How to Look the Best in a Group Photo (Because, Yes, We Are That Vain)
The short of it…
Want to look better in group photos? Here are the best posing tips in brief…
- The most flattering pose is to be on a slight angle, one foot in front of the other and with hands on hips.
- Beyoncé is the best at flattering poses—make her your guru.
- Get your photographer to shoot from lower down, it'll make you look taller.
- Be in the centre of a group shot to look the slimmest and most confident.
- Always aim to use a flash.
- Don't be offended to hear direction—sometimes a little tweak, and multiple takes, is needed for a great shot.
The long of it…
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 event season kicking into action any day now, we sought the advice of Shutterstock's red carpet photographer, David Fisher. He's captured everyone from Beyoncé to Sienna Miller and back again, and can see the common threads that weave through the most successful shots. Meaning you can not only bag the best wedding guest dress in the market (thanks to our edit) but you'll happily pose up a storm wearing it.
So before you fear a summer-long untagging session, 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 is 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."
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."
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 band mates 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."
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. Side light for someone with big facial features isn't good, and uplighting only works for Halloween!"
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.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing the kind of dress that benefits from being moved around in a photo—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.