Posing Basics in Photography

Posing Basics in Photography

Today we’ll discuss about posing basics in photography. Most of us play the role of a model, that is, a subject of photo shooting. Almost every family now has affordable and easy-to-use amateur cameras, which allow at the same time to get a pretty decent quality image. And although everyone wants to look attractive in a photo, but not everyone knows how to achieve this. It doesn’t matter if you dream of becoming a professional photo model or just want to always gladly and proudly show your images to friends. Knowing certain patterns and subtleties that affect the aesthetics of the final result, and owning special posing techniques, you will feel much more confident under the camera lens pointed at you.

The ability to demonstrate oneself in front of the camera easily and naturally is impossible without psychological liberation, the absence of internal clamps, the ability to get used to different images, and also without excellent control of one’s body. It would seem that what could be easier than the work of a photo model, smile at the camera, and the rest is the photographer’s care. But in fact, the end result directly depends on the coherence of their intense teamwork and the level of professionalism of the model. The latter means a lot of things, ranging from punctuality and ending with the ability to patiently take the same pose over and over again with a cute expression.

After all, the creation of artistic or even simply beautiful photographs is a creative process, implying a special atmosphere of mutual understanding that is easy to break. Therefore, the model should carefully listen to the words of the photographer and try to penetrate as deeply as possible into the image that he is trying to create. The ability to transform into the most diverse or even opposite characters, to be flexible material in the hands of the creator – the artist – this is the most important quality, without which there can be no real photo model.

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

It should also be noted that with the skill and desire, any person can be successfully photographed. There is no face that has a good photographercould not find “zest”. And the notorious “photogenicity” is a purely professional concept, by which they actually mean a universal appearance, which often does not attract much attention in everyday life. These faces allow them to be removed from any angle and can be easily changed with makeup and hairstyles, which gives unlimited possibilities for work. Very often, girls whose faces do not leave the covers of glossy magazines are not recognized on the street and they are lost in the crowd. In photographs, they look like real stars.

A significant role in this is played not only by the ability to present oneself, but also by the emotional work of the model, her psychological involvement in the process and the gift to convey to the viewer a rich palette of the slightest shades of her feelings, which is very similar to the work of an actress. Seemingly, how can the inner movements of the soul be reflected on paper? But any experienced photographer will immediately notice how “lively” the model’s eyes are. They immediately betray her fatigue, extraneous thoughts or insecurity. To convey mood and emotions to the viewer, rich facial expressions and a special attractive aura of gaze are important.

Thus, we can summarize that the similarity with the original or its beauty in the traditional sense is far from the most important criterion when creating art photography. Much more important are the feelings and thoughts that the image evokes in the viewer. And in this a big role is assigned to the photo model, while the photographer acts as a production director.

Model Behavior Psychology

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

For novice models, especially if the photography is done in a professional studio, there is a feeling of tension from the excessive attention paid to them from all sides. This is a make-up artist, a hairdresser, a stylist, and other specialists working at the moment on the set. The model immediately appears uncertain in movements and confusion in front of the lens. Poses become angular, unnatural. Excitement prevents you from concentrating on work. In this case, the photographer comes to the aid of the model.: distracts the model with conversations, questions and jokes, establishing closer contact with her and gradually removing psychological “clamps”. In this case, the specific tasks assigned to the model help a lot, by performing which she forgets about the lens. But, of course, the model itself should try in various ways to remove the initial excitement.

