How to Smile for Pictures: 17 Tips for Nice Shots

Summary: Looking to smile naturally and perfectly for a nice snapshot? You can find solutions in this blog. We'll introduce 17 tips to help you smile for pictures. Optionally, you can use an online smile filter to add a virtual smile to your daily photo.

woman smiling and taking selfie

Each day we smile due to a funny joke, a joyful conversation, a family picnic, or just seeing sunny weather. But when we face a camera, it's hard not to smile awkwardly and unnaturally.

How to fix this problem since a natural and perfect smile is so crucial to a great shot? Don't worry, where there is a question, there is a solution. Here we list 17 tips on how to smile for pictures to help you effortlessly get an authentic and captivating smile. Let's see together!

17 Tips on How to Smile Better in Pictures

1. Smile With Your Eyes

As the old saying goes, eyes are the window of your heart. So when you smile at the camera, tilt up the corners of your eyes. This can make your smile look more sincere and happy.

woman smiling with eyes tilting up

2. Think Things that Make You Happy

You perhaps smile unnaturally when your mind is empty. So think of the happy moments, it can be a summer camp with friends, a spring picnic with family, and even the crucial moments in life like a wedding, a graduation ceremony, etc. These happy things can help you smile from the heart.

woman smiling while taking photo during daytime

3. Relax Your Face and Jaw Muscles

A nice shot cannot be taken within just one second, it may last a little longer. But our facial muscles are easy to be stiff when we keep smiling for a long time. So remember to relax your face and jaw muscles for a natural facial expression.

woman close eyes and relax facial muscles

4. Show Your Teeth

Showing your teeth is a bonus trick for a nice smile picture. White and neat teeth can leave a great first impression on others. But if your teeth are yellow and you think showing teeth can help you get a perfect smile, it's recommended to use photo retouching tools to whiten your teeth with just one click.

woman smiling with white teeth showing

5. Wear Bright-Colored Lipstick

Let's ask for the help of makeup. A red or bright-colored lipstick can help to light up your complexion, and make your smile more attractive and charming. But if you don't have lipstick on handy, you can effortlessly add lipstick to your photo at the later editing stage.

woman smiling with red lipstick

6. Place Your Tongue Behind Your Teeth

When opening your tongue, you can place the tips of your tongue behind your teeth. This can help to avoid grinning too much, which makes you look silly in the picture.

a lady smiling at the camera

7. Don't Say "Cheese"

Probably all of us have heard the classic advice of saying cheese before taking a picture. Although this old trick can bring quick smiles, it often lets others feel that we're forced to smile or leads to unnatural smiling. So next time when you take pictures, stop saying "Cheese".

woman smiling under sunlight

8. Find Your Best Angle

It's important to get a right angle whether for a selfie or a photograph. Tilt your chin slightly downward can make you look slimmer and more elegant. You can also keep the camera lens above eye level. This can get rid of the annoying double chin and distorting facial features, meanwhile making your smile look brighter.

take a smiling picture from low angle

9. Practice Makes Perfect

A perfect smile cannot be made without long-term training. In your spare time, you can search for some tutorial videos on how to smile better and practice these tips in a mirror. Adjust your smile over and over again to perfection.

woman practice smile in a mirror

10. Enhance Confidence With a Good Outfit

Choosing the right outfit can significantly boost your confidence in front of the camera, which in turn affects how naturally and brightly you smile. Dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. When you feel good about yourself on the inside, it radiates through your smile and is captured in the photograph.

woman dressing blue smiling

11. Keep Smiling

Sometimes, you can make a quick snapshot after briefly saying "Cheese" or taking a posture, but keeping a smile for a longer time can help the photographer capture more nice shots with changing states and degrees of smiles.

woman smiling near tree outdoor during daytime

12. Smile at the Camera, not the Photographer

In many instances, people tend to smile directly at the person holding the camera instead of focusing on the lens itself. This can lead to an unnatural gaze in the final image. To ensure your smile appears genuine and engaging, concentrate on looking into the camera lens as if you're smiling at someone across from you. By doing so, your smile will appear more direct and personal, resonating better with anyone viewing the photograph.

