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How to Pose Clients for Authentic Photos

When it comes to posing, whether you are a model or a photographer you know that there is much more to posing than just simply the pose itself.

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It is often that I will look back at my own photoshoots and wish I had gotten a better angle. Over the years I have learned the angles that work and don't work. I have learned to get creative and to also make sure I get the basic poses.

SO, I want to share with you what I have learned through my journey of posing people over the past years I've doing professional photography.

First, angles.

Angles aren't usually included when it comes to posing. The angle at which the camera is held can actually make a difference. For me, I personally use my live camera button to get the exact angle I want.

I am actually more often than not using my live camera mode, the one exception is while using flash.

For a while when I had started using this technique I had a lot of photographers give me eye rolls and just weird remarks. But soon I started noticing a lot of photographers I knew doing the same.

Shooting on live mode actually allows you to see the whole image as it will be without having your eye be super close. I am also able to look at it with both eyes.

The reason I bring up live mode is because not only does it allow for you to see better but it allows you to get completely different angles. You can hold you camera above your head while also still seeing what is being captured.

When it comes to the composition of your shot, shooting in live mode offers more variety.

So now that I gave you my insider tip to posing, the best thing to remember when posing people is you are trying to make them look the best they can. This can be done in a couple different ways.


First you must take into account what your model/client looks like. This will factor into the poses you can do and what you can do to make them as comfortable as possible.

I often start my couples with prompts to get them into the right mindset of being authentic. This leads them to doing things throughout the shoot that pulls out their personalities.

When I started photography I complied a list of prompts that I wanted to use for my couples and families. I did this by researching a bunch of different prompts and poses. I have compiled a list of 50+ poses I use and you can check it out here.

But not only did I do research I worked with other photographers and learned some of their prompts from them.

The number one thing I can say about poses is have some poses but also have lots of prompts.

You always want to remember to get those smiling ones right at the camera, but I think one of the most important parts of photography is capturing moments in time and that is done best with authenticity.

Right along with prompts... Make them comfortable

Too often I feel that people are worried about being perfect but that makes uncomfortable looking pictures. So try your hardest to get the uncomfortable laughs out at the beginning of the shoot and they will start being more authentic.

One of the biggest things I try to do is make small jokes here and there even if they are awkward, because if I'm the most awkward one there then they won't feel awkward.

This gets them comfortable, and comfortable is best.


So what about confidence, because couples who aren't confident won't be themselves in photos.

Right along with giving prompts and making your couple feel comfortable comes confidence. If your clients don't feel like they look good rarely will they like the photos.

I have had a couple clients in the past that there is barely anything I can do to make them confident.

But when you take the time to really make them feel like you are making them look their best, such as moving hair or taking a couple different angles, they will usually like their album a little better.

Sometimes though simply showing them a couple photos can instill a little more confidence in them. I will usually show them a couple unedited photos on my camera. I'm a photographer that doesn't have a problem showing them the unedited. If this isn't you then just skip over this step.

Authenticity comes from the couple, but you can bring it out of them by simply being you. When you are comfortable they will feel comfortable.

This took me a while to get down, because as a photographer you are constantly judged for your art and a lot of times people don't even believe you that you are a real professional.

But I decided I always wanted to come home from shoots feeling that I did my absolute best, and that's what I started doing. Leave it all out in the photoshoot.

Bring a second shooter

Sometimes it's super hard to feel comfortable, so if you have a couple that you know is particularly rough when it comes to being comfortable, I would suggest bringing along a second shooter.

I have for sure done this, (it doesn't mean that every time I had a second shooter my couples weren't comfortable haha to any of my couples reading this) because it makes it so there is someone else there to help you break any awkward silences and come up with fun prompts.

You can bring second shooters to anything, not just wedding days. Lots of times I would bring girls along that were just starting photography. This worked as a symbiotic friendship where I would help them with some photography tips and they would be there to help me break the ice.


When it comes to getting authentic photos you need to break through that uncomfortable ice. Some ice is thicker than others, but I'm telling you those laughing photos and raw moments are so worth it.

If there is anything else you do to get people to be more comfortable in front of the camera feel free to share below in the comments!


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