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10 Tips To Feel More Comfortable Posing

“I don’t know what to do with my hands in photos.” Have you ever felt this way? As a professional photographer, this is probably in the top 3 comments I get when it comes to photoshoots. So let me help! Here are 10 tips to feel more comfortable posing.

I did my first every IGTV video on this topic. If you would like to see the video version of these tips you can check it out on my Instagram.

How To Pose, Michelle Nichols Photography

Tip #1: Look At Your Photographer’s Portfolio

  • Spend some time looking at your photographer’s work and social media feeds. You can tell a lot about what to expect and the energy level just from their work. Is it bright and colorful with lots of laughter? Is it more moody and fashion inspired?
  • Also take this opportunity to practice in the mirror any poses you see the photographer has used that look unfamiliar to you. It helps take the initial weirdness out of doing a pose you’ve never done in the comfort and privacy of your own home.Michelle Nichols Photography, Instagram Feed

Tips #2: Meet With Your Photographer Prior to Photoshoot

  • Unless you already know your photographer in person, it’s worth taking 30 mins to chat in person. This helps break the ice and also get questions answered and concerns reassured before the actual photo session.

Senior Photographer, Office Space, Michelle Nichols Photography

Tips #3: Bring A Support Team to Photoshoot

  • Nothing drags down the energy and overall mood of a shoot like having someone that doesn’t want to be there or is rushing you. Only bring people that will uplift you and support you during the duration of the shoot.

senior picture with mom

Tip #4: Wear What You Feel Confident In

  • Don’t try to wear something you think is trendy, but you feel self conscious in. Being in front of a camera is already an intimidating situation, if you are not comfortable in the clothes you are wearing that is just a recipe for disaster.

Senior Pictures, Coachella Outfit

Tip #5: Keep It Moving

  • The longer you stay in one pose or area the more you think about what you are doing and therefore it becomes more forced and unnatural. Keep it moving throughout the photoshoot. It can be as simple as shifting your weight from side to side, twirling in your dress and or doing a ‘model walk’ down the street.

4th of July, Senior Pictures

Tip #6: Relax The Shoulders

  • One of the top two places we naturally hold tension is in our shoulders. Even when we are just paying attention to the directions our photographer is giving us, our focus can translate to tension.
  • Therefore, just think to roll back your shoulders and take a deep breath to relax.

Tip #7: Relax The Lips

  • The other place most people hold tension is in their mouth. A cue I often give my clients is to breathe through your lips. This subtle parting of your lips will instantly relax the jawline.

Coachella theme photoshoot

Tip #8: Subtle Changes Go A Long Way

  • You do NOT have to be America’s Next Top Model in order to have a successful photoshoot. You can add so much variety to poses simply by changing small things, such as the direction of your gaze, your hand placement, the way you hold your jacket, putting your hands in your pocket and then letting one hand drop.
  • You don’t even have to move your feet to get lots of variety. Your photographer will help you through this of course, but just remember you don’t have to come up with completely different and unique poses every time you hear that camera click.

Senior Pictures, Senior Photography, Country Outfit

Tip #9: What Do I Do With My Hands?!

  • Probably the number one concern for most people when stepping in front of a camera, is what to do with their hands. I like to give the advice to give your hands something to do. Whether it’s putting them on a tree or building, or playing with your hair, or putting them on your hips or in your pockets.
  • By giving your hands a job, it helps you feel a lot more comfortable than just free standing with your hands to your side. You can even hold your jacket/scarf or your skirt and instantly it takes that awkwardness away.

outdoor senior photography, michelle nichols photography

Tip #10: Communicate With Your Photographer and Have Fun!

  • Finally, just communicate with your photographer what you are nervous about or self conscious of. As a photographer, it’s our job to help pose you in the most flattering and interesting ways. We are happy to work around things that make you uncomfortable, but hopefully you develop a level of trust with your photographer and you can focus on just enjoying your photo session!

Senior Pictures, Coachella Outfit

Comment below your favorite tip!

Jun 28, 2018

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