How to Pose and Look Your Best in Every Photo

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(Image credit: Rex)

Wondering how to pose and get a perfect picture every time? Well, it makes sense to look to the A-list—they practically do it for a living.

With wedding season just around the corner, we sought the advice of Shutterstock's red carpet photographer, David Fisher. He's captured everyone from Beyoncé to Sienna Miller and can see the common threads that weave through the most successful shots. Meaning not only can you bag the best wedding guest dress on the market, but can also happily pose up a storm wearing it.

So before you fear a spring of untagging, just up your photo game a little and learn how to pose. Keep reading to get the full lowdown from a red carpet pro.

What's (Generally) the Most Flattering Pose?

"The standard pose that female celebrities tend to use is one where they stand at a slight angle, one foot in front of the other and with one or both hands on their hips. This shape usually works well for the photographer," explains David. "The most important thing is standing up straight with your chin up and looking straight down the lens. I also look for the more natural walking shots that would show off the movement of the outfit being worn."

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(Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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Which Celebrity Has the Best Posing Skills, and Why?

"Beyoncé and Tom Cruise. Beyoncé always looks amazing whenever you see her on the red carpet, and Tom always ensures that he looks at every single lens before moving, wanting everyone to get the shot … Both exude confidence and have grown up in front of a camera, so it's very natural to them."

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(Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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Take a tip from Beyoncé—always pull your shoulders back and stand up straight.

Related: What to Wear to a Wedding: 9 Outfit Ideas That Never Fail to Look Good

Are There Any Clever Tricks for Looking Taller or Slimmer in Photos?

"The angle that the photograph is taken from is definitely a factor. I like to shoot people at eye level but by getting lower and looking up at the subject gives the impression of them being taller," says David.

"I once heard a story that a certain singer wanted to look taller and slimmer than the rest of her bandmates in their shots. The photographer selected the shots where she was slightly front of the rest of the band and that did the trick." So the memo on group shots is definitely to be "in the middle, being the centre of attention. I've seen people standing on the end of a group shot asking more people to join in and stand next to them to make them more central."

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(Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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Shooting from a lower angle made Bella Hadid's long legs look even longer in this daring dress at Cannes last year.

What Kind of Lighting is Most Flattering?

"I mostly use a flash mounted on the camera even in daylight. It's a lot more flattering as it gets rid of the shadows that can show lines on a closeup. Sidelight for someone with big facial features isn't good, and uplighting only works for Halloween!"

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Sienna Miller's delicate features can handle this side light. If you aren't sure, opt for a camera with a fairly bright and even flash.

What is the Most Common Mistake People Make When Having Their Picture Taken?

"People not taking direction. People see themselves differently from how everybody else sees them, so sometimes you have to be patient. You can often take 20 or 30 frames before someone starts to 'loosen up,'" explains David. So don't be afraid to keep on going to get that shot—you aren't alone.

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Here, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wore the kind of dress that benefits from being moved around in a photo. Always try to use your clothes as a prop for taking alternatives shots.

And now for the part that we know inside out—the clothes that are always photogenic. Shop some of the most flattering pieces in the gallery below.

Related: I'm in My 30s, and This Is How I Shop Topshop

Next, see our guide to the best shoes to wear with skinny jeans.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.