How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (2023)

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (1)

Like it or not, we live in averyvisual world. Photos are all around us. We stockpile family photos and travel memories. We curate our online image with professional headshots and profile pictures. And we can't forget about all those candid snaps filling our camera rolls! But that doesn't necessarily mean we feelcomfortableon camera. In fact, it's pretty normal to dislike the way you look in photos (that was me a few years ago). Why? Smiling for the camera and smiling for a friend are two very different things. Thankfully, you don't have to be a model or fashion blogger to look better in photos. You simply need to learn how to pose!

Here are 7 simple adjustments to make while posing so you will loveeveryphoto.

Consider these your "tools of the trade". They are techniques gleaned from fellow professional photographers and professional models, but more importantly from a lot of personal experimentation. When first I became interested in photography, I had no clue how to pose others let alone myself. I didn't know what good lighting was. I wondered how other photographers managed to help clients look flawless, while I personally felt so stiff and awkward in my posing.

These changes made all the difference:

1 -Bring Your Ears Forward

Ah... the dreaded double chin. Before yougo blaming your body, consider your stance! Did you know thewaywe pose can create a double chin where none exists? It can be nerve wracking to be in front of the camera when you’re not accustomed to it. Consequently, people have a tendency to pull their head away from the camera, lean backward, or to tuck their chin down during a photo shoot. It’s a slight movement, perhaps an imperceptible one, but is enough to create that skin ripple we all dislike.

Instead, when considering how to pose, think about bringing your ears forward like a turtle emerging from a shell (toward the camera). I know that sounds odd and will probably feel a bit weird and unnatural. However, this subtle forward movement will give you a smooth, strong jawline.

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (2)

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (3)

2 - Shift Your Weight

Likewise, let’s take a look at our weight distribution. Is it split evenly between both feet? If so, it’s time for some shifting… Put the majority of your weight on your back leg and you will instantly create a subtle—and super flattering— "S curve" with your body. Just be careful not to lean backward or away from the camera. This can look stiff and uncomfortable. You are aiming for a natural stance.

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (4)

3 - Lean Forward From The Waist

Similarly, a slight lean from the waist toward the camera can also work wonders! It is an instant body slimmer and a key pose for those who want to look better in photos. Your waist/hips/legs will look more slender no workout required. This movement can also help you better place your chin, as you will automatically be bringing your ears forward. Sayonara double chin, hello streamlined look!

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (5)

(Video) The BEST Makeup To Look 10 YEARS YOUNGER! 10 Youthful Tips & Tricks | Dominique Sachse

4 - Create Distance Between Your Torso & Arm

It’s instinct! Tell someone to pose for a photo, and inevitably, they will press their arms tight against their torso. In fact, when we stand naturally, we usually place our arms flat against our sides. You need to fight that urge while taking photos. Pulling your arm into your body will squish your arm outward, making it appear larger than it actually is. The movement will also make you look awkward and uncomfortable in your photos.

To fix this, create a bit of space between your torso and your arm. Lift your arm slightly (about an inch or two) by putting a hand on your hip or upper thigh. You could place a hand in your pocket—or when posing with others, rest your hand on the shoulder or back of a family member.

5- Don’t Face the Camera Straight On

This is an important basic for anyone wondering how to pose! In fact, flip through any fashion magazine and you will immediately notice a lack of straight on shots. Great photos areallabout angles. Let’s use them to our advantage! Instead of facing the camera squarely, position your body at a 45 degree angle. It’s incredibly slimming and adds a lot of visual interest.

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (7)

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (8)

6 - Stand Tall

You don’t have tobetall tolooktall in photos. Take it from me, I’m 5’1! The trick is adopting a dancer-like posture. As you play around with your stance and learn how to pose effectively, I want you to imagine you have a string attached to the crown of your head. This string is pulling you up like a marionette. Keep your core muscles engaged and lifted as you settle into this stance. Your shoulder should be back and down. If you need help adjusting your shoulders properly, try rolling them forward, then up, then around to settle into that “back” position. This will elongate your neck and overall bodyline.

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (9)

7 - Don't Be Afraid to Move

Although this post is all about posing, sometimes the trick to looking better in photos is simply forgetting the camera and letting the real you out. Relax, take a deep breath and have fun with movement. Don't be afraid to walk a little. Twirl back and forth. Swish the hem of your skirt or simply dance to the music in your head. This will create a bit of dynamism, spark a more natural smile, and help you feel comfortable in front of the camera. In fact, many photography clients end up loving their candid/spontaneous shots the best!

