Posing is one of the most difficult “arts within art.” It takes a lot more than a nice camera and a good outfit to get you looking good in portraits. These posing tips are to enhance the ideas you’ve already been browsing on Instagram.
Ever wonder why humans gain 10 pounds in the camera? It’s because we have to cut out the entire environment around them, forcing our subject to take up more room in the frame. Instead of facing square to the camera, top portrait photographers always advise them to do a 2/3 turn away from the camera. Having you turn this way will give you a slimmer profile look in the camera, shaving off those 10 extra pounds.
When working with the lighting, I want to position you in a way that light passes across you instead of at you. This is very important to remember if you are wearing heavy patterned outfits. If the light does not pass across your dress, then I won’t be able to see the “textures” as I want to. We all can agree on how important it is to capture the details. Thus, the light needs to go across the subject, and not at the subject.
Many people have the natural instinct to slightly lean backwards in a photo. They may not realise, but all it does is make the photographer see up their nose, into their mouth, and their partially closed eyes – which not at all adds anything to a good pose! By keeping your chin down, I can avoid capturing the inside situation of your nose and mouth and get your eyes wide open also.
Our world is made up of horizontal and vertical lines, and it does not help when you are nervous in front of the camera and go deep into the performance mode by keeping your arms and hands down straight. Any famous portrait photographer would break that up by introducing some diagonal lines into the portrait. This is why we want you to pose, putting a hand on your hip or inside your pockets. I believe this not only adds a bit of “attitude” to the photo, but it also makes the subject feel a bit more casual and comfortable.
When positioning you, I want you to put your weight on your back foot. Shifting the weight helps align the shoulder and hip track giving a more relaxed pose for you to stand. By standing this way, you will be naturally turned 2/3rd from the camera.
Hands are more than OKAY on portraits. You can show the pinkie side of your hand, keep fingers soft and look for triangles as they make images interesting; leave space between your arm and body. Just keep it all-natural, so you don’t overdo it and end up hand modelling (read weird hand modelling).
Surely, no one wants to look like an awkwardly stood pol in their portraits. Hence, following such simple tips to look better in your photos is the ultimate key to have great looking portraits.