let why lead
Welcome to Let Why Lead, a place for the purposeful wife and mom. I’m Erica, and I'm passionate about living fully and filling my family with love and belonging. For regular reminders of the whys of your life, I hope you’ll keep coming back.
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Simple Tip to Better Photos of Yourself!

No one likes standing in front of a camera, right? We suddenly become all awkward arms and dazed smiles. But we all treasure photos of ourselves with our loved ones. As a woman and as a (virtual) friend, I feel I owe it to you to let you in on my ONE tip for looking your best on camera.

Look down.

It’s that simple. But also, counterintuitive! It feels like you should look up to avoid creating a double chin, but having your chin hit that camera lens first actually makes your face look wider. So start experimenting with looking down—even more down than could possibly feel natural. :) Trust me, it works.


My three-year-old has discovered the joy of clicking the button on the camera, so he is frequently begging to snap a few shots. He caught these of me the other night (which explains my end-of-the-day, almost vanished makeup). He snapped the first before I remembered my trusty trick. Instant improvement in the second frame.

Just don’t ask me what to do with your arms!


  1. Jennie says:

    This is so funny. I was just talking about this to Travis the other day. We were taking pictures in the car, and the only one that looks remotely good was the one where I tucked my chin.

    There are some pictures of me a few years ago, before I had learned that, and it looks like my face has been run over my a truck, because it does widen out features so much when your chin takes up the bottom half of the frame.

    Great advice!

    1. Yay! I’m glad you’ve experienced the difference too! :)

      And I think we’ve all experienced the face-run-over-a-truck look as well! haha

  2. Courtenay says:

    Oh man. Have you seen the photo of me on my blog? I just get fed up and make a goofy face! It’s ridiculous! I’m going to try this.

    1. Ha! At least you are one of those people who look CUTE with a “ridiculous” face! I am so not! I dread when photographers tell a group it’s time for the “silly” picture, because I just look awkward! Anyway, give it a try!

  3. Good tip! You’re right, I think we always think to do the opposite!

  4. Alaina says:

    Hooray! This also means that to TAKE a good picture of others, come at them from slightly above. Or, when doing a self-portrait, hold the camera up above you, shooting down. It’s amazing what a little angle can do! :)

  5. I have two friends who ALWAYS take the best photos and their mantra is: chin up, chest out. They actually jut their heads forward in an awkward look, but the photos always look perfect :)

  6. Angie Wilcox says:

    I was going to say what Alaina said. :) And for what it’s worth, I think BOTH pictures are cute.

  7. Monica says:

    Yes! I learned this trick a while back when I saw a friend’s family portrait that was shot from above them, and I fell in love! It was so flattering of all of them, and it was all about the angle!

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