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We all know the feeling – all of those travel photo poses you struck on your trip felt weird forced and awkward. It felt like the entire world was staring you down. Or even worse, you didn’t strike a pose at all, and now your only photo by the Eiffel Tower is you painfully grimacing in front of a hoard of tourists who just got off a bus.
While I get it, finding that perfect pose for your travel photos seems contrived and fake, having a few go-to poses can really take all the stress out of making your photos appear normal. Even when in reality you might be having a minor panic attack about the people waiting for you to take the damn photo and get out of their way.
Don’t stress sis – these 7 poses might make you feel a little awkward at first, but once you learn them and memorize them, every photo is going to start being much easier because you’ll be able and get in there and nail it on the first try. Here are my 7 go-to travel photo poses, tried and true, that are simple, easy to remember, and always stinkin’ cute.
I started with this one since it is the most complex, as it requires you to be wearing a particular sort of clothing! But here is a little hint. This travel photo pose doesn’t have to be carried out with a skirt. In fact, you could use a sarong, a kimono, a cardigan, or even a funky blouse. Basically, this pose will work with anything that has movement to it.
When you take a photo you want it to tell a story, you want it to have LIFE! The simple swish of a skirt or billowing of a blouse adds breath to a photo and helps tell the story about your adventure on that day!
Again- the key bit here is movement! We want to tell a story with the photo- are you going somewhere? Have you been somewhere? Photos where you are walking are always a win because again it shows movement and direction, something which the photo would lack if you just stood there.
A trick I use when taking a “walking” photo is to not actually walk. Instead, I put my best foot forward (get it – hahaha) and rock back and forth on the balls of my feet for a few minutes. I know it seems awkward as all get out, but it usually ends up being more efficient and a better photo than actually walking back and forth. I usually combine this trick with one of the other travel photos poses tips, like touching my face or hat, or looking slightly upward or into the distance!
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Again, another travel photo poses that feels a bit contrived, but really adds a little bit of zest. It adds a hint of playfulness, coyness, or sweetness to the photo, and also helps frame it. I typically strike this pose when it is more of a chest and headshot than a full body, as I really like using the arms and hands to frame. A nice creamy low f-stop with a lush background and this is a different travel photo than most!
This is one of my favorite tricks and poses for photos where I am sitting down. Similar to touching your face, this little pose adds a bit of coyness and gives you something to do with your hands and arms.
One thing I like to do while I am sitting on the ground is to bring one leg up and cross it under the other that is sticking out, then I either lean forward and cross my wrists, or lean back and grab onto my knee with one hand and leave the other hanging over my arm. I know that sounds complicated, but imagine leaning back at a joke while you were sat around the fire – that’s the sort of pose you are going for here.
I also really like this crossing of joints for any restaurant photos with a view – it gives you something to do with yourself and helps the photo just not be “Oh, here I am sitting in a restaurant being a weirdo having their photo taken”.
This I think is my favorite travel photo poses hack. This is one of my favorite ways to get around lighting that isn’t playing in your favor. Instead of having the light blast you from the side on and your photo just be mediocre, slightly turn your body toward the sun, and then turn your face towards it.
Close your eyes, put your hands out, and feel the energy. This is my favorite travel photo pose because it makes me feel grounded, at peace and I truly enjoy it. Its what traveling is all about to me, feeling that sun from a new country as it touches your skin. I think it shines through in photos magically, and it looks the most authentic.
I know it seems silly, but one of my top-performing posts on Instagram of all time is a jumping photo. Why? It’s funny, alive, and relatable.
People want to see people just doing their thing. And if taking a “Wingardium Leviosa” photo at the Glenfinnan Viaduct is your thing (it is mine apparently) then by god, do it!
I’ve taken other photos jumping and I actually really like them all? It sounds ridiculous but there’s just something about them that I find really interesting. And maybe it’s not your thing, and that’s fine – but if you’re ever at a loss for a photo – get silly and get in the air. You might be surprised what the future photo holds!
A classic, a staple, like that little black dress. Break it out whenever the scenery is too epic to do anything else. You’ll never go wrong with this oldie, but goodie.
One of my favorite tips to give people when it comes to taking any sort of photo is – ADD A PROP! Even just holding your notebook, camera, or purse! It can be as simple as picking up a walking stick or throwing some leaves up into the air. Take your jacket off and hold it in your hand or grab your scarf up and snuggle it. At the beach grab a slice of watermelon or your drink. Literally, the ideas for adding a prop in are endless. Something in your hand again ADDS to the story and therefore adds to your photo.
This is a higher level of photography, but a really simple one to apply. Have the photographer hold something near the camera as they are taking the photo, or arrange themselves so there is something in the foreground of the photo. This can be flowers, a scarf, leaves, ferns, lights, anything really. Things that are translucent work really well too. The goal here is to give depth to your travel photos and to frame them!
I personally like to use plants to do this, but the options for finding framing and foreground items are endless!