How to look good in photos: 10 Style Panel tips on hitting the right pose every time
Mastering the art of posing is no easy feat. Whether we are getting professional photos taken, posing for our personal blog or just getting snapped at a wedding, we all want to make sure we look picture perfect when it comes time to uploading it on various social media platforms. With celebs, street style stars and bloggers looking flawless time after time, conquering the technique seems more relevant than ever. Let’s face it. Posing (and taking the perfect photo) has topped everyone’s to-do list. While it may seem like the pros can just naturally turn on the posing switch, it’s actually a tad more difficult than it seems. Enter Style Panel. This week, our group of bloggers shows us tricks of its trade on how to look good in photos in the most flattering way possible.
According to Style Panel, confidence and comfort are two words to live by when posing for pictures. Velvet & Vino’s Becky Kung and Northern Style Exposure’s Kira Paran both emphasize the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin when striking a pose, but Kung also talks about working the right angles, while Paran gives some awesome smiling tips. Kayla Short of Short Presents shows us the importance of accentuating our best assets and the favourite parts of the outfit. Still having trouble in looking and feeling good in photos? Barbara Ann Solomon of Barbara Ann’s Style Blog has the ultimate posing advice. Hint: It involves laughing.
Question 106: How do you make sure you hit the right pose every time? Read the answers now! »
Jump to: BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO | BECKY KUNG, CALGARY | ELENI MCMULLIN, CALGARY | JESSICA CONCANNON, MONTREAL | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KIRA PARAN, EDMONTON | LARA CARDOSA, TORONTO | LEONIE MARKHORST, VANCOUVER | MO HANDAHU, HALIFAX | SASHA XIAO, TORONTO
Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog
After over 270 style post on Barbara Ann Style Blog , I’ve become very familiar with being in front of a camera. Growing up, this definitely wasn’t the case for me. I used to practise my smile before picture day each year, as I thought it was too square. But over the years, and since blogging, I’ve learned how to look more natural and know what works for me.
Getting a great shot is all about knowing your face, the angles of your body and lighting. Creating interesting and natural poses is hard, so sometimes having a conversation with the photographer can help ease the tension and help relax a stiff face. Laughter in photography comes off beautifully, so tell yourself a joke and give a little giggle.
Barbara’s wearing: Shirt, Joe Fresh. Shorts, J.Crew. Earring, Vintage. Shoes, Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra. Watch, Movado.
Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino
My primary recommendation in posing for pictures is to be yourself. You will feel most comfortable being you, and in photography the most important aspect is to be comfortable and relaxed to capture the natural smile and relaxed body.
Once you’ve got that nailed down, then you can start focusing on your angles. I like to angle my face slightly away from the camera with my chin slightly downward. This captures the right shadows on your face and creates a lean effect. The key thing here is the keep the angles soft and moderate, avoid severe angles so that your pose stays natural.
Next, find a comfortable placement for your footing. It’s a complementary effect to shift your weight to one side with one foot slightly farther out to the side as I have done here with my left leg. This elongates the legs and creates a lean look. There’s so many great tips out there, but again the most important thing to keep in mind is stay relaxed and be true to yourself!
Becky’s wearing: Skirt, H&M. Top, purchased in a boutique in Taiwan. Necklace, Aldo Accessories. Watch, Evosy. Handbag, Holt Renfrew by Rebecca Minkoff. Heels, Le Chateau.
Eleni McMullin, 27
Calgary | Convey The Moment
Even the most attractive people have to work at looking their best in photos. Ever look in the mirror and think how great you look, only to catch a glimpse of yourself on camera and feel the complete opposite? Well, it’s because even the most photogenic people implement strategies to create the perfect pose for a photo. We all want to display our most flattering version of ourselves and the camera can be notorious for highlighting our flaws. So, what’s the secret to getting the perfect shot? The truth is posing for pictures is a skill that takes practice. Here are a couple tricks to creating the most flattering photo.
The first place people are going to look at is your face so make sure to always keep your chin up and out to prevent the infamous double chin. Position your body at an angle that highlights and accentuates your body shape as opposed to standing face on. Place your hands on your hips and your elbows away from your body to prevent your arms from squishing into your midsection. Ever flipped through a magazine and noticed one pose you see consistently? Celebrities standing tall, shoulders back and legs crossed; this helps create the look of longer leaner body. I’m 5’3 and people always assume I am taller than I really am based on my technique. Be yourself in photos, if you have a facial expression you always use, stick with it. This will make the photo more genuine and memorable. Never show the whites of your eyes—this is something I am constantly working at. Go ahead, try it! You automatically look 100 times less flattering when the whites of your eyes are over exposed. Try turning your face to the side and focusing on something only a couple steps away from the photographer. Whatever strategy you try, have fun with it and be yourself! The less posed you look, the more complimenting your photos will be.
Jessica Concannon, 30
Montreal | WestmountFashionista
My secret for looking great in photographs? Posing slightly on an angle and feeling amazing in what I’m wearing. When you’re confident in your look, this will reflect in your photographs. For me, I always feel great when I’m wearing a feminine dress and a great pair of heels. Taking the time to learn what looks and feels best on you style-wise is invaluable.
