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Alright, this might come as a shock...

But I’m not a model.

I know, I know. You see the countless Instagram photos. And the million blog photos. Throw in a flawless boomerang or two, and you’re wondering why I haven't been on the cover of Vogue yet. Honestly, I am too.

Except, I’m not a model. So that’s probably why.

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That being said, I do like to be on my own Instagram feed from time to time and that requires having a variety of photos in different locations with different poses.  Over the years I’ve grown to be comfortable in front of the camera. But believe me, when I say, it hasn't always been this way. For every photo, there are 100 bloopers.

And while I'm chronically terrible at math, that is no exaggeration.

But a lot of practice (and an equal amount of outtakes) can make all the difference!

If you’re looking to be on the cover of Vogue...or just need a new profile photo, try out these tricks for getting comfortable in front of the camera

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What Feels Weird, (usually) Looks Good*

Don’t take that out of context please, but when it comes to the genre of photography that is Instagram, it’s a good general rule of thumb. If you feel awkward, you’re probably doing it right. Poses have to be extremely exaggerated in real life to look average in photos. Next time you’re shooting, push through the awkward. It’s worth it.

*if duck lips feel good, advice does not apply.

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The Eternal Smile

If you’re working with a photographer who is not a professional (aka, your best friend, mom, Instagram significant other), chances are you’re going to need to hold your smile for as long as possible. That way, if you ask them to take a lot of photos, you’re smiling in all 140 instead of 2. And if they happen to snap when you’re not ready, well, plot twist, you’re smiling so it’ll probably turn out anyhow!

(Basically just look perfect all the time. No pressure or anything though.)

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Pinterest and Pose

Pinterest is an incredible resource for cat memes and pose inspiration alike. I have a private board of poses I like. Nine times out of 10, the photo we take looks nothing like the original. But inspiration photos serve as a good starting off point, and they help me know what to do with my hands (Which is, we can all agree, the greatest struggle in model life.)

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Next time you want a photo by a cool wall (or in my case, scary close to a cute house), you're gonna be ready to own that shoot and fake model till you make it.

Can't wait to see you on the cover of a magazine in a grocery store soon!

PS: My dress is the Esme from Gal Meets Glam. I felt like a real life American Girl Doll and all of my childhood dreams came true.
Karissa Nickish