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Nicole Richie

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Whether it's snapping pics at the annual company holiday party or a festive family gathering, this special opportunity won't roll around again for another 365 days. So don't let a bad pose ruin the moment. Just follow these red carpet photo tips to ensure you look great every time:

Look at the lens with purpose: If it's taking a while to corral everyone, don't just stare at the lens because you'll look glazed over once your shutterbug is finally ready to start snapping.

Practice your pose: Spend some time looking in the mirror before getting in front of the camera. That way you can figure out your best side and most flattering facial expression in a pressure-free environment—celebs do it all the time.

Chin up: Extend your neck to avoid the dreaded double chin effect. And if you're posing with someone else it's good to tilt your heads together—not only does it make for a better picture but this will also elongate your neck.

Don't say cheese: Once you're in photo mode don't talk until the snapping's done. You'll invariably get caught with your mouth hanging open or some other funky facial expression.