I have been asked a lot about how I ’effortlessly’ pose in blog posts or social media. But trust me, it took so much practice!
Since we’re on lockdown, I thought that now would be an excellent time to show you how I take photos for Instagram so you can practice at the safety of your own home. You don’t need a fancy camera when you make your body talk! We all start somewhere.
First things first, you need to know what medium you’re working with. One thing that you need to know is that Instagram has a size requirement for their posts. Meaning, your photos are most likely going to get cropped. So if you’re taking a full-length picture, make sure to crop it to at least 4:5 when editing so that you’re already posting in the appropriate size. I edit all of my photos with my presets which you can get here.
Practice Makes Perfect
I know, I know. It seems like a no-brainer, but it helps when you get in front of that camera. You can start by practicing in front of a mirror, taking photos, and finding your angles with your body and the camera. This is how you’ll know which sides you prefer and what poses look best. I prefer my right side, looking a little to the left.
It’s all about the angles
When posing for photos, I suggest making triangles with your body like bending an arm or a knee—anything to create space on your body so that you look flattering and less stiff. You can point one leg out or go on tippy toes, anything to create length on your body. Good posture is vital. So make sure to keep your back straight and shoulders down and back. It might feel weird when posing, but it will make sense in the photo. Trust me.
Your camera also needs to be positioned just right. If you’re shorter, you’d want the camera to be angled lower so that you come out looking taller. Play around with how the angle on the phone comes out, bring it closer for a half-body shot or farther away for a full-body, see what works for you, and don’t be afraid to change it up.
Bring out the props!
If you’re feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera still, you can play with some props. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Use a bag, hat, drink, or sit on a chair. If you’re wearing a dress or a maxi skirt — flip it! You can also put your hands in jacket pockets or your pants pockets.
You could even use your pet or a friend to pose with you. Another trick is to pretend to fix your clothes, like adjusting your jeans or lifting a sock.
Face Baby, Face
Madonna wasn’t kidding when she said ‘Express Yourself.’ It would help to switch up facial expressions when you’re having your photo taken. If you keep the same facial expression on, then most of your photos will look the same no matter the angle. As for me, I like to smile, close my eyes, and yes, fake laugh. It brings life to the photo. Small changes in posture and facial expression go a long way because you might be surprised by the outcome.
Pro tip: Raise your eyebrows and glue your tongue to the roof of your mouth. It opens up your face and makes your neck look longer.
Just like my previous tip about flipping your long skirt or maxi dress, adding movement to the photos adds a little more of a casual tone to your photos. We don’t want to look too pose-y. One way of doing this is you can take a step forward and look back over your shoulder or keep your back turned, play around with it.
Seize the moment. If you want to have a photo taken, take it! Own your poses that you worked so hard for and enjoy the memories you’re making.