I Have a Confession To Make……I Have “A Side”

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Happy Humpday!  I wanted to first take the time to tell you how excited I am about the feedback and support I got about yesterdays post.  I was pretty nervous when I hit that publish button!  I was nervous that someone would not take the message in the way I had intended it.  However, everyone was so positive and supportive.  It completely confirmed as to why I wrote it in the first place.  I really hope from yesterday we can keep that positive energy going throughout the week!

I’m telling you my email banter back and forth with y’all on a daily basis that is where the “spark” for the majority of my posts come from. Tracey (seriously read her blog y’all  she cracks me up especially with her WTF posts) “secondhand embarrassment” I just about died laughing when I read that one.  She is also who I linked up with yesterday because we had an odd cosmic connection in our posts about female positivity.

Anyways, she emailed me the other day and asked about how to pose for pictures.  After my dress posts where I took the plunge by being in front of the camera instead of snapping quick full length mirror outfit posts. She asked if I could do a post since her Wedding and Honeymoon are rapidly approaching about how to pose well for pictures.  

I mean I can’t tell you how excited I get when people ask for specific posts! Well Tracey this been many years in the making.  Let’s see how it all started…..

My advice (I mean you can take all of this with a grain of salt) is to find your side.  Mine is my left side.  It’s basically my bangs side. Mark is well trained he wouldn’t dare come on that side.  A quick stroll through my FB pics and you will see a common trend (not going to lie this is kinda embarrassing).

I also am going to say two things before we dive in…..#1 I hope you don’t think I’m narcissistic I promise I think learning how to pose for pictures is important.  #2 you are going to be super sick of staring at this mug by the end of it.

Side note get a group of girls together for a group picture and watch the chaos ensue.  We had our group pics for Pure Barre and everyone had their side.  Thank goodness it all worked out because I sure as heck wasn’t getting on the right side of the picture ;-)  By the end of training we all had our “assigned” places.  You think I’m joking watch the next time a group of girls gets to together for a picture….hair flip here, adjustment here and strategic placements all around.

Unless you are wonderfully gifted enough to have both sides just as gorgeous…well…congratulations.

Let’s test the theory and see what happens when I’m caught off guard and not on my comfortable side.

I’ll tell you what just happened.  The only person who looks good in this picture is my brother because he didn’t have to pick and side and honestly men have no idea what that even means.

Well Amanda!” you’re asking “what if someone steals my side??” I’m so glad you asked.  My favorite client from St. Pete at the opening party wanted a pic and clearly marked her side (we are being honest right ladies?) I mean I know it’s her side bang side and she was showing off the great cutout dress. So instead of really angling myself on my particularly bad side I tried to angle myself more straight on and pulled my arm into my side.  See even though I’m not on my “go to” side it still came out pretty good right and much better than the one above it. (<3 you Meghan!)

Since my sister is a good sport let me show you the progression of her at this wedding.  This is an important thing (especially for brides who are picking one shoulder dresses for their bridesmaids). These dresses were pretty and yes!  not some odd color I mean black is so easy to coordinate with!  (Thanks Tara!  :-)  They did have a lot of fabric so if you weren’t careful this could happen especially on the non fabric shouldered side.  Please excuse the overly tan skin I was going through a phase.

Now let’s try this again with some better angling.  See how much better?

Anything that is the closest to the camera is going to take on the most space.  Example more straight on (my sister in the red dress).

Versus a tiny bit turned in.  See the difference?

Here is another example of camera angling.

Finally one more example of angling in group shots.

If you are taking a picture with a man you now what is great about them?  You get to position and angle yourself in on them.  Thanks so much boys.

Now what to do about that arm????  I really hate the side arm hand on hip pose but it’s difficult to not have your arm look ten times it’s size but just laying it against your body.  Start to play around with some poses and see what feels comfortable for you.

Remember whatever is closest to the camera is going to look the biggest.  So if you are the unfortunate one on the outskirts of the picture try to back up a little or angle yourself more in.  Dreaded outside booth camera angle shot….clearly I look comfortable.

How to position your legs.  Same idea goes.  If you face both your legs straight onto the camera probably not going to be the best.  Try placing one in front of the other or shifting more weight into the back foot.

To smile or not to smile. I can’t not smile in a picture….I look like a serial killer.

