This article is part of Science of People's "Optimizing Your Photos" Series. Other articles in this series you might like:

Being young is great. Looking like a teenager whenever you take pictures is not so great.

If you’re petite or have a baby face, trying to look like an adult in photos can be a challenge. It’s even worse when your friends look respectable and mature while you stand out as the cute, childlike one in the group, even if you’re the same age or older than them.

Whether you’re a young person who wants to look older or an older person who still looks young and you want to look your age, these quick and easy tips will add years to your appearance.

7 Ways to Look Older in Pictures:

#1 Don’t Wear Overly Casual Clothing

look older in pictures

Gretta Monahan, CEO of GrettaStyle says that if you want to look older you should avoid wearing super casual and/or trendy clothing. As much as might you might love wearing jeans and t-shirts or the latest quirky style, so do most teenagers and dressing like them can make you look like you’re still in high school. When you know you’re going to be taking pictures opt for more professional attire or throw on a nice jacket to make you look more mature.

#2 Pose Professionally

When kids take pictures they often slouch, look slightly away from the camera because they’re distracted and move their bodies in some way. To look older in pictures, you need to avoid childish poses and present yourself as if you are having your picture taken for work.

Use these techniques to look serious and professional:

  • Fronting (facing the camera full on)
  • Stand/sit straight (no slouching)
  • Less movement (unless trying to capture a moment, don’t do any actions in your photos)

#3 Wear Fitted Clothing

According to Nylon Magazine, wearing poorly fitted outfits makes you look immature, kind of like you’re playing dress up with your parents’ clothes. If you struggle to find or afford pieces that fit your body, buy a size larger and take your outfits to a tailor for alterations. This might sound expensive, but many tailors and even some dry cleaners can take in hems and make other small fixes quickly and cheaply.

#4  Angle the Camera from Below

A study conducted by the University of Brussels found that the angle pictures are taken at has a huge impact on how people are perceived. When pictures are taken from above, people look younger and weaker because the angle gives the illusion of looking down on a child.

However, when pictures are taken from above, people appear older and more confident since the angle resembles looking up at an adult.

#5 Make Your Makeup Look Natural

look older in pictures

This one is a tip for all of the ladies reading! When you’re a teenager, you try to wear a lot of makeup thinking it will make you look older. Once you become an adult though, you need realize that the opposite is actually true. According to Neecey Beresford, the best way to look mature is to do your makeup so that it looks natural and professional. You can check out her tips here for some great ideas.

#6 Put Effort into Your Hairstyle

You’d be surprised how much your hairstyle affects how old you look. On days you know you’re going to be taking pictures, avoid styles like messy ponytails and spiky hair that make you look youthful. Instead, opt for sleeker, more mature styles that show you put effort into your appearance.

#7 Wear Darker, More Neutral Colors

look older in pictures

Color psychologists have discovered that we automatically associate different colors with personal characteristics. Wear these colors when you take pictures for a mature, professional look:

  • Black – Conveys power and professionalism
  • Blue – Shows loyalty, stability, and tranquility
  • Brown – Conveys stability and reliability

Feel free to incorporate other colors in your outfits for accents but try to avoid yellow and orange because their high energy and brightness can make you look more youthful.

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and human behavioral investigator in our lab.

You may also like...

As Seen In