Getting in front of the camera can be scary. It doesn’t matter if you’ve hired a professional photographer or if it’s your cousin taking pictures at the family reunion. The last thing you want to look at is a picture of your hips taking center stage or your nose poking out of the image.
It doesn’t matter how tall or short you are, how petite or curvy, if your nose is a little longer than average, or your one eye always looks too small; a good photographer will easily guide you through poses that will flatter your body and show off your best angles.
As a professional brand photographer I offer these tips on how to pose when your cousin pulls out the camera. You’ll be posing like a model in no time with just these few tricks up your sleeve.
POSING FOCUS: Whatever is CLOSER to the camera will appear BIGGER
LOOK IN THE MIRROR to see which of your eyes is smaller than the other. Most of us have eyes that are slightly different sizes. Always, always, always position your smaller eye closer to the camera. You may have to switch places with aunt Jenny but you’ll be happy to notice that both of your eyes are now the same size.
POP YOUR HIP away from the camera. That takes a little practice because we have a way we naturally like to stand. Once you know which side of your face should be facing the camera, you just have to practice shifting the weight to the leg that is the furthest away from the camera. The full-length mirror in my home has become my best friend. It gives me instant feedback without saying a word or raising an eyebrow. Practice until popping that hip becomes second nature.
POSING FOCUS: Use your legs, arms and hands to create flattering and interesting angles.
FRAME YOUR FACE to draw attention to your lovely smile or the depth of your eyes. Your hands are light as feathers. Manicured hands are incredibly powerful and can add emphasis where you want it most.
BEND THOSE ELBOWS to add shape to your body. Get away from putting your hands on your hips. There are more flattering ways to bring out (or add) curves to add interest to your look.
LIFT THE HEEL OF YOUR FRONT LEG and your knee comes up just a bit to make you look at ease and help with popping that hip in the right direction.
POSING FOCUS: Learn how to do the TURTLE
AVOID THE DREADED DOUBLE-CHIN by elongating your neck up and then pushing your forehead closer to the camera. This also works amazing on Zoom calls.
POSING FOCUS: Use props like walls or stairs to help you with posing naturally.
PROPS make posing easy because they automatically give you something to do. One foot up the stairs bends your legs. Putting your hand on the railing adds shape to your arms and lets your waist appear smaller. Leaning against a wall makes you look at ease and naturally adds an S-curve to your body.
Have you started practicing in front of your mirror yet?
REMEMBER: Whatever is closer to the camera will be the main focus. You want your smiling face to be the main focus point in your image. You now have permission to close the bathroom door and practice. Most of all though – SMILE with your eyes. Your amazing personality is the most flattering part of you and will be noticed most of all.
ALSO REMEMBER: You are beautiful! So smile!
This blog post was first written for Susquehanna Style Magazine.
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Heike Martin is a headshot and branding lifestyle photographer based in Manheim, Pennsylvania. She specializes in helping you magnetize your brand with intentional, eye-catching images. Fun, relaxed and professional.
I can’t wait to capture your essence.