How to Pose for Pictures: Posing Tips and Tricks

Client Experience

You’ve booked the photographer, picked the perfect outfit, set the location, and you’re ready to rock your upcoming photo shoot. But … what do you do with your hands?! 

Thinking about poses for pictures, whether they’re family photo poses or popular poses for high school seniors, can honestly be intimidating! Don't stress it; I'm here to help by walking you through what a session with Becks Photography is like and giving you a few tips and tricks to calm your nerves and prepare you for your photoshoot!

How Does the Photographer Prep for My Session?

First of all, you should know that I come to every session very prepared with fun ideas for prompts and poses for pictures. After you book a session, I will send you a questionnaire. I used this questionnaire to learn more about who you are and what you're looking for in our session together. Whether you booked a senior, family, maternity, newborn, or couple session, my goal is to allow you to be you - and my prompts and poses help to guide you to do so for both posed and candid shots

What is the Difference Between Posed and Candid Photos?

It's my goal to capture both posed and candid photos during every photoshoot. Posed photos are staged shots that are generally still and you are looking at the camera. Candid photos are based on prompts and often capture you in motion and more naturally capture who you are. They each have their own benefits, like: 

Posed photos are great for: 
  • Profile pictures
  • Christmas cards
  • Yearbooks
  • Printing for hanging in your home
  • Sharing with family and friends

Candid photos are great for:
  • Social media posts
  • Phone backgrounds
  • Capturing your true self and emotions

Thinking back to my wedding and the hundreds of photos that were captured that day, I cherish both the posed and candid photos so much. The posed photos are hanging all throughout our house, were used for a Christmas card, in scrapbooks, and as my profile picture. I cannot wait to show them to our grandkids one day. On the other hand, the candid photos capture the emotions of that day that I never want to forget. Tears while walking down the aisle, my dad seeing me for the first time that day, and dancing the night away with my new husband. Both the posed photos and the candid photos hold so much value. 

Getting Great Pictures

Now you understand why a mixture of poses for pictures and candid opportunities are important, let's talk about how we can make those happen and the role you can play in making your photos magical! Like I mentioned, I come to each session very prepared to capture both posed and candid photos, whether that’s recommending flattering family photo poses or giving prompts for beautiful candid shots. There are also a few ways you can help me get the best photos to capture who you are. 

3 Tips for Taking Excellent Photos:

1. Add your own flair to my directions

2. Be comfortable in front of the camera

3. Have fun!

1. Add Your Own Flair to my Directions

Listen to my directions but put your own spin on them! For example, if I prompt you to dance with your partner, I want you to forget that I'm there and dance like it's your first dance on your wedding night. If I ask you to twirl your dress, do it the way that makes you feel happy! I always tell my clients that I will help set them up in position, but I want them to feel comfortable. It’s alright to adapt the suggested poses for pictures to feel more naturally you!

2. How to be comfortable in front of the camera

If you have booked a senior session and are nervous about being photographed, consider bringing a close friend or family member who will help you laugh and have fun. Likewise, for a family session, if you really want a lot of good posed photos then I suggest bringing along someone that your child knows and loves. They can stand behind the camera and sing and dance to get them to giggle during family photo poses! If you have booked a couples session, consider going on a date before your session to loosen up!

3. Don’t Forget to Have Fun! 

Smile, laugh, joke around! I know this one seems simple and obvious, but it is the most easily forgotten. When your child won't participate or is acting up during your family photoshoot, forget your poses for family photos, the worst thing that you can do is force it. Instead, tickle them, play peek-a-boo or chase them around. Together, let's find a way to get you both smiling again, and we can capture the best candid photos of your family! For a maternity or coupes session, forget that I'm there and just hav fun together, share an inside joke and laugh together. If you booked senior photos, be yourself! This is easier to do if you bring along a friend or family member that will help you laugh and relax.

If only one piece of my advice sticks with you I hope that it's this, have fun! Come into your session relaxed and with an open mind so that you can actually enjoy your photo shoot. Know that I am an experienced photographer that will give you instructions throughout your photo shoot to help capture your true authentic self. All that you need to do is relax and have fun with it! Yes, I'm talking to you... mom that's stressed that her kids won't "sit still and smile." I'm talking to you, dad-to-be who loves his wife and baby but is a little worried about spending an hour in front of the camera for maternity photos. I'm also talking to you senior, who wants senior photos so badly but only knows one instagram pose, I'VE GOT YOU! Remember, 1. Be you 2. Bring a friend 3. Have fun!

Let's do this!


family of three playing airplane with their toddler in front of a willow tree in august
couple laying down on a lace blanket looking at each other and smiling
family of four holding their newborn in his green nursery
pregnant couple laying together in a field in the springtime
teenage girl posing in from of the flower gardens at cranbrook house and gardens
large family holding hands while walking through a field
couple holding and smiling at each other in their kitchen
family of three holding their newborn baby girl in her nursery in Lake Orion michigan
pregnant couple holding their belly and laughing together in the woods during a winter snow
teenage girl standing in a lake in a dress and looking at the camera
family of four in green and white outfits walking through a field of grasses
couple walking their dog in downtown detroit in late fall
married couple holding their newborn baby in their nursery
pregnant couple at firefighters park holding each other wearing a red dress and a white sweater
teenage boy crouching on the rough of a parking garage in Downtown Detroit