woman leaning on wall and smiling at the camera

13. Mind Your Posture

A wrong posture tends to bring an imperfect smile picture. Imagine you keep the chin down and show your double chin in the photograph, it's awful, right? So when you take a picture, it's better to tilt up your chin slightly and put the tongue behind your teeth. This can help to control your facial and jaw muscles.

woman smiling with chin up

14. Use Lip Balm to Perfect the Overall Look

Wetting your lips will make your smile look flawless. Whether it’s a bright lipstick or a lip balm. It's important that your mouth doesn't look cracked or dry. To prepare for the photography, you can use a facial scrub on your lips the night before to remove dead or peeling skin.

use lip balm to wet the woman lip

15. Close Your Eyes Before a Photo

It's not always effective to smile with your eyes open in an image. If the sunlight during the daytime is too dazzling, you can smile with your eyes closed. In this case, the key to taking a good smile picture is your mouth. Remember to smile brightly with your mouth open and showing your white teeth.

woman smiling in the sunlight with eyes closed

16. Let Others Tell a Joke

If you think it's hard to smile naturally only relying on yourself, try to ask others for help. This can be your friend or the photographer, ask him or her to tell a joke, and let the photographer capture your happy reaction when hearing the joke.

a group of people sitting around a table with drinks

17. Experiment with Candid Shots

Not all great smiles come from posed photos. Candid shots capture spontaneous moments that often reflect the most authentic version of your smile. Encourage the photographer to take pictures while you’re engaged in activities or conversation, increasing the chances of getting a natural-looking smile.

woman standing in flower field

Bonus Tips on How to Make Your Smile Natural and Perfect

• Brush Teeth and Use Floss Every Day

Brushing your teeth in the morning and evening and rinsing your mouth promptly after meals are effective ways to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay. You can brush your teeth two to three times a day, and pay attention to brushing for three to five minutes to ensure that each tooth is effectively cleaned. In addition, using dental floss can help us clean the food debris in the gap between our teeth and make our mouth cleaner.

• Use Oral Care Products

A soft bristle toothbrush together with fluorinated toothpaste can help us clean our teeth and prevent tooth decay in a gentle and effective way.

• Whiten Your Teeth

If your teeth are too yellow, making you not confident when facing cameras, you can ask for medical help to receive professional teeth whitening treatment.

Add Smile Filter to Your Photo Online

Use Fotors AI smile filter to change a girls expression

Effortlessly infuse a genuine and radiant smile into your photo using Fotor AI smile filter online.

Making your photos come alive with genuine smiles that light up the frame.

Add Smile Filter to Photo

Above we've shared 17 tips on how to smile for pictures, but if you want to take a stunning portrait with a perfect smile in a very short time, you can add smile filter to photo in the photo editing stage. Fotor is your top choice! There is an array of AI face and age filters: sad filter, teenage filter, baby filter, old filter, etc, allowing you to see different versions of yourself with only one tap.

Powered by cutting-edge AI tech, our smile filter can precisely detect your face, and add a radiant and realistic smile based on your prompt. After that, you can access Fotor's AI beauty filters to perfect your smile: add red lipstick to look better, whiten your teeth for a sparkling smile, or remove the blemishes on your face.

Now let's see how to add a smile filter to the photo on Fotor:

  1. Go to the Fotor website and click on "AI Photo Editor" to access our AI tools.
  2. Select the "AI Relace" tool and upload your selfie or portrait.
  3. Use the brush tool to mark the mouth area, and describe what you want in the prompt box. Here you can type "Smile, showing white and neat teeth".
  4. Click on the "Generate" button and Fotor will automatically add a smile filter to your photo.
  5. Seconds later, preview the results and download your smile picture in a high-quality format.
use fotor ai replacer to add smile filter to a woman photo

Final Thoughts

Mastering the art of smiling for pictures is not an insurmountable task, instead, it needs you to control your facial expressions, practice good habits, and make use of tricks to enhance your overall look. By following the 17 tips on how to smile for pictures, you can unlock the secret to capturing captivating and authentic smiles, which truly reflect the joy and personality from your inner heart.