Striking The Perfect Picture Pose To Enhance Your Best Features

When you're out with a group of friends and someone takes out their phone to snap a few pics, you might notice you feel awkward and uncomfortable when trying to strike a pose for the camera. If this sounds like you, it doesn't mean that you're bad at taking photos. The reason you don't feel photogenic has more to do with your body language and poses than it has to do with your looks.

Models and celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, and Beyonce have perfected photogenic tricks that include striking the perfect pose for the camera. When you take photos, you want to feel just as confident and beautiful, without the fear of looking awkward. Fortunately, you don't have to be a supermodel or an influencer to take stunning Instagram-worthy pics. With a few tweaks, you can take breathtaking pictures and love the way that you look in them.

Find soft lighting by large windows

Lighting can make or break a photo. It's one of the most important elements to consider when taking pictures of yourself. Look for soft lighting instead of bright, direct lighting. According to Alex Light, a body confidence influencer, "Direct lighting can be harsh, so if you're out and about when the sun is low in the sky (a couple of hours before sunset and a couple of hours after sunrise), that's the best time to grab a snap, as the light won't create contrasting shadows" (via Glamour UK). 

Show off your hands

One of the most common problems people have is not knowing what to do with their hands in a photo. If you feel awkward about your hands and arms, you're not alone. For a more unique pose, don't hide your hands. Instead, show them off as David Suh, photographer and pose coach suggests on TikTok.

Lift up your hands, and bring them together and towards your lips for a model pose. If you want to keep things casual, place your hands in your pockets or on your sides to create triangles in your body shape for a flattering shot.

Use your seven posing points

According to David Suh, you have seven posing points to work with: your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and your neck. Changing any one of these points can make an entirely new pose, so you'll never have to worry about running out of moves. Try shifting your hip out to one side, bending an ankle, or moving your shoulders slightly away from the camera. These small changes can transform your pose and make you look like a pro in front of the camera.

Bring your chin and upper body toward the camera

If you've ever taken a selfie or photo with friends only to realize you have a double chin –- this tip is for you. We've all dealt with a double chin in photos at some point or another. Fortunately, there is a quick fix you can do to avoid having one in pictures. Move your chin out and towards the camera slightly along with your upper body. This helps elongate your neck, and will get rid of any extra chins.

Fix your posture

Your posture can completely transform the way you look in a photo. If you're slouched down, you'll appear less confident and unsure of yourself. Having poor posture also makes photos less appealing and flattering to viewers. When you lift your upper body, elongate your neck, and straighten your back, you make yourself look more upright and taller. You'll also give off a more secure and confident vibe when you're in this position.

Know your body's angles

One of the best things you can do for yourself when posing for photos is to know your angles. According to David Suh, there are nine angles you can work with when posing to move your face in a way that will be flattering. You'll want to get your "good side" right in your photos to take the best selfies that will make a great first impression. A study by Psychological Science found that people make judgments about others after a mere 100 milliseconds of seeing their faces.

Take photos from the right camera angle

Not only should you know your angles, but you should know the best camera angles too. The best angles to shoot photos, especially full body photos are from below. Taking a photo from closer to the ground and facing the camera up towards the person will elongate their legs and capture a beautiful model-like pic. Street photographer, David Nyanzi tells Glamour UK, "The best angle is from below and shooting upwards for a full body shot and face-on for portraits, standing straight on."

Make triangles with your body

Miami-based fashion photographer, Bonnie Rodriguez, tells Insider that when posing, it's best to "create triangles with your body." When you pose completely straight, you're not giving the viewer anywhere interesting to look. You'll end up with a dull and boring stance this way. 

Creating triangles with your body will make your poses more dynamic and interesting. Bend an arm and put your other hand on your hip. You can also try lifting a hand up toward the camera for a unique shot.

Use props

If you're still feeling uncomfortable and awkward, use props in your photos. This will solve the common issue of not knowing where to place your hands. It can also help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. A prop can be anything from an iced coffee or a snack to a cute crossbody bag. A prop will give you something to hold onto and to work into your pic which will create a dynamic, interesting moment.

Relax your face

If you struggle with awkward smiles in photos, the best thing you can do is take a moment to pause and relax. When your smile feels forced, chances are it will look tense and forced in the photos as well. Alex Light tells Glamour UK, "Try to relax your face muscles and unclench your jaw before giving your most natural smile a go." Another tip she suggests is to lift your eyebrows, to open up your eyes and give your face a softer look.