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Portrait Photography Tips - Pose Them Right

Perhaps one of the most important techniques to get right in portrait photography is posing your model. Striking the right pose is essential because a lot of factors in portrait photography are dependent upon it. The way he or she poses for a photograph can entirely change the mood for the photo. The way the model composes his or her own body also influences the way the photographer composes his picture.

Avoid static poses

In order to take great portrait photographs it is essential that the model is relaxed and composed. Remember ordinary poses like the ones with arms sticking to the sides of the body could look stiff and boring to the viewer. The human body looks best when viewed from an angle so avoid shooting the model in poses where both shoulders are horizontal or in poses where in the hands are placed at the same level of the body. Always ask your model to shift the body weight to one leg and to keep one shoulder above the other. The other leg could be placed in such a way so as to enhance the overall pose.

Portrait Photography Tips
Photo By  Dan Foy

Look for lines and shapes

With different poses the human body could be made to form letters like ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘S’, or ‘Y’, etc. For example, a bent elbow resting at the waist forms an interesting triangle. Similar triangles are formed when we rest our fist under the chin. Similar results may be obtained by positioning the arms and torso. Depending upon how one stands, the lines and angles that the body forms and also the shapes can make portrait photos look dynamic.

Portrait Photography Tips
Photo By Osvaldo Pieroni

Establish a comfort level

One of the primary aspects of any successful portrait photo shoot is the chemistry between the model and the photographer. The model should be comfortable working along the photographer, the photographer should encourage the model and also suggest basic poses and variations and if necessary demonstrate the pose or show a sample photograph so as to let the model know exactly what he wishes to capture in the photograph. It takes time and conscious effort from both the model and the photographer in order to establish this kind of relationship, but once it happens, the best poses simply happen. Have fun shooting and remember to experiment by making variations to each pose.

Portrait Photography Tips
Photo By AehoHikaruki

Make your model look great

Like fingerprints on our hands, each body is unique with its own strengths and flaws. In order to take stunning portraits one should first identify the strengths and flaws of the model and work to highlight the strengths and to minimize the flaws. For example when working with a model with beautiful hands pose them in a manner in which emphasis is given to the fingers. Similarly if your model is plump and you wish to make her look slimmer, make her wear black clothes and shoot from a slight angle.

Portrait Photography Tips
Photo By  Diyana Kamaruza

Beware of Amputations

When composing your shots to take close up shots, always remember to check for any unintended crops. Make sure that a certain pose or the way you frame the shot does not make it look as if the model’s arm or leg is amputated.

Portrait Photography Tips
Photo By @n@nd@m

Lastly remember there is no one size fits all solution for poses in portrait photography. A pose that suits subject A may not suit subject B and vice versa. Every person looks better from a particular angle. As a portrait photographer, your challenge is to identify the best angle to shoot a model from. The best pose may look bad because you are not viewing it from the right angle. Aim to capture the perfect pose and make the person in your photograph look great.

In the next article we will discuss about Photography - Portrait Photography - Portrait Photography - Getting The Perfect Background

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