Jessica’s wearing: Dress, Robert Rodriguez. Shoes, Charlotte Olympia. Bag, Roger Vivier via LoveThatBAG. Sunglasses, Joe Fresh.
Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents
When it comes to posing in front of the camera the best advice I can give you is to relax because 9 times out of 10, if it feels awkward, it looks awkward. So take a deep breath and know that bloggers (and celebrities!) take unflattering photos. Don’t be afraid to practise in front of the mirror. Once you get a feel for what looks good, it’ll come naturally.
Also when taking photos, it’s important to know that whatever is the closest to the camera is going to look the biggest. Ideally you never want the area of concern to be head on with the camera lens. A little twist and a hand on the hip can really go a long way to accentuate your itty bitty waste and your great curves. I usually work with the item I’m blogging about, for instance I love this black strappy bra from Free People that I layered under my crop top, so I posed specifically so that my back was on display.
Kayla’s wearing: Pants, Free People. Crop Top, Garage Clothing. Strappy Back Bra, Free People. Shoes, Vince Camuto via Town Shoes. Bag, Forever 21. Necklace, 424 Fifth.
Kira Paran, 29
Edmonton | Northern Style Exposure
My advice for looking great in a photo is to feel comfortable in your clothing, smile and refresh your grin! Let’s face it, most of us are photographed at events in our lives; from weddings to parties, that’s when the majority of us get snapped. To feel comfortable and confident, love your look! If you aren’t a heels person, don’t wear 5 inch stilettos to a big event… you will most definitely get caught in a few photos looking like you are in pain. When in doubt, a smile always, always does the trick! My helpful hint: refresh your face between shots and try not to hold a smile for more than a few seconds. After about 3 seconds, your smile can look forced or fake.
Kira’s wearing: Blazer, J.Crew. Sequin Tank, Asos. Necklace, J.Crew. Denim, Joe’s Jeans.
Lara Cardoso, 21
Toronto | Lara Cardoso
Posing is best when it comes naturally. I owe the signature “one-foot-in-front-of-the-other” pose to my many mirror selfies (#lcmirrorlook!) when I first began Instagramming my outfits. Ideal posture and comfort are key to posing well. For posture, a yoga class will do the trick – seriously though – because standing up straight with your shoulders back seems obvious, but in actuality is difficult to master. And of course, wear something that makes you feel good! I went with a classic approach for my outfit because I’m drawn to office-esque clothes in a wonderful way. There’s just something about always dressing like it’s a Monday morning at 8 a.m. that makes me feel best (kind of crazy, I know). My advice for anyone looking to achieve the most flattering pose: wear what makes you feel comfortable, draw your shoulders back and don’t hesitate to practice by taking as many mirror selfies as you see fit.
Lara’s wearing: Blouse and pants, French Connection. Heels, Marc Fisher. Sunglasses, Celine.
Leonie Markhorst, 26
Vancouver, BC | The Signature Bow
Truth be told, posing in a flattering way takes some practice. It still is a hit and miss for me sometimes, but practice makes “perfect”. A few tricks I have learned from working with photographers: always stand a bit on an angle, pop one hip out, move one leg forward and hold your arms slightly away from your body. If you’re a blogger (or just get a bunch of pictures taken), try different poses and see what works for you and your body. Funny enough it happens at times that the most uncomfortable poses look the best in shots!
Leonie’s wearing: Dress, Aritzia Wilfred Free. Loafers, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Chain bag, Zara. Sunglasses, Le Specs.
Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Lion Hunter
Lately I’ve been experimenting with my poses. I’m more aware of how my peers in the blogosphere present themselves and I tweak that to suit my body or what I’m wearing that day. Leaning on a wall seems to be my favorite thing to do right now, I absolutely love how this shot came out! For those days when the lean doesn’t translate well, a straight shot of me with one leg crossed over the other never fails!!
Mo’s wearing: Skirt and earrings, Thrifted. Top and purse, H&M. Shoes, Shoe Dazzle. Sunglasses, Le Chateau.
Sasha Xiao, 25
Toronto | Sasha’s Satisfashion
As a blogger, posing for the camera is like my weekly routine nowadays. How do I make myself look flattering while keeping it natural and authentic? First of all, I think confidence is key. Wearing something you are comfortable with could increase your confidence, which automatically will make you look great. If pink is your colour, try to integrate it into your outfit. Trust me, it will make you happier. If black and white is more of your thing, then don’t try to force yourself to wear 7 colours at the same time. Secondly, a smile is your best accessory. I found that my photos got the most “likes” are the ones I have a smile on. Last but not the least, putting one of your legs slightly in front of the other to create the illusion of longer legs. This is a great tip for medium-height or petite girls.
Sasha’s wearing: Top, Haight & Ashbury. Skirt, H&M. Shoes, Aldo. Bag, Zara.