Posing for photos can be a tough nut to crack. But don’t worry! Here I’ll cover how to pose for photos for the ultimate Instagram photoshoot!
Whether you’re just starting out your content creation journey, are heading on a trip and want to take cool photos, are trying to improve your Instagram, or have been an influencer for a while now, we all need posing tips here and there!
Well, here I share my favorite poses and tips so that you can get amazing content. (If you’re also looking for tips on how to improve your Instagram, you can see my 31 tips here!)
Say goodbye to awkward hands. Sayonara to boring Instagram posts. And adios to amateur photos!
Before I show you guys my favorite poses, I have two rules to follow in every photo situation:
- Have good posture! Pull your belly button in, put your shoulders back, and stand/sit tall with your torso elongated.
- Point your toes if you’re sitting! This will elongate your legs and looks way more graceful in photos.
Now that I’ve laid those easy rules out there, let’s get into it! Here are 48 photo poses for your next Instagram photoshoot!
1. Interact With A Prop
I’ve got to start with my number one tip on how to pose for a photoshoot. Bringing a prop into a photoshoot automatically makes for more candid shots. Probably the number one complaint I hear from aspiring Instagram influencers is “I just don’t know what to do with my hands!”
Bringing some sort of prop into the photoshoot solves this instantly! Whether you hold flowers, a hat, a camera, food, or whatever else, you’ll look and feel much more natural in front of the camera. In fact, you’ll see that a lot of the photoshoot poses on this list include having something in your hand!
One of those things can be a skirt, which brings me to the next photo pose:
2. The Twirl
Here’s a common Instagram photo pose for girls: the twirl! Adding movement into your Instagram photos is a great way to make them feel more candid and authentic. Twirling adds movement to photos and makes them feel more glamorous and/or whimsical!
Here is the skirt I’m wearing– it’s my favorite skirt for Instagram!
Try to look at one point and keep your head steady while smiling and keeping your eyes either fully open or fully closed. A hard part about the twirl for me is that if I’m not concentrating on my eyes, they end up half-closed in photos, which is an automatic no-no. You can also look away for an easy solution!
3. Throw Your Hands Out
This was one of my go-to poses when we were in Alaska because it just came so naturally in such gorgeous nature! Throwing your hands out and angling your face slightly upwards lends a carefree vibe that exudes freedom and happiness.
Tip: when angling your body slightly, make sure that the arm closest to the camera is behind your body instead of in front of (and blocking) your torso.
4. Throw Up A Peace Sign
If you don’t know what to do with your hands, throwing up a peace sign is an easy way to give you something to do while adding carefree vibes. It’s an easy way to pose for photos and requires no additional props!
5. Flip Your Hair
Flipping your hair instantly adds movement to a photo! Make sure your iPhone is set to live photo mode. With live photos, you can later go through and pick the frame where your hair looks its best! If you’re using a DSLR, make sure that (a) your camera is on quick-shutter mode and (b) that you’re using a high shutter speed. That way you’re capturing a bunch of different shots you can choose from, and your hair will be sharp instead of blurry.
6. The Follow-Me-To
I’m a huge fan of this pose because it both occupies your hand and is a cool perspective (I think so, at least!). You’ll have your photographer hold your hand loosely with one hand, and holding the camera with the other hand. If you have a tripod, setting the camera up on it will make your photographer’s job a whole lot easier!
Tip: stand as far as you possibly can from your photographer while still holding hands. If using an iPhone, shoot on a .5 to .8 wide-angle setting.
7. Show Your Kissy Face
Want to switch things up from your usual smile? Blowing a kiss gives you something to do with your face that is super cute! For this pose, I find it looks best when your face is straight on/square with the camera, instead of angled.
8. Cover an Eye
I love the “cover an eye with a flower” pose, though I know it’s super basic. But it gives you something to do with your hand and incorporates a flower, so can you blame me??
9. The Close Up
Try your hand at portrait photography with a close-up photo! To balance the photo, have a flower, palm leaf, or another person right next to you. When editing, you’ll want to crop the photo so that it is exactly half of your face.
Tip: you can easily enhance your iris and whiten your eye whites. When editing in Adobe Lightroom, use the selective tool to select your iris and increase the exposure and saturation. You’ll also want to select your eye whites and desaturate them while upping the exposure a bit to whiten them.
10. Wide Stance Power Pose
Where my #bossbabes at? Here’s how to pose for photos to exude confidence! The power stance is a fun pose for anyone! Face the camera and adopt a wide stance to strike a power pose!
11. Sit Cross Legged On The Ground
I find that this photo pose accentuates curvy figures and makes your waist look small. It has become one of my go-to poses and seems to always look good! Try it out and tell me if it works for you!
Whether you’re jumping in the air or into water (the latter is my preffered way to jump!), jumping is a photo pose that has been around for ages. It adds movement and carefree vibes to any photo! But if you want to do this gracefully, I find the best method is to do a profile shot of a leap. For this method, you’ll set your camera to quick shutter mode or iPhone to live photo mode, then do one simple leap. Try to keep your arms out so that either both are behind you or so that one is in front and one is behind you!
