One of the hardest things for me to figure out when I first started taking outfit photos was how to stand and look great. I couldn't figure out where to put my feet or hands, and the whole process seemed so artificial. But after almost a whole year of snapping daily outfit photos, I think I've got a few things figured out. Here are my tips for posing and looking natural in photos. And, bonus: none of these include the word "smize":
1. De-mystify your camera.
2. Find inspiration.
Look at your favorite magazines, photos and blogs. How is the subject standing? How is their posture? Where are they standing? If you like these elements, how might this translate to your own photos? The pose above was inspired by an old magazine shoot. After some practice and setting up my camera, I got the shot I wanted.
3. Lean on something.
Okay, this sounds like something a cool cat like James Dean would have done. But the reason why I often gravitate toward fences, walls or docks is because they are a natural place to rest, and they often give you something to do with your hands. The leading lines that these structures have also add a geometric, visual interest to the photos as well.
4. Use a prop.
Holding something in a photo doesn't have to look staged or artificial. Having something tangible in your hands puts you at ease, gives you something to do with your hands, and often implies an action. So go ahead -- grab a purse, hold your bike handles, hug a puppy. Experiment!
5. Put one foot in front of the other.
6. Posture, posture.
I'm not trying to sound like your mom, but this advice does have some good use. It straightens your body, and creates a smooth line from your back to your legs. In addition, I think it can also elevate your own mood: you stand taller, and probably feel more confident and elegant.
7. Lead by doing.
Our eyes are drawn toward action. Moving around is probably the most natural thing you can do because it makes your camera a mere background observer, rather than the instigator of the action. When my sister Nik used to take outfit photos, she would just move around naturally in front of the camera until she got the shots she wanted. So go ahead -- walk away, jump around, dance, or whatever your heart desires! Some of my favorite outfit photos imply some movement on my part.
How do you pose in your photos? What's your best tip for looking easygoing and flattering? What doesn't work for you?
[How to take outfit photos when you're uninspired]