The Art of Being a Poser :: How to pose during your portrait session

Posing can be a very delicate thing during a portrait session.  You, as the subject, have probably never posed before; the photographer wants to steer clear of the fake poses and forced smiles that are all too common;  and we all want fantastic, natural looking, artistic images of you.

Even less pose-y styles of photography involve an amount of posing and direction from the photographer.  With the exception of street photography or candids, some sort of posing will take place during the session. 

But, no worries, because there are a few simple things that you can do to make sure that your photos look super model awesome.

1. Don’t be afraid to practice!

Spend some time before your photo session practicing posing.  Best way to do it, grab a few fashion magazines, grab a few friends, and grab a bottle of wine.  Strut your stuff for a while and get used to moving your body. 

You will feel more prepared for your big photo day, and you won’t look so awkward.  (Plus, it’s really fun to play America’s Next Top Model every once in a while!)

2. