How to Pose for Vacation Photos: Simple Photoshoot Poses for Men & Women

We get it, not all of our clients are natural-born models! If you’re nervous about how to pose for your upcoming vacation photo session, don’t be. We have some simple photoshoot poses that anyone can pull off.

The best advice for how to pose for vacation photos is to just act naturally, have fun with it, and let your personal photographer guide you. Your photographer will have a lot of poses to suggest during the photoshoot as the inspiration starts flowing. However, we highly encourage you to get your own inspiration and have some key poses you want to try during your photoshoot.

Below we have listed some fun tips & ideas that will really help you shine during your vacation photoshoot.

Professional Vacation Photoshoot Poses

When discussing the details for your vacation photo session such as the meeting spot, the best photo spots, and the start time, you should also talk about the style you are looking for. Here are your three options:

  1. Directed: This is the best option for people who are looking to get lots of help & direction from the photographer.
  2. No Direction: This is for people who are very comfortable in front of the camera and that are looking for a natural photojournalistic approach
  3. Balanced Mix: This is the most common style. It includes some candid photojournalistic shots and some direction along the way to help with ideas & simple photoshoot poses for your photoshoot.

Easy Tricks to Make Your Poses Look Natural

Posing can feel awkward, and that’s normal! If you don’t get in front of the camera often It’s important to remember that it’s ok to feel silly or awkward during a photoshoot. In photography a pose feels awkward it doesn’t mean it looks awkward, actually, a lot of the awkward feeling poses turn out to be the best shots. 

If you go into the photoshoot with an open mind and a mission to have fun you will be amazed by the outcome. Your vacation photographer will help guide you through your travel photoshoot by directing you and suggesting poses that match your style as well as the photoshoot location. That being said there are some simple Dos and Donts that can help you pose with more confidence. The following tips are great to know before starting the photo session:

What To Do With Your Hands 

One of the most common posing issues is where should I put my hands!? As soon as people are put in front of a camera, it’s as though they’ve never realized they had hands before. When you are posing solo, hands become these unnatural appendages and it’s hard to know where to place them! The key here is to keep your hands loose– don’t ball them up and avoid showing the back of your hands. You want to make sure your hands are placed naturally but with intention. Don’t just leave your hands hanging flat against your side, try: 

  • Placing them on your hip
  • Crossing your arms
  • Holding your hands in front of your body
  • Holding the opposite elbow and letting the other hand hang
  • Playing with your hair
  • Blocking the sunlight from your face
  • Putting your hands up in the air 
  • Leaning onto a table/surface and use one of your hands to hold your face 
  • Hold a prop like a hat, flowers, cut of coffee, purse, sunglasses, etc 

If you are feeling nervous about hand placement, it always helps to practice in the mirror! Find some inspiration from our Instagram page or other sources and practice some hand placements before your shoot so that you feel extra comfortable in front of the camera. Lastly, make sure your hands are moisturized and your nails are clean so that they look great on camera. 

Add Movement to Your Poses

Another great tip for your family vacation photos, couple photos, or solo photos is to add some movement. Step, skip, twirl, jump– have fun and move around! This will make the photos look fun and natural. It will always spark some genuine laughter which looks amazing on camera. Adding natural movement to your family poses, couple poses, or solo poses is a perfect way to loosen up in front of the camera and create unique moments for the photographer to capture. Here are a few movement ideas:

  • Walk towards the camera, smiling and looking to one side. 
  • Twirl in place and laugh. For a couple pose, dance, and twirl each other while smiling and looking at each other. 
  • Take a big step forward and swing your arms naturally to create a mid-motion pose. 
  • Walk away from the photographer and look back. This works great for solos poses or couple poses. 

One of our favorite poses with kids is making the kids race towards the camera. 

Ignore the Camera

We know, easier said than done! But the best way to capture the best and most genuine moments on your family vacation is to ignore the camera. It’s great to have a few photos of yourself or your family looking at the camera for a nice new Christmas card, headshot, or profile photo. However, if you want a more natural genuine feel to some of your photos, make sure to try some poses looking into the distance or if you are with your partner or family, try looking at each and smiling.

Bring Photoshoot props 

Props are a great way to make your photos unique, add variety to your photoshoot, and make posing more interactive. For family poses with kids you can get creative and pick up all kinds of products at your local craft store or online. Whether it’s a poster board, balloons, or colorful felt, anything that will get your kids excited and engaged! For solo poses, we also recommend bringing simple props like hats, sunglasses, bags, coffee mug, umbrella, flowers, a book, a blanket to sit on, etc. For couple poses, props are less necessary because you have each other to pose with which will already bring some engagement to the photos. However, it’s also nice to have props you can both use like a picnic set, flowers, fairy lights, or sentimental trinkets. When it comes to props, the more options the better, so don’t hesitate to bring lots of props to your photoshoot, your photographer will love it! 

Use Furniture

Say you’ve just booked a fun beach photoshoot. What better way to make your photos pop than to bring a cool chair to the beach or even a funky textured blanket!? Bring something that might be a bit unexpected for the area you’re shooting in – it’ll definitely add interest to your photos and surely help you to create memories of a lifetime.

Get Crafty

So, you’ve just booked a family vacation photoshoot – that’s great! But, how to pose for vacation photos to make it fun and unique? Simply gather your family together and get crafting! You can pick up all kinds of products at your local craft store or online. Whether it’s a poster board, balloons, or colorful felt, you can do anything! It’s easy and affordable to make handmade photo booth props to fit any occasion. Props don’t have to be expensive or extravagant!

Leave It to Etsy

Perhaps you’re not into arts and crafts or you don’t have a particular trinket you’d like to bring to your shoot– not to worry, that’s what the internet is for! Etsy is a great online marketplace with tons of photography props for your photoshoot poses. From twig boats and canopies to lemonade stands and huge frames, the options are truly endless. If you can dream it, chances are you can find it anywhere online!

The folks here at Local Lens want you to have tons of fun during your next photoshoot! We love when clients bring fun props– it makes each experience that much more unique and memorable. Book your next session with us today!

Sentimental Trinkets

This is especially a great idea for wedding or engagement photoshoots. From love letters to military dog tags and everything in between, bring an item or two to the shoot that’s particularly meaningful. Perhaps it’s a piece of jewelry you’d like to wear and have the photographer highlight, or maybe a cool pair of shoes – the choice is up to you and your loved ones!

Posing with Large Groups

When posing with a large group you want to make sure you get shots of the whole group as well as smaller groups for variety. When arranging a large group for a photo, the best thing to do is to keep it simple and symmetrical otherwise the photos will tend to look too busy. A simple group pose is to arrange the group in a line facing the photographer in an order based on height with  the shorter individuals in the center and the taller ones on each extremity of the group. In a small to medium group photo, it’s nice to pose looking at the photographer as well as looking at each other smiling and maybe even laughing! Looking at each other will tricker some genuine smiles and will make the photos look more intimate and natural. Another more interactive group pose is holding hands and walking towards or away from the camera or doing the classic group jumping photo! If there are kids in the photos make sure they are in front of the adults or being held up. A final tip when posing with a large group is to not get distracted, the photographer will take a lot of shots of the same pose to make sure he/she is able to capture a shot where all members look good. Because this can be a little underwhelming sometimes members of the group will start to get distracted, look in the other direction, or talk to each other which makes it harder for the photographer. 

Posing Inspo

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