The Bloggers Guide: Looking Good in Blog Pictures

Bloggers are forced to be the masters of a million different things: writing, SEO, social media, branding, and marketing. And most of us are the faces of our own brands so we also have to master the art of not looking like potatoes in our photos.

It’s been a long and wild ride for me, but a million awkward photos later and I finally know how to pose for pictures. Case in point – my first fashion blog post to my most recent:

howtoposeforblogpictures

One of these looks like a “first day of school” picture, and the other is a lot closer to the fashion ~AeStHeTiC~ that bloggers go for.

A lot of that growth came from practice, some from looking at how other bloggers are posing, but a ton came from ditching the tripod and remote and opting to work with a photographer. I shoot with one of my best friends, Desiree (midwest bloggers, hire her, y’all! She’s a game changer!) and my blog pictures have improved ten-fold and as a result my traffic and followers have, too.

I shoot with Desiree so often now that posing is practically second nature for me, and I’ve also learned some non-pose tricks for looking good in pics that I want to share with all of you.

Posing tip #1: Think about angles

I can’t remember where I saw this, but it stuck with me: make sure there is enough bend in your body that you’re making at least one triangle at all times. This might sound silly, and the first time I tried it I was way overthinking it, but soon it became second nature.

Angles are going to make your pictures look less stiff and add extra interest that would exist if you were just standing straight with your hands by your side.

howtoposeforphotosangles

Posing tip #2: Shift your weight

Shifting your weight to your back leg and slightly pointing the toe of your front leg will make your legs seem longer and more lean and define each individual leg. This trick creates really beautiful and flattering lines.

howtoposelonglets

Posing tip #3: Don’t be afraid to look serious

When I started fashion blogging I fell into the trap of having one hand on my hip, ankles crossed, big smile for every single photo. I felt super uncomfortable and awkward doing anything but smiling, but serious pictures look awesome.

If you’re not ready to mean mug the camera, try getting some shots where it looks like you were paparazzied. Either way, throwing in new facial expressions can really spice up your pictures.

howtoposeforphotosserious

Posing tip #4: Good posture!

I know, I know. I probably sound like your grandma, but good posture goes such a long way in making your picture look awesome. You’re going to look more confident and put together and that will make for a beautiful gram.

howtoposeforpicturespossture

Posing tip #5: don’t be afraid of looking silly

Try weird things and new angles – if they look silly, they look silly. On to the next. I am constantly making myself look like a fool in public to get the ‘gram, but it’s worth it when the picture ends up looking great. This can mean throwing your hair around, swinging your arms in a new way, or jumping around.

howtoposejumping

Posing tip #6: Angle your jaw to the camera

If you’re going for a profile shot, make sure to angle your jaw up towards the camera. This will help define your jaw bone (#jawgoals, anyone?) and separate your neck and face. It might feel silly, and even look silly in real life – but on camera it will make a world of a difference.

howtoposejaw

General tips for looking good on camera:

  • Indirect sunlight = everything. It might feel like it makes sense to go shoot pictures on the sunniest, brightest day – but I wouldn’t recommend it. Direct sunlight will cast strange shadows and distort that pretty face of yours.
  • When in doubt, lipstick. I’m not a huge lipstick wearer in real life, but I love it for blog photos because it adds another layer of interest to the picture. Even if my outfit is top notch, throwing in another element can really make a photo.
  • Colors/lighting/etc. not salvageable on an otherwise great picture? Consider turning it black and white – it will be a lot more forgiving and you will be able to hide any photographic imperfections that way.
  • Pile on the layers and jewelry. Remember, a picture should be as interesting as it is beautiful and adding jewelry or a blazer will add another element of interest. The longer you can keep people looking – the better!
  • If you’re working with a photographer make micro movements every time you hear the camera click. Shift a shoulder forward or angle your chin slightly up. These little movements will give you more options to choose from, and seeing the final product will help you learn your angles.
  • Learn what colors look best on you – no matter how many angles I make or how quality my smize is, if I’m wearing orange I’m not going to look good. I’ve learned that the hard way and now stick more to neutrals and blues.

I’m always learning, though! So I want to hear your best tips for looking great on camera. What are your secrets?

 

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  • these are such great tips! I’ll have to try them out the next time I’m being photographed.
    -Sienna
    http://www.modernbeautygirl.com

    • Thank you so much! I feel like every time I have my picture taken I learn a new trick!

  • I love your tips. I love all the locations of your pictures. How do you find locations?

    http://goldclutter.com

    • Thank you so much! And we have to get creative – 75% of my surrounding area is corn or soybean fields haha. Downtown areas are always safe – the pictures in the gray sweater were in Downtown Davenport, Iowa. We walked around looking for unique brick, cool colors, and interesting structures. We also went up in a parking garage.

      For the yellow and blue tops we were in a small historic town around half an hour away from home.

      You’ve actually inspired me to write a full post about this – going from living in NYC to a smaller town in the midwest I fully understand the struggle of finding locations. I’ll have one out in the next week or so! 😀

      • Thanks for all this. Also, do you have any tips for finding spots when you’re traveling?

  • Emma Lenhart

    These are awesome tips, Morgan. And you don’t look like a potato 🙂

    Emma | http://www.emmalenhart.com

    • Thank you so much, Emma! Haha, you’re sweet! <3

  • Megan

    Oh this is so good. I feel unbelievably awkward posing for photos. I think that the more you do it the easier it gets. It also helps to have someone you are comfortable with taking the photos!