It totally may work for you though!  With this first photo sesh I did experiment with a few not so smiley pictures and I think they came out pretty well.  I tried to focus more with my eyes and to shift my mind away from thinking about smiling otherwise I looked once again like I was angry. See a little better!

Here are some cardinal rules for people when I ask them to take my picture (I know I’m sorry I’m crazy but y’all in all fairness already knew that).

#1 If I’m Standing You Best Not Be Sitting

I mean hello that leads to THE WORST ANGLES.  Nobody looks good being photographed from the down up.

#2 Back the Heck Up

Nobody likes pictures super close up.  I look so uncomfortable and slightly possessed.

#3  If You’re Taking A Group Shot Please Shoot Us From The Middle.  

Nobody likes to be the awkward one on the side getting the bad camera angle.

#4 If you are the only two around pick the person with the longest arm

I dare say that might be me but that would totally mess up my angle.  Therefore Mark gets the assignment when in a pinch.

#5 Sometimes It’s Just Not Going to Happen
Sometimes you are going to get the one person who just can’t get it right.  Case in Point….the drunk guy in the lobby of the Waldorf after we got engaged.  He kept on shouting “kiss her like you mean it” “work the camera” “wait stay right there I want to frame the tree in the background”.  I mean the perfectionist in me was screaming but at least we got to capture the moment

Phew that was long!  I’m not going to lie I could have used so many more examples but I quit while I was ahead. I guess the takeaway is to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and find your side. Also try to relax and be yourself because those are generally the best pictures!

So am I just a cray cray total perfectionist or do y’all have a certain way that you take pictures???? You can take all of these with a grain of salt because clearly I am not a model (nor could ever be one with tendencies to trip over my own two feet all the time).  I just thought it would be fun to show how different pictures can look by just tweaking a few things and working with angles.  I love linking up with Kathy because I get to spill all my secrets with you on a weekly basis!  This week I really put it all out there!

Don’t forget you can link up with me this Friday for your Friday Favorites!!! xoxoxo

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74 responses to “I Have a Confession To Make……I Have “A Side””

  1. Oh you are hilarious!! “The just in case belt” I know someone who seriously terrorizes us until she gets to be on “her side” for photos!! We’ve all just learned to live with it!! I think you look great on either side!! BTW we totally had the same bridesmaid dress!! I also suck at taking one arm photos – thank god for gary and his freakishly long arms!!

  2. Haha I love this! I totally have a side too, you aren’t alone! My best friend also has a side and lucky for me, her side is the opposite of my side! I am the WORST at taking selfies or one arm photos, I don’t know what to do or how to pose when I have to be directly in front of the camera LOL!

    <3, Pamela

  3. Tracey says:

    This is awesome. It started off great, showcasing your amazing cuffed pants (perfect for a flood)…and then you just dove right in. You had me laughing and nodding along. Girl, the “down up”, worst camera angle to be shot at. This is also why I always try to get a tall person to take the picture.

    Seriously, these tips (even though said with humour) are so helpful! I never know what to do with my arms…so thanks for the many options.

    Oh and lastly, I agree 100% with the dreaded restaurant booth picture. You always know if you’re the one at the end you’re going to hate the picture! Never flattering!

  4. Kait says:

    mine is my left side too – although i had honestly never realized that until today! thanks for the lesson :)

  5. JumpingJE says:

    These are really awesome and practical tips – thank you!

    I do know that I have a side and have become MUCH better at the arm placement. I’m better in selfies – but probably because I can take 50 shots till I get the one I like!

  6. P!nky says:

    Oh my word, that last picture is perfection! SO wonderul, so happy, so overjoyed and so IN LOVE! I hope it’s framed times a bazillion cause it’s magical!

    Thanks for the tutorial, I totally have a side and I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  7. when friends are on “my side” i straight up say: bitch, you’re on my good side; move over! then catty bitchface calling ensues and people are taking the pictures which actually works out well because you can see the laughter and fun in our faces and those kinds of candid shots are the best. i always tell people to hold the camera higher (who wants fat face in the picture?) and i tend to angle my face slightly downwards to avoid fat heffer face. also: shoulders back, chest up and slightly out and don’t look directly at the flash or you’ll look like a deer in headlights.

    thanks for linking up!

    Vodka and Soda

  8. So many poses! I like the left side since my bangs are on the left. I have a large forehead and like to be on the left so my bangs are covering most of it. Cute post!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  9. I REALLY hate the hand on hip pose. A lot.