How to Pose: 7 Simple Ways to Look Better in Photos — Kelly McPhail Photography (10)


(Video) 15 Weird Ways To Sneak Candy Into the Movies & How To Not Get Caught! Last To Drop Food Wins

You’ve been contemplating getting family photos done for a while now and decided not to put it off any longer! Your little ones (or not so little ones) are growing so fast and you don’t want to regret not capturing these special memories! You’ve booked your session but then you realize…what the heck are we going to wear?! To inspire you as you prepare for your family photo session, I have put together a comprehensive outfit guide!

Snowy winter family photography sessions have got to be as magical as it gets when it comes to family photography. Yes it is cold, but snow makes everything sparkle. Curious what a session in 15 degree weather looks like with three little ones? Check out this gorgeous snowy family session in Lafayette, Indiana in the dead cold of winter!

Part II: How to Prepare Your Kids for a Family Photo Session

We’ve gathered five simple ways for you to help prepare your kids for a family photo session and it’s easier than you think! You just need a bit of pro advice… and some straight talk. That’s where I come in! As a family and newborn photographer, I welcome childish antics. We want their personalities to come through loud and clear. They may be shy. They may want to ham it up. Either way, that’s okay…. We will get a photo you love. In fact, we will make you love the process! Family photos are supposed to be fun. So let’s dial down that pressure. Here are five (EASY) ways to get your children in a positive, happy mindset.

Part I: How to Prepare For Your Family Photo Session

You carefully planned your family's outfits, convinced your camera-shy husband to take part, and you might have bribed your kids. Consequently, when they start acting up – you might be the one ready to cry! It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m here to make your experience enjoyable from start to finish. Here are six pointers to keep in mind as you prepare for family photos.

(Video) Learn How to Backflip in 5 Minutes | ASAP

Fall Family Photos - What to Wear Outfit and Inspiration Style Guide

You’ve been contemplating getting fall family photos done for a while now and decided not to put it off any longer! Your little ones (or not so little ones) are growing so fast and you don’t want to regret not capturing these special memories! You’ve booked your session but then you realize…what the heck are we going to wear?! To inspire you as you prepare for your fall family photo session, I have put together a comprehensive fall outfit guide!

4 Stylish Ways to Hang Family Photos

Looking for modern and effortlessly easy ways to display your family photos after a session? Here are four simple and stylish ways to hanging family photos – and we’re about to walk you through it with concrete examples and photos!

10 Secrets to Getting Your Kids to Smile Naturally For A Photo


“Say Cheese” We’ve all said it before as we attempt to get a somewhat decent photo of our kiddos and yet it usually results in a half-hearted or fake smile. Telling your kids to “smile at the camera” just doesn’t cut it when we are after those natural smiles! From experience, this approach hardly ever works and I rarely ask kids to smile during a session. Why? Because…You Need to give them something to smile about!

Below are my 10 best secrets to getting kids to smile naturally, and whether you’ve hired a professional photographer or are snapping a quick pic on your phone, this is for you!

Kim and Jacob's Summer Family Photography Session at Cool Creek Park in Carmel, Indiana

Everyone loves fall family pictures but gosh, summer family photo sessions might just be my most favorite! The warm breeze, wildflowers, tall grasses, summer maxi dresses and cute baby rompers are hard to beat!!

Kim contacted me a few months ago inquiring about a family session and after Covid-19 stay-at-home orders hit and then May’s rainy and cold weather, we had to push back the session by 1.5 months! We finally were able to have their session at the beginning of June in Carmel, Indiana and I’m so glad we waited for the warmer weather and the PERFECT evening! Kim and Jacob were complete naturals in front of the camera and their little girl Ayla could not have been more adorable!

Our TOP 10 Lafayette/West Lafayette Indiana Trails and Nature Areas

Are you ready for our favorite list of Lafayette/West Lafayette local hikes for Covid-19 quarantine time? Of course this Lafayette/West Lafayette list is not complete by any means, but we wanted to get you started with a few good ones to help get you out exploring with your kiddos!

Photo Tips/Advice

Kelly McPhail

poses, how to pose for photos, posing tips, photography poses, tips for posing



What is the 7 tips for good photographs? ›

7 Tips For Taking Better Photos
  • How To Compose Great Photos. Great photos start with great composition: how you frame the shot and where you position different elements within the scene. ...
  • Keep It Simple. ...
  • Change Your Perspective. ...
  • Add Depth To Your Images. ...
  • Use The Sun To Create A Silhouette. ...
  • Look For Reflections. ...
  • Find Symmetry.

What are the 7 visual elements in photography? ›

There are seven basic elements of photographic art: line, shape, form, texture, color, size, and depth. As a photographic artist, your knowledge and awareness of these different elements can be vital to the success of your composition and help convey the meaning of your photograph.