13. The Sideways Sit
Here’s another one of my go-to photoshoot poses for Instagram photos. Sitting sideways with your knees slightly bent looks great in photos.
Tip: Make sure that your legs are bent equally or that the leg closest to the camera is slightly less bent than the one behind it.
14. The Partial Sit
Here’s how to pose for photos if you’re somewhere where the ground is soft- because this pose simply doesn’t work on a sidewalk or street (ouch!). This pose is ideal for soft sand on the beach if you ask me! I find this pose tends to be very flattering. Simply angle your body slightly, sit on your knees, and face the camera.
Tip: I have large thighs and calves but by not sitting down completely on my knees, my legs look slimmer than they are. (I’m all about body positivity but also about feeling great about how you look in photos! This tip helps me!)
15. Look Back
Here’s a classic pose you can’t go wrong with!
16. Walk Across the Frame
To add movement and make a photo look candid, walk in the frame. Take a bunch of shots while you’re walking so that you can choose your favorite walking pose.
17. Walk Away From the Camera
An iteration of the previous pose is the “walk away from the camera” pose. You can do this pose two different ways. The first is to literally just walk away from the camera while your photographer clicks away. The second is to just walk a few steps, over and over again. I use the second method when I know exactly how big I want to be in the photo. By just walking a few steps, I make sure that I’m relatively the same size in the photo, but still have movement.
18. Stand and Look Away
Here’s how to pose for photos for the ultimate wanderlust vibes. It’s one of my go-to’s for travel photos. If you have something remarkable or beautiful in the background, the “look away” pose never fails! You don’t have to worry about what your face is doing, which solves a lot of photoshoot worries. By simply standing there and looking away, you emphasize the beauty of wherever you are.
19. Hold Your Hat
I’m a huge fan of hats. I think they add another dimension to photos and make for very convenient photo props. Don’t know what to do with your hands? Easy! Hold your hat, whether it’s on your head or if you’re holding it out. In some shape or form, I use this photo pose technique in probably about 50% of all of my photos!
For my favorite straw hat, here is my under $40 hat!
20. Play With Your Hair
Don’t have a hat? No problem! You can also play with your hair to add some candid vibes while having something to do with your hands.
21. Frame With Something
Here’s how to pose for photos while adding an extra artistic element. By framing the photo, you draw your viewers’ eye exactly where you want it to go. This is an aesthetically pleasing photo pose that adds depth and an extra layer of beauty! You don’t just have to use a lei… I’ve done this with a leaf with a heart-shaped hole cut into it, candy canes held to form a heart shape, books (which you can see here), and more!
Cheers-ing with a glass of champagne, mug of hot chocolate, your daily coffee, or anything else makes for a great photo pose. It gives you something to do with your hands while adding celebratory vibes with a fun toast!
If it works for the photo, have your photographer reaching out to cheers you as well! This adds depth and makes the photo more interesting.
23. Get a Profile Shot
Most photos you see on Instagram feature the subject straight on or at a slight angle. A profile shot not only looks good but switches things up a bit! My favorite way to do the profile shot is to hold my hat (or scarf, here) while looking ever-so-slightly down.
24. Tilt Your Hat
Partially covering your face with your hat is another great way to occupy your hands. Though you can do this pose in many ways, my favorite is to face the camera straight on.
Tip: dip your hat low- but not too low! Make sure your smile can still be seen!
25. Sit On Something And Cross Your Ankles
If you’re sitting on something and facing the camera, a simple pose you can do is to cross your ankles.
26. Put Your Hand On Your Hip
Going back to the question of “what do I do with my hands during a photoshoot?”, another easy thing to do is place your hand on your hip. It’s a flattering pose for your arm and has stood the test of time!
27. Accessorize With Flowers
Flowers are a girl’s best friend when it comes to photos and Instagram. Other than hats, I think that they are the ultimate prop! Whether you hold flowers, scatter them around you, throw them in the air, or put them in your pocket, they add beauty to photos.
I haven’t done the math, but I bet that my Instagram photos that contain flowers do at least twice as good as posts without them, overall. Anytime I have a brand collaboration, you’ll see me adding flowers to a photoshoot.
And don’t even get me started on flower fields- if you happen upon one, make sure you capture it on camera! If you’re in the Dallas area, check out this post on where to find flower fields in Dallas!
28. Add Some Depth
Whether you do this with a scarf, string lights, or your dress hem, having your photographer hold something connected to you close to the camera lens adds depth. It makes photos more interesting!
29. Kick Up A Leg
Here’s an easy photoshoot pose if you want to add playful vibes to a photo. Kicking up a leg not only adds movement to a photo, but it’s also a great way to show off your shoes!
30. Throw Something (Papers, A Pumpkin, Leaves, Flowers, Etc.)
For more movement in photos, throw something in the air! Make sure your camera is on quick-shutter mode with a high shutter speed to ensure what you’re throwing stays sharp. iPhone users- live mode will do the trick here!