    I’m typically an angler, and with MFD he will usually be to my left.

  10. Rachel says:

    My good side is the one in my profile photo! :P Recently when we were taking large family photos, I was quite dismayed by how many people do not know how to pose to make themselves look their best. Slouching is never a good look. Neither is a facial expression that says, “I hate having my picture taken”…

  11. Chloe says:

    I need this! So many people want to take pictures of us right now and I look fat in all of them. Thank god for this post. No, thank you for this post!

  12. I love this post! These are some seriously great tips for someone like me who is painfully awkward in front of the camera!


  13. Krystal R. says:

    These are really good tips especially that arm tip!

  14. I’m so using these tips for a wedding I’m in this weekend!

  15. Kristen says:

    thank you for sharing! i seriously read this, nodding, taking notes. can you look at my photos and tell me what side i should be on? haha! i look so awful in so many photos and i think its because i just dont pose well. also, my smile can be super effing weird sometimes and i look KUEgHEFldbgf. no words. I tried to not smile in pictures, like all the cool kids do, but i look so effing stupid. uch. how bout i just hate photos?
    i used to rock the hand on hip ALL.THE.TIME and then i realised i did that so much it looked like the same photo all the time, so i am experimenting with arm down but tilted back or whatever. super exciting stuff.
    no but really, you are stunning and gorgeous and thanks for sharing! and ps, i think the photo of you with your client and the cut out dress ‘not on your side’ is seriously one of the best. love.

  16. This is so great! Thank you for the tips. Some of the things I had never really thought of before, like pulling that arm back!


  17. I so love this post– I’m the most awkward person ever in photos. If I’m taking pictures with friends or people close to me I definitely make them switch sides based on however the part in my hair is going that day– haha sometimes it helps– sometimes it really doesn’t! You are so photogenic & I definitely need to work on figuring out how to position my legs to make them appear longer and skinnier not the opposite!

  18. Mree says:

    Love love this post! I agree with everything you said. I totally like my left side better. I wish I was as photogenic as you are!! I’m gonna work on my posing using your tips. ha! thanks!!

    Best, Mree

  19. i ALWAYS do hand on hip pose. I hate it! i am ALWAYS on the left- i need that side!! i like the idea of the arm on the body instead of just hanging. i’m tryin this next time!

  20. Rebecca Jo says:

    Being a photographer, I love & appreciate this :) Its funny when people tell me, “This is my side” :) If you know – that’s awesome. It instantly makes you more comfortable… I’m still trying to find my pose & side for myself… I’m better BEHIND a camera then in front :)

  21. This is awesome – I think all women have a “side”! Mine is definitely the left – my face looks twice it’s size whenever I’m on the right! However, I will say, it’s quite hilarious to go through my wedding pictures and notice that I am in fact on the right for a majority of them … maybe the photographer showed some mercy and photoshopped the heck out of me!

  22. This is one of THE best posts, omg. I totally agree, I will do whatever it takes even if it’s pushing someone out of the way to make sure it’s my left side being photographed!

  23. “Side note get a group of girls together for a group picture and watch the chaos ensue”, that is SO true! And so funny.

  24. Bahahahaahahah… I can’t NOT smile in pictures, either! I look like I’m constipated if I try.
    My good side is my right side. WE’RE A PERFECT MATCH!

  25. Monica L says:

    So glad I am not the only person in the world that thinks they have a side. I hate being photographed when I am not presenting my best self

  26. OMG! This is too funny! I totally have a side! I feel like my nose is crooked on one side so all the pictures I take, I am on the same side. One of my friends “sides” is the opposite of mine so we love taking pics together! Oh, boy we are funny! you look gorgeous on every side in my opinion!

  27. I totally have a side too! haha.

  28. Such a great post!!!! So true, and loved all the examples!! “I can’t not smile…I look like a serial killer!” Literally spit a little coffee out. Bahahaha Emailing you back tonight – so excited to have you on board as a contributor. XOXO

  29. Savanna says:

    Great post!! I definitely have my go-to pose for pictures!! I hate it when someone tries to take my side lol!! A good angle can make a big difference!

  30. Kari says:

    These are great tips! I have a side I like of myself, too, but don’t always vocalize it. Now I’m going to be sure to steal that side in all my pictures:) Thanks for the insight!

