How to Confidently Pose for Photos

Posing for photos. It’s something so many people are self conscious or nervous about for many reasons! Personally, it’s something I’ve had to work on and become immune to what others may think about it. A little background for you: when I was a kid I was actually a baby model. Yep, you heard that right. I photographed for lots of ads that appeared in Old Navy and other stores. When I was in middle school, I was the president of ASB and spoke in front of the entire school every morning. Especially when it comes to my blog and Instagram, it seems I am constantly in front of the camera. However, given all of these facts about my life, there are times I still get nervous or even uncomfortable in front of the camera. Shooting for my blog is probably my least favorite part about my whole experience and I actually prefer the editing process now. There are ways to get past this though with lots of practice, research, and simply being proud and confident of your creative process. Luckily, I’ve found a few poses that work best for me and I think a lot of you will find them helpful for your own photography sessions! Keep reading to check them out!

P.S. I’ll be including links to a lot of the outfits seen in this post at the end! Be sure to shop on my Like to Know It for tons of summer outfit ideas! I also have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to pose ideas for Instagram!

Sitting Poses

To be honest, sitting poses can be a bit intimidating. However, with the correct angles and simply having fun with it, you can get a fantastic photo! Some of my favorite shots have been where I’m sitting down, which hasn’t been the case in the past! The trick with these types of photos is leg placement and as mentioned above: angles! Normally, as you can see below, I prefer to tuck one leg in and allow the other to be extended. It also is very beneficial to rotate your body slightly in the direction of that extended leg. It makes your legs look longer and is that much more flattering!



One reason I love taking these types of sitting photos is the shapes that are made with your body. If you look closely at all of these examples, you can see triangles that are formed simply by my leg placement. This is a little tip I learned while studying graphic design in college: your composition will always be stronger (whether that’s a drawing, painting, or a photograph) if you try to incorporate shapes. They draw the eye around and throughout the photo, which overall makes it more interesting to look at.




Another great tip is to allow one of your hands to hold one of your legs. Good examples are seen in the second and third photos. It’s a very simple, casual, and effortless look. It gives the impression that you weren’t expecting a photo to be taken (which of course, you totally were, hehe). I also try to allow my other hand to be doing some action as well. Whether that’s holding your hat, sunglasses, hair, a flower, or some other object. Again, these little details just make your photo look that much more interesting.

Simple Standing Poses

You’d think that standing in front of the camera would be one of the easiest poses to accomplish. In my experience, it’s one of the most difficult because it can get boring quickly. One major tip I’m about to give you has to do with leg placement (again). It’s all about those legs, people! I personally love to extend one leg in front of the other if I’m just standing in front of the camera. It will elongate your whole body while still giving that “in the moment” vibe. I tend to do this in most of my photos now out of habit and it’s much more interesting than standing with your feet planted next to each other. Giving the illusion of movement or walking is extremely beneficial especially with fashion photography!



Another one of the keys to standing photos is to have a fantastic background. As you can notice in the first and last photos, I’m not doing anything too significant with my posing because I wanted a more laid back and candid vibe. However, the background is very unique and stunning. Your eye is still drawn throughout the photo with an intriguing backdrop. Simple pose + a beautiful background = photo success!



The last tip I’d like to mention when it comes to standing photos is to question what your arms will be doing in these shots. Again, you want to create an interesting shape with your body to create a great composition. In the second and last photo, I lift my arm to either lean against a wall or adjust my hat. There’s some nice triangle shapes in there, not to mention it’s such an easy pose to accomplish!

Use Props!

One of the best ways to make your life easier when posing for photos is to include props. It can be very simple objects that you use everyday: a coffee cup, flowers, a hat, mirrors, chairs, etc. Look around you and I’m sure there’s something in your room you could use right now! Even in the first photo below, I’m holding the simplest little daisy but not only did it help with my easy pose, but it’s a lovely detail from the surrounding environment. If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while, you’ve seen my favorite cream Lack of Color hat that I pair with many of my outfits. I love holding it in my hands for outfit photos or holding it while it’s on my head.



Recently I’ve loved the idea of incorporating chairs into my poses, which I want to do more often! My parents have redesigned their kitchen, so while I was quarantined with them at home I took the photo below with one of the new kitchen chairs. It has a cute wicker design, which added a nice detail to the photo. Try to find uniquely colored chairs or intriguing fabric patterns for your photos!



Lastly, I loved shooting the above photo with one of my sister’s mirrors. I’ll admit, shooting with mirrors tends to be a bit difficult. Finding the right angle isn’t the easiest thing, but I’m confident you can do it! Be sure to take more than enough photos so you have plenty of options to choose from, especially when incorporating a mirror. Note: DO NOT wear any clothing with words or quotes on it, as it will come out backwards in your mirror photo. Mirrors have recently been a very popular trend on Instagram, but I genuinely love the look of them!

Detail Photos from the Back

My very last tip for you is to take detail shots from the back. Let your hair flow, girl! Whether you’re trying to get that perfect photo of a hair accessory or a cute intricate detail of a top, these types of photos are elegant and stunning! The best part: you don’t have to do your makeup, lol! The second photo shown below was actually completely spontaneous and is now one of my favorite shots. Photos from the back are a great way to accentuate a great view or a beautiful surrounding you find yourself in.




Whenever I take a photo from the back, I also make sure to get a photo of me playing with my hair. These usually turn out looking effortless and it’s not difficult to execute. Allow one hand to run through your hair while the other stays at your side or rests on your waist.

I hope you guys found some helpful tips from this post! Let me know if you’re going to try any of them and make sure to tag me so I can check them out. If you have any other pose ideas, please comment them down below! I’m always researching and saving new ideas for poses. Talk to you all very soon xx

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  1. June 29, 2020 / 10:57 am

    These are all such useful tips, thank you for sharing! I always feel so awkward in front of the camera and therefore the photo itself looks awkward but I think if you are comfortable and enjoying yourself then the photo will come out looking better. xx

    • sagepetersen
      June 29, 2020 / 1:34 pm

      So glad you love them! Yes just getting comfortable in front of the camera is half the battle

  2. July 4, 2020 / 8:03 am

    Thank you for sharing! I’m so bad at taking pictures of myself!

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