Posing is an important skill for anyone who wants to look good in photos, regardless of age, weight, gender, and body shape. Of course, models, photographers, and actors study this art more deeply, but anyone can learn the basic rules!

Some people might think that the skill of posing is not so important in the era of digital photos: you can take as many takes as you want, choose the best one, and retouch it. Indeed, there are a lot of tools that allow you to tweak the look of a model in a photo. For example, on Retouchme service you can reduce the waist online. But to get the best effect, it’s worth avoiding outright posing mistakes. Let’s consider a few rules that professional models follow!

Top 10 Recommendations for Posing

Let’s start with the fact that you should not blindly learn poses from magazines and manuals. First, without seeing yourself from the side, it is easy to make a mistake and get completely wrong. Secondly, the choice of a particular pose can be influenced by the outfit, the model’s physique, and the location of lighting. It is important to be inspired by beautiful photographs — it forms the aesthetic taste and the so-called observation, but during the shooting you also need to feel the situation, to use the rules which we will consider below.

  • Work on looseness. Muscle tension is especially evident in photos. Most people suffer from chronic tension in the neck and shoulder area, which is often added to a fear of the camera. The result — “wooden” poses, the lack of plasticity in the frame. To avoid this, you should get acquainted and communicate with the photographer before the shooting, do some exercise, and perhaps use breathing exercises to relax.
  • Train your posture. A straight back is one of the most important rules. Even when leaning in front of the camera, you should keep your posture, using your elbow, hip, and furniture for support. It is recommended to watch your posture throughout your life — it will not only help you look natural in the photo but also have a positive effect on your health.
  • Add curves. Just standing or sitting straight is not enough. That way, the pose looks too tense, too stiff. To avoid this, shift your weight from one foot to another, you can put your hip slightly to the side, bend at the knee of the non-supporting leg, move your hand away, etc. All this forms a more dynamic image.
  • Watch the position of your body with the camera. Anything closer to the camera looks bigger. That’s why you should not point your legs and arms, knees and elbows toward the photographer, lean forward or backward strongly. This disturbs the proportionality of the figure. An exception is only if the composition is meant to be distorted.
  • Do not hide the arms and legs. It’s desirable to have the limbs in the frame, otherwise, the silhouette looks disproportionate. Also, fingers should be visible in the frame, if you put your hands behind your head, or put them on your waist.
  • Place your hands sideways. There are pictures where palms turned toward the viewer create a particularly bright, sometimes even dramatic impression. But these are usually reportage pictures or non-standard conceptual photos. Usually, it is not recommended to do so, because palms look very wide — in modeling slang, there is even an expression “to show shovels”. Your hands will look much more elegant if you turn them sideways or three-quarters of the way to the camera.
  • Don’t forget the face. Correct body positioning is only half the battle. It’s important to look in the frame, to play with emotions. A model should not be tired or upset. Try to relax the face and slightly open the lips — so they will look more natural in the photo.

As you study other people’s talented work, note interesting posing techniques, lighting arrangements, the composition of the frame, and original accessories. Such an approach will spur your creative thinking and help improve your skills.

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