Posing 101: How to Pose in Pictures Like the Hottest Model Anywhere

In most of the photos that you see yourself in, whether candid or professional, there will always be a feature of them that you point out in dislike.

Photo by Annemarie Kriek
Photo by Annemarie Kriek

Whether there are couple of lumps and bumps on show, the universally hated ‘double chin’, or that you believe that you’ve picked up two clothing sizes as soon as that shutter button was pressed, there are ways to combat unsightly features. Here is a quick-fire guide to how to pose in pictures, without dreading the resulting prints!

Beating the Double Chin Without Dieting

When posing for a head or portrait shot, try to tilt your head forward and slightly upwards. Don’t push it so far as to give yourself an awkward ‘giraffe neck’ in the final stills, but do position your head as far upwards and to the front as you can whilst still looking natural. Positioning your head in this way stretches the chubbiness and skin on the underside of your neck, lifting your ‘second chin’ behind your actual chin.

Drop a Dress Size

If you’re sitting down in a photograph, cross your legs and lean your body forwards just a touch. Crossing your legs is an optical illusion that cuts the width of your body in half on the subsequent photos, whilst leaning forward elongates your body and draws attention away from your torso and into your face.

Photo by Lothar Adamczyk
Photo by Lothar Adamczyk

If you’re participating in a group shot, avoid standing at the end of the line. In most pictures, those people at each end of a group shot tend to look heavier whilst those in the middle look thinner, as a result of hiding their body behind others in the group. You can easily drop a dress size in your photos by standing more towards the centre of the group shot.

If you’re posing for a full body shot, try putting your hands on your hips and smiling confidently. Posing like this helps to accentuate your waistline, making your appear slimmer, whilst making you look more natural than posing with your arms laid flat and awkwardly against your body. It helps you to ooze confidence in the ensuing photo album, and like you were happy to be in front of the camera!

When posing upright, you should also avoid pressing your limbs against your body. If you’re wearing a top that shows your arms off and you your arm against your torso in the snap, any fat that you have around your bicep will splay out, making your look larger than you actually are. Create a small gap between your upper arm and your body to keep your arm looking as svelte as it is in real life.

Perfect Your Pose

If you’re gearing up for a professional photo shoot, take some timeout prior to the shoot to practice your poses in a mirror at home. By spending a couple of hours looking at your profile, you can figure out your ‘best side’ and also the pose that does you the most justice. For some, cute poses such as looking over your shoulder or a straight on smiling shot works best.

Photo by Rania Maria Rönntoft
Photo by Rania Maria Rönntoft

Meanwhile others feel most confident when doing seductive looks, such as staring off camera with a subtle pout. Working on your own mini-photo shoot in your bathroom mirror will really help you to discover the poses in which you feel most confident, and you can also go into the photo shoot with a ready decided set of poses that you know you will enjoy looking at afterwards.

Confidence is Key

It goes without saying that the best photos are taken when you’re feeling at your most confident. If you go into a photo feeling unhappy or awkward, both of these emotions will show in the resulting pictures,whether in your eyes or facial expression.

You should also avoid the nervous, deer-in-headlights forced smile (i.e. large eyes, exaggerated smile), as this never photographs well. When smiling for the camera, think of happy memories; ones that really fill you with joy and confidence. Posing whilst thinking like this promises a much more attractive, natural smile that looks stunning in the prints later on.

Use Clothes and Make-up to Your Advantage

If you have ‘problem areas’ that you really don’t like, avoid dressing in light colours and shiny fabrics in your photo shoot, as these materials will draw attention to them. Instead, cloak your worst areas in darker colours, and use brighter colours to highlight your best features.

Photo by Vali BARBULESCU
Photo by Vali BARBULESCU

In terms of make-up, stick to matte make-up. Products with glitter or shine incorporated into them can make you appear sweaty and shiny – unflattering to say the least! Matte foundation, concealer and powder will all help you to look flawless throughout the shoot. Consider trying a slightly darker shade for a photo shoot, as the photographer’s flash can wash out some of the colour from your face – giving you the Casper the Friendly Ghost look. Wearing a slightly darker colour should, in theory, give your natural colour in the photos.

Frame your best features. If you love your lips, use a bright lipstick to draw attention to these. If you love your eyes, frame them with liquid eyeliner to draw attention to them. All of this will help you to feel confident in your own skin – and confidence always photographs well!

So now that you have the ultimate guide to posing, get out there and give the camera your best smile without fearing the prints. Good luck.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jordan is a Leicester photographer on a mission to rid the world of dodgy profile pictures! From the ‘gravity defying’ knee-bend to the mirror shot (complete with reflected flash), he is a firm believer in avoiding the cliches and being more creative in photography.

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  1. To help lose the double chin, they can also put their tongue on the roof of their mouth. This also prevents the tongue in the teeth look that I see quite often.

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