A Photographer’s Guide to Posing

A hand holding a camera. The camera screen shows a curved road.

One of the trickiest things we experience when taking photos is actually posing for the photo. What do I do with my hands? How should I hold my arms? Are my legs in the right position? How do I make sure I don’t look awkward?

The way you pose is a tool to help you find your confidence and let you shine in your photos. But posing can be a daunting task, so our expert photographers are here to help ease your worries. Consider this a masterclass in posing from your friends at b&b Photography!

Walk Toward the Camera

We’ll start out easy with a classic pose, walking towards the camera. This simple pose achieves a natural look that even professional models go for. Simply find a nice background and start striding toward your photographer. You can also walk in place or rock back and forth on your heels if you don’t have a lot of room.

Walking towards the camera creates an element of movement in your photos, resulting in a more compelling and natural image. It also creates a more dynamic angle with your body, adding more interest to your photo than just standing straight and still.

woman crossing arms in professional headshot

Cross Your Arms

Another easy pose is simply crossing your arms. You can combine this with almost any stance and angle of your body and achieve almost any mood you’d like. Crossing your arms tightly can convey edginess, while having them relaxed and adding in a smile can give off a more playful feel.

In general, lightly crossing your arms gives yourself a more open feel in photos. We recommend gently touching your arms instead of gripping them tightly. You could also try slightly raising one of your shoulders to add a bit more angle to your photo.

Hand on Your Hip

A problem we often run into with photography is the question of what to do with our hands. We suggest resting one of them on your hip while the other hangs at your side. Try tilting your upper body and raising one of your shoulders to add a bit more dynamic energy to the pose.

Adding angles to your poses create interest, but make sure that your elbow isn’t at such an intense bend. Your movement should be light to avoid harsh angles, if you want it to look and feel natural.  


If you’re looking for a unique piece of movement to showcase in your photo album, look no further than twirling. Because of the line of movement, this pose works best in long flowing clothing, like dresses or skirts. Take this into account when preparing your photoshoot wardrobe, as you might want to bring a change of clothes or two to the session.

Our tip for this pose is to relax your face. You may feel the urge to smile and laugh because the act of twirling is so fun, but you run the risk of the photo not turning out just the way you want it. It’s perfectly fine to smile while twirling, just make sure you don’t laugh too hard.

abmont denise 010

Add in a Prop

An easy way to liven up a photo is to add in a prop or two. Make sure to consider your location and the season when choosing props for your photoshoot. Ice cream cones look great in summer photos but might be a bit confusing in a winter wonderland.

Props are easy ways to showcase your personality and tell a story in the photo. Consider bringing your instrument, sports ball, or an item involved with a hobby. Not only will it bring out more of you, but they also provide you with more posing opportunities. You could also bring in flowers, your favorite book, hats, and bags to add some interest to the photo. You can take the idea of a prop one step further and add your pet to the photo. Just make sure you have someone to keep them behaved behind the scenes.

Look Back Toward the Camera

We’ve told you to walk towards the camera, but now we’re telling you to turn away and look back it. This playful pose makes it look like you’re looking at someone behind you. Add in a smile and maybe a laugh to really emphasize this. If you really want to play into that idea, reach your hand behind you, almost if you were grabbing someone’s hand.

When doing this pose make sure you angle your body to the side and look back so you don’t strain your neck from turning it so hard.


Simply standing still in the middle of a space isn’t interesting. You need to do something with your hands and limbs that both adds interest and prevents you from looking awkward. When you arrive at your photoshoot location, look around for any railings, ledges, or walls to use to your advantage. Interacting with your surroundings adds interest to the photos and leaning on them looks effortless.

You can kick your foot up against a wall, cross your arms, or use a railing as an elbow rest. Leaning on your surroundings creates an almost endless supply of opportunities to shoot the perfect pose.

boise teen sitting next to fence

Get Close to the Ground

You always see photos with people standing in them, make yourself stand out by getting close to the ground! Whether you’re crouching or sitting down, the feel of the photo will be completely different than normal.

The key to this pose is the camera angle. Your photographer will shoot at or below eye level to add more depth to the photo and draw the viewer’s attention to you. They’ll shoot down at you to capture the unique background you’re sitting against.

When posing, try out different ways of sitting. Try criss crossing your legs or bend a knee and rest your arm on it. You can combine this pose with other poses that we’ve already mentioned, for instance, sit with your back to the camera and look back for a unique take on an earlier idea.

General Tips

We’ve reached the end of our posing guide, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few tips left to share.

  • Make sure to relax at the photoshoot. Your body will show how stressed you are, so it’s best to try and get rid of as many jitters as possible.
  • Making sure you feel confident in your photos can sometimes come down to slight angles in the face or body. So, find your favorite angle and work with it!
  • Sometimes candid photos end up being hidden gems. Make sure you stay moving to give your photographer as many shot opportunities as possible.
  • Practice makes perfect. Before you head to your photoshoot location, practice posing at home in a mirror to make sure the outfits and poses you choose correlate. Of course, sometimes you’ll come up with a great pose on the spot, but it never hurts to be prepared!

If you’re looking for a professional photographer to capture all your new poses, give b&b Photography a call! We’re here to provide our photography expertise and answer any questions you may have. Get photos you can treasure for a lifetime and contact us today!

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