  31. Ugh, I never know what to do with my arms in pictures! I’m such an awkward turtle.

  32. Nadia M says:

    Tyler’s family got portraits done on Easter weekend and they made me do solo shots to give to my parents (lol). The photographer told me that generally the most flattering way to pose is to angle yourself and put most of your weight on your back leg so you front leg relaxes, lean a little forward and bend your arm so there’s at least a little space between your arm and body.

    It sounds really awkward now that I’m typing it out, but the photos looked pretty good in the viewfinder! Also just needed to point out that your hair looks magical in every one of these pictures!

  33. This was actually super helpful!! Everyone things about these things (hence overly angled sorority post or hand on hip to avoid fat-arm). My good side is my right side, but I definitely have not mastered the camera poses. Oy!

  34. HA! I do the same thing…but what happens when you’re with someone who has the same SIDE favoritism as you?!?

  35. Lisa says:

    Ok so this post basically changed my life lol! I really needed a course 101 on this stuff bc I am extremely unnatural in front of the camera and this really opened my eyes! This post is being pinned for sure! I cant thank you enough, such a big help Amanda, wow!!! XOXO


  36. What a great post! I love that you figured all of this out for me! I know my angles for my face usually, it’s the body that gets me in a group shot. And the person taking the picture never listens to my instructions which infuriates me!!! I am going to go home tonight and make my daughter help me figure out my side! And… I loved your post yesterday! I was so busy I never got a chance to post on it. I have good women friends in real life but I have been overwhelmed by the sweet, supportive girl friends I have made thru blogging and social media! Love it!

  37. Taking pictures is so stressful!!!! I try to remember to angle myself, suck it in, push the girls up, have my arm not look super awkward, smile, it is a lot of work! I cant NOT smile in pictures either. I look ridiculous.

  38. Christina says:

    i love all this. so much truth. i definitely have a side (my face is so not symmetrical). mine’s my left, which is funny bc that’s the side that i have a scar on my face. it’s barely noticeable and i kinda like it but still funny that that’s my “good side.”

  39. Oh, I definitely have a side! And I always try to angle my body. Great tips! :)

  40. brooke lyn says:

    i am a right sider for sure. the one thing i gained from being in a sorority was always being ready for a picture… and being able to hold a smile for a long time to get 238975 pics taken

  41. I always try and angle my body or my boobs take over the shot. Haha! My left is my good side too.

  42. Not going to lie, I freak out if a photo is taken of me from the wrong side or if it’s taken without my knowing. My right side just doesn’t photograph well!

  43. So. Much. Truth. Let’s just be honest about it. I am noticing I have a preferred side too, and that’s ok. Good job, you!


  44. this is seriously hilarious! and SO true! love your blog!!

  45. Hello, fellow lefty! Must always be in the left in pictures, on the left side of a table if you’re looking at it standing up, in the left side of the bed, et cetera. But I think that started to go in the direction of OCD, not just photogenics hah

  46. Stacy G says:

    Haha I love this post!! I am totally with you on always having to smile in pics or I’ll look totally miserable lol. These are some really good tips. I often feel like I’m just not photogenic but I’m starting to realize I think I am best on the left too! The few pics I think actually represent how I look in real life I’m definitely on the left side! Thanks for bringing this to my attention and I love the arm tips! Oh and another tip my pics always come out better if someone says something funny and my smile is natural. So glad there are other people that are concerned about this because I used to make Marc take picture after picture and I think he really thought I was crazy..(which fine it prob is but I know I’m not alone lol) XO

  47. Oh yes, I definitely have a side!! And I always feel like it’s so uncomfortable (for anyone!) to take pictures straight on. Like your head has to be angled or tilted or SOMETHING! My friends and I always joke that we have man hands in our pictures..every single picture. Loved all the Chicago pics! :)

  48. Brianne says:

    Well now I wanna go back & look at all my pictures… I feel like I always am on the left but never thought about it!

  49. These were awesome!! I don’t think I have a side?! I need to find out what mine is!! My husband is a natural with the camera. He can look like a million bucks out of nowhere and it makes me so mad!! I just always figured some ppl are more photogenic than others and I’m not one of them. I worry too much about how im posing I feel like the pics end up coming out awkward!

