14 hand pose ideas to make your photos look better

Discover ideas and advice on how to hand pose in order to improve your posing skills and get interesting photos!

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Great hand poses can make a huge difference in your photos as it brings the little plus that will make your images special. However, finding the right way to hand pose can be a struggle when posing for closeups, portraits and full body photos. We either don’t know what to do with our hands, or have ideas but don’t really know how to make them look good and as natural as possible.

As I’ve been blogging and creating content for both my blog and Instagram account for years now, I’ve learnt how to use my hands through trying many different things in order to make my pics more interesting. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, this is why I decided to go through my photos and gather the best hand pose ideas for you!

Ready? Set! Pose! 😉

My photo gear

1. The pockets and loops

This is probably the most spontaneous way we hand pose when we don’t know what to do, and the good thing is: it always works! Use the loops or pockets to place your hands, put a leg forward, relax and there you have a great pose with well-placed hands!

2. On the hips

Another classic that has the advantage to make you look more balanced thanks to the way putting your hands on the hips highlights your waist. To nail this pose, make sure your hand/s is/are pointing down like mine on the pics below.

3. Hands in the hair

Not only do I love this pose because I can hold my hair out of my face haha, but also because it gives movement to the photo! You can either hold a small piece of hair or go full on and put your hand in your hair. Both work, however, always make sure your hand looks relax for a natural result.

4. Protective hands

This hand pose has a rather dramatic vibe and that’s why I love it so much! It really helps giving an artistic touch to your pics. All you have to do is bring one hand closer to the camera, either with your fingers wide open or half closed like on the photos below.

5. Freedom arms

Like the previous one, this hand/arm pose is rather artistic. I also think it brings a beautiful powerful vibe to photos. Simply bring your arms up behind your head like if you wanted to touch the sky and bend your head so that it follows your arms’ movement.

6. Grab your handbag

A classic hand pose for all the fashionistas out here: simply grab your handbag strap as close to the bag as you can, just like I did below. This pose will allow you to place your hand somewhere in a nice way, all while highlighting your handbag.

7. The happy pose

“Good vibes only” is literally what this pose shows! I love how happy this hand pose makes you look. Don’t overthink it, just raise your arms, be happy and the pose will look good without a doubt!

8. The thinker

This pose it also very easy and brings a relaxed touch to your pics. One arm around, the other-side’s hand close to your face and that’s a wrap!

9. For the lazy peeps

This one is the hand pose for when you’re lazy or tired haha! Find a wall or fence and use it as an accessory to rest your arms and elbows. It’s the perfect pose to showcase your bracelets, rings or freshly manicured hands!

10. Pinch your hat

Whether you wear a hat or a cap, this pose works and make you look like a badass. Pinch the edge of your hat or cap, put a fierce expression on your face and you have it!

11. Crossed arms

This pose is particularly nice when you have an accessory in your hands, such as a handbag or glasses like on the below photos. Cross your arms, and hold the accessory with one hand for a great result!

12. Hands down

If you don’t necessarily want to pose with your hands, there’s still a way you can do this without looking unnatural. The key of this pose is not to have both arms completely straight. You can either relax your shoulders and bring one arm in like on the left pic below, or do the inverse and bring one arm out like on the right photo below.

13. Hold your clothes

Always use the accessories you’re surrounded by! This being said, your own clothes are a great option. Grab your coat, blazer, collar, necklace, skirt, dress,… and play with it! It’s a nice way to give movement to any outfit pic.

14. Sun’s out, arms out

Again, use what you’re wearing! Hold your sunnies with one hand or two, or pretend you’re putting them on or taking them off. This is another way to give life to your picture and add movement.

Feel free to tag me @pauline.matter and use the hashtag #handposesbypaulinematter if you use these poses on Instagram! I always love and appreciate seeing you using my tips 🙂

And if you don’t follow me on Instagram yet, you can follow my daily adventures and content here!

Love, Pauline


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