I’m going to share with you a little secret – an inside look into my sessions, if you will. Whether I’m shooting a couple, a family, a high school senior, a wedding, or a lifestyle shoot, I always start off each session the same way. I start out by giving all the participants a run-down of the posing tips I’ve picked up along the way.
I never like to assume that the people I’m photographing (even if they’re repeat clients!) are comfortable in front of the camera. As the photographer, I’m the director – it’s my job to make sure the client looks their best in front of my lens, and in their final prints. I don’t get as specific as talking about body types, but when I go over posing tips for women, men, and children at the beginning of the session I’m coming from a point of explaining that the subjects are 3D and my camera is going to capture them as 2D, so there are certain best-practices they can follow during the shoot to flatter themselves!
I’m going to be sharing my tips and hints over the next few weeks, but I want to start out with the ladies! So here we go…
Posing Tips for Women
1. Avoid standing straight-on the camera.
Men can stand straight on to the camera – it just works for them. More on this in another post, though. Women, however, are made to have curves and we lose them when we stand square to the camera. Whether you’re without curves (like me), or are a curvy woman, it’s ALWAYS more flattering for you to stand on an angle to the camera.
2. Create negative space with arms and legs.
We are not flat and straight… we’re just not made that way. But stand that way in a photo and you will appear to be. It’s the problem with taking something 3D (YOU!) and documenting it on a 2D surface. So bend a knee or cross ankles to give definition and depth to your legs, cross your arms or put a hand on your waist to create definition between arms and body.
3. Pop that hip! Keep your weight on your back leg, away from the camera.
It’s all an optical illusion… objects that are farther away from the camera will appear smaller, naturally! So keep your weight on the back leg or hip – the one that is angled away from the camera!
4. If it bends, bend it!
Keep your chin angled down, put a hand on your waist, reach up and touch your scarf, pull on your skirt or jacket. Limbs are made to bend! This helps create angles. Whether you have curves or not, you can create the illusion you do simply by hinging certain joints. Your photographer will help set you up, but here’s the hint most women want to know up front: if you’re trying to minimize your waist, put your weight on the hip that is angled AWAY from the camera, put your hand on your waist (NOT on your hip!), bring it slightly to the front, and lean your shoulders slightly towards the camera!
5. Take it to the next level… Tyra, style…
When I shoot my sister, she always likes to reference Tyra’s posing tips. She cracks jokes at me about how to ‘smize’ and knows to exaggerate the hip pop, the knee bend, and everything else she’s learned through episodes of America’s Next Top Model. If you want to accentuate your waist, always put your hands GENTLY just under your ribs, slightly pulled to the front, and create delicate-looking-fingers. If all else fails, call my sister for help- she’s mastered this.
In all seriousness, though, have you ever seen Tyra’s show? Have you thought to yourself – that looks RIDICULOUS and UNCOMFORTABLE? Well, it works. Remember, you have dimension, and in order to replicate that in a 2D image, you are going to have to arch, bend, and exaggerate your every pose in a photo. Try it out at your next shoot and ask your photographer to help set you up!
casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Family Photographer specializing in family, couple, lifestyle, senior, and wedding photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.