Posing for Photos – What to Do With Your Arms

If there’s one thing many D.C. peeps have, it’s a love of the camera.  It cracks me up actually, to see overly-posed women (solo and in groups), taking picture after picture, as if someone (out of nowhere) is going to discover them and make them the next face of Chanel.  (It makes me laugh even more when they actively seek out photographers to take pictures OF them.) Instead, oftentimes, they end up looking like an awkward cheerleader.  That’s right, I said it – cheerleader, which is exactly what it looks like when you place one fist (or hand), or both, on your hips improperly.  I get why it’s done – you don’t want a fat looking arm in a picture.  However, what you’re concentrating on, causes you to forget a few other limbs that need to be strategically placed.

Granted, I’m not a model however, having worked with enough professional photographers who have corrected my pose time and again, I’ve seen a major difference in how I look.  Thus, I feel it’s only fair to share my knowledge.

Let’s start with what we see.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

THIS, people, is what I’m talking about.  And yes, many of you do it.  The problem?  Your hands are too high up on your hips, shoving your shoulders up to your ears.  It looks ridiculous… and I’m waiting for you to spell out D-E-F-E-N-S-E.

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

I get that photographers for such magazines as Fast Company and Forbes, think that this is the greatest power pose of all time.  It’s supposed to exude confidence.  It’s great for magazines – not great for everyday posing.

Exhibit C
Exhibit C

You’re in a sweater thus, less of a chance of seeing arm fat.  I think this bothers me almost more than the cheerleader pose.  There’s no need to have a hand on your hip when a) the arm is covered up in loose fabric and b) there are more flattering places to put it.

So.  What do I suggest instead?  Well, since it seems to be a comfort zone for many, here are the following tips for a much more relaxed, elegant post:

1. If you’re going to place your hand on your hip, place it lower on the hip and relax the shoulder

2. Lean back in your pose ever so slightly to help relax that shoulder

3. Stick your neck out to a point where you think you look ridiculous – it gets rid of double chins and neck wrinkles and trust me, magnifies your best facial features.

So how should these poses look?

While my suggestions might seem unnatural or uncomfortable, I’ve learned that those oftentimes produce the best results.
It also takes practice – most people weren’t born with the innate ability to photograph well – not even many models either!

So… do what you know you do anyway, practice in front of the mirror when no one is watching 🙂

Give me your thoughts!

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