The Best Ways to Pose for Pictures

By Shailynn Krow ; Updated September 15, 2017
How you pose for a photograph can make a difference.

A photograph can say a thousand words when it looks good. Whether you are posing for pictures for a school yearbook or a family photo, the way you pose can make a difference in how the photograph turns out. Next time you find yourself in front of a camera, try a few of these posing tips.

Posing Solo: Full Body

When posing for the camera with your entire body in the shot, it is important to remember that the camera will catch all of your angles. Stand your body up straight and keep your shoulders back. Your head should be up, but not too high. Turn your body slightly to the camera so that you are facing it three quarters of the way -- this will make your entire body appear thinner. Place hands on your hips to make your arms appear thinner, shift your weight toward your back leg and have one foot placed further forward than the other.

Posing Solo: Waist Up

A pose in front of the camera that shows your body from the waist up means that you do not have your entire body to work with. Push your shoulders back and keep your chin up. Look over the shoulder at the camera and have your arms rest at your sides.

Posing with Another: Standing Up

Posing alone in front of a camera can be difficult, but it is more difficult to pose with another individual in the picture as well. When posing with a friend, face each other. Keep hair off your shoulders (if down). Slightly turn your bodies from the center toward the camera so that you have one hip facing toward the camera. Push your shoulders back and turn your face toward the camera, but do not stare at the camera straight on.

Posing Dont's

It is just as important to have the right pose for the camera as knowing how not to pose. When taking a photograph, never face the camera completely. Never slouch your body and always try to stand straight rather than leaning to a particular side. Do not lift your chin too high so that the camera catches your nostrils. Do not pose without practicing in the mirror first.

About the Author

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.