Tis the season of family parties and get-togethers and that means pictures, and lots of them. How is it you can look amazing in some photos while others are totally cringe-worthy? We’ve all experienced this, and it’s not exactly a self-esteem booster. Don’t panic, there’s good news. Posing can make a big difference in how you look in photos. Keep reading to learn how to pose for pictures. It’s more than simply saying “Cheese!”
How To Pose For Pictures
Professional portraits are professional-looking because photographers have mastered the art of posing. You can learn the tricks of the trade too. The goal is to create natural-looking photos that don’t appear staged or forced. It’s possible to pose strategically without looking unnatural. We all want photos that appear effortless!
Follow these posing techniques to get the best possible photos everyone will love. It takes a little practice and know-how, but following these basic rules, will take your photographs to the next level.
Oh, the dreaded double chin. Whether you have one or not, keeping your chin down will always produce the most flattering photos. Now, I don’t mean down, as in chin to chest, but just slightly angled downward.
It’s a subtle move, but makes a big difference. This is most likely why most women prefer to be photographed from an elevated angle. Shooting down on a subject, can make an otherwise average photo, great!
See how the woman’s chin, in the photo below, is slightly tilted downwards? You likely wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out. Visualize this same picture with her chin perpendicular to her chest, and a big smile? A different feel, right? Not only would the photo not be as flattering, but the mood would be different as well.
Angles in photos add depth and dimension, and will make your pictures more interesting and appealing. You know that proverbial hand-on-the-hip pose that is way overdone? Recreate this pose, by placing your hand on your hip, rather than on your waist. This pose still creates space, but without looking overly posed. Little tweaks in body positioning have the power to alter the look and feel of a photo.
You can also create space and interesting angles by crossing your legs or ankles. Or slightly angle your head to one side. One reason being photographed straight on to the camera is boring and unflattering, is the lack of angles and spaces. Instead of hitting the camera straight on, pivot at a 45-degree angle. It will be much more pleasing to the eye. See how the movement and angles in the photograph below adds appeal?
Here’s another picture where the use of angles evokes a certain mood, and adds dimension. Envision the same photo, but with the girl standing straight, and looking directly at the camera with a big smile. This is the power of posing.
See the angles her left elbow makes? And the curve in her lower back?
Check out this book for some incredible posing tips: “Picture Perfect Posing: Practicing The Art Of Posing For Photographers and Models.”
Posture Is Important
When being photographed, be aware of your posture. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, particularly if you haven’t given a second’s thought to how you stand or sit. Envision your spine as a rod, keeping you straight and tall. Visualize this rod lengthening your spine, holding you perfectly erect.
Keep your shoulders back, your chin slightly down, and your abs tucked in. This pose will paint you in the best light possible, and will visually shave five pounds off your frame. These are all subtle moves, but don’t underestimate their effect. We all want to look leaner and taller, and paying attention to your posture can automatically do this. You will appear thinner by merely titling and rotating your waist and hips.
Confidence is key to a winning photo, so even though you may not feel confident in the moment, try to exude confidence for the picture. Sometimes you just have to fake it. Having picture-perfect posture will make it a lot easier to feel confident.
Capture Emotion And Evoke Connection
Photos are endearing. Not only do they provoke memories of times past, they also evoke emotion and capture connection. Emotions and relationships are the stuff of life. If you can portray love and closeness in your photos, in my opinion, you have succeeded. Taking pictures is more than just documenting the moment, it’s about capturing what really matters.
The following photo depicts love and connection, and does it without showing their faces. It’s the mood that counts. Certain poses, like this, evoke intimacy and closeness. The position of their heads is key, making it apparent they love each other.
A fun way to capture both the moment and the emotion, is to have the people being photographed, laugh right before the shutter is clicked. This puts everyone at ease, and produces genuine-looking smiles.
For tried and true posing methods, this book is a must: “Doug Box’s Guide To Posing For Portrait Photographers.”
Just Keep Snapping
Take a lot of pictures. It’s so easy with digital cameras nowadays, and snapping 20 extra photos can be done at warp speed. The law of averages says the more pictures you take, the higher the likelihood of getting a handful you adore. Experiment with a variety of camera angles and poses.
You can even play around with your camera settings to change exposure and depth of field. Now go get creative, and produce some stunning shots everyone will want to share. Although, many of your photos may be perfectly posed and exposed, it’s the ones that capture the mood of the moment that will win your heart!
[Read More: How To Take The Perfect Selfie [5 Tips]
Posing is a key element in capturing flattering photos. Keep your chin down, create angles with your body, evoke connection, and snap a ton of pictures. Follow these tips to get fantastic photos you’ll love for decades to come.
What are your tricks for posing? Let me know in the comments:)