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How to Enjoy A Photoshoot While Traveling: Part Three

You should know that, DIRECTLY after Meiry told me not to actually sit on this bike, I in fact did sit on it and fell over.  Photo credit: genius photographer Meiry at Flanerie Photos

You should know that, DIRECTLY after Meiry told me not to actually sit on this bike, I in fact did sit on it and fell over.

Photo credit: genius photographer Meiry at Flanerie Photos

In part three of How To Enjoy Your Photo Shoot (you can find parts one and two here and here), we’re gonna get right down to the part that most people uncomfortable about: posing.

don’t just stand there, let’s get to it…

A couple of things to remember about posing:

  • You’ll feel silly at first, which is perfectly normal.

  • People will stare, so just take that in stride. You’d stare too. Take advantage of it and shoot your onlookers a gorgeous smile. Or, as the Harry Winston quote goes, “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”

  • Posture is super important. Your abdominal and back muscles are critical to movement and posture; we ignore and abuse them all day long by sitting in front of computers and staring at our phones. However, if I tell myself “Okay, Kate, pull it together and stand up straight!,” I’ll look super stiff and posed. Instead, I focus on engaging my abdominal muscles (imagine there’s a string running through your belly button straight out through your back; imaginarily tug on the string - NOW your abs are engaged) and pulling my shoulder blades together. If I focus on those two things - are my abs engaged? and what are my shoulders doing? - I’m naturally standing, sitting, and moving more confidently.

A few classic poses:

  • Lift your chin and stare off into the distance on an angle while smiling slightly to yourself (a la bottom left above). You’ll feel weird. Do it anyway.

  • Find something to lean on (like the column above - could also be a doorway or a wall). You have a couple of options here: 1) put your back against the side of the doorway/column/thing so you’re in profile and put the outside foot up so you create a nice angle shape with that leg; 2) put your back against the main side of the doorway/wall thingy, press back against it with your hands (this will automatically give you better posture) and cross your feet at the ankle so the toes on one of your feet are pointing down; 3) lean one elbow against the wall and, you guessed it, cross your legs at the ankle.

  • Sit down. Remember when we talked about posture? Extra critical to use your abs and back here so you don’t look hunched over. Cross your legs at the ankle or knee - the ankle creates a better line, though, and it’s more difficult to sit up straight when your legs are crossed. There’s a reason Kate Middleton always sits with ankles crossed; it’s not just so you can’t see up her skirt.

  • Be doing things. Looking at postcards, reading a book, typing on your laptop, having a coffee - you get the idea. Makes it easier to pretend you’re not posing.

  • Wide-legged stance - standing like this just naturally makes you feel more confident; it’s probably a good one to do early in the shoot to get revved up a bit. For extra credit, put your hands on your hips and look up and off to one side. One photographer I’ve worked with calls this the Superhero Stance.

  • The lookback - sit facing away from the photographer, and then turn to look back at them; extra effective with a gorgeous smile.

  • Hand on the hip - it torques your arm just slightly and creates definition in the upper arm.

Day Of

Stay simple: do whatever you need to to feel relaxed and happy when you get to the shoot.

Drink a glass of wine.

Arrive early; schedule enough time that you and the photographer can spend a few minutes chatting and getting to know each other before you start shooting. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, make sure they know that and ask that they suggest poses. Bring a friend to tell you jokes during the shoot. Natural smiles always look better than forced ones.

Don’t pack a big bag of things to bring with you - you’ll be moving around a lot and, unless you bring a friend to carry your bag, either you or the photographer will have to keep track of it and that’s a waste of your time and investment.

And that’s it! Nothing to it. Now that you’re a pro, shall we start planning a trip for you to slay your photo shoot?