How to Naturally Pose Photography Subjects

You cannot call yourself a good photographer just because you’re technically good. Especially when you’re photographing people, settings and know-how alone do not create good photos. You must be able to direct your subjects, models or not, so that they look best in front of the lens. However, this is easier said than done. If you, like most photographers, have a bit of a difficult time posing your subjects, we have the right video for you: professional wedding and portrait photographer Vanessa Joy shares her thought process behind how she poses people who are not models:

The key to good posing is to make your subjects appear as comfortable and natural as possible. While posing comes quite naturally to a few people, you will need to direct others to make them look better. And for this, there are a couple things that you can do.

A good place to start is by looking at how the subject rests naturally. Then build on that. Direct them so the shape of their body is accentuated—so their curves are defined and they don’t look flat. As Joy demonstrates in the video, the direction of where their toes, hips, shoulders, head and eyes are pointing will massively affect the image. The angle made by the elbows dictates whether you want your subject to appear strong, elegant or vulnurable.

“Where you position elbows really makes a difference on what you’re conveying in the photo.”

Interestingly, your lens choice can also determine how the subject comes off. Wide-angle lenses can exaggerate body features close to it, while longer lenses have greater compression. Based on how you want the subject to appear, both of these lenses can come in handy.

If you want to improve your posing techniques, we highly recommend that you watch the entire video. You’ll defintely learn a lot just by looking at the way Joy works with her subject.

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