The Awkward Guy’s Guide to Posing

For Couples, Portraits

Ah, the dreaded photoshoot. Whether it’s your partner who really wants couple’s photos to post on social media, you’re the best man or another part of a wedding party, or you’re being roped into showing up for a family photo session, there’s a chance you aren’t nearly as stoked about these photos as your sister-in-law. If the reason you’re averse to photoshoots is because you’re never sure what to do with your hands, this sixty-second read is for you!
Keeping in mind your hands might play a tiny small role, or not appear at all in these photos depending on how close in or how far back the shot is, here are 5 places that you can safely put your mitts without looking like a Neanderthal. 

  1. It’s alright to have your hands in your pockets. Please refrain from tucking your thumbs into your pockets with the rest of your hand. Either standing or leaning, posing with hands in pockets is a great way to pull off a cool, casual sort of look, but I repeat, THUMBS STAY OUT OF POCKETS. Thanks.
  2. Your hands should be on your partner. Around their shoulder, around their hip, holding their chin, fixing their hair, in their hands. The name of the game when posing with a partner is minimizing the amount of space between the two of you, and so the more the two of you are touching, the easier this will be! Plus, when you’re busy interacting with your partner, you’ll forget your hands entirely.
  3. Appear to adjust your clothing. You can “fix” the cuff of your sleeve, the clasp of your watch, or roll your sleeve up. You can adjust the collar of your shirt, your boutonniere, or your tie. Heck, if you’re sitting, you can even tie your shoe while you look off into the distance (or wherever your photographer instructs you to gaze). This is another great way to appear more relaxed in photos.
  4. Props make things easy too. Hold her jacket out for her, lay out the blanket, clink drinks, build a snowman, catch a kid, and so on. (Just kidding – kids aren’t great props.) But if you can give your hands something useful to do, you’ll appear natural and effortless in your photos.  
  5. You should put your hands wherever your photographer tells you to put your hands. If you’re working with someone experienced, your professional will provide you with plenty of prompts to take the guess work out of this for you so you’ve got nothing to fear! Your hands are no longer your problem!

In summary, in case I’ve lost you in the last sixty seconds, hands belong in pockets (thumbs showing!), on your partner, adjusting your clothing, performing a task, or wherever you’re directed! 
And remember, photos are never as awkward as you imagine they will be, and no matter how you look in the finished product, your partner/friends/loved ones truly appreciate you putting your awkwardness aside and making an effort to show up for these things. (This blog post is dedicated to my brothers, with love.)