As a blogger, influencer, or content creator, we take a lot of photos and often find ourselves staring at the photos during the shoot trying to figure out how to change up the pose whether you’re trying to do a standing pose, a sitting pose, or something else in between. You may be someone who doesn’t like to look at the camera or someone who is confident in any pose that works with the look and/or place that you are shooting. Either way, you may be on the hunt to try something a little new and work in some different poses or different variations of that pose.
If you’re someone who works with a professional photographer, that person may already be trying to get you to do sitting down poses, but maybe you’re working with your partner, like me and my husband who takes my photos, or you’re taking photos by yourself using your own camera, tripod and the other equipment you need. Either way, you may be looking for a way to switch things up.
Sitting poses work great with a variety of looks and content. So if you’re looking for some ideas on how to pose sitting down, you’ve come to the right place.
When I first started trying to work sitting poses into my photo shoots, I felt super awkward at first. I always tried to figure out where to put my hands and if I had no shoes on, I was always trying to figure out how to hide my feet, but overtime, I began to figure out how to make it work for me and for almost every look I create, I am working in sitting poses for that shoot.
In this influencer photography guide, I am going to give you a variation of sitting poses that you incorporate into your own photos shoots. In this guide, you’ll find ideas that you can get comfortable with and create amazing photos.
POSE #1: Sitting Away
If you’re someone who is shy and doesn’t like to look at the camera, this is a great pose for you. For this sitting pose, you’re just going to sit any way you like – cross legged, legs to the side, etc. – and face way from the camera and look at the space in front of you. This pose is exceptionally great for travel content when you want to focus on the experience you are having and the location you’re in. And for fashion, it’s also great for when you have an outfit and you want to highlight the back of the top, dress, or pants.
PRO TIP: When sitting away, also try to do something with your hands. You can throw up a peace sign, touch your head or reach forward as if you are trying to grab something in front of you.
POSE #2: Open Legged
I can’t tell you how many times when I was younger that I always got told, don’t sit with your legs open. Well, if that is something in the back of your mind that is pushing you away from this pose, then mute that voice. The open legged pose is a comfortable and natural sitting pose. Whether you’re wearing pants, shorts, or a jumpsuit, just sit and spread your legs out so that the knees are about a little more that hip width apart.
PRO TIP: For this pose, you can do a variety of things with your hands. You can interact with accessories, place them on your knees and lean forward, or even put them in front of you and create a triangle with your arms.
POSE #3: Sitting on Knees
This sitting pose has a more sultry aspect to it so it works really well for beach/swim shoots, but can work with other looks depending on how your frame the shoot. Because you are sitting on your knees which is elevating your butt, pushing your chest forward, and also engaging your core, try to take the photo at an angle so show off all of the places that this pose highlights.
PRO TIP: When sitting on your knees, try not to fully sit back and actually push yourself forward slightly. This will create the illusion of you looking taller which is extra great if your petite like me.
POSE #4: Knee Up
When taking any type of photo, creating triangles is something that helps make the photo dynamic which is why the knee up sitting pose is such a great pose to put in your collection of poses. It’s a pretty simple pose but you can do so much with it, especially if you play with different angles. This pose does great when facing straight on and from the sides. You can even do a knee up pose from behind to create another variety.
PRO TIP: With this pose, marry your knee and your elbow together and rest your arm down or play with your hair, face, hat, etc. Also, if you are taking it from an angle, lean slightly forward and push your chest forward and butt out to accentuate your curves.
POSE #5: Lean Forward
When sitting down on the ground or on a bench or stairs, lean slightly forward and relax your arms by your side. This pose is great for taking photos at an upward angle and when you’re trying to focus on the outfit that you are wearing. It’ll feel slightly awkward, but it’ll look amazing in the camera. You’ll look so relaxed and comfortable despite that you may not feel that way.
PRO TIP: This posing style also works great for standing. One of my go-to standing poses is standing with my hands in my front or back pockets and leaning slightly forward and laughing. It makes it look like the photographer just told a funny joke.
POSE #6: Pretzel
The pretzel sitting pose is another easy and natural pose. Just sit on the follow and cross your legs. Then to create different variances of the pose, you can relax your arms and put them by your side, drop your hands in the middle of your pretzel, grab your legs and straighten your back, or even interact with props or rest them on your face. There is a lot that you can do with this pose.
