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6 Photography Poses Every Portrait Photographer Should Avoid

Rating: 4.50 based on 4 Ratings
Taya Ivanova
  By Taya Ivanova
6 Photography Poses Every Portrait Photographer Should Avoid www.sleeklens.com

In portrait photography, posing can be both tricky and fun. To make your photoshoot a stress-free experience, you can download posing guides, get to know your model’s best angles, and make them mimic your own photography poses.

One of the best ways to avoid unflattering photos is to know what to avoid.

Here are 6 photography poses your model should avoid, no matter who they are.

Shooting From a Very Low Angle While Your Model Looks Down

Looking down isn’t a problem. In fact, it looks incredible in most photos because of its emotional and mysterious effect. Shooting from a low angle isn’t the problem either, because low-angle images are usually atmospheric and creative.

The problem begins when you model look straight down at the camera while you shoot from a low angle. You don’t want to create double chins where they don’t exist, but you also want to experiment with unusual points of view.

To improve this pose, ask your model to look down with their eyes without moving their head. They can tilt their head to the side, but they should avoid moving their entire head downwards.

Squeezing Your Arm Against Your Body

Anyone who squeezes their arm against their body will immediately look bigger. Their arm will look wide and flat against their body, and it will be difficult to take flattering pictures.

You can fix this by creating triangles. Use the image above as reference. Basically, all your model has to do is create triangular shapes with their arm. This means holding their arms out naturally or bending them a little. They can even look in the direction of their arm so that the pose looks as emotive or as natural as possible.

You can experiment with this yourself before the photoshoot or find an arm posing guide.

Standing Like a Soldier With Your Legs Together

little girl posing naturally while leaning on a wall

If you stand like a toy soldier with your hands and feet together, you’ll look awkward. You want your portraits to be as expressive and as creative as possible, and your model’s body has to clearly show that.

Ask your model to cross their legs, hold one leg in front of the other (as pictured above), or dance around like no one’s watching. These candid moments will help you take natural and funny photos.

For an extra oomph, have them lean against a wall. This will make them look relaxed and confident.

Doing Nothing With Your Hands

It’s hard to tell a story when your body language is saying nothing.

Make sure your model feels comfortable enough to try out different hand poses. Stiff hand movements will look strange in your photos, so encourage your subject to try out different photography poses throughout the shoot.

Have them touch their face, reach out to the camera, run their hands through their hair, and so on. It sounds awkward when you read it, but it’s actually a very effective way to make someone relax and pose perfectly.

Dramatically Looking Over Your Shoulder

photography poses

If your model turns around dramatically, they’ll have a lot of rolls on their neck. This is natural, but it doesn’t always look great in pictures.

You can avoid this by hiding their neck with their hair. You can also ask them to look over their shoulder in a subtle way or not move their head around completely.

Leaning Into the Camera

Any camera lens will distort anything that’s very close to it, especially if it’s a wide-angle lens. You can use this to take humorous and creative photos of people, objects, and places.

When it comes to portrait photography, this isn’t always acceptable. Unless you want to take funny photos, avoid getting too close to your model. Make sure they’re not leaning into the camera so that their body parts don’t look bigger or smaller than others.

You can also use a zoom lens to take perfect photos of your model from a distance.

Posing doesn’t have to be intimidating and challenging. As long as you know what to avoid, you’ll be able to take appealing photos of anyone that stands in front of your camera.

Rating: 4.50 based on 4 Ratings
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Taya Ivanova
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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