Skip To Content
  • Oscars badge
Posted on Feb 27, 2016

This Is How To Look Better In Your Pictures According To A Celebrity Stylist

Here's how to make your Instagrams worthy of an Oscar.

by , , , , ,

Do you ever wonder how celebrities look SO amazing when they're photographed at red carpets, like Lupita Nyong'o here at the Oscars...

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

...but when it comes time for us commoners to take pictures, the result leaves a lot to be desired?

Sam Stryker

Listen, we get it – not everyone is going to have access to haute couture outfits and glam squads. But that doesn't mean we can't all look red carpet-ready for our Instagrams...right?!

So in our quest to not look like posing posers, we decided to get some help from celebrity stylist Lindsay Albanese, who's worked with such photogenic stars as Shay Mitchell, Sarah Hyland, and Emily Deschanel.

Oh, and the fashion vlogger knows how to look pretty good in pictures herself.

We had Lindsay evaluate and coach us on our posing skills to see if we could learn to look better when we have our picture taken — and *maybe* even learn to love to take photos.

View this video on YouTube / Via

Here are the results!

And FWIW, we had better lighting for the "after" shots — the photo gods were truly on our side!

First up, Sheridan tried out a straightforward step-and-repeat style standing photo:

Sam Stryker / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Sheridan on her "before" photo: Does this picture scream, "I'd rather be home watching Bravo and eating Oreos"? Because that's how I feel it looks — too dark, too uneventful, too "blah." I promise I'm more interesting than how badly I photograph. I PROMISE.

Lindsay's tips centered on getting 'em bodied with the full-body shot:


Lindsay's posing advice: Slightly bend one knee or cross your legs at the ankles, and put your hand on your hip if you want to define the waist.

And here's how Sheridan's photo turned out after Lindsay's help:

Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Sheridan on her "after" photo: Wait, is that a... personality? Just by popping my hip, bending my knee, and putting my hand on my hip, this photo is 1000 times better. Not to mention the lighting. Good lighting is key folks, don't be posting dark blurry photos to Instagram and assault my eyeballs.

Next, Lara tried out a seated photo:

Sam Stryker / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Lara on her "before" photo: THE AWKWARDNESS. I look like I'm posing for a photo in church. Do I always look like this when I sit down? This photo is like witnessing a first date, and I never want to do that again.

Lindsay's tips helped Lara go from sitting on a throne of lies to a throne of LIKES:


Lindsay's posing advice: Cross your legs to angle your figure and define your shape, rest your forearm on your lap slightly away from body to avoid smooshing your arm, sit straight and lean in slightly to camera, and smile or smize.

And here's how Lara's photo turned out after Lindsay's help:

Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Lara on her "after" photo: DAMNNN my posture is killing it. I need to point my toes everywhere I go. And somehow my hands make me look innocent, which I'm into. I definitely need to remember to loosen up and point my toes in every picture in the future.

Pedro tried out a candid picture, but got some blurry results:

Sam Stryker / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Pedro on his "before" photo: In the words of Kanye, "Not smiling makes me smile." So usually when I take photos I kind of just stand there. The whole candid thing is new to me. I may have gotten too attached to the idea of it being candid and lost the whole photogenic part.

Lindsay's advice was "candid" with her advice to nail this type of carefree shot:


Lindsay's posing advice: Relax, look away and "fake" laugh, and whatever it is you need to fully commit to your facial expression so it comes off an genuine.

And here's how Pedro's candid turned out after Lindsay's help:

Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Pedro on his "after" photo: Man, I look tight! I guess there's this effortless cool look that I had inside me all along. Look at that candid little smirk I'm pulling off, I should probably smile more... Thinking about something funny truly helped.

Next up, Sam tried out a close-up shot since he's working on being ~fierce~ with his facial features:

Sam Stryker / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Sam on the "before" photo: I'm usually not a fan of showing teeth in photos, because I think that's more for people who aren't dead inside. So I try to smize like Tyra or prune like one of the Olsen twins. Unfortunately, I usually end up looking like this — a corpse BEFORE the funeral home prepares the body for the wake. It's so not cute.

Lindsay's tips for beating your face into shape were all about finding your happy place.


Lindsay's posing advice: Relax, take a breath and smile as you exhale, and make sure your face is level or slightly above the camera lens.

And here's Sam's final photo after Lindsay's coaching:

Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Sam on the "after" photo: I can't believe how much better I look in the second picture — Lindsay's advice to relax REALLY worked. And fuck it, I didn't wear braces all during middle school so I could look SO OVER EVERYTHING with a closed mouth in pictures. Sorry Tyra, no more smizing for me!

Finally, the entire gang got together for one big group shot:

Sam Stryker / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Sam on the "before" photo: Listen, I *PINKY SWEAR* that we really all do like each other. But by the looks of this picture, it looks like one of us is about to file an HR complaint for bad Instagramming. We need help ASAP.

Lindsay hopped in for the group shot while also doling out some final photo words of wisdom:


Lindsay's posing advice: Pose differently than everyone else and get in close and comfy.

And with Lindsay's help, here's the finished product:

Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed
Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Sam on the "after" photo: So much better. We're like the opposite of an Impressionist painting — the closer you get, the more you realize how each of us looks awesome in our own way. We're too hot to trot!

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

1. No matter what, relax.

2. If you're standing up, position your legs so they're not straight, and feel free to place your hand on your waist.

3. If you're seated, cross your legs and point your feet, rest your forearm on your lap, maintain good posture, and smile.

4. If you're taking a candid, make sure you commit to your pose so it doesn't look fake.

5. When you're concentrating on your face, take a deep breath and let out a smile as you exhale. Also, make sure your head is at or above camera level.

6. In group shots, get in tight but also look to stand out with your pose.

7. And one last time, RELAX! You're going to look great.

For more style tips, be sure to check out Lindsay's YouTube channel, Lindsay's Latest!

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form