How To Pose In Photos For The Most Flattering Angles

If you want to improve your photo game and refresh your social media feed with your recent happy moments or that new summer outfit you're loving, here are some tips that will help you pull off that Insta-worthy shot with ease.

By Simone Sydel4 min read

Being convinced that we’re "not photogenic" has stopped many of us from capturing a beautiful moment or sharing our happy memories with others just because we don't like how we look in the photos we took while we were having fun.

While the truth is that most people, especially your close circle of family and friends, are not going to pay attention to your flaws in photos, there are ways for you to learn how to be more comfortable with the camera. And no, we’re not talking about just accepting what you perceive as a flaw because that's not what being photogenic is about. Instead, it's about learning your best angles and the poses that show off your unique beauty, which will give you a massive confidence boost in front of the camera.

Finding Your Flawless Selfie Angle

Finding your best selfie angle really isn't all that complicated – all it takes is a little knowledge and a bit of practice!

The first thing you need to know is that the most forward part of your face will be the most prominent in your selfie. This is why you may often wonder why your nose looks big in photos, even though it doesn't in real life.

To avoid this, turn your phone horizontally so the wide lens is activated. This will give you more background, make your head appear smaller, and move the center of your face further away from the lens. Then, angle your face slightly to the side and tilt your chin down a little. This creates a more flattering angle and makes your neck appear more elongated and elegant.

Another thing to avoid when taking a selfie, particularly a frontal selfie, is keeping your head straight. This is natural for most of us, as it's the position we often assume when having a conversation with someone; however, this pose can result in an unflattering photo in which your head will look rounder, your face wider, and a double chin more prominent.

So, to avoid making your selfies look like they were taken by a security camera, slightly push your forehead toward the camera lens, almost like a turtle coming out of its shell. This will instantly remove the appearance of the unwanted double chin and give you a more defined jawline while making your neck appear longer and your head more proportional to your shoulders rather than sitting on top like a ball.

To pout or not to pout is definitely a personal preference, but thankfully, there is a way to achieve the perfect pout without overdoing it: Relax your face and gently push your lips together. Don't force them into a pout or purse them like you are trying to kiss someone; just let them rest naturally together. This creates a subtle, natural pout that looks great in selfies without looking too exaggerated or forced.

Remember, finding your best selfie angle takes practice and experimenting, but the good news is digital photos are free and easy to take – and to delete!

Elevating Your Outfit Pics

Snapping the perfect outfit photo requires some planning and consideration of various factors, such as lighting, location, surroundings, and the right pose.

Now, first things first, you need to decide whether to take your photo indoors or outdoors. Outdoor shots can be more versatile and offer a variety of backgrounds and lighting options, while indoor photos tend to have better control over lighting and distractions in the background. Indoor photos are also a lot easier to feel confident taking when you're just getting the hang of things as you'll feel less self-conscious about people in public watching you.

After figuring out the background and lighting situation, you should start experimenting with poses until you find your best angle. Many TikTok users agree that angling your hips 45 degrees away from the camera, shifting your weight onto your back leg while slightly bending the front knee to elongate your leg, and turning your shoulders to be open to the camera is a universally flattering pose that can make everyone look taller, slimmer, and more modelesque.

Another favored pose by social media influencers, particularly when wanting to show off a long dress, is the "hourglass," which enhances the silhouette and can be achieved by leaning the upper body against an object while the hip is pushed out to create a slight curve. To best complement this pose, slide one arm behind your back while lightly resting the other on your hip or thigh. This creates lots of angles and spaces between your arms and your body to highlight your curves.

Alternatively, showing the back of the outfit or capturing a candid moment can also make for a great photo and showcase your sense of style.

Capturing Group Photos That Celebrate Everyone

Now, group photos can be a little tricky, but if everyone knows their role, you will end up with a beautiful, frame-worthy picture that everyone is happy with.

First and foremost, the photographer should stand farther away than usual to capture a wider angle of the group. This will ensure everyone fits in frame and no one gets cut out of the picture.

Have the dedicated photographer snap a series of photos while you all are naturally interacting with each other – smiling, laughing, talking, or walking together. The more movement and candidness, the better. You'll notice that most influencers and "it girls" in the fashion space do this when posing for photos.

Now, if you're planning a professional photoshoot for family holiday pictures or something that requires a more serious setting, you can create visual interest by having everyone pose at varying heights – some people sitting down, others standing, and a few in between. Or, for another dynamic group composition, the tallest people can stand on the outside, with shorter individuals towards the center, or vice versa.

One major mistake to avoid when taking group photos is the people on the ends of the group turning their bodies inward and leaning toward the center person. This will cause the people on the ends to become the closest to the camera – which will make them appear larger – while the person on the inside will be hidden. To avoid this, have everyone lean in slightly toward the camera, open up their shoulders and chest, and very slightly tilt their heads to one side. This will showcase everyone in the group without making anyone look like they are being squashed.

Capturing a Photo Where You’re the Main Character

This can be super useful when traveling, as it helps you achieve that main character energy in your vacation photos rather than capturing the same old tourist snaps.

Instead of trying to push everyone out of the way and stand in the center of the Trevi Fountain, you can change your perspective so you’re not on the same level with all the other tourists by sitting on the edge of the fountain and looking out into the distance or over your shoulder toward the object.

Your friends or travel companions can then take a photo from slightly below and in front of you, capturing the beautiful scenery in the background and making it look like you’re the main character of your own movie.

Chances are, if the area is super busy, you'll probably still have to remove a few faces from the background in post-editing, but this is still a much more creative way to capture your experiences without having to get into the hustle and bustle of other tourists only to end up with the same photo as everyone else.

Framing Your Special Connection

A great way to snap a frame-worthy photo with your boyfriend or husband is to focus on capturing the connection between you rather than just posing side by side.

You can easily do this by using a prop or doing an activity that represents your bond, such as sharing a meal, laughing while looking at each other, kissing, cheering to the camera while celebrating a special occasion, or embracing. Interact together and have the photographer snap some candids!

This not only adds a more personal touch to the photo but also allows you both to relax and have fun, making for a more natural and authentic shot that even the shyest of couples will enjoy taking.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you're mastering flattering poses, taking group photos to mark a special moment, or capturing your main character energy while on vacation, don't let a little bit of experimenting and a few hit-and-miss shots discourage you from trying new ideas and techniques. After all, isn't snapping a fun and meaningful moment the main purpose of taking photos in the first place?

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