One of the number one things that I hear at the start of a photoshoot is “I’m not good in front of the camera so please tell me what to do” and I reply, “I’ve got you!”.
There are many different ways you can approach posing. From a traditional standpoint of having the poses planned ahead of time, to a more natural prompt way of going about it.
Let us first talk about traditional poses and then I will relate them to a more natural way. First, I would like to say that I have been in college for photography for a little while now. Through that time, I believe we discussed posing only once or twice. For some reason it seems to be a topic so rarely talked about. I have learned from time, experience, and research.
Let’s dive in.
Tips about posing women/men traditional:
There will always be an angle that everyone seems to have a double chin. It is just the truth. One easy way to start to eliminate this, is to have the person put their shoulders down, have them point their head out and chin down. This gives a more defined jawbone.
Tips on posing women/men naturally:
Movement is the key here. If they had a dress or a cardigan or something they can move with their hands, this helps them become more comfortable. For men, if they have pockets, having them put their hands in their pockets can work, try having them place just their thumbs in their pockets first. People often do not know what to do with their hands so having a little action can put one at ease.
Tips on posing families traditionally:
No matter how many family members are in the photo, I always have a system in place for group shots. Mom and Dad in the middle towards the back. Mom I put a little more in front of dad. Now I base the next step on height. The kids I place tallest in the back and followed by the smallest in front. Now if they have a little one, I will ask one of the parents to hold the little, switching up after a few shots to get both parents holding the child. One thing I keep in mind are connections. Whether that is dad has his hand on one of the kid’s shoulders, and then I have the kids each close together, than I have mom also place her hand on the other kid’s shoulder or wrap around giving a half hug.
Tips on more natural posing for families:
After I take the traditional group photo, I will have them all look at each other during this and I will have them say the funniest word they can think of and the best one wins. This always get some silly laughs and helps them relax.
Tips on posing couples traditionally:
Have the couple stand side by side. Then angle them slightly towards each other. Next, have the woman place her hand on the guy’s chest. After this, have their heads go in as close as you can without them touching. You can also easily transition from this pose to having their foreheads touch.
Tips on posing couples naturally:
If they are in the pose above, have the guy take the girls’ hand off of his chest and spin her around. Another great pose that will get some real laughs, is to have the woman stand closer to the camera and ask the guy to bear hug her whenever he is ready. This always makes them laugh and will produce some great photos.
I hope this helps you. As a photographer, I know how difficult it is to come up with poses. Or if you’re starting out, posing can be intimidating. A few key things to remember is to not let there be too much silence. If you compliment your clients and put them at ease, this will always prove to help. If you are not a photographer and looking into getting your photos taken, I hope this helps you get ideas and feel more confident in front of the camera!
-Rebekah Noel Photography