How do you take good pictures with 7 simple and powerful photography? ›

7 Powerful Photography Tips for Amazing Photos
  1. Fill the frame.
  2. Simplify & Exaggerate.
  3. Don't center your subject.
  4. Create depth.
  5. The connect dots.
  6. Perspective is everything.
  7. Lighting is everything.

What are the 9 rules of photography? ›

9 Essential Photo Composition Rules
  • Rule of Thirds. Chances are you are already familiar with this Rule of Thirds. ...
  • Golden Ratio. ...
  • Golden Spiral. ...
  • Simple and Clean Background. ...
  • Frame Your Subject. ...
  • Leading Lines & Straight Horizon. ...
  • Fill Your Frame. ...
  • Center Position.
17 Oct 2022

What are the 7 element of visual art? ›

ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.

What are the number of ways in which 7 pictures can be hung from 5 pictures nail on the wall? ›

Hence we get 2520 ways to hang 7 pictures from 5 picture nails on a wall.

How many ways 7 pictures can be hung? ›

=2! 7! =2520.

How can I make my face look good in pictures? ›

How to make your face more photogenic
  1. Find your best angle. The majority of people on the planet do not have a perfectly symmetrical face, and asymmetry doesn't always look flattering when captured through a lens. ...
  2. Smile with your eyes. ...
  3. Utilize natural lighting. ...
  4. Grab some paper. ...
  5. Point your camera down.
27 Jul 2021

What makes a face more photogenic? ›

Are Some People Just Naturally Photogenic? Some characteristics translate more gracefully to film than others. Sharp cheekbones, a square jaw, and other angular facial features make for attractive subjects in photography because they better capture the available light.

What are the 7 composition rules? ›

7 Rules For Better Shot Composition and Framing
  • The Rule Of Thirds.
  • Symmetry.
  • Leading Lines.
  • Leading and Head Room.
  • Depth.
  • Size Equals Power.
  • Break the Rules.
7 Apr 2022

What are the 11 elements of photography? ›

Elements of composition are: patterns, texture, symmetry, asymmetry, depth of field, lines, curves, frames, contrast, color, viewpoint, depth, negative space, filled space, foreground, background, visual tension, shapes.

What are the 11 rules of composition in photography? ›

11 Rules of Composition for Non-Designers
  • 1 Create a focal point. ...
  • 2 Create visual hierarchy. ...
  • 3 Use leading lines.
  • 4 Scale elements to create effects. ...
  • 5 Balance your elements. ...
  • 6 Use contrast to send a message. ...
  • 7 Create a cohesive design. ...
  • 8 Use repeated elements.
6 May 2016

What is the 500 rule in photography? ›

Term: Description: The 500-Rule states that to obtain a clear image of stars without trails, take the number 500 and divided it by the focal length to get your exposure time. For example, a 20 mm lens would call for an exposure of about 25 seconds and theoretically, still obtain the stars without trails.

What are the 7 principles of design harmony? ›

The 7 principles of design are contrast, emphasis, pattern, repetition, movement, space and balance.

What are the 7 element of design? ›

So these were the seven basic elements of design – form, shape, line, color, texture, typography, and space. These various elements can make your piece successful when used right.

Why are the 7 elements of art important? ›

They are the building blocks used to create a work of art. Students who can identify the elements and evaluate their role in the composition of a work of art will be better able to understand an artist's choices. They will be equipped to address whether a work of art is successful, and why.

Why are the 7 elements of art necessary? ›

They are color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. Mastery of these seven basic elements of art are important if you want to achieve some level of mastery in your art. It is an understanding of these elements of art that makes your artwork interesting, and creates an impact on your viewers.

What are the 7 elements of art and 7 principles of design? ›

The seven principles of art and design are balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity, and movement. The elements of art and design are line, shape/form, space, value, color, and texture. The elements of art and design are the tools of visual artists.

What are the 4 main types of photography? ›

4 Styles of Photography Explained
  • Lifestyle – Lifestyle photography is exactly what it says it is. ...
  • Documentary – Documentary style photography is usually associated with a chronological series of events. ...
  • Traditional or Posed – Traditional or posed photography is a common portrait style. ...
  • Artistic –
12 Jan 2017

What are the 4 elements of a good photograph? ›

The basic components of a good photograph
  • In order to take a good photograph, it's essential to understand the key components which constitute an image. ...
  • Image structure. ...
  • Light and colour. ...
  • Connecting with the viewer. ...
  • Post-production. ...
  • Balancing the composition.
1 Mar 2018

What is the 57 rule for hanging pictures? ›

The golden rule of hanging a picture is to have the center of the photo be at 57 inches. This reflects the standard eye-height of the average person, and is used as a standard in most art galleries and museums.

