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So I’d like to preface all of this with a few things:

  1. I have no idea what I’m doing, I apologize in advance for the not being a professional news broadcaster type ... our “camera crew” is my reluctant girlfriend and our iPhone ... we’re basically making a home video ... oh and for possibly wearing the least flattering shirt EVER to do this ..

  2. This was totally done on the fly (OBVIOUSLY) but you know ... I went to my first “photo shoot” a term we’re using loosely here ... with an AMAZING photographer, but I wasn’t happy with MYSELF. Then I had some realizations: Professional photographers have this incredible artistic vision, they understand light, camera settings and all sorts of things normal people don’t. But they are also used to working with professional models - who weigh 90 pounds and don’t need to be angled ... who actually know how to pose and what to do.

  3. So after that first shoot ... I realized I was WAY out of my league. So I thought long and hard and I realized the perfect solution! I was going to find myself the BEST senior portrait photographer in my area ... I basically reasoned with myself that if this person could work with teenagers who had NEVER modeled before ... and make them look their best ... then there may be hope for me too!!!

  4. So I booked her ... and OMG ... we started and she basically took my feet and hands and positioned them just so - I was like a toddler ... and she told me to bend here or do this or that ... I just did as I was instructed ... and holy crap ... The pictures were exponentially better!!! I mean we’re still working with me here ... But comparatively speaking, from the first set, it was a significant difference and it was all little simple things ... I had remembered a few things ... but it was such a whirlwind and I wanted MORE!!!

  5. SOOOOO ... those tips were MAGICAL - and could benefit ALL of us. So I obviously booked her again ... and sort of sprung on her if she could go thru that list for ALL of us and she actually agreed ... which is pretty special ... I find most people are stingy with their secrets. She was generous ... and I admire that. So we whipped the camera out and I’m telling you ... her explanations and examples are amazing and worth listening to and watching ... I even found out she works with professional models and advises them ... so she’s beyond qualified!!! I’m so beyond excited to share what I learned and I know even if you take away one thing ... it’ll help you!!!


I think for special occasions, there is no doubt you should hire a professional photographer ... for a variety of reasons ... but these tips come in handy for when you’re: on vacation with your family, that girls trip or Christmas card photo ... you know?

Here goes:

  1. Stand at a 45° angle from the person taking the photos ...

  2. Bend your front knee and pop your hips AWAY from the camera ...

  3. Bend your elbows - so arms away from your body slightly ... think little triangles

  4. Shoulders back ... neck nice a tall ... good posture

  5. Face camera - but keep your chin down and OUT (the TURTLE!)

  6. SMILE!!! keep your eyes open and don’t squint and do think “fake bridesmaid laugh” so it looks natural and sparkly ... amazingly this works ...

Alright ... so ... to me that was AMAZING. Granted I’m a little older and I haven’t practiced selfie’s ... Nor have I watched YouTube tutorials ... but this was simple ... and explained in a way I could wrap my head around ... And let me tell you ... my vacation photos came out way better than normal immediately after this and so did my next photo shoot! Hope this helps you ... please be one of those generous people who don’t hoard all these great insider tips ... share them!!! I got messages from teenagers to people my mom’s age that were all about learning these secrets from a PRO ... so this is for EVERYONE!!!

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