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

Here are seven basic rules that professional photo models follow before and during photography:

  1. You need to sleep well, then the face will be fresh, and the mood – good;
  2. Being late for shooting is bad form;
  3. It is customary to come to the shooting without makeup in order to save time for its removal, with a neutral manicure. Hair must be clean. Your face and hair will be handled by a makeup artist and hairdresser;
  4. Arriving at the photo session, you need to look around, “settle down”. Try to “try on” the environment for yourself, establish contact with the people with whom you have to work. All inconveniences – in clothes, in the environment or in relations with people – must be eliminated before starting work;
  5. After discussing the idea of the photo with the photographer, try to imagine the chosen image as fully as possible. Think carefully about how you can convey it using facial expressions, gestures, posture. At the same time, it is imperative to take into account the peculiarities of your appearance and the creative “framework” that it imposes on the idea;
  6. Getting to work, you should completely free your mind from everyday worries and extraneous thoughts and focus on work;
  7. It’s a good idea to do a little warm-up to warm up the muscles and make them more plastic and flexible, thus preparing the body for work. This is especially important if you plan to shoot difficult poses or pose in motion.

Model’s Appearance

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

If you like to be photographed and want to experience the pleasure of taking pictures, you need to evaluate your appearance with an open mind and very carefully. Practice shows that the results of such a “assessment” will help you identify and correct shortcomings and discover previously unnoticed advantages.

An objective assessment of your appearance will certainly only benefit. Looking in the mirror, we first of all see our own image formed in our consciousness in the reflection. Moreover, this image may differ from reality both for the better and for the worse. Some do not pay attention to significant deviations from the imaginary ideal, others exaggerate minor ones that can give the image originality and charm. The profession of a photo model, unlike the world of fashion models, does not require restrictions on the volume of the figure “90-60-90 “.

In art photography, images of cheerful and seductive women are most significant, especially since photographers are increasingly paying attention to interesting, attractive faces. The main thing for a photo model is a well-groomed face, good control of the body and its health. These are the criteria by which you need to evaluate your appearance. At the same time, one must not forget that the camera lens impartially captures reality and notices even those shortcomings that were hidden in life behind facial expressions, plasticity of movements or cheerfulness.

If, as a result of evaluating your appearance, you realize that you have a proportional and slender figure, healthy skin, a symmetrical face, wide-set eyes, a protruding chin – the world of professional fashion models is open for you!

Face Evaluation of a Model

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

It is most correct to start assessing your appearance with your face. To do this, you need to remove all makeup, remove hair from the face (for example, into the tail with a tape), sit in front of the mirror so that the light (best of all daylight) evenly illuminates the face.

The first thing to pay close attention to is the condition of the skin. It should be smooth, fresh and healthy in color. In no case should you entertain yourself with the illusion that a wizard-make-up artist will come and use makeup to “restore” your face.

The makeup artist has other tasks, and the constant care of the skin is the task of the photo model. It can also be cosmetic masks. (moisturizing, cleansing or nourishing), and beauty treatments in the salon. Healthy sleep and proper nutrition are essential for facial skin care.

Sleep deprivation threatens dull, unhealthy skin that does not have time to renew during a short night’s sleep, as well as the formation of circles under the eyes. And eating spicy, smoked or salty foods leads to acne and swelling. No cosmetics can hide these defects.

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

The next step is to define the shape of your face. How to do it? You need to sit straight in front of the mirror, not tilt your head forward or back, so as not to distort the true proportions, and ask someone close to trace the outline of your reflection on the mirror either with lipstick or with a permanent marker. The ideal shape is considered to be a regular oval, but other face shapes (triangular, round, elongated) are not so bad, especially if you balance them with your hairstyle, the right choice of accessories, neckline and the most favorable angles.

For an elongated face, for example, wide-brimmed hats are most suitable, and for a wide and round face, tall hats. For owners of the correct oval, smooth hairstyles and straight partings are suitable. For a round face, it is best to cover the ears and the side of the face with hair, so that the visually round face appears narrower. Shooting angle – three-quarters or profile. For a narrow and long face, various options for bangs that cover the forehead and hair length to the cheekbones are suitable. In order not to create additional vertical lines, a model with a narrow or long face should slightly tilt the head forward and move it relative to the torso.

