Through my experience of being a New York City photographer I’ve photographed a variety of events and people. This job has led me to meet so many wonderful humans and through that I’ve become more aware of the common struggle we all feel whenever we are in front of a camera – not knowing how to pose!! So I thought I’d share a few tips to learn how to pose for pictures. When you book me as your photographer I continuously give directional prompts during photoshoots, but these are tips that I give to my clients when they book me to help with the process of the photoshoot.

Practice in Front of the Mirror

If this is your first time practicing in front of the mirror it’s going to feel a little weird. DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU! Look at your posture, facial expressions, and your body language. Experiment with different poses and angles until you find what works for you. Even if you think it ‘feels weird’ it might actually look good for a photo. Find which angles and poses you like most on yourself. You’ll know when you have found one that you like. Make small adjustments when you’re in a pose to figure out different variations. Maybe raise your shoulder, bring it forward, bring it back. Do this frequently. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel when someone brings out a camera. You will eventually find which side and angle you prefer to be photographed at.

Set up Your Smartphone Camera and Pose for Pictures

Set up your camera and move around. Start with a simple camera or even use your smartphone. This will help you get comfortable with being in front of the lens without feeling overwhelmed by complicated equipment. One thing I’ve learned has helped me a lot with my posing is recording videos of myself doing different poses. Then as I rewatch the video I’m able to pause the video and notice what I like and what I don’t like about certain poses.

Don’t be afraid to record multiple takes. This will give you more opportunities to practice and get comfortable in front of the camera. You can always edit later to choose the best take. Practice, practice, practice: Like any skill, the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Don’t be discouraged if your first few videos aren’t perfect. Keep practicing and you’ll soon feel like a pro.

Find Good Lighting to Learn How to Pose for Pictures

Good lighting can make all the difference for how good someone looks in a photo. Look for natural light in your space. Usually setting up in front of a window is best. A well-lit photo will not only look better, but it will also boost your confidence.

If you want to see more photo’s from Sarah’s beautifully window-lit headshot session click here.

Smile, Relax and Have Fun

It’s natural to feel nervous in front of the camera, but remember to smile and relax. Take deep breaths and focus on the message you want to convey. Your enthusiasm and confidence will come across in your video. Have fun with this experience. Starting by yourself helps with loosening up in front of the camera. No ones around. You can be as silly and as serious as you want.

Remember, feeling comfortable in front of the camera takes time and practice. But with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating confident, compelling pictures.

When you’re hiring me to be your photographer you won’t really need to know how to pose but these tips are helpful to make you more comfortable with the process. Check out this reel to see how I will literally get on the floor to show you how I want you to pose.


Learn How to Pose for Pictures

a woman walking in front of a large window

March 7, 2023

I’m an NYC photographer who is more than a little obsessed with documenting your looking-good-feeling-even-better moments.

I’m Francesca!