How to Pose for Photos and Improve Your Instagram, According to a Photographer

We’ve all been there before. Your friends pull out their cameras to take a picture and you immediately have the nasty feeling of not knowing what to do. Do you give a peace sign or look away like it’s a free kick? Let’s not even talk about what to do with your hands. The struggle can be real, which is why you need the advice of a professional photographer on how to pose for pictures.

Alex Frank is a New York-based professional photographer with nearly 247,000 followers on TikTok. Sharing behind-the-scenes videos of her shoots and photography challenges, it’s clear that Frank knows what she’s talking about. So, Elite Daily sat down with her for some exclusive posing tips for your next TikTok video or Insta photo. Whether you’re posing with your best friends, your partner, or just trying to capture a good selfie for your feed, Frank shares all of his best tips on how to pose for photos.

If you have big summer plans that include vacations and days at the beach, you definitely want to know the best angles and poses to capture the cutest snaps of all your adventures. Even if you’re just hoping to show off your new summer outfits, these 11 posing tips from Frank will take your flow to a new professional level.


Look less at the camera during your self-timer photos

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Sometimes you don’t have anyone to take your shots for you, which is when the self-timer feature kicks in. Although it’s a useful tool for solo adventures, you you haven’t quite figured out the art of the perfect self-timer shot yet.

Frank advises “moving around and looking at the camera less” to instantly help make your self-timer shots less rigid. According to Frank, “The key to looking natural on camera is to constantly move and look around, [which] gives the impression that someone is behind the camera and captures you in your natural element.


The paparazzi’s street style photos are viral poses

Frank’s current favorite pose is what she calls “paparazzi street style.” You know those candid shots that make you look like a celebrity going about their day. It’s such a simple photo that you can capture while shopping with your best friend in a cute OOTD.

Frank’s pro tip for capturing the best paparazzi-style photo on your iPhone is to “stand farther away from your subject and use the 2x or 3x zoom feature.” It catches your friends in a “more as the eye sees it” format.


Find a mirror if you are posing alone

When you feel uncomfortable or uninspired posing by yourself, Frank suggests finding a mirror to set up as a camera. She even does this with models for her pro shots because it lets you “see yourself moving and from the camera’s perspective.”

She also suggests that you “keep moving and set your phone or camera to burst mode so it captures you between movements.” Then you can browse your photos and decide which ones are Gram-worthy.


Opt for “anti-pose” poses for couple photos

If you’re taking pictures with your partner, Frank suggests not posing or being “anti-pose.” For example, when shooting couple photos, she often gives her subject “silly pose prompts” to make them laugh. It’s not about the pose at all, but about the reaction between them. Frank likes to use some unavoidable “dumb prompts”: “smell your partner’s forehead” and “whisper what you had for breakfast in their ear”.


Get closer when posing with your friends

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Getting a group shot when all your friends are together is a must, but group shots can be a little stiff. To avoid this, Frank suggests that you “physically limit the space between you.” Leaning over, hugging, or even laughing all together will make your group shot look more natural.


Have something to interact with if you don’t know what to do with your hands

Hands can immediately make your cute AF photo look awkward if you don’t know what to do with it. That’s why Frank suggests “giving people something to interact with.” For example, if you’re wearing pants, she suggests putting your hands in your pockets. If you’re near a pole or building, she also suggests leaning on it with your shoulder.


A high angle with a wide lens gives a throwback vibe to your selfies

When shooting from a high angle, Frank suggests using a wide angle lens. It creates “a really cool, nostalgic, almost 90s or Y2K vibe, which is super trendy right now.” For an easy high-angle shot, lower yourself to the ground in a squat pose.


Take low-angle shots to give your subject a powerful look

“I remember learning in film school that old-school cinematographers often used to shoot men from low angles to give them a powerful look, and women from low angles. diving to give them a more vulnerable look,” Frank explained. “I hated the sexism in all of this, so I always shoot my female models from low angle shots to capture them as powerful and daring as they are in real life.”

If you’re shooting your friends or even yourself from a low angle, Frank says it makes for a more elongated look, so it’s perfect for showing off your OOTD or just getting some fierce AF.


Upright poses are great for expressions

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According to Frank, “straight poses are important in portrait photography.” When shooting in a straight line, you want to focus more on your facial expressions rather than your actual poses. Frank suggests “giving your model different expressions or moods to channel” for fun shots.


If you feel uncomfortable, practice in front of a mirror

The phrase “practice makes perfect” also works for taking pictures. If you often feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in front of the camera, Frank suggests practicing in front of the mirror first.

“Knowing your angles, expressions, or movements that you’re comfortable and confident with is key,” Frank says. She also suggests that your photos be taken by people you are comfortable with, such as friends and family.


Always have Inspo poses prepared

Another helpful tip from Frank if you’re feeling awkward and want to look more natural is to have some inspiration poses in mind before you shoot. Just as you would bring a picture of the haircut you want to show your hairdresser, you want to prepare poses to show your photographer. Even if you’re just taking pictures with your friends, it helps to have some viral poses in mind that you find cute and want to try.

You can even practice those poses you love at home in front of a mirror, so when someone randomly pulls out their camera to take a picture, you’re set.

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