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Karina Chronicles

How To Look Good In Travel Photos

Sarah Von Bargen writes a lifestyle blog, Yes and Yes. By day she is a copywriter/blogger-for-hire/internet awesome-i-fier. She wants to see the world, save the dolphins and read The New Yorker while wearing cute outfits and eating bon bons. You too? Be friends on twitter and facebook!

When I headed out on my world ticket, I was vainly aware that the photos I would be taking on this trip would be photos I would be showing for the rest of my life. You only get to Angkor Wat so many times in your life, you don’t want to look all dumpy and blotchy standing in front of those Buddhas! Now, I certainly don’t look great in every travel photo I’m in, but here are the things that work for me:

A low-key makeup regimen
May I point you in the direction of my post on The Traveling Fashionista’s Makeup Bag? Really, just take your daily make-up routine and dial it down a few notches – tinted lip balm instead of lipstick, tinted moisturizer with SPF instead of foundation. If you’re really concerned, you could even get your eyebrows and eyelashes tinted before you left so you wouldn’t have to bother with mascara and eyebrow pencil.

The Power of Headgear
Traveling (and house-building) often result in less than fantastic hair. Just cover that business up! But not with a baseball cap (what’s up, ugly American?) or those all-purpose neck/headband things. I’d go for a cute bandanna, a silky scarf or even a fabric headband. And there are heaps of cute, out-of-your-face hairstyles to be had. Like the side braidthe messy chignon and may I shamelessly plug my own faux-mo?

Find a photo pose that works for you
If you want to take vanity and anal-retentiveness to a whole new level, like I pretty regularly do, find a few photo poses that work for you. It pains me to admit that I have perfected this art, resulting in photos that look damn flattering, though oddly similar. In the event that you’re dying to know, my photo pose of choice usually includes some angling of the face (makes your jawline look better), tilting my head down a bit (because then you can look up through your lashes like a Disney princess), and smiling in a way that creates a dimple. Good lord, can we pretend that I didn’t just tell you all this?

Know good lighting when you see it
Of course, you can’t always plan your visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to coincide with that flattering afternoon light, but nobody looks great in overly bright, mid-day sun or all washed out by a flash. If you know enough about your camera, you can change the settings to counteract this. Or you can just load up on photos when the sun’s at a more flattering angle. And really, it can make a huge difference. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures – all that good light totally cancels out my total lack of makeup or clean hair!

When all else fails, edit
For real guys. Sometimes the only clean stuff you have to wear to the Eiffel Tower is that awful U of M t-shirt with the gopher and your mesh track pants. It happens. Or maybe you just happened to break out the day before you got to Venice. Don’t delete those photos! Picmonkey is  free to download and can remove red eye, unfortunate t-shirt graphics and that weird guy standing behind you.

What are your look-good secrets? 

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