    • Thank you so. much! It gets so much easier the more that you do it! And amen to that – I’m not afraid to look like a complete goofball when I’m with Desiree and sometimes the pictures where I’m goofing off are the best!

  • Ana Valentin

    Morgan, I adore you! You’re a stunner and I love these tips!

    • I adore you! Thank you so much, love! Miss you! <3

  • Tarah-Lynn

    Omg! I love the triangle tip. Genius.
    http://adornedinarmor.com

    • Thank you so much – it’s a game changer!

  • Trust me, you do not look like a potato in these pictures! Love your tips, gonna try them outtt x

    -Ploy
    http://thegraybelle.blogspot.com

    • You’re sweet, thank you! I hope that they work out for you!

  • This is so helpful – I’m such an awkward bean when it comes to posing for photos, so this is perfect for the next time I have a little photoshoot. Great post!
    – katrina // Yours Truly, Katrina

    • Thank you so much – I feel you on that! These tips have made things so much easier for me!

  • Jolie Luu

    I heard about the triangle thing before and thought it was weird. But seeing you mentioned it here made me think it might actually work. Your examples are very helpful.

    joliecious.com

    • It’s definitely a little odd, but once you put it into practice it makes a difference! I’m glad you found it helpful! <3

  • janice

    I used to model and now that I am starting to incorporate fashion blogging I am once again struggling to find my confidence in front of the camera. These tips are great and are exactly what I remember from my modeling days, now if I could just got back to being a natural LOL

    • Oh that’s awesome, I’m sure it’ll come back quick for you with your past!

  • I know this was aimed at females but I really enjoyed reading this. I’m still trying to get used to posing and being confident in front of the camera but I think the more I do it the easier it will get.
    The weather here in Germany is pretty great to for photos snippet’s not really sunny until the summer time! Also, I need to find someone who can take photos for me.. my Grandma and Mom aren’t really cutting it anymore haha xD

    – Dominick
    http://www.domijones.com

    • Thank you so much! It’s definitely something that gets easier as you practice.

      And my mom used to do my pictures for me, too! I remember the struggle haha.

  • Little Jess

    Using the ‘Rule of Thirds’ is a way to some impact in the pictures. Also having your images sharpened lightly will help
    http://www.littlejess274.blogspot.com

    • Oh, that’s a great point that I missed. Thank you! 😀

  • This was so helpful! I hate “looking like a potato”!

    • Yay! I’m so glad that you found it helpful 🙂

  • I’d always wondered how you managed to look so good in your Instagram pics! You have a very natural way of posing that makes it look effortless (even though it really isn’t). I tried to follow your lead and ‘pose’ a little while ago on a shoot I did with my sister, but it didn’t go so well. Thank you for offering tips for those of us who need a little more help! It’s appreciated.

    -Alicia x

    http://www.serenitylifeblog.com | Lifestyle & Advice

    • Haha I think the effortless comes 99% from working with Desiree since I’m so comfortable with her at this point. I want to make a post featuring some outtakes from our shoots because I swear every third one is me bursting out laughing after doing something ridiculous in attempts to look effortless and cool, haha.

      • You definitely should! I’d love to see it, haha! I can also see how it would help to have someone you knew taking the pictures. If I’m honest, I couldn’t imagine doing a shoot with a complete stranger behind the camera!

        • The first time I met Desiree was behind a sketchy building at like 5:30 in the morning for a sunrise shoot and then we found we had a lot in common and became really close friends! So things got easier over time as we got more comfortable, too. The first few shoots were a lot more awkward than they are now. Now I’ll pull stupid faces and poses left and right!

          • Wow, really? That’s actually amazing. From your Instagram, I kind of assumed you were friends in college, or something along those lines. It’s great that your friendship progressed, and that you were also both able to continue your working relationship. It would be awesome to have a photographer friend who would (happily) snap some shots, but alas, I have my younger sister – for now! Bless her. x

          • Haha yeah! We were emailing back and forth for a while and realized we lived in the same time – even graduated from the same high school! Her a year before I did. And then we found out we have a scary amount of things in common and got close! We are the poster children for the opposite of stranger danger, though. haha.

            And that’s so nice your sister will take pictures for you! Two years ago on vacation it took a whole lot of bribery to get my older brother to take 5 minutes to capture an ootd haha.

          • You graduated from the same high school? That’s so weird! (But awesome!). It just amazes me how some of the best connections we make are made in ‘unusual’ circumstances. I’m glad the two of you are now close 🙂 Lol, that sounds about right, although look what came of it!

            Yeah, she is a sweetie for doing it with me. The last one we did was a little while ago, when it was much colder; I felt so bad for her! She didn’t complain though, bless. Haha, I can imagine the effort it must’ve taken! I suppose for us, it’s awesome getting a photo-shoot done for Insta, but for siblings, it’s probably incredibly boring xD My sister will probably only do so many more shoots in the near future, before I’ll have to resort to your methods and bribe her!

          • Also, thank you, again!

  • you are a doll! I love how your personality shines through your posts!

  • Hello Morgan

    I just discovered your blog today and I’m totally amazed by it. You have so many great posts about blogging. I’m just reading through all of them right now. But this one is my favourite until now. Even though I “blog” (not really serious, more for myself) for over 6 years, I’m still at the “first day of school” pose.. I’ll definitely try out some of your tips 🙂

  • This is so awesome. Some of the best tips I have seen for blogging photography. I havent started getting pictures taken yet, but this will be my guide once I do!