How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples) - Anaïs

How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples)

woman wearing blue scoop neck quartered sleeve shirt posing

We’ve all been there: scrolling through our photo gallery only to find a series of unflattering poses that make us cringe. Fear not, for we have the solution! 

Here are seven simple ways to look better in photos, regardless of your experience or photographic setting.

Master Your Angles

  • Know Your Best Side: Everyone has a side they feel more comfortable with; identify yours by taking selfies from different angles, allowing you to put your best face forward in photos.
  • The Rule of Thirds: Place yourself along the imaginary lines that divide the frame into thirds, creating a more visually appealing and balanced composition.
  • The Art of Tilt: Slightly tilting your head or body can add dimension and interest to your pose, preventing a flat and unflattering appearance.

Embrace the Power of Lighting

How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples) - Anaïs

  • Natural Lighting: Your Best Friend: Soft, even natural light can be incredibly flattering, so try to position yourself near windows or outdoors when taking photos.
  • Golden Hour: The Perfect Time: Schedule your photoshoots during golden hour (the hour before sunset or after sunrise) to capture warm, glowing light that enhances your features.
  • Avoid Harsh Shadows: Stay away from directly overhead or harsh lighting that can cast unflattering shadows on your face, accentuating imperfections and making you appear tired.

Find Your Signature Pose

  • Confidence is Key: Adopt a pose that makes you feel confident and comfortable, naturally making you appear more attractive in photos.
  • Trial and Error: Experiment with different poses to discover what looks best for your unique body shape, facial features, and personal style.
  • Consistency in Your Brand: Once you’ve found your go-to pose, use it consistently across your social media platforms and professional photos to create a cohesive personal brand.

Utilize Props for a Natural Look

Casual and Relaxed: Holding Objects: Interacting with props like a coffee cup, sunglasses, or a book can make your pose feel more natural and relaxed.

Add Context to Your Photos: Props can help tell a story in your photos, providing context and meaning to your shots.

  • Leverage Your Environment: Use your surroundings as props, such as leaning against a wall, sitting on a bench, or playing with your hair, to create a more dynamic and engaging photo.
How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples) - Anaïs

Play with Different Expressions

  • Genuine Smiles and Laughter: Capture authentic smiles and laughter by thinking of something funny or enjoyable, as these expressions will appear more genuine and attractive.
  • Smizing: Smiling with Your Eyes: Learn to smile with your eyes, or “smize,” by engaging the muscles around your eyes, making your expression more captivating and warm.
  • Experiment with Various Moods: Don’t be afraid to showcase different emotions in your photos, like contemplation, happiness, or even a sultry gaze, as this can add depth and variety to your portfolio.

Mind Your Posture

  • Stand Tall: Correct Your Spine: Maintain good posture by standing tall with your shoulders back and your spine straight, instantly improving your appearance in photos.
  • Avoid Awkward Hand Positions: Keep your hands relaxed and natural, using them to interact with props or your environment, avoiding awkward or stiff hand placements.
  • Weight Distribution: The Power Stance: Shift your weight to one leg, creating a more powerful and dynamic stance that can elongate your figure and make you appear more confident.

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Regularly Review Your Photos: Take time to analyze your photos, identifying what poses and expressions work best for you and areas that could use improvement.
  • Learn from the Pros: Study the poses and techniques used by professional models and photographers, incorporating their expertise into your own posing repertoire.
  • Continual Improvement: Remember that practice makes perfect, so continually refine and experiment with your posing skills to become even more photogenic.

Now, let’s dive a little deeper…

We live in a very visual world, whether we like it or not. Photographs surround us. We have a collection of family photos and travel memories. 

With professional headshots and profile pictures, we curate our online image. And don’t forget about the candid photos piling up on our camera rolls! But that doesn’t mean we’re at ease in front of the camera. 

In fact, it’s quite normal to dislike how you look in photos (this was me a few years ago). Why? Smiling for the camera is not the same as smiling for a friend. To look better in photos, you don’t have to be a model or a fashion blogger. All you have to do is learn how to pose!

