How to look less awkward in photos with ‘staged candid’ poses

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How to look less awkward in photos with ‘staged candid’ poses

When it comes to having your picture taken do you ever find yourself standing awkwardly unsure of what to do? For those of us that are more comfortable on the viewfinder side of the camera, knowing how to position ourselves can be challenging.

The concept of ‘staged candid’ allows you to have more control over the composition and content of your photo by putting you in positions that are easier to relax in. By adding gentle movement and interaction with your environment you can add purpose to the position of your body and make it easier for you to act naturally. Trying to act natural or ignore a photographer when you are painfully aware of their presence is hard. Anyone who has had a wedding can relate to trying to cosy up to your significant other while attempting to ignore a photographer or two swarming around you. It might feel a little weird at the time but these ‘staged candid’ photos do capture real life emotions, even if they are between takes. Somewhere amongst those frames the end result feels authentic.

Capturing authentic imagery is something all content creators and Instagrammers strive for. How wonderful would it be to have beautifully composed candid photos of your everyday moments to share? Unfortunately without having your own personal documentary photographer to follow you around this is next to impossible. When it comes to taking photos of ourselves, most of us need to rely on a friend or family member, or even the trusty tripod, to get the shot.

I’ve given my ‘Instagram husband’ plenty of on-the-job training but even with his years of experience he’s not equipped to give me any direction on how to move or pose my body. This just means that if you want the job done right you’ll have to learn how to do it yourself.

So how do you take beautiful lifestyle images of yourself and get comfortable with being in front of the camera? Try some of these ‘staged candid’ poses and see if they help:

1. Just walk. Stroll with confidence toward or past the camera to catch some natural movement

Photo of the Creatively Squared team and a dog walking towards the camera
The Creatively Squared team stroll for the camera

2. Hold something in your hand. If you have a drink or other item to interact with it can make you feel less posed.

3. Do something. Put your sunglasses on, throw leaves or snow, swing your bag. Moving your body with intention is a great way to relax in front of the camera.

4. Relax your body by casually leaning against a wall. Prop up one leg or cross it in front and pop your knee.


5. Sitting down is a great way to engage with your surroundings and not feel like you are just standing there.

You could also try sitting on a railing or some steps

6. Try crossing one arm or if you aren't sure what to do with your hands, pop them into your pockets

7. Interact with your surroundings. If there is something in your environment you can use or engage with try and capture this action in your photo.

8. Just be a bit silly! Poke your tongue out, pull some faces and clown around.

Top tips: If you are using a camera shoot on burst mode or set your iPhone to live photos so you will have a bunch of different frames to choose from.

There you have it, 8 practical tips that will help make you feel more comfortable next time you are in front of the camera. Putting these suggestions into practise might take a few attempts to get right but having intention will ease some of the pressure of not knowing what to do while posing.

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