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7 Ways to Look Good in Holiday Photos

Ah, Christmas time! It’s such a magical time with friends and families and lots of good feelings, until someone posts that less than flattering shot of you. Ugh!

You start to question your choice of attire- why did I wear that striped shirt?, question your self esteem, the state of the world. It all spirals downward because of that one bad photo.

Well, that might be a little dramatic but we’ve all been there. Photos of a holiday gathering start circulating and we are less than pleased with our appearance. Don’t fear! I’m here to share seven tips on how to look good in holiday photos.


Post originally published in 2020, updated 2022. Republishing because it’s always relevant this time of year.

1 Wear Your Best Colors to Look Good in Photos

While black might make you look slimmer, you want to wear colors that flatter your complexion and stay away from those that wash you out or make you look tired. If you are set on pastels, ivory or white, be sure to wear some makeup, especially a rosy blush and a lipstick.

Be careful of overly bright colors that might cast color onto your chin or face. If you don’t want to stand out in group photos, avoid bright colors and busy patterns.

Deep, rich jewel tones or mid-tones will work better. Stick to solids or very small patterns. Choose similar colors for the top and bottom.

A stark contrast like black and white will make one half of you look bigger. A monochromatic look can make you look slimmer and is a great way to look good in holiday photos.

2 Wear the Best Pieces for Your Body Type

Body type illustrationsPin

If you need help determining your body type and the pieces that work best for it, check out this post. You will learn to determine your body shape and get outfits formulas designed just for your body type.

While it might be okay to wear that less than flattering comfy piece at times, you want to be on your A-game and wear the most flattering pieces when you know you might be photographed.

Related- Nine Styles of Dresses (contains tips on what styles flatter which body type)

3 Wear Your Best Neckline

The neckline of your top or dress is critical if you want to look your best in photos. Your neckline can affect your chin/face shape, shoulders and bust.

Use your neckline to draw attention to an area or away from. I f you really want the focus on your face/ shoulders and top half, opt for a closed neckline. If you want to de-emphasize, open up the neckline.

Be careful of which you choose. You might feel like covering up in a turtleneck sweater or top, but it will make your bust and shoulder area look larger. A v-neck is generally a flattering neckline for most body types and will go further at highlighting your face than a turtleneck.

Read more about necklines: 7 Types of Necklines and the Bodies They Flatter

4 Mind your posture

When sitting or standing, remember to sit or stand straight and tall. Good posture will help you look slimmer. Good posture is one of the key ways to look good in holiday photos.

posture and body placement for photos- how to look good in holiday photosPin

This photo illustrates posture and hip/leg placement discussed below. Yes, it’s hard work to get it all correct. Neither photo has the perfect combination.

5 Learn a few basic poses.

posing for a photoPin

When posing for a photo, never stand straight on to the camera and remember that whatever is closest to the camera will look the largest. Turn slightly to the side and put your weight on the back leg.

Doing this will shift your hips to the back, instead towards the camera where they will appear larger. Don’t stand with your arms straight by your sides or clinched to your sides. Have a slight bend to your arms so there is some space between your arms and body.

All of this applies when seated as well. Fold your legs to the side when seated.

Practice and take some selfies so you can see the difference and the stance can become natural. Push your chin out and down so you don’t have a double chin. This can really feel awkward, but tilting your head slightly to one side can help with this and practice definitely helps. Position yourself slightly below the camera if possible.

6 Prep your skin and hair ahead of time.

Make sure to stay well hydrated during the holidays. It might be cold outside and you might think you don’t need as much water, but you do! And your skin will tell on you if you aren’t drinking enough water. Ramp up the moisturizer too. Moisturizer will help diminish or camoflauge fine lines and wrinkles.

The same goes for hair. Make sure your hair is trimmed, well groomed and in its best condition.

See: 6 Tips that can Help Your Hair Always Look its Best

7 Give yourself some grace!

The holidays are about love, family and memories, not how good you look in the photo. Know that almost everyone can look awkward in candids.

The body caught in motion and at strange angles always looks distorted. My husband and I have done race photography before, and even some of the most fittest athletes look larger or awkward when caught at the wrong angle. So just give yourself some grace, and enjoy the time with family and friends.

If you love these tips, please share and pin them.

how to look good in photos