Taking the Awkward Out of Pictures

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Getting your picture taken is awkward. I won’t try to deny that. Did you know they don’t have to be? What if I told you they can be fun?

One major reason people don’t like to be in a photo is because they are self-conscious. Sure, even the super models have body parts they wish were different. What we see in a magazine isn’t even true to real life so please don’t compare yourself to any of them. Want to know how to get around this? Let your personality shine in the photo. Are you loud and exuberant? Are you more quiet and serious?

Don’t take yourself seriously. Gone are the days of stiff posing. It was this way because the camera took time to process the exposure. Now, it is just a quick click and you can choose the one you like the best. Loosen up, shake out those limbs


The best way to figure out what you look like is to practice in a mirror. I know that sounds weird and I’m sure you are thinking about a boy flexing his muscles. In our modern society, with pictures and social media everywhere, you will probably be in many. Figure out a handful of go to expressions you can use over and over and over again. You know why high school girls are great at selfies? Practice.

I tell my clients when smiling, start laughing. This gets your smile all the way up to your beautiful eyes and you can’t go wrong with a great smile.


A viewers eyes are drawn to eyes and hands. We want them to be lovely but in an instant they can become awkward and gangly. If you ever aren’t sure what to do with your arms, put your hands in your pockets or gently grab your elbows across your waist. I must confess I have a thing for legs. My favorite muscle is the gastrocnemius (calf). Our legs are our foundation and what moves us through the world. Not sure how to stand, take the position that you normally do when standing around talking to friends. This comfort will be conveyed in a big way.

How to Take the Awkward Out of Pictures


When in a group just think, connection. Whatever you look like is trumped by the connection of the group. The only think you have to ask yourself is how do we show each other love? For a family it is about close bodies and arms embracing. For a couple, it may be a kiss on the cheek. I love asking kids what they do to show love. This seems to remove the awkwardness for children who have no idea what to do. Works great with adults too! With a group of friends it may be silly faces toward each other or a huge group hug. Just think connection, how do we show love?

Love Yourself

Because we don’t look at ourselves constantly, (well, most of us don’t) it can be jarring to see how we look. Often I look at pictures of myself and ask, “Do I REALLY look like that?!” This is normal and o.k. Without having a therapy session, remind yourself you are awesome (I can say this because I know we are all here for a purpose) and people who love you want to see you in photographs. They have this nasty habit of looking past your flaws and seeing your beauty. If they don’t, do they really love you? O.K. I am done getting deep. Because of where life has taken me, self-love is a passionate subject for me.


When in doubt, take a big deep breath and think of something very, very funny.

I am a wife and mother, creator, dreamer, and memory maker.


  1. by Wendy on May 24, 2015  3:02 am Reply

    I am the awkward photo queen, so this can do nothing but help. I had forgotten that when I was in high school, I used to practice my smile each morning while putting on makeup -- my pictures used to look a whole lot better, haha! You are so right about the fact that the people who love us want to see us in pictures. So often my family members will look at a picture of me and say it is beautiful, and I'll look at the same picture and cringe. Perspective, I guess!
    Wendy recently posted...23 Ways a Military Man Says “I Love You”My Profile

    • by Shannon on May 27, 2015  6:29 pm Reply

      I love the idea of practicing a smile every day! A happy way to start each day.

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