Professional models are required to be highly skilled at executing the perfect pose at precisely the right moment. This is expected on the runway and in front of the camera. Some models are gifted with this natural ability; others need to master it with extensive practice. There are a lot of details and thought involved with each pose. Executing this skill effectively is harder than it appears. The slightest misstep can ruin an otherwise stunning photograph.
Posing challenges for photographers
In addition, one of the toughest challenges photographers face is having to pose their subjects. This is the case for those who work with professional models and everyday people. No matter how skilled and experienced a model may be, he or she will need some direction during the first shoot. To obtain the best results you will need to provide proper guidance. When an inexperienced model and a timid photographer work together, the end result is usually a waste of time.
How to create the best poses
In portrait photography creating the best pose is the key element to success. If the poses aren’t spot on, even the best lighting and gear with the most beautiful subjects won’t save your photos. Here are the 10 best posing techniques to help you achieve the look you want in any photo shoot:
- Create space: Place the subject’s limbs in a way that allows for negative space. If arms and legs are positioned too close to the body, the flesh will spread out in an unflattering way. Spaces and lines help guide the eye around the frame, making the model appear to be in motion and slimmer.
- Tuck the arms back: Tuck the model’s arms far back enough to conceal the upper portion of the arm. The elbows will cinch at the waist, giving the subject a whimsical appearance.
- Force the chin away from the neck: Lean the subject’s head back while pushing out the neck. This creates a very straight line beneath the neck, giving the appearance of alertness.
- Arch the back: An exaggerated, arched back will define the waist, give the illusion of curves, imply movement and create negative space.
- Drop the shoulders: For an elegant look, have the subject relax his or her shoulders after taking a deep breath. While the shoulders are dropped, elongate the neck.
- Tilt the head back: Tilt your subject’s head back with he or she looking upward to elongate the neck and define the jawline. It gives the impression that the model is focused on something, leaving the viewer wondering what is so interesting.
- Twisting the body: Slightly twist your model’s body to create space between the limbs and the torso to avoid a boxy look. The shape of this pose expresses a sense of movement.
- Pull the arms back: Position the arms back with tension: For a dynamic pose, direct your models to thrust their arms behind them.
- Create motion: Have the subject move around. Instead of just creating the illusion of movement, have the model actually engage in motion.
- Design shape: Have the subject deliberately twist his or her body to create shape and tension. Decide ahead of time how you want the shape to appear.
A successful photo shoot requires great techniques and good direction. Clear communication between the photographer and the model is the most important element. This will make for a better shoot because the best poses will be executed in front of the camera. The goal is always to make the subject look amazing.