Posing for Pictures | Tips from a Columbus Photographer

I’m sharing my tips on posing for pictures because, let’s face it, everyone wants to take better photos.


Whether you’re using a DSLR or an iPhone, it’s always helpful to have some go-to posing tips. These tips will help you look your best in a selfie, and take better portraits of your clients.


I learned posing through trial and error and with lessons from Sue Bryce Education.


With practice, these posing tips will become second nature!



How to Take Better Selfies


Ready to DIY some of the best selfies you’ve ever taken?


Follow these six steps, experiment with it, and have fun with it!


  1. Start with a good camera angle. Slightly above eye level is very flattering.

  2. Turn your body at a 45-degree angle away from the camera lens. This will create a natural curve in your body.

  3. Create space around your waist. An easy trick for this is to put a hand on your hip and relax the elbow back.

  4. Shift your weight onto your back leg and bend your front knee.

  5. Bend slightly at the waist toward the camera.

  6. Push your chin forward and slightly down.


Once you get the hang of things, try adding in some props!



photo of black woman in black strapless top and purple pans posing for senior photo
Create space around your waist. An easy trick for this is to put a hand on your hip and relax the elbow back.


Posing Tips for Photographing One Person


The same rules apply here that I listed above in the selfie steps (1-6.) But let’s dive into them a bit more here.


I can tell you to follow these posing steps, but if you don’t understand the “why," you won’t stick to these steps very long.



Camera Angle


Start with a good camera angle. Just above eye level is very flattering.


Teenagers can get away with low camera angle selfies, but that won't work for most adults. People don’t want to see a double chin in their professional portraits. Help them look their best by shooting a tiny bit higher than the level they’re at.


Do you want to convey a little more confidence and presence? Position your camera at eye level.


Want to convey power or create a fashion-editorial vibe? Position just below. If you can see under their nose, then you're in that power/editorial zone. Just be careful of that chin and jawline!


black and white photo of a woman with long dark hair smiling softly at camera in columbus studio
There's an exception to every rule! Facing directly into the camera and leaning towards it can show confidence.



Body Angle


Avoid standing straight on toward the camera. This makes the body look broad and wide.


You create instant slimming by turning the body at a 45-degree angle away from the camera lens. This pose creates a natural curve in the body.




two images of high school senior girls posing at a 45 degree angle to the camera
These are perfect examples of turning the body at a 45 degree angle.


Create Triangles


The key to posing people is to create invisible triangles with their limbs.


In a standing pose, put one hand on a hip, relaxing the elbow back, without allowing the arm to lay flat against the body. This creates space around your waist, which gives a slimming perspective.


two side by side portraits of columbus ohio senior girls in studio
In both of these images, you can see triangles made by bending elbows and knees.