10 Tips to Take Flattering Photos on a Digital Compact Camera

flattering photos

As children of the Instagram-age, knowing how to take killer photos is a useful skill. Your food shots will look tastier, your bikini shots will look more flattering, and your entire feed will never be mistaken for that of a typical Dad on Instagram. In other words, your social media quality of life will skyrocket. Plus, who doesn’t love a Kodak Moment?

1. Use Flash in Bright Sunlight

That’s right, flash isn’t only for the dark! Bright sunlight can cast unflattering shadows on your subject’s face, and flash will eliminate this.

2. Never Center the Subject

Putting your subject in the center of the image looks cheesy AF. Use the gridlines to help you position the subject at one of the line intersection points. Locking the focus can help if your camera automatically focuses on the center of the image.

flattering photos

3. Take the Window Seat at the Restaurant

The light from the windows will make your food shots look way better. If the lights too bright, use your white napkin as a filter.

4. Angle the Camera from Below to Look Taller

This is a trick all petite fashion bloggers know, and now you do too. It’s a lifesaver.

flattering photos

5. For Ambient Lighting, Change ISO not Flash

Flash can ruin shots where there’s ambient low light, such as around a bonfire or when someone is blowing out birthday candles. In these scenarios, simply increase ISO to achieve a similar effect as flash.

6. Forget Angling from Below if the Subject is Seated

In this case, angle the camera from above and tilt your face up to meet the camera for a defined jawline. A great tip from fashion photographer Garance Doré.

flattering photos

7. Maximize Image Quality

There are many things that affect this, but two main ones are file format and ISO. For file format, compress as little as possible if using JPEG compression, or use TIFF for higher-quality shots. For ISO, select the lowest-practical ISO instead of just using the automatic ISO since high ISO can introduce unnecessary noise into your photos.

8. Don’t Forget Vertical Photos

It’s easy to get stuck in the default mode of horizontal photos, but don’t forget you can also take photos vertically!

flattering photos

9. Get Up Close and Personal

When taking portrait shots, a common mistake is getting too much background into the shot. Having the subject fill up most of the frame usually results in a more flattering shot.

10. Utilize Program Modes

Basically, program modes adjust shutter time and lens aperture for you depending on the type of shot, so take advantage of this!

flattering photos
I use “portrait” mode for all my food pics!


Also published on Medium.