Poses That Will Boost Confidence for Plus Size Models

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  By Taya Ivanova
Poses That Will Boost Confidence for Plus Size Models www.sleeklens.com

Most people are camera shy, but women with curves may be even more self-conscious. The job of every photographer is to motivate subjects to focus less on their size and exude confidence and beauty. Knowing about plus-size poses can help you inspire a curvy woman to shine in front of the camera.

While the right photography poses can accentuate anyone’s appearance, you should emphasize the person, not the body type. All people have unique personalities, and all bodies are beautiful. Your goal should always be to help your subjects be their authentic selves, without concern about their body shape or size.

Knowing the right pose to use can help you take superior photos of plus-size women or men and limit the time you spend on post-production editing. That said, you can use Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets to accent any photo and make your subjects look their best.

Tips for Posing Plus Size Models

Make Sure She Knows That It’s Okay to Fail

Before you even pick up your camera, let your model know that the first few photos won’t look that great because that’s just how photo shoots work. A few minutes of nervous laughter, awkwardness, and mistakes are more than normal. Even professional models need to get used to new photographers to truly feel like themselves in front of the camera.

Hands on Hips

This is a classic pose that works for almost all body types. Have your model put her hand on her hip. A pose like this will force your model to straighten her back, which will naturally make her feel more confident.

Avoid Tension

Not a single part of your model’s body should be tense. To avoid physical tension, ask your model to take a few deep breaths before your photo shoot and whenever she feels uncomfortable.

Another way to prevent tension is to get to know your model. If she understands you and admires your work, it will be easier for her to make a real connection with you, one that will significantly reduce the impact of those first awkward minutes of your shoot.

You can get to know your model by sending her a pre-shoot questionnaire, having a quick Skype chat, or meeting her before your photo shoot in a cozy place. The key is to make your clients feel like they’re your friends, not random strangers.

Above Eye Level

above eye level shot

Even a professional model will have a double chin if she takes a selfie from a low angle.

For the most flattering results, take photos above eye level. This will get rid of unflattering shadows and make your model’s face look even.

Highlight Her Best Features Using Foregrounds


are objects that are very close to your lens. If your f-number is very small (e.g. f/1.8), these foregrounds will transform into elegant blurred shapes.

I often use this technique to highlight my models’ favorite facial features, such as their eyes. To do this, I cover half of my lens with a colorful object that complements my subject’s outfit or eye color. This object can be a flower, a hand, or even a branch. Once I’m happy with the foreground, I manually focus on my model and press the shutter. That’s it!

Avoid Photographing Insecurities

plus size model

Even the most self-possessed individuals have their insecurities. Make sure you’re aware of what your model doesn’t want to see in her photographs. The last thing you want to do is go against her wishes and photograph what you assume is pretty. If you show her that you care about her opinion and want to take photos that she loves, she’ll feel more comfortable in front of your camera.

Starting conversations about insecurities can be both awkward and difficult. To avoid unwanted stress on both sides, bring up your own insecurities first. This might encourage your client to open up and find the best ways to feel comfortable in her skin.

Regularly Change Poses

Just as there’s no life without change, there’s no creativity without change. Even if you find a pose you love, don’t forget to play around with other ideas and expressions. The more diverse your photos are, the more images your client will be able to choose from, and the more beautiful your portfolio will look.

plus size pose

Drop the Front Shoulder

A plus-size person may feel concerned about having a double chin appear in headshots or close-up photos. A simple tip to avoid this unwanted phenomenon is to have your subject lower the front shoulder and pull the front arm a little bit away from the body. This causes the person being photographed to elongate the neck and push the chin forward to prevent a double chin.

Hips Away from The Camera

Every fashion photographer knows that whatever is furthest away from the camera will appear smaller. You can use this insight to help slim the hips and midsection of the person being photographed. Encourage your subject to lower the chin and push it forward while moving the hips away from the camera.

Use the Setting to De-Emphasize Body Size

Another strategy to flatter a plus-size photography subject is strategically using the surroundings. Having a curvy woman recline behind some tall flowers can emphasize her face. You can also encourage your subject to place her arms along her body to accentuate her curves.

If you’re taking family photos, you can position a mom with curves behind her children to de-emphasize her midsection or lower body. You can also use the surroundings to cover parts of her body and keep the focus of attention on her face.

How to Become a Plus-Size Model

Today, fashion brands are eager to reflect their diverse customer bases with the models they use for their promotion and advertising. Even Sports Illustrated – -known for featuring athletic and trim models on its iconic covers – put a plus-size woman in the spotlight in one of its latest publications.

This exciting development in the modeling world has opened up new opportunities for people of all body types. With more fashion brands and people celebrating body positivity, demand for plus-size models is growing rapidly. With confidence and persistence, plus-size women and men can make their mark in modeling.

If you’ve ever dreamed of modeling, you can turn those visions into a reality by taking a few smart steps toward your goals.

1. Take Care of Yourself

Every model needs to look his or her best. You should practice healthy habits to take care of your appearance. Drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

Be sure to keep your skin well moisturized, and get regular haircuts to keep your hair in peak condition, even if you have long hair. Also, keep your nails, toenails, and eyebrows well-groomed.

2. Get in Touch with Agents

Do you have what it takes to become a model? Experienced professionals can give you the best insights.

Your best bet is to get in touch with several agents to get their opinions. Keep in mind that agents have different specialty areas. While some focus on connecting well-known national brands with talented models, others may have a regional or local focus. You may find agents that work exclusively with advertising, while others cater to runway modeling.

That’s why connecting with multiple agents is ideal. You may find one agent tells you that you don’t have the right look, but another agent may find you to be the perfect fit.

You may want to contact agents via email, regular mail, through conventions, or websites to maximize your exposure. Some agencies allow you to submit photos for review, while others may want you to come in for a meeting.

Attending open castings is another way to connect with agents. Events like these can be difficult at first, as they tend to be very competitive, but they also allow you to connect with other models and industry professionals. Over time, as you attend more casting calls, you’ll gain more confidence and learn from these valuable experiences.

Launching a modeling career can take a lot of hard work for anyone with any body type. Persistence can definitely pay off.

3. Share Some Quality Photos

While you can hire a professional photographer for a photo shoot, that isn’t always necessary when you’re just starting modeling. Agents are accustomed to reviewing snapshots of would-be curvy models, and you can even supply photos you take yourself on your phone.

You’ll want to ensure that each photo is clear and in focus to portray your best look. Use proven plus-size poses and learn which poses to avoid as well. Also, make sure you include at least one full-length photo and one headshot. Always make sure you look well-groomed and dress in up-to-date looks to make the best impression. You can include pictures of yourself in a bathing suit or tasteful boudoir photography if you’re comfortable doing so, but those types of images are not a requirement.

As you gain more experience and start to land professional modeling gigs, you can expand your portfolio. You can learn the perfect pose that accents every curve and shows off your best features, and make every modeling experience a resounding success.

None of these tips are meant to sound like unbreakable rules. Use these guides as foundations for unique poses and expressions. The more you play around with these ideas, the easier it will be to find the perfect poses for your clients.

Now go out and make your models feel as amazing as they truly are!

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I'm an admirer of nature, a photographer, and a curious reader. Writing about photography and helping others improve is a growing passion of mine. My constant wish is to inspire others to be creatively fearless and endlessly curious. "Always dream bigger is my advice to you, because you can have whatever your heart desires" - Ashley Graham

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