[Snap and Edit] Ep. 3: How to Shoot Portrait Photography (Tips & Tricks)

In episode three of “Snap and Edit”, I had the pleasure of working with Michael Gozum (@lovexlens), a professional wedding & portrait photographer to teach us more about portrait photography & posing! ✨ I’m still a noob at posing, so it was definitely a challenge for me to break out of my shy comfort zone 😅 but Mike is such a friendly and personable person, so I was able to naturally feel at ease throughout the shoot!

I still have a lot to work on as I continue to grow, but I’m so thankful to work alongside so many talented creatives. Special shout-out to Mike for shooting with me & Marthy for filming this video! I appreciate you two so much! 😊 Go follow them to show you love and support~ 🥳👊🏻


📸 Photographer: Michael Gozum
🎬 Model & Video-Editor: Melinda Tse
🎥 Videographer: Marthy Honculada

Location: Kensington Parking Garage
Theme: Casual, Fun, Urban Portrait Photography

Posing Tips:

1. Cross your legs

One of the easiest ways to make your sit-down pose look good is to sit slightly angled to the side and cross the leg (that’s closest to the camera) over top of the other!

2. Point your toes down

The next step after crossing your legs is to point both feet downwards to highlight your calf muscles and elongate your legs.

3. Be mindful of posture

If you’re someone who slouches often (from playing on the computer too much like me lol 😅), be mindful of keeping your back straight! You don’t want to look lazy or hunched in your photos, so remember to roll your shoulders back if you feel yourself starting to lose your posture!

4. Let go of perfection

During the shoot, I had a habit of constantly fixing my hair or clothes to ensure that it was “perfect.” Little did I know, that the more conscious I was of these details, the more confined I became. Mike would remind me to just leave it – that he wanted the mess. This was something I was actively working on for the entire shoot.

5. Pretend you’re walking on a tight rope

For walking shots, it looks best when you’re crossing your legs in front of each other. This helps to create your shape. A good trick Mike used was to pretend you’re walking on a tight rope! That way, your subject will carefully put one foot in front of the other, and naturally create a good image.

6. Switch up your outfit

If you brought a hat or extra clothes for your shoot, always remember that you can take pieces on and off! Switch up your outfits to create a variety of different vibes and photos!

7. Take a deep breath to relax

Feeling tense on your shoot? Try taking a deep breath and exhaling! This will dramatically help to ease your nerves.

8. Add movement

To make a photo look more dynamic, incorporate some movement in your poses! This can be anything from walking, running, skipping, or jumping!

9. Think “soft hands”

When posing for photos with your hands, be sure to loosen your grip and think “soft hands” to keep your fingers nice and relaxed.

Photography Tips:

1. Ask your subject if they have a preferred side

Before beginning your photoshoot session, a good tip is to ask your subject if they have a preferred side! This is an important element because some people feel that they have a “good side” and would want that angle of them captured the most if possible. Knowing your subject’s “good side” can lead to happier results!

2. Coordinate outfits with the location

When you match your clothes with the photoshoot location, it makes everything so much more cohesive. Research the location ahead of time, and think of the colours/vibe you want to go for!

3. Demonstrate the poses

As a photographer, demonstrating the poses you have in mind for your model(s) is a great starting point to get what you want. Especially when you’re working with people who aren’t used to posing, seeing a visual example will make the process much easier!

4. Direct as you’re shooting

Don’t be afraid to vocalize your thoughts as you’re shooting. From making micro-adjustments or telling your subject to move/look to a certain spot, be confident with your direction!

5. Be mindful of your shadow

When working with the sun, be aware of how shadows may affect your image. Staying mindful of this will help you keep a clean frame and composition.

6. Control the light

For creative shots, you can use certain elements to block the light and reposition it to where you want. In this photo example, Mike asked me to open my fingers so light would leak through the gaps. Next, he told me to shift my hand down until the light was directly hitting my eyes. Keep playing and see how you can use the light to your advantage!

7. Remind your subject to breathe

If your subjects become too tense during the shoot, remind them to take a deep breath to relax! Doing this allows you to calm your nerves and find your center.

8. Make natural conversation

Throughout the shoot, you can make casual conversation with your subjects to keep the atmosphere friendly. This also helps to authentically capture their personality!

9. Encourage your talent

If your models are not experienced with posing, offering some compliments or words of encouragement will go a long way. Tell them that they’re doing a great job! This will boost their confidence level so that they can continue to push their boundaries and become more comfortable in front of the camera.

10. Experiment with different facial expressions

If you’re getting a bit bored of the same photos, try to switch up the facial expressions! From goofy, serious, or smiling – anything will work!


Alright, that’s a wrap for episode three of Snap and Edit! Thank you so much for watching, and I hope you were able to learn something new from this video. I definitely have a lot to work on, but I’m happy to see improvement with each episode ^__^

If you guys have a goal – keep at it!! It’s going to be so worth it.

Wishing you all the best in your photography journey!

Your friend,

About Snap and Edit:

“Snap and Edit” is a brand new web series where you’ll be introduced to professional photographers, different photography styles, scenic photoshoot locations, and practical tips on how YOU can improve your craft too! 📸 Be sure to subscribe on YouTube (& hit the bell for notifications) to join me on this journey! Let’s learn and grow together! 🥳👊🏻

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *