For many of us, the mere thought of having our picture taken is enough to keep us far away from any social gathering.

Unless you're Angelina Jolie or if modelling is your forte, chances are when you find yourself in front of a camera you either become awkward and embarrassed or you end up 'winging it', which - to be honest - doesn’t always work in your favour.

If truth be told, being photogenic is an art and to master this flair, there are a few things you need to do right.

Step 1 - Angle yourself

If you're standing for a photograph, add depth and dimension by turning your body slightly and shifting some of your weight to one foot. Doing so places less emphasis on your size and makes you look natural.

If you're sitting, cross your legs away from the camera and don't rest back. Sitting slightly forward in your chair forces a straighter posture which will make you look slimmer.

Not sure what to do with your hands? If you're standing, create a bit of space between your body and your arm by placing your hand on your waist and extending your elbow to the side. This stance makes you appear more shapely. If you're sitting, hold your hands on your lap and relax your shoulders for a more natural look.

Step 2 - Conceal a double chin

Exposing that unsightly layer of skin is every woman's nightmare, but the good news is that it can be hidden - for photos, at least.

Lean slightly toward the camera, tilt your chin downwards and voila, you're picture perfect!  If need be, get the photographer to take the picture above eye level, pointing his or her lens down.

Step 3 - Smile

Saying 'cheese' and remaining natural is virtually impossible. Thing is, too big of a smile can make your gums appear large and too little of a smile can make you look stiff and unnatural. Try giggling out loud before the picture is taken for a soft and interesting effect.

Step 4 - Don't look at the camera

Instead of staring at the camera dead-on, look slightly above the lens. Not only will you minimise the possibility of going temporarily blind, but you'll also reduce the likelihood of having a picture taken with your eyes closed.

Step 5 - Be playful

You have to admit that most kids look great in pictures. Want to know why? It's because they follow the rules of being truly photogenic - they're relaxed, stress-free, playful and most importantly, they're genuine.  

Step 6 - Be confident

Once you've followed the above-mentioned tips, assign some confidence to your picture and the camera. Self-assurance is one quality that always shows up on your face so go on, don't be shy and let your photograph tell a story!

Here's how to pose like a celebrity.

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