How to Pose (Even if You Hate Having Your Picture Taken)

09 Jan 2022

How to Pose (Even if You Hate Having Your Picture Taken)

So you hate having your picture taken? You’re far from alone! Seeing pictures of yourself is a bit like hearing your own voice played back to you. It just seems… Wrong. 

Like how we hear our own voice differently from other people, the way we appear in photos is also different from how we appear to ourselves in the mirror. 

First of all, your mirror presents an inverted version of your face. Second of all, without even being aware of it, we all pull a “mirror face” when gazing into the looking glass, maybe lifting our eyebrows ever so slightly or puckering up subtly to present what we feel is the best version of us. 

So relax, you beautiful person – and remember that we’re our own worst critics! If you’ve got a professional photography session coming up, whether that be for your wedding or some family portrait photography, a little preparation can help you feel more relaxed and, dare I say it, maybe even enjoy the experience!

So with that in mind, here are some tips on how to pose and how to get over your photography jitters, from me to you.


Alie x



Keep your hands busy

We all know that feeling of not knowing what to do with our hands when we’re nervous. And nothing looks more unnatural than arms glued to your side. So if you find yourself feeling self-conscious about your arms and the way they just… hang there, try these tips:

  • Rest your chin on your hand
  • Touch your ear or tuck your hair behind it
  • Lay your hand on your partner’s shoulder or back
  • Hold your child’s hand
  • Use a prop like a cup of coffee or a bouquet of flowers
  • Lean against something with your forearms

Think about the way you’re standing

This is another common pitfall for those of us who aren’t super comfortable with being photographed. You want to avoid just stiffly standing there, so try bringing a little movement in. 

Ok, you might not feel comfortable enough to bust out some dance moves or jump up and down, but just shifting your weight from one leg to another or taking a step forwards or to the side can help create more variety and movement in your photos. Try popping a hip to the side or crossing one foot in front of the other to create a dynamic shape.

No negative self-talk!

“I’m always so awkward in photos.” “I’m the most unphotogenic person alive.” And so on and so on – we’ve heard it all. The thing about statements like these is that they’ll easily turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy and only make the experience more uncomfortable for you. 

And while a little joking around can help everyone relax, resist the urge to crack self-deprecating jokes – it can sometimes make you feel a whole lot worse about yourself.

I genuinely think that expressing that you’re feeling a little nervous to your photographer before they start can be helpful as it can go a long way to help you feel a bit more relaxed. It can also help your photographer work better with you. If there’s anything in particular about your looks you feel self-conscious about, telling your photographer is a good idea as they can put their skills to use to minimise these areas with their angles and lighting. 

But trust me when I say that no one else notices your “flaws” as much as you do yourself. Just wear your best outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in and trust that your photographer will capture you at your best – after all, it’s their job!


 Embrace your fabulous alter ego

Beyoncé (sorry I’ll always be a fan) famously has her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, to help her feel more comfortable and powerful on stage. While you don’t have to go to the extent of naming an alter ego (or dropping a best-selling album named after them for that matter), it can be empowering to play-act as someone different while getting your photos taken.

This might not be a trick for everyone, but it’s worth a try – you never know, it might be just the thing to help get you out of your own head. And after all, that’s the biggest thing standing between you and great pictures when working with a professional photographer.

So let loose, think back to some of your favourite America’s Next Top Model Moments and live your best super model life.



Interact with each other naturally

When you’re getting some family portrait photography or some wedding photos taken, the goal is to capture the essence of the bond between you and your loved one(s). So chat away and don’t be afraid to be a little goofy with each other! 

This way, your resulting photos will feel more natural and “candid” and your photographer can capture a glimpse of your relationship as it truly is.

Little kids especially often struggle to sit still and trying to force them to “pose” by sitting still in place can lead to some sour moods and awkward photos. So let them play, or better yet, get down to play with them yourself. Photographers love nothing more than capturing genuine moments like this.


Forget the camera is there

I know I know, this is easier said than done and ironic given the title of this article, but often the best photos happen when you forget to pose and just relax – even for a moment.

Chatting and joking away with your photographer or the people you’re getting photographed with is the easiest way to do this. The goal is “planned candidness” (also known as “plandid” photography). So forget about the camera and focus on the people around you – including your photographer – instead.



Blue Sky Photography - an Edinburgh Photography Studio

Looking for a family portrait photography studio in Edinburgh? Or perhaps some wedding or newborn photography? You’ve come to the right place.

At Blue Sky Photography, our mission statement is “brilliant photography by nice people”. We love nothing more than seeing the nerves melt away and give way to a genuine smile and a relaxed pose for photos that captures the essence of YOU.

Want to learn more? Simply give us a call on 0131 447 1100 to chat about how we can help you capture memories you’ll cherish forever.