In this business, there are posing techniques that take years to perfect. It isn't as easy as using the same cookie-cutter poses for everyone I photograph! Poses should be authentic and tell a story.
When getting your photo taken, it is difficult to not feel awkward or self conscious. But, there are SO many quick, easy ways to look amazing in your photos that you can start doing right now. I'm going to let you in on some posing secrets that took me a couple years to figure out. And while these won't replace having professional photos taken, they will help you feel more confident--which is 100% part of my mission!
Some tips for posing on your own
1. Pay attention to your eyes.
Your eyes your most emotive feature, and my worst enemy is that "dead behind the eyes" look. (We all love Steve Buscemi but that's probably not the look we're going for.)
Be sure to squint slightly when you smile to make it seem more genuine, and even better, ask for the photo taker to make you laugh.
For candid-looking photos, gazing at the ground or towards an object is an easy way to set a scene.
2. Same goes for hands.
Bad hand placement can ruin a photo. Having something to do with your hands is your best bet, because posing hands is so difficult. Holding something (your purse, flowers, a drink, etc.), and playing with hair are great examples.
3. Pretend to walk (or actually walk!). Pop a leg in front of you to give your photo a sense of motion. Move at slightly different angles so that you get a variety of shots.
For bonus points, walk towards the photo-taker's 9 or 3 o'clock, moving your feet heel-to-toe.
4. Notice your angles.
Firstly, ask yourself if there's a side of your face you prefer. Look at photos you like of yourself, and notice what side of your face was most prominent.
Remember that what is closest to the camera looks the biggest. Very few people like photos of themselves square on, so I avoid taking photos of people like that. Stand with good posture at an angle, with one leg popped.
Ask your photo-taker to shoot down at you (they can hold the camera or phone up a little higher if they are shorter than you). This is SUPER flattering (and the reason I always have a stool in my backseat.)
Pro tip: a popped leg makes ALLLL the difference.
Put all of your weight on your back leg, and bend the knee closest to the camera to shift your hips backward.
I like this photo because it clearly shows some posing principles: I asked her to slightly face her right, shifting her weight to her back leg and popping her front knee. Her elbow is bent so that you can see the back of her waist, and she is gazing at the ground.
5. Pose with the sun at your back.
Avoid harsh sun on your face by turning away from it or going into some shade. This makes sure that you don't have any weird uneven shadows on your face (also a worst enemy of mine). Also, that way, you won't be squinting in your photo! (Window light is also gorg, and overcast days are easiest.)
The overall objective here is to NOT have an Insta feed that looks like you could have photoshopped the same face/body into all of the backgrounds. You want to showcase your personality!
POSING WITH A PARTNER
The same rules apply as posing solo, but you can interact with your partner to flatter yourself (i.e. you can use them as a prop. LOL).
1. Know what your partner is comfortable with in a photo.
Not everyone loves PDA. I personally love photos of my partner resting his forehead on my forehead, or of our noses touching. But not everyone is comfortable with this display, especially when the photo-taker is not a professional.
2. Notice your angles.
An easy way to make sure you're at a good angle is to place your belly button onto your partner's hip bone. Note the difference below when the subject on the left does this simple trick.
3. Free hand goes in your pocket.
Have your partner place any free hand in a pocket. Too many arms straight down looks funny.
No pocket, no problem. Hold hands in front (as pictured above).
First photo: How the couple naturally posed for a photo. Second photo: I asked her to put her belly button on his hipbone, and for him to place his left hand in his pocket and hide his right hand behind her back.
3. Have them put an arm around you and squeeze you. It will highlight your waist, especially if you stand facing each other. See the photo below for an example.
Here you can see she is popping her front leg, and in the second photo I asked him to squeeze her waist in.
4. Laugh at each other. This is a super easy way to create a candid-feeling moment in any situation.
5. Walk together. Start walking towards the photo-taker or at the diagonal angle described above. Again, capturing motion is ideal!
Practice makes perfect! I find that I personally like photos that other people take of me much more now that I know these tricks. Tag me in any posing practice photos you take!
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