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There it is, sitting in your inbox: "Buffy tagged a photo of you on Facebook." You hover over the See Photo button, but you're hesitant to actually click the damn thing because you're not even sure you want to see which of the Candid Photo Fails you were committing when Buffy whipped out her iPhone. Eyes half closed? Mouth agape with visible tonsils? Jabba the Hut Chin?
Now that camera phones are ubiquitous and there are a plethora of social media networks on which to share the images they capture, you've basically got two choices when a friend points a lens in your direction: 1) shriek hysterically about how cameras steal the soul, or 2) smile and cross your fingers the photo doesn't come back to haunt you later.
For those who tend to go with option B, I found a surprising trick for avoiding at least one unflattering effect, the dreaded double chin. Not only that, I personally gave it a try—and because I have no shame, I even documented the results.
Photographer Peter Hurley says the jawline is the most important factor in looking your photogenic best, and he's got some great comparison photos that illustrate the dramatic effect a simple repositioning can have on your appearance. Basically, he suggests that you tilt your forehead forward and down a bit in order to show off your jawline and minimize any double chin action. Clear as mud? No worries, he has a whole video explaining how this works:
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If you don't want to watch the entire thing, it's worth skipping ahead to the 7 minute mark to see some of the comparison photos—the difference is pretty convincing. Here are two shots of the same girl with her head adjusted slightly:
Damn, right? Well, it seems like decent advice for professional photos with fancy lighting and cameras and whatnot, but what about spur-of-the-moment camera phone images? I decided to test-drive his theory for myself to see if it still holds true.
Here's my first image:
Yeah, wow, I shouldn't do that when someone points a camera at me. Or ever, really.
Here's a more normal photo:
Shut up about my roots. And my grungy workout shirt. And my right eye which is always squinchier than my left.
Here's one more image, with my attempt at the forehead-tilt thing Hurley describes in the video:
I actually see an improvement here! My jaw looks better, and I thought my face would look all strained and weird from leaning forward but I don't think you can tell, can you?
Verdict: I think the trick works. Now, as for whether or not I'll remember to hurriedly re-position my forehead the next time someone takes a picture of me, who knows, but it's definitely worth sharing. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!
Images via YouTube, Linda Sharps