Let’s face the facts: you already know you’re a hottie. But looking good in front of the camera is about more than just that. It’s about discovering your signature smile, securing great lighting and knowing exactly what to wear and how to strike a pose. How to unleash your inner top model we asked the experts. Check out these 11 best tips for looking hot in photos.

1. Think Pleasant Thoughts
plesant thoughtsThis might seem trite, but sometimes the best way to get a good expression is to realistically think about something pleasant: a special memory, your favorite moment, or a sentimental sweet thing your friend, spouse, or child did for you, says photographer and editorial stylist Anna Naphtali. “Real thoughts of happiness help get a genuine smile or look and calm an otherwise forced facial expression.”

2. Work on Your Facial Expressions and Posing
facial expressionIf you have thin lips, part them slightly and blow lightly to create the illusion of fuller ones, advises international model Sarah Ingle. “Those with round faces should avoid facing the camera straight on and instead turn the head slightly to one side.” Have a weak chin or an over-projected nose? Sarah suggests shifting the jaw forward a bit when photographed from the side for a more balanced profile.

3. Find Your Signature Smile
signature smileEver notice how most celebs are typically seen on the red carpet with the same smile and pose time after time? Well, it’s because they’ve figured out what works for them, notes beauty and style expert, and former international model, Tiffany Hendra. “Grab your iPhone and take some photos of yourself until you find a ‘signature’ smile that you’re pleased with.” Hey, practice makes perfect, right?

4. Keep It Simple
simpleGetty Images staff photographer Jamie McCarthy’s best advice? Keep it simple. “Don’t force your pose, make it relaxed and comfortable. Try not to look like a deer caught in headlights either. Make sure to stand up straight and even slightly arch your back.” And just like Tiffany said, practice, practice, practice!

5. Remember: Proper Lighting Is Key
lightingAccording to portraiture photographer Aaron Gil, the ultimate tip for looking good in photos is finding proper lighting that complements your face. “Avoid harsh shadows which accentuate blemishes and cause contrasting dark areas under your eyes or beneath the nose,” he says. “Complementary lighting is even from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, as well as from cheek to cheek.”

6. You DON’T Have a Bad Side
bad sideContrary to common thought, a bad side doesn’t actually exist, says celebrity fashion photographer and former model, Nigel Barker. “Focus all that energy on looking into the camera with confidence and slightly turning your body at an angle to either side. This will help show off your ‘WOW!’ figure.”

7. Shape Your Silhouette When Seated
sillohuete“Your figure can become lost in the background if you don’t adjust your pose when seated,” says Nigel. “So be sure to sit up straight and towards the edge of your chair. This will lengthen your torso and ensure the camera captures your best silhouette.”

8. Wear the Right Clothes
right dressWearing the right color clothing can help you look 5 to 10 pounds lighter, notes Gil. “Clothing in darker tones slims the mid-section, thighs, and arms. You should avoid high capped and poofy sleeves however, as these types of sleeves will accentuate the thickest parts of your arm.” Horizontal stripes are also a no-no, as they can make your hips and waist appear much wider than they actually are.

9. Raise the Camera
raise cameraNotice how when you ask someone shorter than your boyfriend to take a photo of you both, it makes his jawline disappear? That’s because they’re shooting up at him, says Tiffany. “Always lift the camera to at least eyeline or slightly higher. It gives everyone that GQ jawline.”

10. Put Your Hands on Your Hips
Hands on hipsPutting your hands on your hips is always a good look, says McCarthy. “It can accentuate your waist, give you the perception of being slimmer, and even make the photo look more natural and animated instead of just stiff with your arms at your sides.” When posing this way, McCarthy recommends positioning your hands with your fingers out, palms facing behind you. “This gives you the opportunity to show off any rings or other jewelry and also looks much more natural and comfortable.”

11. Know What Makeup to Wear (and What to Avoid)
make up“If my client plans to wear makeup or work with a makeup artist, I always have them keep in mind that foundations or concealers containing SPF reflect light and should be avoided,” notes Amanda Bellucco, a professional photographer from upstate New York. “Combine this with a flash, and you’ll end up looking pale, washed out and shiny,” she says. “Stick with a matte finish on the face instead, and remember, the camera does tend to slightly downplay things like lip color, blush, and especially eye makeup, so don’t be afraid to go a little heavier handed in these areas.”

By Elizabeth Mitchell, Elizabeth Mitchell graduated from NYU in 2009 and briefly dabbled in the world of fashion PR before realizing her dream of becoming a writer. In addition to theFashionSpot, she regularly contributes to SheKnows, The Luxury Spot, Latest-Hairstyles, StylebakeryTeen and Sister 2 Sister magazine. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @theneonblonde.