  50. Ashley says:

    Oh no, we’re in trouble if we ever take pictures together. The left side is my side too! :)

  51. Lauren says:

    This is practical and I get it but doesn’t it make it HARD to take a picture and move on? I mean I think about the hand on hip and being on the bang side but I find that if I bring it up, the other person does too, and then we spend ten minutes taking pics instead of thirty seconds. It just ruins my flow. Also, I am lazy and used to hating pics so I guess I just roll with it? But I am going to try to take up less space in the frame now…

  52. Haley Duke says:

    This is such a great post. There should be a class for everyone in high school to educates everyone on this topic. Hilarious!

  53. Oh girl I totally have a side! I ALWAYS stand on right so you and I can get snap-happy and take tons of pics together!

  54. Your serial killer comment is too funny. I never really thought about having a side…hmm. Now I need to take some selfies tonight and declare with I like better! I missed yesterdays post because I was out sick so now I need to check it out!

  55. Darcy says:

    These are such great tips!! I don’t feel like I really have a side I have to be on but then I go through pictures on facebook and I’m like I am always on one side of the picture!! Who knows, maybe it’s my subconscious telling me : )

  56. Kate says:

    For our engagement photos, our photographer was legit crawling on the ground. I had to inform them that up the nose was not the angle I was going for. Thankfully, our photographers were wonderful and didn’t put one knee (or body) on the ground for our wedding day. =)

    These are great tips!!

  57. Thanks for the arm tips Chica!!! It’s good to have a good pose for when you’re forced into a million photos.

  58. Damn you got that shit down to a science! Very good points though! I definitely have my “side” but I don’t go all bat shit crazy if I don’t don’t a picture on that side. Maybe I should start! lol. :) I’m terrible at the no smiling look either. I just look pissed right off! My photographer that has worked with me on many shoots always laughs at me. Instead of saying “no smile” she’ll say okay Julie look away and clear your smile and then look back at me with just your eyes. It helps!

  59. Jess says:

    Really cool and fun post! Amazing pictures! =)
    Thanks for your lovely comment!



  60. I am seriously going to be taking these tips to heart!!

  61. Oh I have a side. As do my sisters and all my girlfriends. In fact, we often have to recognize “side defeat.” Aka it is friend’s wedding day, I cannot take the “good side” if it also her good side. This rule applies for any type of celebration.

    Now if boys are involved in the picture, I always get my side. And you bet they know what side that is or else we are taking the picture again.

    The skinny arm is also one of my musts. AND the head tilt (towards my side) is also an always move.

    Laughed out loud reading this! Couldn’t be more true.

  62. I totally have a side and teach ladies at work how to work their angles. YOU GOT TO!

  63. Those small changes really do make a huge difference! Now I have to experiment and find out which side is “my side.”

  64. I love taking pictures with Alex for the exact reason that I get to pick my best side and don’t have to fight with someone about it!

  65. I take the worst pictures! But i am going to practice your tricks while at the Derby this weekend- so many pictures will likely be taken.

  66. This may be one of my most favorite of your posts AND SO MUCH WORK I must high-five you in person. Your tips are spot on. I may have read this too quickly but did you mention how slimming the cheerleader arm can be? Hand on hip arm in a “V”?? Clearly you know all about it bc I see you rocking it all the time! My most fav. tip may be the body in thing for pics with the man. :)

  67. Emily says:

    I have a side too! People always make fun of me for cocking my head to the side but it just looks better! Beautiful pics!

  68. I don’t have a side, rather, I just ask that no one shoot me head-on. Because it makes me look HUGE!

  69. I’m a fellow left side gal! And clearly I’m constantly angling because I just got called out not once, but twice at the DMV for tilting my head too much and not looking into the camera straight-on…haha!

  70. I think I’m a right side gal actually. I have a mole on my left side that I don’t like so that’s why. ;) BTW love all the Gator gear in this post! cuteness. And that post engagement photo was too precious.

  71. Vicki says:

    I had no idea pictures were so much work!! That’s possibly the reason I hate pictures of myself and never want to take any. Ha! I’m seriously going to try some of your tips and not hate every picture I’m in. :)

  72. i totally have a side too! left side… i feel so awkward and uncomfortable when i’m not on “my ” side. haha great post!! and great post at about Yen. I’ve seen you around Pure Bare Tampa! Nice to see a fellow Tampa Bay blogger! :)


  73. Gina says:

    awesome post, Amanda! Your tips are fabulous and spot on, really. Isn’t it amazing how the camera sees two dimensionally and blows us up like a fish bowl if we face the camera head on.

    XO, Gina

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