What is a 5 7 photo? ›

5×7 prints are approximately 5 inches by 7 inches (13 x 18cm / 127 x 178 mm). The sizes are written in the format: length by height, so 5×7 is for portrait (vertical) photos and 5×7 is for landscape (horizontal) orientation photos.

How do you Analyse a 7 step photo? ›

How to Analyze a Photograph
  1. Step 1: Find an Image to Analyze. Find any high quality commercial image (stock photos, advertisement images, documentary stock, etc.). ...
  2. Step 2: Observe Your Image. ...
  3. Step 3: Analyzing People. ...
  4. Step 4: Analyzing Setting. ...
  5. Step 6: Looking at Colour. ...
  6. Step 7: Looking at Viewer's Positioning.

How many ways can 7 people be arranged in a row for a photograph? ›

1 = 7! = 5040$ ways of arranging 7 people in a row respectively.

How many ways can 7 people arrange themselves in a row for picture taking? ›

So there are 5040 ways of arranging seven people in a row of seven chairs. I think the proof of this is best seen by making a tree diagram and noting that the number of branches at the end tells you the number of possible arrangements/permutations.

How many ways can you arrange 7 things? ›

Answer. or 5,040 ways. Alternatively, we can use the simple rule for counting permutations. That is, the number of ways to arrange 7 distinct objects is simply.

What is the 400 rule in photography? ›

Capturing stars as points instead of trails. 400 / focal length x LMF = Max number of seconds before stars blur due to earths rotation. Example: Full frame camera, focal length 28mm. 400 / 28 = 14.3 seconds is the longest acceptable shutter speed.

How do I smile more photogenic? ›

Five Tips for that Perfect, Photogenic Smile
  1. Close Your Eyes. While you wait for your photographer to take your picture, keep your eyes closed. ...
  2. Don't Say Cheese. ...
  3. Don't Focus on the Camera. ...
  4. Practice Facial Muscle Exercises. ...
  5. Consider Cosmetic Dentistry for a Photogenic Smile.

How can I pose smart? ›

Try standing with your arms by your sides or leaning up against a building. Avoid taking jumping photos or ones where you are posing with a silly statue or theme park character. Keeping your pose neutral will show people that you can act professionally.

What makes a woman photogenic? ›

Having a natural non-forced smile, finding the right angle, and taking the right poses are the essential things that make a person photogenic.

Why my face is not good in photos? ›

It is important to understand that pictures are a 2-D version of real life. This simply means that photos tend to flatten your features or distort them due to certain angles. Also, since photos store everything, any awkward movement which goes unnoticed in real life is captured for everyone to see.

What are 5 elements of a good photograph? ›

Basically, there are five common elements that great images typically have; Good use of light, color, a captivating moment, correct composition for the given situation, and the photographer's choice of distance to their subject.

What are the 8 principles of photography? ›

While these apply to any media in art, I will be using them specifically for photography.
  • Balance.
  • Harmony.
  • Pattern/Rhythm.
  • Unity.
  • Contrast.
  • Proportion.
  • Variety.
  • Movement.
16 Aug 2012

What are the 12 elements of photography? ›

The 12 Elements of a Merit Image
  • Impact. Compelling images evoke emotion—laughter, sadness, anger, pride.
  • Technical Excellence. The quality of the actual image as presented for viewing. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Style. ...
  • Composition. ...
  • Presentation. ...
  • Color Balance. ...
  • Center of Interest.
27 Jul 2022

What are the 7 elements of art? ›

ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.

What are the 3 most important things in photography? ›

The three variables that matter the most in photography are simple: light, subject, and composition.

What are the 7 principles? ›

The 7 Principles of the Constitution (popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism, and republicanism) explained.


1. Jordan Peterson: “There was plenty of motivation to take me out. It just didn't work" | British GQ
(British GQ)
2. Nymphing Techniques: George Daniel Part 3
3. How to draw ANY car in 3 simple steps - TRY THIS
4. CPI and Fed Week | Bloomberg Surveillance 12/12/2022
(Bloomberg Markets and Finance)
5. Who is the best at gymnastics? Brothers and Sister Challenge!
(Ninja Kidz TV)
6. 💝 NEW 💝 Mummy Pig's Best Valentine's Day| Peppa Pig Official Family Kids Cartoon
(Peppa Pig - Official Channel)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 01/23/2023

Views: 6497

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.