Lately I’ve been getting into photography and the whole Instagram game; and as a result I have not been as present on this platform as I should. As I’m creating more content for my feed, I’ve gone through so many awkward and embarrassing moments that I feel like I could share a plethora of Instagram vs Reality shots for you guys. The feeling of awkwardness still creeps up on me during most shoots but I’ve figured out some go to poses that will give you an awesome shot with minimizing some of the awkward-taco-ness. I wanted to share some of my photography posing tips in hopes that some of you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera!

So if you’re feeling mighty awkward in those Instagram photos, here are some go to tricks that I use and I promise you’ll look oh so good with these posing tips. (These tips are also good for photographers working with non-professional models, these are some tips you can use in helping them feel at ease…Hopefully!)

Photography tips on how to be less awkward in front of the camera:


Back shot

Can’t find the good angles? Having trouble keeping a straight face? Face away from the camera! It’s less intimidating when you don’t need to stare down the barrel of a lens, so turn away from the camera and have the back of you be the focal point of the shot. Shots like these allow the viewers to place themselves in your shoes as there is no face to the subject. These shots work particularly well with dramatic and scenic backgrounds. This is a go to for a lot of landscape travel instagrammers!

Tip: Play with your hair, create shapes with your arms, and separate the legs to create more negative spaces and a thinner shape.

1. Little Colorado Gorge, Arizona; 2. DIY Bikini at Tunnels Beach, Kauai; 3. Ripley’s Aquarium with DIY off shoulder top, Toronto; 4. Suspension Bridges in the Cloud Forests of Monte Verde, Costa Rica.


Looking Away

My favourite go to pose! If I don’t feel comfortable looking directly at the camera, a quick glance to anywhere else away from the camera makes the image look candid and unsuspected. Look up, down, left, right…. Just anywhere but the camera and tilt your head in the direction you are looking in. If you happen to glance slightly off center of the camera, it will look odd so be intentional when doing the “look away”. It gives a ‘natural feel’ to the image and provides the viewer a quick peek into your life as if they were observing you in passing. These shots are great in urban settings and a good starting point for portrait photography.

1. DIY Teddy Coat; 2. Plant Wall; 3. Michael’s Challenge; 4. DIY Striped Dress



Create cool shapes and profile shots with this method! This is a great tactic for shoots during golden hour and sunset times. Due to the nature of silhouetted shots, it’s not as important to get eyes open and picture perfect facial angles. Silhouetted shoots provide an opportunity to have fun and allow the play of cool action shots. It’s okay if your face is in a grimace or an awkward half blink, no one will be able to tell in a silhouetted edit. 

Tip: Yoga poses by the water where you can play with the reflection and sun position is a fun way to start!

1. Sunset in Kauai; 2. Tunnel in Kelowna, BC; 3. Sunset photo-shoot at Alymer, Gatineau; 4. LuckyLuant and his handstand at Alymer, Gatineau.



Feeling a bit lazy? Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Always blinking? Sunglasses are your best friend. They help conceal the bags and badly timed closed eyes while giving you some effortless cool vibes. Reflective glasses are great to really eliminate any possibility of seeing through the lenses but be careful of picking up unwanted things in those reflections.

1. Golden hour at the Grand Canyon; 2. Mosaic Gardens (2017); 3. Costa Rica selfie; 4. DIY Shirred Bardot Top



Take a different approach and eliminate the face, maybe focus on more detailed shots of hands or feet. Allow yourself to play with props to get a more natural pose for shots. Without needing to focus on posing the perfect facial expression, you can concentrate on the perfect placement of the body. Great reference material are a lot of hypebeast sneaker shots. 

Tip: Make sure to NOT cut limbs off at the joints. Instead crop away from joints to avoid the hand-less/limb-less voids.

1. DIY Pearl Sandals; 2. Fairy Lights Photo-shoot (used here); 3. Tumblr inspired photo-shoot; 4, Sunset capture at Britannia, Ottawa.


Bonus photography tips!
Shoot in quiet locations:

Find places and times where the location of the photo shoot is less crowded or even empty. Less judgment and the constant worry of others should help with you feeling at ease in front or behind the camera. This will allow for you to pose longer and work along with your photographer without feeling as self conscious. Early mornings and late evenings will usually prove to be quiet in most places.

Shoot with friends:

One of my first group photo-shoot experiences was actually doing the Michael’s Challenge! Photo challenges are a lot of fun to do in groups and to challenge your creativity. The whole night was filled with laughter and some awesome photography moments.

If everyone’s a goofball, it’s hard to be as self conscious when you’re too busy laughing. Find a group of buddies that can make the whole photo-shoot experience more fun. Always remember, no one out in public will remember you the next day, so try not to be self conscious when shooting out in public spaces. Friends are great at encouraging you and can help with the creativity process. 


I hope some of these tips will help in making your next photography session a bit less daunting. Let that creativity flow and at the end of the day, it’s always worth it for the shot 🙂

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