You’re not alone – everybody asks me what the heck to do with their hands. Posing can feel awkward, unnatural, and downright weird. I get it – you don’t feel like you when you’re in front of the camera. But we’re here to get over that because, as an entrepreneur, you ARE your brand.

I know it can be daunting to put the spotlight on yourself. After all, you’re probably used to spotlighting your clients, your products, and your services. However, for your clients or customers to connect with you, they have to get to know you. The best way to do that is to show up online, authentically you.

I ruined photos with a big cheesy grin for years and tilted my chin way too high. It wasn’t until I became a brand photographer (and had to pose for my own wedding photos) that I started to practice poses and take notes on what looked best. I’m here to share all the tips I learned along the way.

Read on to get the best posing tips from a brand photographer that helps people feel confident in front of the camera.

Posing Tips For Your Next Photoshoot

Remember that big cheesy grin I mentioned earlier? Anytime someone asked me to smile, I thought beaming from ear to ear would do. When I looked at the photo later, I would cringe. Not my best look!

When I started to think about my wedding photos, I began practicing a “soft smile” in the mirror. It felt really awkward at first, but I liked the results. I became comfortable with the awkward feeling by practicing, knowing that the smile was just fine.

The same goes for poses! By playing in front of the mirror, you’ll get used to how they feel and look with your body. Here are my top poses for flattering angles and highlighting your best feature. I didn’t edit these or get dressed up because I wanted to show you the true power of a pose, not a beauty shot. They were taken in a rush at 8:15 am when I had to be somewhere by 9 am. Now away we go!

Tip #1: Shift your weight onto your back leg.

It might not seem like a big deal, but look at the subtle difference this makes!

Posing Tips with Kianna Sunshine Photography
Posing Tips with Kianna Sunshine Photography

You may not notice it, but most people will shift their weight onto one leg when they’re relaxed and comfortable. If you’re standing like a soldier, you’ll seem a bit rigid. Which leg is best? That depends on the person. Try shifting the weight from your front leg and back leg in the mirror to see what you like.

Tip #2: Position yourself at a 45° angle.

When you face a camera dead on, you are showing the camera your body in its widest form. Not necessarily a bad thing, but most people I talk to ask for tips on slimming down. When it comes to the perfect angle, you’ll want to position your feet 45° from the camera.

Kianna Sunshine Photography posing tips

When you’re angling this way, it’s usually best to put your weight on the front leg and get comfy into your hips.

Tip #3: Keep your chin in check.

Tilting your head higher won’t make your neck look longer or slimmer. You’re just going to look weird. You also don’t want to tilt so far down that you invite more chins than you’re used to.

Try to keep a small space between your chin and neck while leaning forward slightly to get the best angle during your brand shoot.

Kianna Sunshine Photography Posing Tip
Kianna Sunshine Photography Posing Tip
Kianna Sunshine Photography Posing Tip

Tip #4: Lean in from the hip.

Okay, don’t fall over. When I say lean from the hip, I mean subtly by an inch or two. Just like this –

Kianna Sunshine Photography posing tips

Leaning slightly for your photo will bring your face closer to the camera and elongate your neck. When your face is closer to the camera than your body, your body will appear smaller.

Tip #5: Let bendy things bend.

What is the difference between these two photos? For me, I can definitely tell the left is a lot more rigid, and the right looks slightly more relaxed.

By slightly bending your knees or elbows, you create more of a casual, confident stance. This will also naturally happen if you follow the other rules of angles and lean onto one leg. You don’t want to overdo it with a full hands-on-hip power stance in every photo. Just a slight bend will do.

Bonus tip: When you bend your elbow, create a small space between your arm and waist. This helps with slimming down your photo.

Your basics are covered, and you’re ready to rock your next branding photography session. When I work with my clients, I put together a vision board of the vibe we’re going to create. If you need some pose ideas, Pinterest or Instagram are going to be your BFF. Start curating poses you like, practice them in the mirror, and even print some out for reference to bring to your session (or save it on your phone in an easy-to-find spot).

Preparing for a photo shoot is about more than your poses. You have to dial into your brand vision, brainstorm props, and more. Overwhelmed? I’ve got you covered. Here’s the access to download my free guide, 5 Genius Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Branding Session. Now you’re really ahead of the game.

What’s your favourite go-to pose in photos? Share the best one in the comments below.