General Question

cutiepi92's avatar

How to reduce noticeable lip/mouth protrusion in photos?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2219 points ) February 20th, 2013

I know this is a weird question, but this is for those with any type of photography experience or modeling. There is an event coming up where I will have plenty of photos taken of me. I have a noticeable condition called bimaxillary protrusion: http://i45.tinypic.com/m2cjq.jpg and http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0889540697700428-gr1.jpg are examples.

Basically, my lips stick out and chin is shaped funny/more rounded. I have to get extensive orthodontic treatment to fix it, which I won’t have the money for until after I graduate (so another year and a half). I was wondered if anyone knew the best angles for me to stand in to minimize this “protrusion”. If any lighting advice can be given too that would be appreciated. I feel like on my own, I hate probably 15 out of 16 pictures I take, so I just wanted a little bit of pose coaching. Just like which way to tilt my head and body, etc. One of the main issues I have in my pictures is that my mouth either looks too strained, or the shadows that hit the area above my upper lip are too strong/look weird because of how my mouth pushes out :( And taking pictures from the side are obviously a no no, so I know to avoid that

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20 Answers

ETpro's avatar

And here I though everyone loved that look. I do. Oh well. More’s the better if I find it hot and most find it not.

I’d guess that full frontal photos would work better than side views to minimize the appearance. Experiment with holding the head high as opposed to looking straight at the camera or slightly down. Notice in your second example the model looks nice facing the camera and flashing a full-open smile.

But hey, recognize also that there are those who think you look just fine exactly as you are.

FutureMemory's avatar

I don’t see anything wrong with the black woman’s face in your example…

Bellatrix's avatar

I must be missing something too because I see a woman with a strong and attractive face. Especially when she is smiling (as is the case for most of us I think) she looks lovely. So, perhaps make sure you smile and look happy. I doubt anyone will look at your lips and chin in a critical way. I do acknowledge your feelings and am not minimising that this is a problem for you.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t see a problem. Many women would go through extensive treatment to look as good as you do now. I wouldn’t worry about posing either. The photographer will keep you right.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see a problem either, but I agree that straight on photos work best, probably could do three quarter view too. The smiling photo especially is good in your samples, but you mention needing orthodontics so maybe you don’t like your smile? The first photo of the caucasian girl, she looks young to me and not out of proportion at all. When I look at that photo I just think she should close her mouth if she poses for a photo, unless she is smiling of course.

Funny, most people I know who feel bad about their profile when they have a similar profile to this in my circles say they have a weak chin (I don’t notice it personally, and when they fix it I see no difference really). To me, those photos show someone with full lips, which usually is thought of as desirable.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry to post twice, but I have one other suggestion. Don’t use very dark or bright lipsticks, don’t do a lipliner that is darker than your lipstick. When I say dark I mean like a dark red or very opaque color. But if your skin tone is dark, then you probably can handle and look better in something darker than something a very pale skinned person could. The closer to skin tone the less your lips will stand out. Don’t use lipgloss. Emphasize your eyes liner and heavier make-up.

FYI big opaque lips are in though this year. Drew Barrymore has been promoting her new make-up line and she is showing up everywhere with bright red or bright fuscia lips and the rest of her make-up more muted. Her face structure is very different from what you describe I know (her face is pretty crooked actually) but it is a trend in focusing on full lips. It’s like when fuller eyebrows came back into style it helped me feel better about mine. Maybe this trend will help you.

Lastly, i recently looked at photos I like of myself and studied why I like them, what am I doing in them? It really helped me a lot. Now I more consistently feel good about a photo when someone take one of me.

Seek's avatar

Some incredibly attractive women have that same protrusion. Billie Piper for one. Seriously hot chick.

The world would be a boring place if we all looked the same. Don’t hide your unique look – rock it!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You have beautiful full lips. I think you look f***ing good. Especially when you smile. Don’t sweat it.

hearkat's avatar

I agree with the others that the photos attached look normal and the person in them is very attractive.

However, if you want to downplay the jaw prominence (I have an underbite, so I know from personal experience), pull your neck up as long as you can, and tuck your chin down just a little. Think of it as leading with your forehead. Thus also emphasizes the eyes. My problem when I do this is that I am overweight, so I have a double-chin if I tilt my head down too far. Practice with your cameraphone in the bathroom mirror.

wundayatta's avatar

Who are you trying to please? Are you trying to get a modeling job? Who is so picky that they think there’s something wrong with your face? Are these people you know personally who have made comments, or is this just you applying your standards of perfection to yourself in an attempt to kill your self-esteem?

