7 Posing Tips for Portraits

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photography Tips, Portrait Photography, Studio Photography

7 Posing Tips for Portraits It’s no secret that in terms of portrait photography, the pose is just as important as capturing the photo itself. For example, if your model isn’t posing the right way, then your photo isn’t going to turn out the right way. In order to get the best possible pose, and thereby the best possible picture, consider following these seven tips.

1. Lighting

Consider using multiple lighting setups during a photo session, to determine which technique looks best with your subject and the type of portrait they are trying to achieve. Try basic lighting setups to achieve broad or short lighting, and then progress to a more dramatic light such as Rembrandt or butterfly.

portrait posing

2. The 2/3 Turn

Have your model turn 2/3 away. Why? Because shooting a model from head-on can cut out the environment around them, thereby making them look bigger. If your model turns correctly, they will maintain a slim profile and you won’t have to face questions about why the camera seemingly added 10 pounds to your subject.

portrait posing

3. Incorporate the Hands

Oftentimes incorporating hands into the picture can take a boring pose to the next level. There are so many soft poses that can be created by bringing the hands into focus. Ask your subject to softly hold their shoulder, grasp an accessory like a necklace or hat, or hold their face in their hands.

portrait posing

4. Put That Chin Down

Ask your subject to bring their chin down. This allows you to shoot them more straight on, while focusing on the eyes.

male portrait

5. Lines

Introduce diagonal lines into the shot. Too often we think in terms of horizontal and vertical. Spice things up! Have your subject put their hands on their hips to get the diagonal of the bent arms. Doing so makes the client feel more comfortable and also brings a bit of attitude into your photos. A white photo background can help the subject pop from the picture.

portrait posing

6. Weight

Have your subjects put their weight on their back foot. This helps align their upper body and allows for much more natural looking pictures.

portrait posing

7. Communication

This is the most important tip of all. You may have great ideas, but if they are not communicated properly to your model where she understands exactly how to stand and look, you won’t be able to pull it off properly. Try getting to know your subject a little bit before you start the shoot and then, when you’re instructing them on how to pose, explain why you’re doing it and what the benefits are of posing a certain way.

What are your secrets for taking the best portraits?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about portrait photography? Check out  20 Tips for Taking Better Portraits!

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