CANDID POSING GUIDE for women who are not models

Posing in front of a camera is not really an easy thing for most people. How to look less awkward in photos? With ‘staged candid’ poses.


3/22/20236 min read


Walking is the most natural movement we can do. That’s why I always start my photo sessions by walking. You can take photos of the person walking towards you, away from you, looking at the camera over the shoulder or completely ignoring the camera. Shoot a mixture of close-ups and also wide-angle shots to show the surroundings.


Running adds even more movement to the flying hair or clothes, but at the same time, it can take a while to get the shot right. The best moment to take the shot is when she’s above the ground with her legs straight. We also need to capture the most natural facial expression. Getting all these elements right in one shot can be challenging. If you’re a beginner photographer, I would suggest that you shoot in burst mode to keep snapping one photo after another to make sure your perfect shot is there.


Same as with the running pose, you have to take more photos when you shoot a person spinning, to make sure there are at least a few where all the elements work well together. Facial expression, the position of arms, hair and so on. The spinning pose is the one I’m sometimes closing the photoshoot with. People are usually tired after that and I also like to finish the whole session with a lot of energy, good vibes and laughs. And a spinning pose is perfect for that.


Sitting is the first from the static poses. There is a lot of variation within sitting poses. The model can be sitting directly on the ground or on some object, like a rock, bench or anything else. What looks great is if she bends one knee, the one that’s further away from the camera and leans on it.

When sitting on an object, there is another casually looking pose, with knees open and arms hanging down straight or holding the object below. Make sure the back is straight. She can also bend one knee and wrap her arms around it or lean casually on the wall.

Standing: Leaning on things

Rather than standing stiff, let people lean on things. They can lean on the wall or any other object, pop their hands into their pockets or cross one arm. The legs can be straight or they can cross one leg over the other. They can lean with their whole back and head to look completely relaxed or bend a bit forward when laughing. Tell them to look into the camera, then move their head and look behind you in the distance and at the end to face up and close their eyes. These little variations will change the vibes of the photos.

Laying down

With a laying pose, I usually stand above the photographed person and shoot from a top-down angle. You can tell them to put both arms up or to put one arm under the head and the other one on the chest. In all of the poses, it’s not just about the position of the body itself, but also about the facial expressions. If you want them to laugh, don’t just tell them to do so. You have to actually make them laugh to get the most natural facial expressions.

Playrole, Hobbies / Hold something in your hand

Let the person in front of the camera do what’s natural for them. Before the photoshoot ask about the people’s lifestyle, and what they like to do in their free time and try to incorporate it into the shoot. It can be a single thing like reading books, writing, painting, taking photos, or travelling… once we know the information, we can think about the way how to show it in the photos.

Interact with your surroundings

As well as with the previous pose, interacting with your surroundings can help the person in front of the camera feel more natural in the situation. You can use every surrounding to your advantage. If you’re on the beach, they can jump in the ocean and play with the water and waves. Build sand castles or draw in the sand. Or sit in the grass at the edge of the beach and interact with the flora. In the forest it can be leaves, with winter photoshoots there is snow. Just look around and you will definitely find something.

Experimental: “Barriers” in front of the face

These photos are a little bit more staged than the other ones, but it's worth trying these. The shots look awesome as close-ups and details, which adds even more variety. We can shoot with one hand covering part of the face. If it’s sunny we can play with the lights and the shadows. Or walk around to find something we can cover the face with. It can be a hat, fabric or some plant.

Be a bit silly, tongue out, clown faces

By the end of the shoot, you should already be able to read the personality of the person and understand if it’s worth a try to include this in your shoot or not. If you nail this part of the shoot, it’s guaranteed that the gallery will have a lot of success and will make everyone laugh. Since the beginning of the shoot, show them as much as you can from your personality and be silly with them. Only by that will you make the people laugh and get those perfect candid shots.

women candid walking pose
women candid walking pose