50 Tips on Choosing Poses for Stunning Portraits Brings You Everything You Need for Portrait Photography. You have learned about composition, you know to choose the right equipment, know the best light, even the post-production has no secrets for you. Yet, your subjects still do not appear as they would like and how you would like. Can not enhance their quality and they always seem a bit out of place. The presence of human subjects is both the strength and at the same time is the difficulty in a portrait. Even the most beautiful person, if it is not comfortable in front of the lens or poses wrong, can never be photogenic. A good point to start with is Portraits of Strangers which is taken milestone to learn photography. Another good point is to learn to communicate with your subject.
50 Tips on Choosing Poses to Get Stunning Portraits : Introduction
Even when working with a model professional, directing the subject in order to obtain the best pose is primarily yours responsibility. These 50 Tips on Choosing Poses to Get Stunning Portraits might not be the ultimate list, may be the count of Tips is actually more, but definitely they will work. On this topic, on the Internet there are multitudes of articles with generous advice. In this post we are writing down the most significant ones. Using them alone or in combination will allow you to identify the effective way for your subjects, regardless of their size, their shyness, the purpose of the picture.
50 Tips on Choosing Poses to Get Stunning Portraits
Head and Face
Head and face are definitely the most important elements in a portrait, no matter how much of the frame is – that is why it is portrait !
- The head tilted slightly backwards suggests a sense of challenge
- Head bent toward the high shoulder creates a sense of fun and winking (more suitable for women)
- Head bent down towards the shoulder and is lower expresses power
- Turning gaze away from the lens moves the focus to another object or to create a sense of mystery and tension when this item is not framed
- Look to the lens creates a contact, but adds intrigue and challenge
- It is better that the shadows is directed to the primary light source
- To have the “twinkle” in the eye, do not lower your chin too (depending on the direction of light)
- The face must not be rotated so much as to protrude from the line of the cheek
- If one eye is hidden due to the rotation of the face, it is better that it is completely hidden rather than visible in half (see my profile picture below set at the time of writing)
- When there is more than one person, does not align the heads at the same height
- To avoid the double chin, better push the chin forward
Arms and hands
The hands, after the face, attract the viewers’ eye too much, here are the tips to portray them correctly.
- For men, generally it is better that the hands slightly closed, as if clutching a large stone
- For women, best is outstretched fingers
- Thumbs in pockets with hands on (own, obviously) hips express safety and strength
- Hands in his pockets give a casual appearance
- Generally it is better that your hands are relaxed
- For lateral shots hands should be positioned so as to be laterally framed avoiding to frame directly the back
- Holding an object to hold in hand or placing on a surface on often help to create a more natural pose
- Bent elbows bent give a sense of comfortable informality
- Your arms straight on the contrary are very formal and often better to avoid
- The arms better be spaced from the body
- Never bend your arms at 90°
- Do not to photograph naked armpit (no joke – it actually looks bad in most cases)
The posture and rotation of the torso affect the overall tone of the pose and the aesthetic qualities of the subject.
- Turning the chest slightly makes the figure appear more slender
- Even if the subject does not need to look more slender, generally it is better not to have the chest perfectly perpendicular to the lens
- Women can highlight the line of the breast slightly arching the shoulders back
- It is better to have one shoulder higher than the other, by rotating the torso or bending the arms
- The shoulders aligned exactly to expresses the strength, is not suitable for a woman
- It is absolutely necessary to always have your back straight, not rigid, but a proper posture
If the subject has legs, has legs means within the frame, the position of the legs helps a lot to control the entire posture and also make it to look overall slim and slender.
- Putting one foot forward, reduces the apparent circumference of the thighs
- Feet, as wide as your shoulders give impression of strength
- Generally it is better to have one leg bent
- Shifting the weight on back foot helps to have a good posture.
Some considerations for overall appearance.
- In general, the joints must be folded, must not remain straight and rigid,
- The subject should sit comfortably and informal
- Also a vertical surface (wall or tree) helps to lean in this direction
- Leaning slightly toward the camera on the subject suggests interest and involvement
- Instead of bending towards the subject, one can photograph slightly from above
- It is better cover the arms with cloths as it would take away attention to the face
This point is very difficult, we will limit to some general elements.
- Best are the natural expressions, no forcing be applied
- Subject should not smile in every photo, in many cases, relaxing the face is a better solution
- When the subject smiles, must not forget to smile with eyes
- A subject who is interested himself/herself can try to play with the expressions, but the risk of ridiculous faces is always lurking.
Duties of the photographer
There are also a bit of things that you can do before and during the photo session to ensure a better result.
- Been the subject, have a chat to understand their expectations and personality
- Find the most appropriate location for the type of shooting and for the type of subject
- You also pay close attention to the light at the venue; if necessary, set the scene (like a stage)
- After having posed the subject, allow a break to pose to capture a more natural gesture
- If there is more than one person present, you can get help in distracting the subjects, respecting the wishes and difficulties of the subjects
- Test some pose in motion: jumping, racing etc.
We promised to have 50 Tips on Choosing Poses to Get Stunning Portraits : now calculate and let us know ! There will certainly be times when transgressing these “rules” will be needed. But keep them in consideration as a starting point for managing the poses of your subjects and transgress when needed.