Here are seven simple adjustments you can make while posing to ensure you love every photo. 

Think of these as your “tools of the trade.” They are techniques learned from other professional photographers and models, but most importantly from a lot of personal experimentation. I had no idea how to pose others, let alone myself when I first became interested in photography. I had no idea what good lighting was. I was perplexed as to how other photographers were able to make their clients look flawless while I felt stiff and awkward in my posing.

These modifications made all the difference: 

1-Put Your Ears Forward

That dreaded double chin. Consider your stance before blaming your body! Did you know that the way we pose can create a double chin where none previously existed? When you’re not used to being in front of the camera, it can be terrifying. As a result, during a photo shoot, people tend to turn their heads away from the camera, lean backward, or tuck their chin down. It’s a small movement, perhaps imperceptible, but it’s enough to create that annoying skin ripple we all dislike.

Consider bringing your ears forward like a turtle emerging from its shell (toward the camera) when deciding how to pose. That sounds strange and will probably feel a bit strange and unnatural. This subtle forward movement, on the other hand, will give you a smooth, strong jawline.

2 – Adjust Your Weight

Let’s look at our weight distribution as well. Is it distributed equally between both feet? If so, it’s time to make some changes… By putting your weight on your back leg, you will instantly create a subtle—and extremely flattering—”S curve” in your body. Just make sure you don’t lean back or away from the camera. This might look stiff and unnatural. You want to take a natural stance.

3 – From the waist, lean forward

Similarly, a slight waist lean toward the camera can work wonders! It instantly slims the body and is a must-do pose for those who want to look better in photos. Without working out, your waist, hips, and legs will look slimmer. This movement will also help you better position your chin because you will be bringing your ears forward. Goodbye, double chin, and hello, streamlined look!

4 – Increase the distance between your torso and your arm.

It’s natural! When you ask someone to pose for a photo, they will almost always press their arms tightly against their torso. In fact, when we stand naturally, our arms are usually flat against our sides. You must resist the urge to take photos. Pulling your arm into your body squishes it outward, making it appear larger than it is. The movement will also make you look awkward and uneasy in photos.

Create a little bit of space between your torso and your arm to correct this. Put a hand on your hip or upper thigh to gently raise your arm (about an inch or two). You could put your hand in your pocket, or when posing with others, rest your hand on a family member’s shoulder or back.

5- Avoid looking directly at the camera.

How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples) - Anaïs

This is a must-know for anyone wondering how to pose! In fact, if you flip through any fashion magazine, you will notice a distinct lack of straight on shots. The angles in great photos are everything. Let us take advantage of them! Instead of facing the camera squarely, angle your body 45 degrees. It has a slimming effect and adds a lot of visual interest.

6 – Be tall. 

You don’t have to be tall to look tall in photos. Take it from someone who is 5’1! The trick is to adopt a dancer’s posture. As you experiment with your stance and learn how to pose effectively, imagine a string attached to the crown of your head. Like a marionette, this string is pulling you up. As you settle into this stance, keep your core muscles engaged and lifted. Your shoulder should be down and back. If you need assistance with properly adjusting your shoulders, try rolling them forward, then up, then around to settle into that “back” position. This will make your neck and overall bodyline appear longer.

7 – Do Not Be Afraid to Move

Although this post is about posing, sometimes the best way to look better in photos is to simply forget about the camera and let the real you shine through. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy your movement. Don’t be afraid to take a short walk. Back and forth, twirl. Swish the hem of your skirt or simply dance in your head to the music. This will help you feel more at ease in front of the camera, create a bit of dynamism, and prompt a more natural smile. 

In fact, many photography clients find that their candid/spontaneous shots are their favorites!

How to Pose: 12 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos (With Examples) - Anaïs


Looking great in photos doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these seven simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning shots that showcase your personality and style. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting and refining your poses to find what works best for you. Happy posing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *