Look Better in All Your New Year’s Eve Pictures: Advice From a Pro Photographer

This post originally appeared on, where I’m a longtime contributor and  lifestyle columnist. From time to time I’ll be sharing some of my most popular stories that appeared elsewhere. 

If 2013 was the year of the selfie, next year should be about finding ways to look better in group shots. Benjamin Hayon, the in-house photographer for Vivitar offered some great tips for looking great in all your New Year’s Eve pictures:

1. When capturing candid shots, don’t just have everyone gather together for the camera. “Try to capture the moment, where someone made a joke and everyone is cracking up—that’s when the picture gets taken. Try to go after those moments, those moments are real.”

2. And while you’re at it, “Try to be a little sneaky when taking candid shots. Show real emotion, instead of everyone smiling for the camera. Those are great when you have a whole family together too.” Mix it up a little.

3. Don’t be too close to the camera. The reason selfies can be so fake looking is because most people are too in your face and posed.

4. Understand the angles. “Every shape of the face is different and everyone photographs differently, so being relaxed is probably the best way to look great in pictures.”

5. Go for balance. If you have a heavier person and a thinner person standing next to each other, pose the slimmer person in front, in this way everyone will look more proportional.

6. And whatever else you do—don’t do the duck face!

Hayon also recommends an easy-to-use camera, since while phone pics are popular, for special occasions you might want to use a better performing camera so you can capture more professional-looking photos at your holiday soiree.