How to Pose in a Photo: Lessons from the Street Style Set
The advent of street style has given us many things: fresh outfit ideas, haircut inspiration, and plenty of new fashion faces to follow among them. What it's also delivered is an exhaustive study of how to look good in a picture, showing us a million different ways to move in front of camera in a more casual, IRL way than, say, that Peter Lindbergh shoot of supermodels galavanting on the beach (though, what greatness).
Why simply stand there for a photographer when you can stretch your limbs to sinewy proportions while marching confidently out of the shot? Or who needs a rather on-the-nose smile and direct gaze into the lens when you can feign all sorts of indifferent cool and importance by simply texting your roommate that you're bored and maybe going to stop by Whole Foods from some Quicos on the way home?
With fashion week fast approaching, we put together a primer of the best poses to steal from the sidewalk step-and-repeat, in hopes that your next candid Instagram or vacation snaps be free of any awkwardness.
While some may argue that the advent of the smart phone has ruined any hope of real human connection in our modern age, what a genius prop it makes for when you don't know what to do with your hands while being photographed. All of that self-conscious fidgeting and alternating between grasping your hips and then lightly clasping your fingers in front of your body—no more!
Generally, the fashion crowd prefers to look forward rather than back, but this is an exception. A red-carpet mainstay, the over-the-shoulder glance continues to be a popular choice for its unassuming "who me?" attitude and the special attention it places on an ensemble that's got a lot going on in the rear view.
Gently tucking one's hair behind one's ear is the kind of gesture male authors use to characterize their heroines with a certain "there's just something about her" allure. That charm translates to a pic, giving the viewer the feeling that they're witnessing a super candid moment.
Another phone move. We find that this one only solves the problem of what to do with your hands, but also helps with getting a normal facial expression. Without fail, most people look the most uncomfortable in photos when someone is telling them to "just relax and act natural." In this case, ignoring the person taking the picture in favor of a VIP (Very Important Phone call ) certainly helps with that. And it gives you the option of serving some major profile while you're at it.
Take a page from the Beatles' playbook and recreate the band's infamous Abbey Road cover with a self-assured stride. The ensuing angles make for an interesting composition, and the movement lends a wind-machine effect to a flowy midi skirt or wide-leg pajama pants.
Fact: There is safety in numbers. Two people in a photo means you only have to put in half the work to make it look good. And if you truly like your costar, odds are you'll genuinely appear to be enjoying yourself, which, as noted above, always makes the shot better. To note: While the street style set has shown a predilection for literally locking arms a la Laverne and Shirley skipping down the block or Truman Capote escorting Gloria Vanderbilt to a society dinner, proceed with caution as typically only pros can pull this off without looking too precious.