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How to Pose for Photos

Have you ever wondered how to pose?

Have you ever felt fabulous in your outfit (maybe at a party or on an adventure or just hanging out with friends) and then cringed when you saw the photos afterwards? 

Have you ever tried to get an amazing photo of a fantastic outfit and then decided afterward that you hate how you look in it?

Do you ever stand awkwardly in front of a camera, frozen by the paranoia of how you will look in the photos? 


In my almost ten years as a photographer, I have learned ways to coach my clients into fabulous poses so that they can love how they look (I believe EVERYONE is beautiful, even if society tries to tell you otherwise, and I take great pride in showing you that beauty!) but I can’t be your personal photographer all the time (hey, that would be fabulous. . . .!) so here are my three basic tips for looking fabulous in photos.

How to pose in photographs: Stand Tall

You’ve heard different versions of this in your life, I’m sure. Maybe your mom told you not to slouch or a dance instructor told you to work on your posture. The first step to looking fabulous in photos is to stand tall.  Especially if you’re trying to minimize the post-Christmas pudge or if you’re trying to exude confidence despite the awkwardness of having to pose for a photo, stand tall, throw your shoulders back, elongate your neck.  But don’t be just be stiff in your posture. (It’s a fine line and often why I will coach you to move more in your portrait sessions — it keeps you from being stiff but allows me to tell you to stand tall anyway!)


How to pose in photographs: Touch More

While it may sound like an oxymoron after I just told you to stand tall, the reality is that you need to both stand tall and lean in to whoever you’re standing with.  It’s easy if this is a boyfriend or a best friend, but it’s going to feel less comfortable if it’s a group of coworkers. DO IT ANYWAY and you’ll be amazed at the way you will feel and look more beautiful and relaxed and unified in the photo.  That might mean just tilting your head toward the person you’re with, or it will involved actually snuggling in close with your love.

Notice how much more relaxed and happy Emileigh and Isaac look once they’re touching more and tilted toward one another.

how to pose for photos

How to pose in photographs: know what is closest to the camera

Consider what you want to emphasize and what you want to de-emphasize in the photograph.  For emphasis, put it closer to the camera. For de-emphasis, make sure it a little farther from the camera.  Example: in the photo below the Isaac is not only closest to the camera, he is the only thing you can really see.  Once Emileigh comes around to his side, they are equally part of the photo and Isaac is no longer stealing the spotlight!

how to pose for photos

You’ll notice this in every selfie you’ve ever liked of yourself: it’s probably the one where your favorite feature is closest to the camera lens. Maybe it’s your eyes looking bigger or maybe it’s just that your hips look a little smaller. Either way, it’s because of what is closest to the camera.

It’s why you like the photo where you’re laughing and leaning forward: your face is closer to the camera by inches and it’s minimizing the rest of your body.

It’s why you hate the photo where you’re sitting on the couch and all you can see is your thighs.  Your thighs are closest to the camera, so they’re being emphasized!

When Isaac is the one hiding behind Emileigh, he’s the one one that gets lost in the frame and is no longer equal to the image.  He literally move mere inches and the photo goes from drab to fab.

how to pose and look good

How to Pose for Photographs: Get Closer

Have you ever seen the group photo where everyone except for one person is tightly wedged together? That one person looks like the outsider, right?  Same with photos of you and your man or your and your BFF: the closer you are to one another the more unified and together you appear. It may just be inches, but those inches are invaluable.

how to pose for photos and look beautiful

Want to see a few more tips on how to pose and the minuscule changes you can make for excellent results? I put together a video! (My very first one that I’ve edited from start to finish! What do you think?) Huge thanks to Emileigh and Isaac for letting me show them look their worst…so I could should show how they look their best! =D



P.S. You won’t need to remember any of these posing tips if you book a portrait session with me — it’l be my job to make sure you look and feel your best!

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