9 Tips for Natural Posing

How to look relaxed and natural in front of the camera – a natural posing guide

If there’s one phrase I’ve heard a lot as a wedding photographer, it is how people don’t like to be in front of the camera. So many people struggle with the idea of posing and prefer those relaxed and natural photographs of themselves. Here’s a little secret… even the most natural photographs have an element of posing to them! Which is why I’m going to give you my top 9 tips on how to look relaxed and natural in front of the camera. Consider this your ultimate natural posing guide!

1 Embrace the awkwardness

Okay, let’s be completely honest. Most people feel nervous or awkward about stepping in front of the camera. And that is fine! It is natural and understandable to feel that way. Having professional photographs is not something we get done regularly. So, feeling awkward about it is a completely normal emotion.

I find, though, when a situation is awkward, going at it head first and embracing that feeling, and then powering on through it works best! So, acknowledge the weirdness from the start and then let’s get on with it! You tend to find that, if you deal with that feeling quickly, it starts to get easier shortly after. Which is exactly when good things start to happen.

2 Relax those muscles

You may be feeling nervous or a little tense to start with. What typically happens is your muscles start to tense up. This can be quite noticeable in your photographs! So, if you’re feeling a little stiff, shake it all out. Shaking out your arms and shoulders and rotating your head and neck will help you to loosen up. This will have you looking much more comfortable in your photographs.

3 You don’t have to be a model

Unless, of course, you are one! But if you’re not one of those small percentage of people who knows exactly how to pose for the camera, that is fine. It is always good to have an idea of how to hold your body or which angles you prefer. You can practise those in front of a mirror! But your photographer will know how to direct you too, so let them know if you’re not sure what to do. We usually have a good number of “posing tricks” up our sleeves to help you.

4 Be present

We’ve all grown up with the notion that, when our photograph is being taken, we have to stand still, give a big smile and say cheese until we hear the click. So, it’s hardly surprising when I find clients doing something similar when we first begin working together. But that’s not the case! During a shoot, don’t be scared to talk to each other, or your photographer. I may even ask you some questions while I’m photographing you! Enjoy the actions and be present with what’s happening during your shoot. Play, laugh, talk and walk together as you would without a camera pointing at you. You’ll enjoy the whole experience a lot more if you remember that.

5 Slow movements

That being said, when you are moving around or performing an activity set by your photographer, such as walking towards them, take your time. Slow movements will guarantee your photographer is more likely to get some good shots of you.

6 Lean forward

There’s a little secret most photographers know. Whatever is closest to the camera appears larger, while objects further away appear smaller. So, a good trick, if you’re conscious about your body size, for example, is to lean forward slightly. It’s a sneaky little trick but it works a treat!

7 Try not to focus on flaws

We all do it, don’t we? We look at photographs of ourselves and immediately look at the parts of ourselves we don’t like so much. But when you get your gallery, try to put that aside for a few moments. Instead, focus on what the shoot was about – celebrating your relationship and having a good time with your significant other! I promise you, no one is seeing those “flaws” other than yourself, so try not to fixate on them. Enjoy the photographs for what they are, a record of memories that you get to keep forever.

8 You don’t always have to look at the camera

I honestly don’t know why it is we still have this notion that we should be looking at the camera when we have our photograph taken. It reminds me of all those Victorian black and white portraits, with everyone standing and glaring at the camera malevolently! Some of my favourite photographs are the ones where you are engrossed in each other. It shows the beauty of your relationship together and creates such a lovely feeling and mood. However, when your photographer directs you to look at the camera, do it with total confidence. Look straight through that camera to the photographer behind the lens for a more confident and surer gaze.

9 Talk to your photographer

Ultimately, every person is different. So, if you’re a person who feels they need more direction, or there are some things about your shoot that are making you feel nervous, tell your photographer! We will always be guided by you, our lovely clients, when choosing which way to work with you. If there’s something you don’t want to do in front of the camera (like kissing!), or you feel you might need some help posing, then please do let me know. I won’t be upset, and I’ll be more than happy to guide you as we work together!

Read more about me here and if you’d like to see a chatty video version of the blog post above then take a look at this youtube video here.

If you’re interested in having a natural and relaxed photo shoot with a photographer who knows exactly how to direct you to get those great shots, get in touch! I’d love to work with you.

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