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How To Look Good in a School Yearbook Photo


You definitely want to know how to take a really good school yearbook photo: You only get to do it once, and it's what people remember you by for the whole school year. Learn how to look good and look natural in your yearbook photo with these simple tips.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1 hour

Here's How:

  1. Practice smiling in the mirror. It sounds cheesy, but figuring out how to make a natural-looking smile for the camera takes a little preparation.
  2. Avoid big changes to your appearance. Don't try out a new acne cream or get your lip pierced the day before the photo shoot. They may not turn out the way you'd hoped, and neither will your yearbook photo.
  3. Choose your angle wisely. For most people, a straight-on shot works the best for a yearbook photo. In real life, how often do people look over their shoulder or rest their chin on their hand with a quizzical look? Save these poses for your personal collection.
  4. Choose your colors wisely. In yearbook photos, lots of people look good in darker colors (brown, navy blue, maroon, purple) because they draw attention to the face. On the flip side, white often isn't the best choice because it can make your skin look a bit gray, especially if you're pale. Stay away from super-bright colors (neon pink, bright yellow, electric blue) unless you're really sure you can pull them off.
  5. Avoid unnecessary details. Big earrings and busy patterns draw attention to themselves in yearbook photos, not to your face and smile. Save 'em for your everyday fashion experiments.
  6. Don't overdo the hair and/or makeup. Yeah, you want your hair to stay in one place and your face to look ravishing, but go for the "less is more" approach.
  7. Have your outfit prepared for the day of the yearbook photo shoot. The last thing you want to do is pick out the perfect thing to wear, only to find that it's in the laundry.
  8. Leave yourself enough time to do your hair and makeup, then touch it up right before the yearbook photo shoot. Make sure your lunch isn't on your face or in your teeth, and practice that smile once more before you sit down for the photographer.
  9. Don't slouch! Hold your head high, look straight into the camera and smile.
  10. If you can, preview the photo before the photographer saves it and moves on to the next person. If you don't like it, ask them to do it again.


  1. Be yourself. You want your yearbook photo to look like you, so pick something that you like to wear and smile in a way that's natural for you.
  2. Go for a polished but low-maintenance look: Tame your stray hairs with a lightweight gel or mousse and, if you wear makeup, choose a neutral lip color, a lightweight, non-caking foundation and perhaps a dusting of powder if you're looking shiny.
  3. Try angling your head slightly up or slightly down when you practice smiling in the mirror. This can emphasize or de-emphasize certain parts of your face, which can be useful in photos.
  4. Bring a comb or brush and a bit of your favorite hairstyling product to the yearbook photo shoot. You never know when stray hairs might make an appearance.
  5. Your mom probably says this all the time, but try to keep your hair out of your eyes. Eyes are an important -- if not the most important -- part of the picture!

What You Need:

  • a mirror
  • a few different outfits to choose from
  • a comb or hairbrush
  • hairstyling products and makeup, if you use them
Related Video
How to Look Good in Photos
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