Tip: if you’re throwing leaves or flowers, don’t hold them tightly in your hand when you’re collecting them! That way when you throw them, they won’t clump together.
31. The Mirror Shot
I love this shot because it gives you unique framing and an overall unique aesthetic! You’ll want to try out a bunch of different angles for this shot- you’ll be surprised by how different a shot can look if you’re in one place or another!
32. A Goofy Face
Have fun with your photo pose by making a silly face! Not only does this look more candid in photos, but it’s also a way to add more fun to your photoshoot!
33. Reach For The Camera
Reaching for the camera adds depth and gives you something to do with your hands! A win-win! Plus, unlike the follow-me-to pose, you can do this shot yourself if you’ve got a tripod!
Tip: make sure you reach slightly downwards so that you don’t block your face or too much of your body!
34. The Low Angle Pose
Here’s how to pose for photos with a low angle. First, set up your tripod so that it is very low to the ground and angled up. A low angle changes up perspective to make photos more interesting! Then, you can reach for the camera, kick your foot (please don’t kick the camera!), or lean with one leg closer to the camera. A low angle is also great if you’re looking to capture something tall in your photo, like I was here!
Tip: this photo works best with a wide-angle lens or your iPhone set to .5 in the camera settings.
35. The Dress/Skirt Flick
Wearing a dress or a skirt? Set your camera to quick shutter mode and flick your skirt. Whether you do just one side or both, this photo pose easily adds movement to your photo.
36. Look Out
Here’s how to pose for photos if you’re ever anywhere with a balcony! Lean over a bit and keep your arm ever-so-slightly out so that it’s not pressed against your body. It’s much more flattering that way!
37. Road Trip Vibes
Want to know how to pose with a car? My favorite car pose is leaning out of a car window. You’ll want to have more of your body than feels normal or comfortable hanging out of the window. Tilt your head back and/or throw your hand up for carefree road trip vibes. Note: this is an ab workout! So be prepared! 🙂
If you’re not doing much traveling (road trip or otherwise) and/or want at-home photoshoot ideas, check out these 44 at-home photoshoot ideas here!
38. How to Pose for Photos With a Drone
If you’ve got a drone or are in a place where your photographer is on a balcony above you, this is my favorite photo pose for aerial shots. Keep in mind that with drone shots, you’re usually tiny, so any big movement you can do with your body will help make this shot cool. My go-to is holding my hat either in front of my face or above me.
Tip: Let your arms be the only ones doing any sort of movement! Keep your legs together while pointing your toes.
How to Pose for Photos as a Couple
Now I’ll cover ten poses for couples! If you’ve wondered how to pose for photos as a couple, these ten poses are great for Instagram photoshoots.
We took all of the photos below using our tripod on self-timer mode. I have my husband stand in the frame so that I can focus on him and see where I should stand.
I set my camera to take nine photos a second apart, and we switch up our poses ever so slightly so that we have different options to choose from.
39. The Pick Me Up
This is one of my favorite poses for couples. There’s just something so sweet about being picked up! While he’s picking you up, you can then throw a hand in the air, gaze down lovingly, kiss, kick a leg up, etc.
Tip: Make sure he picks you up right under your butt. That ensures that you’ll be at different levels. It also makes it more comfortable since you won’t feel like you’re slipping!
40. The Lead Me
Perspective can be tricky, so I prefer being further away in the frame so that I don’t look bigger than my husband.
41. The Look at Each Other
Looking at each other is a lot more intimate than you might think! Try this pose to see what I mean! It’s intense staring at each other while you wait for your camera to take the photo!
42. The Kiss
You can’t go wrong with a classic like this!
43. Sit Down Together
Sitting next to each other makes for a sweet photo together. We’ve tried the whole “interlace your legs” photo but I quickly learned you need to be stick skinny to have that look good! Do you know what photo I’m talking about? It’s the one where you’re facing each other but your legs are intertwined. We attempted it multiple times but have looked so silly each time!!
44. The Dip
Have him dip you for ultra-romantic vibes!
45. Looking Out
If there’s an epic view, stand next to each other and look out at it!
46. Hide Your Kiss
Yup, I’m incorporating a hat once again! For some reason I just think this pose is so dang cute! I love it! Have either you or your partner hold the hat in front of your face while you kiss! Hold onto each other with your free hands!
47. Hold Hands
You’ll notice that in almost every couples photo I have on here we are holding hands! It adds a romantic touch to any couples photo!
48. The Couples Twirl
Have him twirl you to add movement to your photo!
I hope this post has shown you how to pose for photos with plenty of ideas and inspiration!
Do you have a favorite pose that isn’t on my list? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, here are some more posts you might find useful:
- 15 Tips to Taking the Perfect Instagram Photo
- 31 Ways to Improve Your Instagram in 2021
- 51 Winter Photoshoot Ideas
- 40 Fall Photoshoot Ideas
- 44 Creative At-Home Photoshoot Ideas
- What’s In My Camera Bag
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