1. GET USED TO THE WAY YOU REALLY LOOK. Most of the time you see yourself in a mirror, which flips the image left-to-right. This means that unless your face is perfectly symmetrical you really do look different in a photo. You can test this by flipping a photo left to right with Photoshop. Most likely you will like it better that way and everyone else will say it looks odd. But the real solution is to get used to seeing yourself the right way round. This doesn't mean smashing all the mirrors, but simply printing out a few photos and putting them where you can see them regularly.
2. DON'T OBSESS OVER DETAILS. Reflect about why you don't like your photos and usually it all comes down to some detail that really annoys you but other people don't see and don't care about. Do you think a lot about dancer Fred Astaire's big hands? Maybe you don't but he did and tried to keep them out of the frame so people wouldn't see them. Maybe you don't like the little wrinkle next to your eye, or the Marge Simpson chin or whatever. But to other people that's just part of you. They don't notice it, they don't care about it and neither should you.
3. FIX THAT CLUMP OF HAIR. If your problem is that there is always a clump of hair that is sticking out sideways then do something about it. Either get a low-maintenance haircut, apply a whole tub of wild hair glue to make it behave or just keep checking yourself in mirrors, windows, iPhone screens or anything else that reflects. If you are a man and you don't want to be caught checking yourself in mirrors all the time then go to an outdoors store and buy one of those compasses with a built in mirror, the kind you use when you go grizzly bear hunting. Then when you are checking your hair people will think you are just checking which way the bear forest is.
4. KEEP YOUR FACE ON. If people often catch you with a grumpy face or scratching your nose you can try keeping a neutral-to-positive expression all the time and learn the discipline of never scratching or picking at anything unless you are locked alone in a darkened cellar. Once I had to scan through hundreds of photos of a PR event looking for the "keepers". One of the guests at the event was the US state governor -- I won't mention who -- and I noticed that there was not a single shot taken the whole day where he didn't have his political face on. His wife, on the other hand, more than once had the I-wish-I-were-dead expression.
5. DON'T GET TOO CLOSE TO THE CAMERA. Back in the early days of photography longer lenses were often called "portrait" lenses for good reason. When you are further away and the camera zooms in your face will be flatter and looks more natural. When someone comes much closer and zooms out you get a near fisheye effect. This makes your nose look bigger and your ears look smaller -- a very unnatural look since human eyes are not like fish eyes (For more about fish eyes see If Fish Could Draw and If Fish Could Draw II). This means you are more likely to get photos you like when the camera is not in your face.
There are plenty of other things to try but get started with these five and there's a good chance that even if you don't want to start a career as a model you will at least be more relaxed in front of the camera. If all this doesn't work then come back here and ask for more ideas.
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