Three Top Tips for Posing Your Subject

As the Spring weather comes upon us, so does the urge to get out and shoot more.  Models are also more willing to brave the warmer temps, so it’s easier to get some willing subjects.  As you start to venture out of the warm caves, here’s a couple tips to getting your subjects to pleasing postures:

1.  Turn and Burn:  So many photogs want to get facial expressions but in doing so, forget that most of the time we never see someone’s full face toward us.  It’s usually more of an angled shot, and that’s why it’s often recommended to turn your model to one side.  Some models will swear that one side is better than the other, but when it comes to photography, my thought is not so much shooting their best side, rather shooting an expressive side!

Stand to the Side

2.  Breathe! – That’s right, so often when a model poses, the natural inclination is to “hold that pose” which subconsciously puts them in a state where they hold their breath.  Help them remember by even telling them to do so.  “Turn here, great, now chin up, awesome, and just a little to the right, excellent!  perfect!  Hold that pose….!  Oh, and don’t forget to breathe!  Take a deep breath and now exhale…fill those lungs with air!”  Not only will it surprise the model, but you may get a more natural smile – and if you’re lucky, even a laugh!

Posing Your Subject

3.  Encourage the lean! – When people start to get in posing mode, there is a tendency to lean forward.  Leaning into the front shoulder is common, as is leaning to accentuate cleavage for a woman.  If you think about it though, the forward lean does make everything look a little bigger!  That’s not always a desirable thing, so encourage your models to lean back just a tad.  Not too much as you don’t want them to fall over, but at least make sure their weight is shifted to the back leg.

Leaning Back a Tad

The other thing to remember, (kind of sneak tip for you), is that modeling rules work for both men and women, so even though the ones here are all women, many of the same rules apply!  There ya have it – 3 tips to get you started with subject posing and portraiture!  Got your own tips?  Share ’em in the comments!  Have a great weekend and happy shooting!

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2 comments for “Three Top Tips for Posing Your Subject

  1. April 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Good tips, here !

  2. April 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I’ve never really thought about these sort of things for photography before. I might have to test these out on my fiancee on our honeymoon.

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