Lesson 7 of 8
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3 Posing Tips for a More Natural Look

Welcome back !

To round out this Tiny Photo Course For Parents, let’s talk about a 3 posing tips. We’re going for natural and relaxed!

Tip 1: Get the hands comfortable

Hands on hips. Fingers OR thumbs in pockets. Just give those hands somewhere to go!

When it comes to the hands, there’s nothing that will produce a stiffer looking pose that have the hands straight down by the sides. No one stands this way when they’re relaxed. But we tend to resort to this place because we simply don’t know what to do with our hands.

A few easy solutions:

  1. Have them put their hands in their pockets. They’ll immediately relax.
  2. Arms gently crossed
  3. Hands on hips, or one hand on hip and he other hand in the back pocket.

Any of these will dramatically improve the pose because the subject will become more comfortable now that they have something to do with their hands!

Tip 2: Get the weight on one foot

Notice they’re all placing their weight primarily on one foot. Having the subject cross their legs is a foolproof way to make this happen. Also, Payson (right) is showing another option for those hands (gently crossed arms).

When we’re just standing around talking, we’re constantly shifting our weight slightly between one foot and the other.  We’re rarely standing straight up, weight on center, unless we’re standing at attention.

Simple solutions to this stiff look:

1. Have them cross their feet
2. Say, put your weight on that foot (point) and kick the other foot forward.

Tip #3: Avoid squared-to-camera shoulders (ladies especially).

In other words, angle the shoulders (at least slightly) off camera.

The idea here is to flatter the subject. Off setting the shoulders softens the subject. It can also have a slimming effect, but that’s not what I’m going for here. Just the cute part.

See, here’s Queen Elsa squared up to the camera:

Shoulders square to camera can feel “stiff.”

Still the most beautiful Queen ever. But here she with shoulders offset:

Shoulders offset to camera can feel much softer, but only if it’s not overly forced.

Most of the problems arise when folks try to bring the face back towards the camera. There’s a few things that generally go wrong:

  • They don’t bring the chin back to camera far enough, and thus the eyes go looking out the corners.
  • They bring back the chin, but leave it too high.
  • They bring back the chin AND throw in another “tilt”

Combo any of these and it’s easy to be left with the classic stiff pose from 1986.

The Simple Solution

After you have the subject turned (even slightly) off camera, simply have them bring their chin back to their front shoulder.

That’s it.

Don’t over direct!

Simply say something like: “Okay, just stay where you are but move your chin to where it almost touches your shoulder.”

For the most part, you’ll preserve a natural head tilt and you’ll get the eyes following the nose (as they generally should be).

In all of these posing tips, it’s important to keep it simple and don’t over direct.

If you over direct, the subject becomes super self aware and thus stiff (best case) or frustrated because they feel like they can’t get your perfect pose right (worst case).

Let things flow. Keep it moving. That’s actually another tip that helps posing tremendously. Keep things moving.

But speaking of that, time to wrap this tip up!