For holiday postcards, family photo albums, or just for a brand new profile picture on your social network, here’s all you should make note of to look your beautiful best, before you get clicking with that camera.

Prep Work
Figure out what you want the picture to look like—perhaps a theme—before you drag everyone into the frame. Make sure your set up is ready and clutter-free, like the furniture is in place, or the front porch is clean, etc. When it comes to dressing for the photograph, don’t wear crazy prints or patterns that could overwhelm your facial features and body shape. Also, avoid wearing white as it will make you look larger than you are.

Mind Your Posture
You have no obligation to slouch in order to be of the same height as everyone else. Stand tall and with your shoulders back for a leaner look.

What’s Your Angle?
Whatever you do, do NOT get a picture taken from a low angle; not unless you want to end up looking like a giant with a dreadful double chin. Make sure the picture is taken from an angle at least parallel to your face, but your best bet is to take the picture from a little above your head. The founders of selfie-editing app SkinneePix say, “Most faces do actually have a ‘good side’. It has been said that the left side is more expressive as it is controlled by the part of the brain responsible for emotions.”

Lights, Camera, Action

Remember that time you left the house feeling like a rock star to go shopping with your friend, but the dressing room mirror decided to tell you otherwise? The fluorescent lighting is to blame. It highlights each and every one of your not-so-flawless features. Don’t let bad lighting steal your thunder, and when in doubt, remember that natural light with the sun in front of you is always the best. Also, the camera flash is to blame for red-eye, ghastly white pictures and the glare on your forehead and nose, so avoid it as much as possible.

Professionally Speaking
Miles Abernathy of says the best way to make everyone look perfect in a photograph is to start off with a good, well-lit picture and then have it retouched by a professional. “Retouching hides blemishes, reduces wrinkles, can add a little hair when needed, and do some discrete slimming too,” he says.

While this last step is really about going the extra mile, the remaining are just little tweaks that will help make a big difference in the way you look in your pictures. If all else fails, take a selfie and use Instagram filters for a quick-fix.

An alumnus of Asian College of Journalism, and Cardiff University, Wales, Yoshita Sengupta has more than five years of experience in writing for various news outlets. As Founder and Director of Underscore, a content solutions agency, she writes for multiple digital and print news outlets and consults brands. When not working for Underscore, she works with social entrepreneurs and homeless communities, which includes running a library for street children.