Is there a way to pose for more flattering photos? Oh, you bet. Feeling awkward when posing for photos is all too common, but if you are able to remember these tips, you’re going to surprise yourself by loving the way you look.
My friend Kristen and I met at one of the photography groups we both belong to, and we just clicked! We’ve been supporting each other’s journey, picking each other’s brains and venting to each other because no one else seems to get why we obsessed over the perfect editing style. We live about an hour and a half from each other, and we finally made the decision to meet in person and swap headshots! Also, we may or may have not gone for drinks afterward…
We met in Mystic, CT. It was a gorgeous winter day, cold and bright. We are both photographers so we basically knew what to do, and since it was cold we only needed 15 minutes to get tons of photos that we both love. The secret? Knowing how to pose!
Knowing (and remembering!) a few flattering poses is key. You know your favorite side of your face, and maybe your best smile, but posing your body in a way that flatters your features will be a game-changer for you! Aaaaaaand you will stop having to take 50 photos to find one you like!
When I am the one taking the photos, I guide the entire posing so no one has to wonder what to do with the limbs; but when I am the one getting pictures taken, unless is with another professional photographer, I follow my own guidance to make sure I will love the way I look, and in only a few shots, I know I’m going to have good options. Keep reading for my favorite 5 easy poses for more flattering photos!
Nothing screams “awkwardness” like a stiff body, so I’ll say it again… if it bends, bend it! Arms, legs, wrists, hips, and pretty much anything with a joint.
There are tons of options to help you bend those arms: grab a layer of clothes, put your hands on your waist (a little higher than normal is usually more flattering!), hold an object (like Kristen is holding the camera, or your necklace, or someone else’s arm), or simply hold your hands in front of you, touching the fingers. You may think it’s silly, but trust me, it’s super flattering!
For the legs, make sure to bend one knee. This will remove the stiff look. I usually ask my clients to bend the knee closer to the camera for an instant slimming effect.
PRO-TIP: Put your toes together and then pop the knee closer to the camera while twisting your torso away from the camera. Sounds like a lot to remember, but it’s not! Pop and twist. Pop and twist.
The “power pose” (shown below) is a great way to bend your arms while looking badass.
Even if you keep an arm straight, you still can bend it a little at the elbow (see below) and move the arm a little to the front to remove the stiffness of just hanging by your side.
Twisting your torso away from the camera will instantly add a slimming effect, but then, if you tilt the shoulder closer to the camera towards the camera, you will be changing the angle of your head/face giving you a much softer look. This move changes the perspective of the body and adds more depth to your photo (than standing square to the camera totally straight). This kinda goes with tip #1 – bend at the waist!
PRO-TIP: bend your neck! Yes, tilt your head a little while tilting your shoulder.
Do you know why we love dresses with pockets? Because it helps so much with posing! Pockets are perfect for photos. Use the front or back pockets to help you with the hand placing. When you give your hands something to do (holding something, putting it in pockets, etc.) it will help you look more comfortable.
This is one of my favorites go-to poses for many reasons, but especially because it gives my hand something to do while moving the hair away from my face. Plus it looks super adorable. You can stagger the arms by having one hand playing your hair (moving it behind your ear, playing with the ends of your hair, fluffing your hair, etc.), while the other can be grabbing a piece of clothing or even hang straight in the front (while bending a little at the elbow).
I love using things in the environment to help with the posing. Holding on to a fence, placing your hand on a wall, or even leaning on it will make you look very natural. Just make sure you follow the “if it bends, bend it” principle. In the photos below you can see that Kristen and I are both holding onto the fence while popping the knee and bending the other arm and tilting our heads a little.
There you have it! My favorite easy poses for more flattering photos. Keep these in the back of your mind for the next time your friend pulls out her phone and says “let’s take a picture!”
Are you thinking of a spring photoshoot? Let’s do it. Contact me for more info!
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