyone, and more often than not, a forced smile out of discomfort can be more distracting and unattractive than imperfect teeth. 

To help put you more at ease when the impromptu photo-opp comes up, we’ve put together some tips and alternatives to smiling that won’t ruin the picture!

• Talk or laugh out loud. Having a candid face will look more genuine

• Tilt your head down. This will shift focus to your eyes and away from your mouth. 

• Take a profile or over-the-shoulder shot. If you can choose how you’re facing the camera, taking a photo so you’re not looking straight on at the camera is often more flattering. Similar to tilting your head down a bit, this angle will help take focus away from your teeth.

• Learn to smile with your eyes. Your eyes prove all sincere smiles, so learning how to keep your expression here will get rid of the forced or uncomfortable look that might happen if you’re focused on what your mouth is doing. 

• Use props. Depending on the situation, props are a great way to capture a moment in a playful way. Having something like a mask or a drink to hold up to or near your face will divert attention from your teeth, while showing that you’re having fun in that moment. 

• Make faces. The notorious “duck lips” or “kissy face” is a growing phenomenon among teens and young adults, but there is something to it. Making a face like these or even something fun like sticking out your tongue or opening in your mouth in a surprised fashion can help give life and context to a photo. It also helps mix things up from the standard smile-at-the-camera look.

• Limit the teeth you show. Showing just your upper teeth can convey confidence and also limits the full effect of an imperfect smile. Sometimes it helps to open your mouth a little to raise your lip more above your bottom teeth to accomplish this kind of smile.

No matter how you choose to take a photo, the important thing to remember is being confident! Straight teeth or not, a genuine smile in the eyes and knowing which angle you feel most comfortable can make all the difference. 

If you would like to improve your smile, come see us at a local Bright Now! Dental office. Click here to schedule.

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