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Posing Guide

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Shooting a human body is one of the most difficult things in photography. How do you make a man masculine, and a female feminine looking, how do you make a couple look in love and a family look happy? First of all it's achieved by the pose. For a normal photo session you have to have a plan. This guide will help you to make this plan.


To make it easier for you to read this book, it is divided into two parts; these parts are advice for a photographer and popular poses for taking pictures. Use these parts separately or together, whatever is easier for you. It might be more convenient for you to print out separate pages and consult them during shooting. Sometimes it might be necessary to show the information to the model to demonstrate the way the model has to position himself/herself at the moment. And the advice that is given, can be printed out and posted above your working table it definitely deserves it!


2. A decent model should almost always transfer the weight on one of the feet. Such photography poses look much more natural.

1. Everyone knows the position for a typical beginner photographer the model is standing facing the camera holding the body vertically. It's not advisable to use this pose. It doesn't have any life, and it's plain boring. In general it can suit some models if those models have ideal figures. You can have an effect of a split between the legs, if the legs have a classical shape. But in general this pose should be used with caution.

5. Pay more attention to the photography poses when the model is positioned side-ways or is standing half-turned, but not facing the camera.

6. Legs are a part of a woman's body that attracts attention of most men. A girl that has long legs is considered by any man as a more beautiful girl, than the one with short legs. If you would like to give your model longer legs visually, you can do it through raising her feet to seem taller (shoes on high heels,

4. The easiest way to accentuate the feminine features of a model is to take a picture of her secretly when she is trying to make herself look better fixing her makeup, her hair or her clothes.

3. In order for the girl in the picture to stay feminine, you have to avoid straight angles and straight lines. Try to create the poses, that are smooth; create the curves, that accentuate softness and feminine characteristics for the model. Straight angles, strength, roughness should be used when you are taking a shot of a man.

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8. If the model looks up, and not in the camera, then the eyes look bigger and more expressive. You can ask the model to tilt the face forward and look in the camera, then the eyes will look bigger as well. 10. During the photo shoot the model moves in front of the camera, taking various poses. Encourage smooth movement avoiding brisk moves, this will allow you to keep the proper emotional attitude, calmness and relaxation to go through the whole session smoothly. 9. Make sure to have the correct framing of the shot, so if the model is being shot in full height, then the distance between the head and the top corner of the picture should be larger than the distance between the legs and the bottom corner of the picture.

7. Another simple method to make legs longer is to take a picture of the model from below and to shoot mainly from bottom up during the photo shoot.

standing on tip toes). If you are taking a picture of a woman in her bathing suit, you can shoot from the back and visually make the length of the legs longer because of the buttocks.

13. If you are taking pictures of a model with one light source, place it in the left top position. That is related to the psychological characteristics of perception.

11. Make sure that the model doesn't stretch the arms or the legs towards the camera, this will make gross distortion from the correct proportions (unless that was meant to be that way).

17. Sometimes photographers use hats that make the model look more feminine. Do not put a small hat on a model with a large head it will visually make her head even larger (think about the queen of hearts).

16. If you are taking a picture of a girl sitting down looking straight at you, remember, that her proportions will be distorted, and her legs will turn out too short.

14. To make the smile brilliant turn away from the photographer. Turn towards him only for one second before taking a shot, depending on his signal, and smile. The smile will appear colourful and natural to its maximum potential. 15. A model in simple clothes like jeans, a sweater, and so on, will look younger in the photograph, as well as fresher and more spontaneous, than in a business suit.

12. Another tip about the legs. Remember that socks make legs look shorter visually, don't forget to ask the model to take them off.

18. For plus size models it's better to stand with their back towards the camera, turning their head sideways.

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1. A model's hair is a very important detail and can become the central point of your composition. You can make very beautiful poses for photo sessions with the help of long, wellkept hair of the model. The hair attracts attention and distract the viewer from body imperfections. Look at the famous photographers' works they always use models with long beautiful hair during their photo shoots. The classical pose is to make the model lie down and spread her hair around, which can make any girl a beauty. Remember that beautiful hair always accentuates the beauty and the expressiveness of the face and the eyes of the girl its the main photography tip for a female photo session. 2. If the photograph has a girl with her long hair loose, where she is doing something with her hair, for example, when she is brushing her hair, the girl's charm, and femininity increase a lot. The main thing here is to spread the elbows to the sides, other than point them towards the photographer.

4. Too much wax or spray in the hair can make the hair shimmer from the flash, so you have to take that into consideration during the photo shoot.

5. The hair style can easily compensate for the face being asymmetric you just need to cover half of the model's face with the hair.

3. The hair can create the dynamics, if the model allows the hair to be blown around in the wind, be shaken or waved around. You can use wet hair, and the model would have to throw the hair on the back, while the photographer would be making the shot.

6. The hair, that the model has in the picture, forms the attitude of the viewer towards the model and creates its image for the viewer. In reality, of course, this image has nothing to do with the real intellect and the character of the model but who cares? Our task is to create a beautiful image, a work of art that everyone can love and admire. 7. If the forehead of the model is completely open, the majority of the viewers will perceive the model as intellectual or intelligent. That is, of course, not always necessary for a girl (more often otherwise). 8. If the hair style is covering the forehead of the model half way, this photograph will be perceived neutrally. That is the safest hair style for most of the purposes. 9. A completely covered forehead with the hair will attract the attention of the viewer towards the forehead. This will make the model daring and strong in the mind of the viewer. This is usually completely inappropriate for an image of a woman (unless you are taking a picture of an athlete, for example, who needs this type of an image).

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3. If the male model has naturally noticeable eyebrows, that are thick, broken or triangular, for example, it's better not to cover them up in the picture. To the opposite, they will become dominant for your photo, accentuating the individuality of the model. 5. When the man is standing up, he can divide his weight proportionately between his legs, or transfer the weight on one leg. It is possible to use any of those standing positions. But transfering the weight on one leg usually makes better photography poses. 4. Good, masculine positions of the arms are having the arms criss-crossed on the chest or holding the hands in the pockets showing thumbs.

2. It's better to turn the model with his chest towards the camera, especially when the model is well-built and has a wide chest. The classical photography pose here is having the thighs half way open, and having the chest straight forward. This will also accentuate the masculinity of the model.

1. It's easy to accentuate the masculinity of the model by creating straight angles in the picture, and creating overall roughness and coarseness. They are very well accepted by the viewers. The proportions of the model don't make a difference.

6. It is better to have the model lower his chin a little during taking the proper position for the shoot sticking the chin out does not look good for either men or women.

7. Rippling muscles, a short neck and narrow thighs are the advantages of a male model, so they have to be accentuated during the photo shoot. Only if the male model has them, of course. 8. A bent, crooked back should be avoided when either a man or a woman are being shot on camera. This creates an impression of a tired sick person and an overall repulsive impression for the viewer. It is advisable for the model to keep the back straight during the photo session. 9. If you are taking a picture of a man in a business suit, it's bette

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