5 Unusual Tips to Fake the Perfect Smile in Photos

There’s nothing worse than having the perfect outfit and caption but ultimately ruining an Instagram shot with an awkward smile, right? But hey, even after years of practice, smiling photogenically is much easier said than done. There are, however, simple ways to look better in photos.

Below, we’re highlighting the five tips our editors practice to fake the perfect smile in photos (we’re talking the not-so-toothy grins here). Keep scrolling to scope our expert tips on how to smile for pictures. And go a bit further to shop cool phone cases to use for your next snap too. Say cheese! 

This is one trick we rely on often. It involves placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and smiling without your teeth, which tightens the muscles in your face and neck. As our former managing editor, Michelle Scanga, says, it helps her create a natural-looking smile, sit up straight, and readjust her posture for photos.

May of our editors live by this trick. Here’s how it works: Close your eyes a couple of seconds before you know the picture will be taken, and then slowly open them (not super slow, but don’t jerk them open, either), and slowly draw up the corners of your mouth to smile. This resets any of the awkwardness you may feel about taking a photo and ensures that your smile doesn’t seem forced or overeager.

Many of our editors don’t take a photo without first clamping their teeth to define the jawline a bit more and smirking slightly for that cool/mysterious look. If you really want to take it to the next level, try squinching, too.

Purse your lips just slightly, and open up your eyes for a unique smile. You really can’t go wrong with a subtle side smirk.

Tyra was not wrong—smizing actually works and will elevate your face, turning your photo from ordinary to model-like. How to do it? We laugh on the inside to create a relaxed face, tilt the chin, and squint slightly using just our eyes.

Next, check out style tips that could make or break a good outfit.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.