Many people say they aren’t photogenic and take terrible photos. I used to be one of those people. I remember dreading picture day at school and events like the prom always lead to anxiety. Today I am sharing with you my personal tips plus traditional photographers’ posing techniques for taking great photos. These aren’t just great tips you can use for taking your engagement and wedding photos! You can use these tips every time you pose for a photo.
Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of today’s post for sample pictures!
h3. The Way I Want to Look
* Are you the type that says, “That’s what I look like?!” when you see a picture of yourself for the first time? Why is it that you see yourself one way in the mirror and another way in a photo? Chances are there are a few things going on: 1) When you look in the mirror you are looking at yourself so you are correcting flaws, getting yourself to look the way you want; 2) You are looking at parts of yourself and not the whole “picture”; and 3) A photo is a split second in time captured for a lifetime and many of us tend to analyze it for a lifetime!
- So here’s what you can do. Go to your mirror and practice! When you are happy with the way you look (try using the tips bellow to help you achieve this) remember what you are doing to look this way. Remember how it feels. Then practice looking that way a few times. Then close your eyes, try to look that way again and open your eyes to see if you could do it. This may sound silly, but I promise this works!!! This is something I bet most models have done!
h3. Try Several Poses
* Again, using a mirror, try different poses. If you are alone, no one will see you so feel free to be silly and try something new. Again, once you find a pose or two you really like memorize how to do it without the mirror. The next time you take photos, professionally or not, you’ll have some “fool proof” poses you can quickly get into to take great pictures.
h3. Tricks of the Trade
* Good posture does wonders for photos! Slumping (even the slightest bit) makes us look frumpy, over weight and less attractive overall. For women, sitting/standing up straight helps to make their chest area look better and clothing will not bunch up eliminating the illusion of lumps bumps and rolls. For men it helps them to look broader and more masculine. It also helps men and women, alike, to not have the illusion of a double chin.
- Elongate your neck and raise/stick your chin out to avoid a double chin! When the chin is dropped almost everyone will develop a second chin. Practice this in the mirror so you get a feel for how far you need to raise and elongate your neck and chin. How things feel is rarely consistent with how it looks. I often tell clients during a photo session, “Feels weird looks great!”
- Don’t stand straight to the camera. Standing with a twist, at an angle or sideways to the camera helps slenderize anyone and to create a lot of visually and aesthetically pleasing interest to a photo.
- Make sure your face isn’t straight to the camera. As with how you stand, tilting your head, turning it a bit, etc. will be most aesthetically pleasing and can help slenderize a round face.
- Make a “V”/”T” with your feet or cross your legs. Even if the photo is waist up sometimes not standing feet-together can really help make your upper half naturally twist and look right. If you are taking a full length photo it helps to create interest and define your legs. Play around with how it looks. Crossed legs look great on women, it creates a beautiful feminine shape.
- Men look “G.Q.” when they lean against something (like a tree) and support their weight on one leg (crossing the other in front and resting that leg’s weight on the tip of their shoe). See picture bellow. It creates strong masculine lines.
h3. Here are some examples from work we have done.
And last are three portraits of a sweet flower girl from a wedding we covered. Notice how different she can look taken these three different ways. The first being what we do not suggest and the second two being better posing and visual interest.