How to pose for that winning #OOTD photo

Whether you’re aiming for the perfect profile pic, trying to improve your 'gram grid, starting out in fashion blogging or working on a portfolio, mastering the art of striking a pose is a must. Even with perfect lighting and gorgeous clothes, not knowing what to do when you're in front of the camera can make it difficult to capture how good you look in real life (naks!). Try out these pose suggestions to help you get that winning shot!

Get your arms in position. Your arms shouldn't look like dead weight. Get rid of awkward arms and hands by running your fingers through your hair, touching your ear, holding your sunnies, or playing with your phone. This pose is particularly helpful if you have hand accessories like rings and bracelets that you’d like to show off!

Bashfully look away from the camera. Got a zit or a blemish that you want to hide? Do you have a weird angle that only you know about? This pose allows you to only show off a part of your face, so the focus on it is diffused. I also love how the somewhat flirty look gives a dainty vibe!

Move your body and your clothes. Movement looks great in photos, especially if you're in loose, drapey fabrics. You can walk towards the camera, or even twirl around ala Katniss Everdeen if you’re wearing a skirt. This gives viewers a better idea what the outfit looks like and how it wraps around your body. You may need to move around a couple of times before you can get the best shot, though, so you can get just the right amount of blur or have your clothes be arranged just so. 

Lean on a wall. A wall with an interesting design, texture, or angle makes for a great background. This technique can even slim you down. For example, if you have stout arms or a wide face, leaning one side of your body on a wall can create the illusion of length and lessens the wide appearance.

Last but not the least, make sure the camera is set at the right angle. None of these tips will work if the viewpoint is much too low or too high. I've found that photos are best shot from the waist or hip level, as it keeps your body from looking disproportionate. For example, photos taken from a height are usually unflattering for a tiny girl like me, because they have the tendency to make me look even smaller.

Originally, I wrote these tips to help you nail your next OOTD but having to do the poses myself for the accompanying photos reminded me of how difficult posing really is! I realized the most important consideration: your body. I’m really petite, with a height of 4’11”. I’m neither slim nor curvy, and my struggle with a fluctuating body weight makes it difficult to find clothes that fit me perfectly. So I compensate by having my body language show my personality!

Doing these poses will not guarantee that your photos will always come out post-ready. Admittedly, I strictly curate my Instagram feed because I still get photos that are awkward, unflattering or both. At our photo shoot, I learned that tight spaces are not my thing, and that I like photos where I’m at least 5-10 meters away from the camera because it seems more artsy. 

The best thing you can do is to just go out and practice. Take lots of photos! Try all kinds of poses!  Finding your most flattering angle and pose is a trial and error process, but it's a whole lot of fun. Even if the pictures don't come out okay, they'll make for good memories. In the end, that's the whole point of the exercise, isn't it? ^_^