How to Pose in Photos Like a Pro

How to Pose in Photos Like a Pro

We live in a digital world these days, so knowing how to pose in photos can be a useful skill. After all, no one wants stiff photos where they look like a deer in headlights or they’re sporting an awkward claw hand!

Luckily you don’t need to be an Instagram influencer or a model to take great photos. There are plenty of tricks and tips that you can learn to get the best poses possible, connect with the camera, and lose that awkwardness when it comes time to say cheese!

Keep reading to uncover how to pose in photos like a pro, whether you want to level up your Instagram game, get cute group photos, or nail those family photos.

1. Loosen up!

First – and most importantly – relax. Learning how to pose in photos can be tricky, but it shouldn’t be a chore! Embrace it and try and loosen up and have fun.

Shake it out before you begin, and try to relax your shoulders and your hands. For family photo poses or group photo poses, it’s a little easier because you can keep the action going by talking, moving around, or trying new things.

It can be more difficult when you’re learning how to pose for a photo alone because you have to get creative and constantly be thinking of new poses. But the more relaxed you are, the better! Whatever normally relaxes you, try to do that! Put music on or jump up and down to get rid of any tension. Dance around the room – you might even get a good photo out of it!

how to pose in photos

2. Try turning to the side

First up, learn which angles work for you – and which don’t! We all have a “good side”, and, over time, we learn which side we prefer. That said, using the side angle instead of taking a photo straight on can be a little different and makes your pose a little more dynamic.

It’s also an easy way to create angles with your body. You don’t need to face the camera, either. Experiment with looking out to the distance, beyond the camera operator or even facing the opposite way!

best poses for photos

3. Keep it moving

Movement gives a sense of energy to your photos that keep your photos vibrant and fun. If you’re posing alone, try to walk towards the camera. If you have a jacket or a dress on, you could swish it to the side to emphasise that movement.

Just remember to try to keep your movements light instead of being forceful, or you might create harsh shapes with your body. Hands and arms can often look awkward in photos (don’t forget that claw hand!) so try and move them slowly in between shots. Try to switch it up with every shot to keep your photos fluid and natural.

Move by interacting with your surroundings; lean against a wall or table or walk around. You can even try and throw something, like snow, sand, or water, to add interest to your photo. Have fun with it! The best poses are often spontaneous and have a sense of fun.

how to pose in photos

4. Search for inspiration

If you’re a little stuck on how to pose in photos, get inspired by searching online. This is especially important if you’re taking family photos, wedding photos, or professional portraits.

Search Instagram and Pinterest, create collections and re-create your favourite poses. You don’t have to copy them exactly, but you can use them as a starting point. Practice the best poses in front of the mirror and test out how they work on you. Your favourite influencers probably have a thing or two to teach you about the best poses to try!

best poses Instagram

5. Nail the lighting

There’s a reason that lights come before the camera! Lighting can be a gamechanger when it comes to getting the money shot. Bad fluorescent lighting, on the other hand, can make you look sick and ghostly, or just cast the light unevenly across your face.

Natural lighting is always best – not to mention it will be the easiest for your photographer to get right! However, it’s not always possible to get natural lighting all the time, so you can use studio lights where you can, or use the light coming through a large window inside, if possible. Try to avoid natural light right in the middle of the day, as it is often too harsh and can cast strong shadows over the face. That said, when shooting at other times of day, turn your face towards the light so that it illuminates your face.

how to pose in photos

6. Get your photographer to move!

As we said earlier on, movement is the key to interesting photos full of life. But it’s important that your photographer moves around too, especially if you want to capture the best poses for your Instagram pics.

Get your photographer to get down low, shoot from the side, or shoot up higher to capture interesting and unique photos.

photography poses

7. Use props

Props can give your photos meaning, purpose, and they’ll give you something to do with your hands! They can help your images tell a story and set the scene instantly.

Your prop needs to suit the context of your surroundings, of course. So, you might have ice cream at the beach, a coffee cup for your work photos, or a bunch of flowers or a croissant when you’re strolling the romantic streets of Paris. Start with your location and think about which props would suit the situation.

Our favourite props are:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Food or drinks, like a cup of coffee, tea, juice, ice cream, fairy floss, or a piece of fruit
  • Flowers
  • A bag or scarf
  • A phone or camera
  • Books, pens, a tablet or a laptop are great props for work photos

Just ensure your props don’t take over the shot – you don’t always need five props per shot! The prop should never overpower the photo or cover your body or face too much.

how to pose in photos

Remember; practice makes perfect! If you’ve got a professional shoot coming up and you need to learn how to pose for professional photos quickly, it might even be worth doing a practice shoot beforehand. Get a friend or loved one to practice taking a few photos with you so you can learn your best angles.

And, once you’ve got the money shot, why not print your fabulous photos to keep forever? Canvas prints, metal prints or acrylic prints are the perfect way to immortalise your memories, print professional photos for the office, or display your best Insta shots proudly in your home.

Wall prints can elevate your rooms and add a personal touch to your home or office. Check out our prints today and decide which print is best for you.


Megan is Canvas Factory's resident Social & Content Manager, and has worked with countless other homewares and interior design businesses over the years. It goes without saying that she also has a passion for decorating her own home!

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