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Lesson 5: Definitive Posing Tips to Make Sure Your Model Always Gets It Right!

What can be more annoying to the professional photographer than working with a model who just isn’t striking the right pose?! Nothing! That’s what! Unfortunately, this reality is made harsher by the fact that you’re not always going to be working with professional models during your photo shoots. Get ready to deal with amateur models for many of your shoots! Worried? Concerned? Don’t be! We at Photodoto have you covered in our posing tips walkthrough.

The thing you’ve got to realize with models is that they’re living, breathing creatures…unfortunately. Unlike the environment that you can easily control for your shots, models have their own minds about how to do things. Some of them don’t listen while others can be just downright difficult to deal with, but you have to make it work. You’re the professional here! So what…do you do?

You looking at me?  Photo by Heine Mann

You looking at me? Photo by Heine Mann

You don’t want to be too regimented—after all, photography should be an organic and natural process that just unfolds. It’s art as much as it is science! Still, at the same time, you need rules to make sure that your work with the model goes efficiently and that time and money aren’t wasted during the shoot. Here are Photodoto’s posing tips to make sure models get it right the first time…all the time!

The Use of Separation

No one wants to look at a model in a photograph who’s unattractive or fatter than she has to appear on camera. The truth of the matter is that fat is unattractive, so it’s best to wisely use separation to make your model come across as slimmer and, thus, more graceful. More specifically, you should tell your model to create separation between her body and limbs.

Note how the limbs are not close to the body. Photo by Matan Eshel

Note how the limbs are not close to the body. Photo by Matan Eshel

This has practical benefits all around, which make your model appear more flattering to viewers. The separation between the body and limbs produces an optical illusion in terms of a slimmer look in relation to the overall width of the body. In addition, it also stops the model from squashing her limbs against her body during a shoot, which would cause the spreading out of fat on the body. Call it “cheating” if you want to be brutally honest, but it works!

Teach the Model About Light

Be sure to be mindful of how you can use the light to your advantage during the shoot. Tell the model that even small changes in her posture can affect the outcome of how the shot looks. Make sure your model knows that, for example, raising her arm to the light could end up being an entire F-stop brighter in-camera than her face.

Because of issues dealing with the light, you don’t want the model to raise her arm too much. Photo by Dima Mergel

Because of issues dealing with the light, you don’t want the model to raise her arm too much. Photo by Dima Mergel

This can be balanced by having the model raise her other arm! Alternately, your model can also try moving her arm back just a little bit and so away from the direct beam of the light. It’s amazing how even small adjustments can show up noticeably in the picture.

At the same time, you should instill great awareness in your model about her proximity to the light source during a shoot. Let’s say that the light was metered to an exact location; make sure she maintains this proximity during the shoot. If she does get too close to it during the shoot, you can always rectify it if you keep track of it, too.

A Good Posture at All Times!

You’ve heard this a million times before: Keeping a good posture helps your spine, your breathing and your stature. It turns out that it also helps models look their best in photographs! Professional photographers always tell their models, even if they’re in fantastic shape and all, to suck in their stomachs to produce a more toned appearance. Hey, this is photography, which can be superficial at times, to be sure!

To attain this ideal look, tell your model to keep her shoulders up at all times as well as her back straight. If your model happens to be modeling a bathing suit or underwear, then this is all the more important, naturally.

 Check out this model’s straight-as-an-arrow posture. Photo by Konstantin Kryukovskiy

Check out this model’s straight-as-an-arrow posture. Photo by Konstantin Kryukovskiy

You’ve also heard that slouching is bad for you, no doubt. In the photography world, this old piece of advice gets a new lease on life as professional photographers always discourage their models from slouching in shoots. And why shouldn’t they? After all, slouching causes adverse effects in a picture, such as infusing a negative mood and making the stomach of models look bigger! If your model is already on the larger side, then definitely get her not to slouch!

It’s Just Fine to Look Away From the Camera

Looking away from the camera is perfectly fine for your model to do…at the right moments, of course. Encourage your model to feel comfortable with, on occasion, glancing away from the camera during the shoot. When your model glances away from the lens for a change, she can take advantage of a variety of eye and head poses that use different facial expressions!

What could this model be looking at, just off-camera? Photo by Jay Kreens

What could this model be looking at, just off-camera? Photo by Jay Kreens

In fact, if you happen to glance through big-name fashion magazines, you’ll quickly see an assortment of both female and male models looking away from the camera. That’s obviously not an accident, as professional photographers realize that models looking away from the camera infuse the shot with extra character and mystery.

You should definitely have your model try this during your photo shoots. It’s really wondrous how this slight adjustment can really provide additional flair to your photographs. With an effortless turn of the head or tilt of the neck in an off-center direction, you can snap some memorable photographs.

Are You Looking for More Posing Tips?

Are you a budding photographer? Do you have to work with models, but find it frustrating to get cooperation from them during a shoot? If so, you may just not be directing them commandingly enough, but we at Photodoto can help you! Hey, it’s what we’re here for, after all!

triking the right pose elevates any picture so much. Photo by olena galaziuk

Striking the right pose elevates any picture so much. Photo by olena galaziuk

If you found the above posing tips very actionable and useful (we sure hope so!), then you may be interested to know that we’ve actually produced an ebook that has a lot more tips than the ones we just presented. How many more? Try a whopping 99 posing tips in all! It’s called “Photographer’s Cheat Sheet: 99 Posing Tips”. Whew! That’s so many that we got tired just typing in “99”. Simply put, if you can’t find the perfect posing tip in our ebook, then it doesn’t exist—guaranteed.

In our ebook, we take you through a vast assortment of female poses that include classic, against-the-wall, face close-ups, full-length, on-the-floor and, of course, sitting-on-the-chair. We’re so comprehensive and thorough that we’ve even included male and couple posing tips, too, in the same categories!

So to buy Photodoto’s ebook “Photographer’s Cheat Sheet: 99 Posing Tips”, just head to our library.

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