When assessing a face, the ratio of individual details on it and their proportionality relative to each other is important. It is better to shoot a large nose from the front or from a point located below the level of the face, and with a long nose, it is not recommended to tilt your head forward. A square, large or double chin is best shot from high angles. Small eyes appear larger if the model looks slightly to the side. Most people’s eyes appear to be more open if, while shooting, they are not looking directly into the lens, but slightly higher. Deep-set eyes do not like overhead lighting, and with close-set eyes, it is better to shoot the model with a turn of the head and in profile.

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

Particular attention should be paid to the shape of the eyebrows. Ideal eyebrows should have an even shape with well-defined borders, be saturated in color, but not distract the main attention. They should follow the natural line of the browbones. It is quite easy to make any eyebrows beautiful, especially if there is a stylist-makeup artist on the set. But in order not to spend a lot of time on this procedure every time, you need to independently maintain the form he found for you.

The nose, lips and eyes, in contrast to the eyebrows, do not lend themselves to such a simple transformation. But there are professional makeup techniques that will help make these parts of the face more advantageous.

When assessing the condition of your hair and hairstyle, some tips will help you:

  • with large facial features, hairstyles of a simple geometric shape will be most suitable;
  • with small features, small elements should be used less often in the hairstyle (for example, individual curls);
  • a high forehead can be hidden with a bang;
  • a low forehead can be veiled with a high and lush hairstyle, but smooth hair in this case is not desirable;
  • if you shift the emphasis on hair, the bulk of which is in the neck area, you will make the heavy chin less noticeable.

Long hair carries a huge charge and unlimited possibilities for posing. They can be used both as a separate element of the composition, and as a tool for creating mood, and as a mask for imperfections in appearance.

These tips are general and save both the model and the photographer from basic mistakes.

Body Assessment

It’s time to talk about evaluating your figure. You can do this in a swimsuit or light underwear (or you can do it without it if you plan to pose “nude”). It is desirable that you see yourself in a full-length mirror. The evaluation algorithm is as follows: without looking in the mirror, stand in front of him as you stand in everyday life. Get into a relaxed position and then cast a casual glance at your reflection. Suppress the involuntary desire to pull yourself up, to straighten like a string and thereby hide your own shortcomings from yourself. Most likely, you will see in the reflection not what you expected. What you should immediately pay attention to:

  1. Posture. Note whether you are slouching in your usual state, whether you keep your shoulders at the same level, whether you stick out your stomach. A bent back ages a person and makes him look unhealthy, tired and lethargic. This is especially noticeable when leaning in profile. The arch of the back in the lumbar region looks elegant, emphasizing the thinness of the waist and giving the figure a femininity. Do not forget that the waist should be well defined when shooting from the front.
  2. Legs. To determine the correctness of the shape of the legs, you can stand at attention (feet together). Ideally, four “windows” should form: a small triangle at the top, an elongated gap above the knees, a smaller one – under the knees and between the ankles. The length of the legs of the model is always considered not by itself, but in relation to the length of the body.

Accordingly, a long torso makes the legs shorter, while a short torso makes the legs endless, which is ideal for photography. High heels increase the instep of the feet and the high cut bikini panties lengthen the legs at the expense of the hips. Short clothes and fabrics with large patterns are undesirable for short stature. If the leg muscles are overdeveloped, pose lying or sitting, allowing the muscles to relax. Fake tanning or foundation works well for translucent veins in the legs or arms.

Posing Basics in Photography
Posing Basics in Photography

Each model should be well aware of the flaws and advantages of her figure in order to shift the emphasis on the merits when posing.

For photographers, there are several recommendations to present the model in the picture in the best possible way:

  • you can lengthen short legs using shooting from the lowest point of the shooting;
  • with full legs, it is not recommended to act in profile, sitting on a chair, while it is better not to wear bright or openwork tights;
  • the curvature of the legs can hide the semi-profile position;
  • the full figure can be hidden with side views and a back view half-turned to the lens;
  • in order to hide the ratio of too long or short arms to the body, when posing, they cannot be completely lowered, but it is better to bend in one way or another;
  • if you transfer accents to the neckline or hairstyle, and place a figure in dark clothes on a dark background, you can hide a big belly.