PRO TIP: When shooting this pose, make sure that the angle that you are shooting the look is either at eye level or lower. If you shoot at a lower angle and fill the frame, you’ll create a dominating look that is guaranteed to catch eyes.
POSE #7: Sit on the Steps
It’s always great to interact with the environment around you, so sitting on a stairway is always a great go-to for a photoshoot. You can play with different angles when taking photos sitting on the steps. You can either get really up close and personal or you can step far back and put the stairway and you in one third of the frame while showing the area around the place that you are sitting.
PRO TIP: Combine other sitting poses with sitting on the stairway such as the open legged pose. If you find a stairway that really goes with the aesthetic that you’re going for, you’ll want to get as many photos as you can with variety so that you can use it on your blog and Instagram feed.
POSE #8: Integrate Props
Integrating props into your sitting poses is a great way to find a pose where you sit naturally and you don’t have to worry too much about what you are doing with your hands. One of the biggest things I hear that influencers struggle with when it comes to posing is they don’t know what to do with their hands. So for your sitting pose, give yourself something to interact with. When using a prop, it’ll make you look more natural and it’ll make it look like there is something happening in the scene. It’ll push the lifestyle element of the photo.
PRO TIP: Make sure to use props that are natural to the area and something that you would normally be doing. If you’re not a person that drinks wine, don’t use a wine glass as a prop. You want to make sure that your props are connected to who you are and what you do.
POSE #9: Grab Your Ankles
Another pose that is great when you’re not quite sure what to do with your hands is to grab your ankles. This will also pull your body in tighter and make you straighten your back depending on much you pull your legs into your body. This sitting pose works great if you lean to the side or if you are sitting pretzel style.
PRO TIP: If you’re wanting a straighter back with this pose, pull your ankles towards your butt and push your knees towards your chest. You will naturally begin straightening your spine and sitting in a more upright position.
POSE #10: Cross at the Ankles
Crossing your ankles is a sitting pose that works great if you want to switch it up from crossing your legs at your knees. This pose is one that is usually best at an angle which also allows you to look different ways instead of looking directly at the camera. You can do this pose sitting upright or sitting tot he side for a more relaxed look. The pose also allows for you legs to look somewhat elongated since you are not creating “stop points” in your leg like you do when you cross them at the knees.
PRO TIP: For this pose, if you are sitting to one side, cross the arm that is opposite to the side that you’re leaning towards and angle it across your body. This will somewhat create two parallel lines with your angles being the anchor point of the one line and the wrist of the arm you have taken across your body being the other.
POSE #11: Leg Under Your Knee
When sitting somewhere where you don’t feel as it if will be too uncomfortable, put your one leg up under your knee. You’ll essentially be placing your ankle of the leg you’ve brought up under the opposite knee and be sitting as if you are in a half pretzel. I recommend this post if you are sitting someplace where there’s not a hard surface because it can be somewhat uncomfortable, but the photo comes out amazing.
PRO TIP: If you want to pull your leg back some more and push your body forward, bring your ankle back further so that it’s under your knee but your ankle is resting under your thigh or butt.
POSE #12: Hidden Legs
If you’re not quite sure what to do with your legs and you have a dress long enough, try the sitting pose where you hide your legs. This pose is great with longer maxi dresses and dresses with wider skirts. And depending on the type of photo you are trying to create will depend on how you actually sit and angle your body. Typically, in this type of pose, you’ll either want to sit with your legs out to the side or sit on your knees. Sitting pretzel style with this does work as well, but it also ends up making you look somewhat hunched back and shorter if you are not sitting up straight.
PRO TIP: Since this pose hides your legs, you can either make yourself look shorter or taller depending on how you sit. Sitting to the side with your feet somewhat behind you will make you look taller because there is not real definition of where your legs end and a similar effect can be made depending on how you angle yourself when sitting on your knees because you can make your torso look longer the more upright you sit.
POSE #13: Cross Your Legs
This is probably the most natural pose of the sitting poses. Many people naturally cross their legs when they sit, so just go with it. When crossing your legs, try to lean forward are back depending on the look that you are trying to create, but also make sure that you are not hunching too much as you can shorten your torso. Also, play with the direction that your knees are pointing and how tight you are crossing your legs. By changing angles and knee heights, can create a variety of view points and show off your outfit in different ways.
