Fun Poses for
Portraits of Your Pals

Is your Instagram full of photos of your very best pals?

Ours too! We’ve found patient pals make the best models. But what if you wanna get rid of the “stand stick-straight with an adorable (but played out) grin” stance?

Answer: check out our list of poses for pals and try one or all of them! Your photos of friends will go from “meh” to “marvelous!” in just a few simple motions.

Poses for Your BFFs’ Portraits 

1. The “Getting Ready” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

This pose makes for a cool action shot and your pal doesn’t even have to break a sweat to achieve it!

How to Do It

Have your friend slowly put on an earring, scarf, or any other fashion/clothing accessory. Watch closely and ask them to pause as soon as they’ve struck the perfect pose. Or have them keep moving while you continuously shoot.

Bonus!

Direct your friend to gaze off-camera so the shot looks even more natural. 

2. The “Lean Forward” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

This classic pose has a lot of charm, plus it’s a position that will likely feel natural to your friend.

How to Do It 

Have your friend lean towards the camera with their elbows on their knees. They can then cradle their chin in their hands or turn away from the camera while resting the side of their face in their open palm.

Bonus! 

This pose is ideal for displaying a flashy watch or colorful bracelet. Turn your shot into a jewelry ad!

3. The “Profile” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy 

You’ll get to flaunt a neglected perspective of your friend’s fabulous face—and hairstyle!

How to Do It

Have your friend turn completely to the side with their shoulders back (make sure they don’t turn their face too far from the camera). They can tilt their head back or keep it simple with a straight-ahead stare.

Bonus!

Try a pose combo! Photograph your friend from the side as they do the “lean forward” posture.

4. The “Profile Part II” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

This modest twist on the “profile” pose has all the same benefits but with a little extra “pow!”

How to Do It 

Have your friend turn their back to the camera. Then direct them to slowly move their head to the side until you’ve got a clear profile. (They may also need to turn their shoulders slightly to avoid a major neck ache.)

Bonus!

Got a shirt or jacket with some neat-o writing on the back? This pose is perfect for showing that off.

5. The “Prop” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

Your friend can customize their portrait with the inclusion of a personal object like a favorite mug or book.

How to Do It

Have your friend lean back with their fave coffee mug up in front of their chin as if they’re ready for a big, delicious gulp. Or they can hold their most beloved book open at chest-level while looking down at its pages.

Bonus!

These poses are perfect for goofy shots, too. See how stock photo-y you can make them!

6. The “Hug Yo’ Self” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

This pose is cute and cozy-looking, especially when done outdoors in chilly weather.

How to Do It

Have your friend wrap their arms around themselves in a big hug as if they’re trying to keep warm. This pose is especially adorable when accompanied by a big, happy grin.

Bonus!

Take this to the “too cute for words” level! Give your friend a giant stuffed animal to hug (preferably one that’s super soft/squishy).

7. The “Lean on Elbow” Pose

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Why It’s Snazzy

This pose is versatile and can be done seriously or as a parody of the “stoic fashion model.”

How to Do It

Have your friend lean their elbow on a nearby surface, then rest their head against their hand. It will look extra dramatic (in a silly, fun way) if they stare off into the distance and put their other hand on their hip.

Bonus!

This pose doesn’t have to be a joke! Have your friend look at the camera and smile for a more sincere-looking shot.

Taking it further

  • Double the fun with these poses by adding in a second friend! A back-to-back profile pose can be especially cool.
  • You’ve got the poses down. Now get your lighting just right, too! A Pocket Reflector from Photojojo will help you with that.
  • Photographing friends is one thing. Now what about photographing complete strangers? If you wanna give it a try, read our article on “How to Shoot Impromptu Street Portraits.”