5 Posing Tips for Holiday Photos | You’re Gonna Look Fabulous!

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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woman dressed in jcrew super soft brown hoodie and jcrew brown cotton cashmere joggers and jcrew track sneakers taking a selfie

Happy Weekend! Every time I meet an Empty Nest Follower in person and ask to take a photo, they kind of panic and say something like, “You’re the expert here!” While I’m not sure that is true, I definitely understand feeling that way!

Taking good photos is not as easy as it looks! In fact, when I started doing photo shoots for Empty Nest Blessed, I was so intimidated that I read a bunch of articles about posing, studied other bloggers, and even practiced in front of the mirror.

Today I’m sharing some of my best posing tips for holiday photos! I hope they help you feel confident in front of the camera this season. (Because we know, there will be lots of pictures! 📸)

As always, click any pink text link or image for more information. Note that everything fits TTS unless indicated.

Posing Tips for Holiday Photos

First of all, let me tell you that the number one mistake people make with photos, in general, is poor lighting! Most importantly, remember that outdoor lighting will be better than indoor lighting every time. When we’re taking pictures, Bob always says, “God makes the best light!” Morning or evening light is the most flattering. But, when the sun is directly overhead, it can get tricky, so avoid that time of day.

That said, good lighting on your face is imperative! I see this issue come up a lot at football games. Understandably, people want to pose so that the field is the background. Unfortunately, because of the bowl-shaped design of most football stadiums, the lighting is concentrated on the field. If you aren’t down low enough in the “bowl,” you’ll end up with a photo that has dark faces but a beautifully lit field in the background! For the best lighting, you’ll either need to move down toward the field for your picture or take it with the field in front of you.

Today, I’m mainly focused on sharing posing tips for holiday photos, however, so we’re going to assume you’ve got the lighting thing covered! 💡

Read on for my five best posing tips for holiday photos. I recommend practicing these in front of the mirror to get comfortable before those seasonal pics. 📸😁

Posing Tip #1: Turn Slightly Sideways

woman over 50 posing on her front porch wearing spanx camo joggers and jambu Haven mules with a black sweater

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No one looks their best facing directly frontwards in a photo! Instead, stand at a slimming ¾ angle to the camera. Stand up straight, tighten your core, pull in your stomach, and put your shoulders down and back.

Posing Tip #2: Don’t be too “Friendly!”

family posing in front of the fireplace at christmas

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Never, never put an arm around the people on BOTH sides of you. (This rule applies to men and women.) It is simply not flattering. Instead, try to put one hand in your pocket or just place it softly at your side. See what I did in the photo above? I put one hand on her arm. It adds a lot of interest to the photo.

If you are going to put one arm around someone in a photo, be sure to use the arm on the same side as your weight-bearing leg. See the next tip for more on this!

Posing Tip #3: Choose the Best Spot

If you’re in a group photo, the optimum place to be is on one of the ends of the line of people! It means you won’t blend in with everyone else! After all, you don’t want to get stuck in the middle with the peer pressure to do the arm-around-people-on-both-sides thing we just talked about in tip #2.

If you’re embarrassed about how your body looks, go back and review Posing Tip #1! Don’t try to “hide” behind other people; it looks obvious and may actually draw more attention to you. You are who you are, and you’re precious. Be confident and own it!

Posing Tip #4: Create Angles With Your Body

woman over 50 posing on a staircase wearing a denim jumpsuit

J.Crew Denim Jumpsuit | Amazon Gray Faux Suede Booties With Side Knot (Fit TTS and come in lots of colors.) | Amazon Gold-Toned Initial Pendant Earrings

Put all of your weight on one leg and stick your hip out a little. Then extend the other leg out in front slightly. Bend it at the knee a tiny bit and point that knee toward the weight-bearing leg. Alternatively, you can cross one leg over the other. (Basically, the idea here is to morph two legs into one for a slimming effect.)

Hands are hard in photos! (They’re still my biggest posing challenge!) Unless you’re specifically posing to show your outfit, you probably shouldn’t do the celebrity-inspired one-hand-on-your-hip look. It’s really run its course in casual photos! That said, the concept is good!

If you want to put a hand on your hip, the newer way is to flip your hand over so your thumb is facing forward and your fingers are at the back, as I’m doing in the photo above. Alternatively, you can stick one hand in a pocket or put your hand softly down by your side with a slight bend in your elbow.

Posing Tip #5: Smile

woman smiling at the camera

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Don’t’ forget to smile! To tighten your jawline, press your tongue up into the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. For the most natural smile, wait to smile until just before the photo is taken. Show your teeth, and aim for a genuine smile that doesn’t show too much of your gum-line. To get the perfect smile, try saying “money” instead of “cheese.” The strong “e” sound makes the corners of your mouth go up instead of just out to the side.

Please, please, please, whatever you do, don’t do one of those creepy closed-mouth smiles! If you’re embarrassed about the color of your teeth and you need to whiten them before the holidays, I recommend Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips. They’re enamel-safe, non-toxic, and won’t cause sensitivity. I use them before every big event!

Speaking of events…and now that you know how to pose! Come and take a photo with me! ⬇⬇⬇

SPECIAL EVENT ALERT! Dallas Date Night With Suzy & Bob!

Thursday, December 9, from 4-8 p.m., Bob and I are hosting a fun & festive Holiday Date Night event at the J.Crew Store in Northpark Center! They just merged their J.Crew Men’s Store into the existing J.Crew & Crewcuts store, and now everything is in one convenient location.

So grab your hubs or your gal pals, come see us, and make a night out of it! There are tons of fantastic dining options at Northpark, the holiday decorations are incredible, and J.Crew has lots of fantastic gift ideas for women, men, kids, as well as the home! We’ll be sharing our personal picks, offering styling suggestions if you’re shopping for clothing, and of course, Bob is always down to talk all things sports or fishing with your husband! We can’t wait to meet you!

Suzy Mighell

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