PRO TIP: If you seated on a higher seat, try to avoid letting your legs dangle. Try to find a fixed point where you can rest the pints of your feet to push yourself up. Typically, when your legs dangle, we naturally go into a more relaxed, hunched pose to keep ourselves comfortable.
POSE #14: The L Shape
This pose is not as hard as you make think and can actually come naturally if you don’t overthink it too much. The L shape sitting pose works well sitting and leaning to one side or even sitting upright. And you can either create the shape with both legs or just one. Just angle your knees to one side and point the toe of the leg that you are trying to create and L with.
PRO TIP: This pose is great for sitting on the edge of a chair or on a ledge. Depending on how much your exaggerate the point and the lean, you can create a very editorial photo.
POSE #15: Sit Sideways
Another natural pose when it comes to sitting poses is sitting to the side. For this pose, you’ll want to rest your legs out in front of you to create a longer look and more dimension, but it also isn’t a negative to pull your legs in close to you and create another angled look for this pose.
PRO TIP: When sitting to the side, try placing your hand behind you and pushing out your chest. This will also extend your back and make your torso look longer.
POSE #16: Hug Your Knee
For this sitting pose, bring your knee to your chest and hug it like it’s your best friend. I recommend only hugging one knee and not hugging it super tight as it can often make your arms and legs looks tense and the overall photo may come out looking strained. Be as relaxed as possible when hugging your knee and try not to hunch your back only slightly. This relaxed look is a comfortable way to pose and works well from a side angle.
PRO TIP: When using this pose, tilt your head to your shoulder and go back and forth from looking directly at the camera to then looking away over your shoulder. When you put the photos side by side, there’s a dramatic change in energy.
POSE #17: Sit on the Edge
This sitting pose is one that you can do sitting on the edge of any place where your legs have space to dangle somewhat but you can at least reach the tips of your feet to some type of flooring. For me, I like using this pose with chairs or counters. You can set on the back edge of a chair and place your feet on the seat or, if the chair is high enough, sit on the edge of the chair and place your feet on the ground and lean forward. With counters, sit on the edge of a counter and have the chair stools be the place where you rest your feet and lean forward to create a hard V shape.
PRO TIP: For this sitting pose, try not to rest your feet flat on the ground. Point your toes to extend your legs and hold tension. Then either lean forward to create a hard V with your body or sit upright and push your hands against your knees or thighs and sit as tall as you can.
POSE #18: Crouch Down
If you want to work in a slightly sitting pose, but don’t have any place that you’re comfortable sitting down, go into a crouch. You’ll get a little bit of a workout from this pose, but it’s also great for creating a variety of angles. When crouching, pop one knee up and either rest your arm parallel arm on that knee or relax it next to your body. Try to avoid putting your hands on the ground as it will typically cause you to lean forward and hunch your body.
PRO TIP: This post is best for tighter frames. I’ve tried this pose with more wide angles and showing off the landscape and it tends to just make the subject look smaller than anything.
POSE #19: One Leg Up
Want to relax your legs a little? Throw one leg up to the side and lean back for this sitting pose. It’s a great one for elongating your legs and torso which makes you look longer. For this sitting pose, I recommend putting on leg planted to create different levels of where your legs rest in the photo. Rest your weight on the arm that is holding you up and relax the leg that is pulled up. You can also slightly hug the knee to pull some of your weight and tension off your back arm.
PRO TIP: Lean slightly upward in this post and try extend and straighten your back. This will help you to look even more taller.
POSE #20: Lean Back Against Something
Another natural pose that is dependent upon what your surroundings are is to lean back against something and relax your body. We already naturally do that when we sit, whether we lean back against a chair, a wall, or whatever happens to be behind us when we sit, so why not naturally do it in a photo. This is great go-to for when you are slightly sitting against something but not fully sitting on the ground because it gives you the support to lean back and slightly sit without fully sitting down.
PRO TIP: Lean back against taller structures so that you also have the option to lean your head back and also have it support your full spine. If you push back against the structure to more upright, you’ll create lines and angles that will work perfect for you in your photo.