Posing for a photograph can be very uncomfortable, especially if you aren’t used to doing it regularly. We’ve all been there and had these sorts of questions come to mind: What do I do with my hands? Where should I look? Am I supposed to stay frozen to the spot? Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s all a matter of gaining confidence. But while you get used to being in front of the camera, you can really benefit from nifty tricks that’ll help you feel more comfortable at your next shoot. In the following, I’ll show you 8 tips for poses that you can use the next time someone is going to photograph you.

If you’re a photographer reading this, pay close attention. A photo shoot is like a dance, and you, as the photographer, are the choreographer. To take good photos, both the photographer and the model must work together. That’s why you also need to learn how to act as a guide for the person, especially if they don’t have much experience in front of the camera. So it’s important that you take on board all this useful advice, too.

Table of Contents

  1. Imaginary thread
  2. Extend your arms and legs
  3. Use your hands
  4. Move your hips
  5. Fake laugh
  6. Walk
  7. Accessories
  8. Create angles

Imaginary thread

Imagine that you’ve got a piece of thread stuck to your forehead and someone has pulled it up. Or that you’re the lead in a romantic movie and you’re letting your face be bathed in the light. This pose will make your neck appear longer, improve your posture, and make you look taller.

Hilo Imaginario How To Pose for a Photo Shoot

Extend your arms and legs

Try not to have your arms and legs too close to your body. Stretching an arm or a leg helps your body appear longer, which tends to make you look better in photos. It will also help you appear more relaxed, which is almost always a good thing when you pose for the camera.

DSC00038 How To Pose for a Photo Shoot

Use your hands

This is a great tip if you don’t know what to do with your hands. My advice is to make sure both hands aren’t doing the same thing. For example, if one of your hands is on your hip, try putting the other hand next to your face. This adds movement to the photo and provides a bit of variety. Otherwise, you can use your hands to play with your hair or clothes, put your hands in your pockets or, if you’re sitting, place them on your legs.

Move your hips

Changing the direction of your hips, swinging from side to side, and creating an S-shape with your body will help give the photo more dynamism. Less rigid, you’ll no longer look like one of the Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace! Put your weight on one foot and let your body move accordingly.

Fake laugh

This can be a bit awkward at first, but this trick is fool-proof, I promise. Look to the side and imagine that you have invisible friends around you telling jokes or some funny story. This will make your expressions more natural. If you’re a photographer, you can talk to the model and laugh with them. Laughter is contagious and you may even manage to get a real chuckle out of your model.


Taking a step or two while posing will help create movement. You can move towards the camera or go in any other direction. Just be sure not to move too fast, so that the photo doesn’t come out blurred.


This is another excellent trick when you don’t know what to do with your hands. Hold onto an accessory such as sunglasses, a hat or even the same item of clothing. This will add a different touch to the photo shoot and change the look a bit.

Create angles

I already told you that extending arms and legs helps with the poses, but if you want to take it to another level, you can create angles with one arm or one leg to make the photo more pleasing to the eye.

These are some of the poses and tips that I consider the best and easiest to do, especially if you’re not used to being photographed. As always, practice makes perfect – little by little you’ll start to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Once the photos are finished, review them and take note of anything you can improve for next time. For the rest, have fun and experiment.

Good luck!

Model: Ana

Hanns Schmelzer

¡Hola! Soy Hanns. Nací y crecí en Venezuela, pero vivo en Berlín desde 2014. Puedo hablo tres idiomas (alemán / inglés / español), disfruto cocinar y soy un apasionado por los videojuegos. Pero sobre todo, ¡me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con las imágenes en movimiento!

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