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How to pose for photos

by Ellie Hopgood

When you go somewhere new and exciting, you tend to take photographs. Some of these photos might be merely of the landscape, but, in order to prove that you were, you know, right there, it’s pretty common to take a snap or two of you in front of said landmark or vista, despite the fact that anyone looking at these photos has probably seen plenty of your face and very little of whatever area you were exploring.

As you take centre-stage in the photograph, the dreaded moment arrives. How do you stand? What do you do with your arms? After a few seconds of moving your hands aimlessly around your body and immediate area, you conclude your arms must usually occupy an alternate dimension, which allows them to never awkwardly get in the way as they do so effectively when you’re trying to take a nice picture.

These are the kind of issues you are most likely facing. And I’m here to help. It has been brought to my attention lately that I am just extremely gifted in the art of posing, hence why I feel qualified to provide advice in this area.

  1. Just act natural

It’s important to try to be as relaxed as possible when posing for the camera. Otherwise you end up with the fake smile and dead eyes that are more suited to a mug shot than the mantlepiece. I am a master of feeling natural in front of the camera. Essentially, you need to frolic around as if what you were doing was not being permanently captured for the amusement of others.

Like a small dog seeing a tennis ball

This was intentional

  1. Interact with your environment

It’s hard to know what to do when it’s just you. Draw inspiration from the nature, weather and things that surround you.

I let the English weather into my soul. This was the result.

  1. Think about something that makes you happy

I assume, in your quest to act natural in front of the camera, you’re hoping to convey joy most of the time. If you are looking for people to get a sense of your rage or deep sadness then adjust this tip accordingly.

Me thinking about cake

Me thinking about cute babies

Me thinking about people who don’t eat gluten as a ‘lifestyle choice’

  1. Imagine you have an audience

If you’re imagining many people gazing upon this photo of you with admiration, why not skip ahead and pretend they’re here with you? Address your fans with your body language.

“No photos please – except for this one.”

  1. Do something

It’s hard to look natural when you’re static. You are almost never standing still, gazing off into nowhere, with a beaming grin on your face aimed at no one. Doing something active will help you loosen up and give you something to do with those pesky limbs.

“Okay. In the next one try to look less like a goat.”

  1. Follow your photographer’s instructions

They may have a vision for this photograph. Try to be a good model who can understand and carry out basic instructions.

“Put your legs closer together.”



“Sort of…”

“Okay I think this is the best we’re going to get.”

  1. Highlight your favourite parts of yourself

Confident people are happy people. Happy people look happy in photos. It’s basic maths. Put yourself in the position to feel most confident by emphasising your best parts.

Still there. Phew.

I don’t have a photo that captures my searing wit and boundless love for my friends and family so here’s a photo of me pointing at my genitals. (I regret nothing).

  1. Accept that, while generally useful, your arms are beasts that can’t be tamed and will ruin many photos.


I have no idea what I was trying to do here

Maybe hold something. Or point. Even my expertise has not found a solution to this insurmountable problem.

Well. At least my arms have something to do.

Pretty sure I am pointing at nothing

By using the eight tips outlined above, you are now well equipped to pose expertly for beautiful, natural, dynamic photos where your arms flail around like uncontrollable noodles only sometimes. You’re welcome.

I give up

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