Your face is different, but no more different than anyone else’s. It is an attractive face. For what purpose are you worried about looks? Does your livelihood depend on it? Does your social success? Or is this a mental health issue?

burntbonez's avatar

It’s hard to imagine that orthodonture would change your face very much. I’d want to be very sure I knew what I was getting into before spending that money on something that wouldn’t do much for me.

cutiepi92's avatar

@wundayatta no it’s not modeling persay. I go to comic and anime conventions and I always get asked for pictures since I’ve started dressing up. Recently, I looked at some photos posted of me from the last one (it was my first time) and 99% looked really bad. So I’m trying to find my angles so I can pose better when people ask for my picture. No one has said anything outright, this is just for myself. It just bothers me a little thats all.

@burntbonez actually you’d be surprised….This is the “after” of the woman above: http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0889540697700428-gr5.jpg

and this is another before and after:

http://www.buteykochildren.com/images/patient04.jpg

I need the orthodontics to pull my teeth back in because my top row goes like this \ and the bottom like this / So pulling them in would help my mouth not be strained as much.

Thank you all for your comments and advice so far. I guess straight on would be the best and I just probably need to smile more…..It’s just something I’ve been self conscious about ever since I was little and it’s the first thing I see in pictures. The pictures I have posted in the past are the few that I do like, I just cant tell why….

ETpro's avatar

Well, I like the before. Again, that’s just me. But on those particular faces, the before looks more natural.

glacial's avatar

Umm… these people look completely normal to me. What’s the big deal? And does it need a name?

Wow. I just looked at your before & after photos, and I think in both cases, the women looked better before. What is wrong with people?

cutiepi92's avatar

@glacial it has a name because it is a recognizable trait found in certain people where their jaw/ bite is position differently than what is typical. Not only does it cause changes aesthetically, but it’s also more comfortable as the lips cannot completely be relaxed in what is supposed to be an “at rest” position. As far as the second before and after picture goes, I think people should realize that the second picture in the two is the before right? It’s clearly different than the more relaxed features on the left picture…...

Anyway, I don’t like that people are thinking something is wrong with me for disliking a certain feature I have, especially if I’m the one living with it. I asked for photograph advice. Nothing more, nothing less. Not a commentary on how I feel about myself or people telling me that it doesn’t look bad. I need braces anyway for my overbite, so if I can get this fixed too that’s lovely. I’ve already made up my mind on that, I just want to know what is the best way to angle my face to minimize my jaw/bite. Thank you to all of you who actually answered the question

burntbonez's avatar

I think that orthodontics are important if you need them to correct your bite. They can be really helpful. I was in a lot of pain because my teeth were constantly digging into my gums, but that stopped after they corrected my bite.

As to a picture, I would again caution you. There may be nothing you can do. No pose. No modification that makes a difference. That’s because some people photograph well and others don’t. It’s just about magic. Not something you have control over.

There are people who look like dogs in real life, but the camera is kind to them, and they look much better in photos. There are people who look great, and yet they can’t take a good photo of them no matter what. That’s the difference between models and people with pretty faces.

If you don’t photograph well, there may be nothing you can do about it. No angle will be better. It has nothing to do with your looks. It has to do with glamor. Not everyone has it.

So you can try looking head on into the camera, and that might minimize your jaw. You should smile. You might not want to show your teeth, especially if your smile shows a lot of gum. And if you can, put all your personality and smile into your eyes. Look through the camera into the person’s eyes that is viewing the photo and light them up with love. That might make your photos look better, but I seriously doubt it.

cutiepi92's avatar

@burntbonez depressing but truthful lol.

I guess my problem is that I do have a few good photos of myself so it’s not like it’s absolutely impossible. It’s just that I don’t know my angles because most of the time when I finally get a good picture it’s random. Like there isn’t a constant thing in each “good” photo that I’m doing. I guess I’ll just practice in the mirror more…..

Seek's avatar

Well, again referencing the painfully sexy Billie Piper, I’ve noticed in many of her pictures, she has her face slightly tilted so her forehead is closer to the camera than her mouth, she smiles wide and unabashedly and photographs straight-on, or at a ¾ cheat.

cutiepi92's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr thanks for the references :)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“I just wanted a little bit of pose coaching.”

<<<<<< 30 year fashion photographer.

Much of how you (and your lips) are portrayed in a photograph is due to the lens, angle, and lighting that the photographer has chosen, rather than upon how you think you look in another light (like your bathroom mirror).

But for general all purpose scenarios, the best advice that I can give to prevent the lips from puckering is… ready… wait for it… Smile Big!

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