Whether you are a pro photographer or just starting out in photography, posing your models isn’t the easiest task during a shoot especially when your mind is on other things.. like the fast setting sun, your freezing hands, or the annoying wind blowing your hair in front of your face.
I’ve composed a little guide with some dos and dont's of posing, whether they are a professional model or just your friend having some fun!
With an educational background in Art History and I learned how important implied lines are for every painting and these same rules can be applied to a photograph. Implied lines are a major composition tool guiding the viewers eye comfortably through the image, thus making it look appealing. Implied lines form geometric shapes with actual line, colour, and value. The most common usage of implied lines create a triangle, like in Italian renaissance painting. These lines are important to understand because using them correctly can emphasize the main point of the image like your model’s face and they really can make or break the entire composition.
When posing make sure your model commands the space. Have them extend their arms out above their head or around their face. Also watch out for the angles of their arms! Sometimes exaggerating these angles makes a bigger impact.
If your modeling is standing have them take the Contraposto stance. This is an ancient Greek sculpture pose in which the model puts all their weight on one leg and bows their hip out a bit. This pose conveys a natural look and makes your model have that great hour glass shape!
Have your model sit down. If they are wearing a dress, I like to put them in what I call the “mermaid pose”. This is with both legs together and to the side, resembling a tail-like appearing, in the most flattering way possible of course!
Ask your model to look away from the camera. Tell them to specifically focus on one point in the distance. Soon they forget about your shooting and just concentrate on which they are staring.
-Ask your model to stretch out before your session. Get them relaxed!
-Get them to pull their shoulders back and practice good posture. They will look thinner and taller.
- Ask them to smile! Encourage them to laugh even if the laugh starts off as fake and then turns real.
- If all fails don’t pose them at all! Ask them to walk, play with their hair, stretch their arms, and just keep moving.
-Wait for them to do all the work for you! This will make them feel more awkward in front of the lens. Take whatever pose they are already in and play with it.
- Get in too close. I see photographers make this mistake constantly. Never get right in your model’s face so their nose isn’t discernible from their cheek. This never looks good.
- Stay quiet. Motivate your model! Use verbal cues to let them know how pretty they look or how well they are doing!