We’ve all been there before. Your friends takes out their camera to snap a pic and you’re immediately filled with the awkward feeling of not knowing what to do. Do you throw up a peace sign or look away as if it’s a candid shot? Let’s not even get started on what to do with your hands. The struggle can be real, which is why you need some posing tips from a professional photographer to figure out how to pose for pictures.
Alex Frank is a NYC-based professional photographer and Nikon creator with nearly 247K followers on TikTok. Sharing behind-the-scenes videos of her shoots and photography challenges, it’s clear that Frank knows what she’s talking about. So, Elite Daily spoke with her to get exclusive posing tips for your next TikTok video or Insta pic. Whether you’re posing with your besties, your partner, or just trying to capture a good selfie for your feed, Frank is sharing all her best intel for how to pose for pictures.
If you’ve got big summer plans that include vacays and beach days, you definitely want to know the best angles and poses to capture the cutest snaps from all your adventures. Even if you’re just hoping to show off your new summer ‘fits, these 11 posing tips from Frank will elevate your feed to a new, pro level.
01 Look Less At The Camera During Your Self-Timer Pics Pete Saloutos/Tetra images/Getty Images
Sometimes, you don’t have someone to snap your pics for you, which is when the self-timer function comes in clutch. While it’s a useful tool for solo adventures, you still haven’t quite grasped the art of the perfect self-timer pic.
Frank advises, “move and look less at the camera” to instantly help make your self-timer pics look less stiff. According to Frank, “The key to looking natural on camera is to be constantly moving and looking around, [which] gives the effect of someone being behind the camera and capturing you in your natural element.”
02 Paparazzi Street Style Photos Are Viral Poses
Frank’s current fave pose is what she calls “paparazzi street style.” You know, those candid snaps that look like you’re a celebrity just going about your day. It’s such a simple pic you can capture when out running errands with your bestie in a cute OOTD.
Frank’s pro tip for how to capture the best paparazzi style photo on your iPhone is to “stand further away from your subject and use the 2x or 3x zoom feature.” This catches your friends in a “more as-the-eye-sees-it format.” For more advanced shooters using a mirrorless camera, like the
Nikon Z 7II, use a prime lens like a NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S or NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 Sto capture flattering perspectives of your subjects. 03 Find A Mirror If You’re Posing By Yourself
When you’re feeling awkward or uninspired while posing by yourself, Frank suggests finding a mirror to set up being the camera. She even does this with models for her professional shoots as it allows you to “see yourself moving and from the camera’s POV.”
She also suggests you “keep moving and set your phone or camera to burst mode so it captures you between movements.” Then, you can look through your photos and decide which ones are ‘Gram-worthy.
04 Go For “Anti-Pose” Poses For Couple Pics
If you’re taking pics with your partner, Frank suggests not posing or being “anti-pose.” For example, when doing couple shoots, she often gives her subject “silly posing prompts” to get them to laugh. It’s not about the pose at all, but the reaction between them. Some go-to “silly prompts” Frank likes to use are “smell your partner’s forehead” and “whisper what you had for breakfast in their ear.”
05 Get Close When Posing With Your Friends Davide Angelini / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Getting a group pic when all your friends are together is a must, but group pics can be a little stiff. To avoid this, Frank suggests you “limit the space in between you physically.” By leaning in, hugging, or even laughing all together, your group pic will look more natural.
06 Have Something To Interact With If You Don’t Know What To Do With Your Hands
Hands can immediately make your cute photo awkward AF if you don’t know what to do with them. This is why Frank suggests “giving people something to interact with.” For example, if you’re wearing pants, she suggests putting your hands in your pockets. If you’re near a pole or building, she also suggests leaning against it with your shoulder.
07 High Angle With A Wide Lens Gives A Throwback Vibe To Your Selfies
When shooting from a high angle, Frank suggests using a wide angle lens. This creates “a really cool, nostalgic, almost ‘90s or Y2K vibe, which is super trendy right now.” For an easy high angle pic, get lower to the ground in a squat pose.
08 Shoot From Low Angles To Give Your Subject A Powerful Look
“I remember learning in film school that old school cinematographers often used to shoot men from a low angle to give them a powerful look, and women from a high angle to give them a more vulnerable look,” Frank shared. “I hated the sexism in this, so I always shoot my female models from a low angle to capture them as powerful and bold as they are in real life.”
If you’re shooting your friends or even yourself from a low angle, Frank says this gives a more elongated look so it’s perfect for showing off your OOTD or just looking fierce AF.
09 Straight Ahead Poses Are Perfect For Expressions Igor Alecsander/E+/Getty Images
According to Frank, “Straight ahead poses are important in portrait photography.” When shooting from straight ahead, you want to focus more on your facial expressions rather than your actual poses. Frank suggests “giving your model different expressions or moods to channel” for fun snaps.
10 If You’re Feeling Awkward, Practice In Front Of A Mirror
The phrase “practice makes perfect” works for snapping pics as well. If you often feel uncomfortable or awkward in front of the camera, Frank suggests practicing in front of the mirror first.
“Knowing your angles, expressions, or movements you’re comfortable and confident in are key,” Frank says. She also suggests having your pics taken by people you’re comfortable with as well, like friends and family members.
11 Always Have Inspo Poses Prepared
Another helpful tip Frank has if you’re feeling uncomfortable and want to look more natural is to have inspo poses in mind before you shoot. Just like you would bring a pic of the haircut you want to show off to your hairstylist, you want to have some poses prepared to show your photographer. Even if you’re just snapping with your friends, it’s helpful to have some viral poses in mind that you think are cute and want to try out.
You could even practice these poses you love at home in front of a mirror, so when someone randomly pulls out their camera to snap a pic, you’re prepared.
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