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When I first started my travel influencer journey my photos were painfully awkward to say the least. I’d see all of these photographs of travelers looking so effortlessly natural, and yet the second I was in front of the camera I would completely freeze up. My body would stiffen, my smile unnatural, not cute. I had yet to nail the best poses for pictures.
Luckily, over the years I have had quite a bit of practice. After countless photoshoots for my Instagram account (@tavernatravels) and for the many brands that I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve nailed some simple and easy tricks for the best picture poses.
This article will cover all of the cute and best poses for pictures that will make you feel more confident and beautiful next time you’re trying to get your perfect shot.
Cute poses for travel photos
Before we dive into this list I do want to call out that posing might always feel awkward to you, and that is totally fine. I have never been able to shake the awkwardness, and sometimes I feel a bit stupid in the moment while twirling and spinning. But I promise these simple cute poses for pictures will give your photos the effortless touch that you’re looking for. Even if it requires a bit of practice.
1. Turn away from the camera
We’re going to start this list out with the easiest pose for cute travel pictures: the “turn away from the camera” pose. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably not wearing a full face of makeup when traveling. And when you finally get to that epic mountain view point after a few hours of hiking, your face might be a bit red and sweaty.
This pose is one of my favorites because it allows you to face away from the camera so that the backdrop can be the focus of the picture.
Tip: Since you’ll be facing away from the camera, I recommend finding ways to take up a bit more space. This might mean raising your arms, or using a prop like a hat.
2. Fix your hair
If you spend just 5 minutes scrolling through my Instagram or blog, you’ll find hundreds of photos of me in the “fix your hair” pose. This is probably one of my favorite poses because it feels like an effortlessly cool pose for pictures. Rather than feeling overly posed, by fixing your hair you’ll be able not only adding a more dynamic pose to your body, but also adding some movement.
Tip: To get the desired effect, I will hold my hand up to my head, and then slowly whip my head back and forth to add movement to the hair. Make sure that your eyes are always facing the same direction as you head!
3. Twirl and spin
This is one of those picture poses that always makes me feel the most awkward in public, especially if I’m taking my own photos, but it is also easily one of my favorite fun poses for pictures. Similar to the fixing your hair pose, the twirl and spin pose is a good pose for pictures because it helps you to add natural movement into your shots. Not only will this help your photos to feel more dynamic, but it will also help you to avoid looking overly stiff.
Tip: While not a requirement, I find this pose works the best with a dress. The flowing of a dress adds such a fun element to photos. It also gives your hands something to hold onto to avoid the dreaded awkward arm poses. If you’re not wearing a dress, another option is to add a prop like a hat, which I’ll go into more detail on down below.
4. Walk towards the camera
The fake walk. You love to see it!
If you’re looking for good picture poses for your travel photos, the fake walk is it. If you’re just starting out in your picture taking journey, you may find that actually walking towards the camera, with your head angled slightly down, is the easiest.
As you feel more comfortable over time, rather than always walking, which requires the photographer to sometimes move with you, you can try the fake walk. Simply rock back and forth on your feet to make it look as if you are walking. This bit of movement will still add some of the desired wind to your clothes and hair.
Tip: It is super important that you keep your arms loose. You want to avoid gluing them to your sides, which will appear stiff and awkward.
5. Use a prop
Adding props is easily one of the easiest ways to snag a great travel photo. They make your photos way more dynamic, and give you something to do with your hands. Hands down my favorite prop is a hat. Whether it is a straw hat in the summer months, or a felt hat in the fall, a hat is so versatile. You can hold it on your head, wave it around in the air, or even hold it in front of your body.
Other good photo props or accessories include:
- A maxi dress for twirling and swishing
- Flowers for a pop of color
- Seasonal accessories (gift box, pumpkin, etc)
- Relevant food items (a croissant in Paris, a hot dog in NYC)
6. Look down and away from the camera
I am the queen of awkward faces. Well, honestly I’m just an awkward person in general. So it makes sense that I’ve nailed the “look down and away from the camera” pose. This one is really just as simple as it sounds. It works best, however, if you combine it with walking towards the camera.
Tip: Make sure to not look straight down, as that will put your neck in an awkward position. Instead, look at a spot on the ground about 5-10 feet in front of you.
7. Sitting naturally pose
Sitting is a great way to pose for your travel photos, but it can go horribly wrong as well. This biggest mistake when trying cute sitting poses is slouching. This pose works best if you sit up straight and arch your back just slightly. I find this is easiest to accomplish when you fully bend one of your legs (I usually do my leg that is closest to the camera), slightly bend your other leg, and prop your elbow up on your leg.
Tip: Make sure if you’re propping your hand up on your leg that you don’t make a fist. This will add too much tension to your body and make it look stiff. Instead, pretend that you are holding an egg in your hand!
Other photography tips for cute poses
- Make sure to shoot with natural light and avoid shooting directly into the sunlight. Instead, it is better it you look into the sun, and utilize the look away poses if necessary.
- Practice, practice, practice. It will only get easier over time.
- Take photos early in the morning to avoid crowds. I am a sunrise queen when I am traveling and it is always worth it.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh, smile, and twirl for the best results!
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