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    How to pose for photos: find the most flattering angles for you and your subjects

    | Photography Tips | Portraits | 16/01/2014 00:01am
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    Non-professional subjects won’t know how to pose for photos so you need to direct them to get the best portraits possible. In this tutorial and cheat sheet we’ll show you three flattering camera angles and three classic poses that work every time.

    How to pose for photos: find the most flattering angles for you and your subjects

    Once you’ve got your studio lights set up and your camera settings ready you’re all set to start shooting portraits at home.

    However, this can be the most challenging part of the process, not for technical reasons, but because this is when you suddenly realise you’ve got to pose your subject.

    For many photographers faced with a family member, friend, or other non-professional model, this is the moment when the idea of shooting rocks in the landscape suddenly seems much more appealing.

    We’ll set you up with a few basic tips, but more often than not once you get started, your subject relaxes in front of the camera and the creative juices get flowing the shoot will start to evolve naturally.

    However, it’s also a good idea to take a look at magazines, books, art galleries and so forth to get an idea of the kind of pose you’re after.

    It’s not just the position of the model that’s important. You’ll need to consider your own angle too, as camera height alone can have an enormous impact on your work.

    SEE MORE: 10 classic posing mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

    Flattering camera angles for portrait photography

    How to pose for photos: find the most flattering angles for you and your subjects

    Click on the infographic to see the larger version, or drag and drop to the desktop.

    01 High
    Positioning your camera slightly higher than the subject’s eyes can often produce a more flattering image. It generally creates a slimming effect. Notice how the neck recedes and the jaw looks more defined. But don’t go over the top – go too high and your subject will look like they’re in some strange yoga position.

    02 Eye level
    With the right lighting eye level should be fine in most situations. Be aware that your camera height will affect how the portrait looks. Your camera’s LCD screen will be vital in helping you assess this. If you’re shorter than your subject, consider using a box or step ladder to reach the right height.

    03 Lying down
    Generally, the lower you go with your camera angle, the less flattering the photo. It certainly won’t make large folk look any slimmer. It does, however, create a striking effect  and your subject will seem important. Corporate shots of business leaders are often shot from a low angle to create precisely this illusion.

    SEE MORE: 54 portrait ideas: free downloadable posing guide

    How to pose for photos: 3 classic poses

    These classic poses will get you great results from even the most awkward subjects

    How to pose for photos: 3 classic poses

    01 Female poses

    If your subject stands firmly on both feet facing the camera, it won’t work well. Just asking them to shift their weight to their back foot will force a three-quarter look which is much more flattering.

    Introducing hands into the shot is a great way to enhance the composition. Be careful they don’t dominate though – a hand is nearly the same size as a person’s face and can cause a distraction.

    02 Male poses
    Feet are just as important to think about when you’re posing men, and straight-on shots still won’t work terribly well.

    However, for a more dominant and masculine pose, get your male subject to put their body weight forward onto their front foot, so they’re leaning forward for a ‘man from GQ’ effect.

    SEE MORE: Male poses – 17 tips to make him confident and comfortable for your camera

    Slip one hand into a trouser pocket and you’ll complete the pose nicely – even if it is a little corny.

    03 Couple poses
    Posing couples can be quite a challenge, and you’ll have to vary your approach depending on the size and shape of your subjects.

    SEE MORE: 17 romantic couple poses that will make you say, ‘I do’

    However, the basic principles that we’ve outlined above for posing men and women still apply. Facing straight on doesn’t work well and a three-quarter twist helps.

    Experiment with eye contact too – getting your subjects to look at each can work really well.

    READ MORE

    17 posing tips and in-camera slimming tricks for shooting curvy models
    19 stellar posing tips and camera tricks for flattering pictures of older people
    18 of the best ever posing tips for group photos
    14 portrait photography tips you’ll never want to forget
    6 simple lighting setups for shooting portraits at home: free photography cheat sheet


    Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips, Portraits.

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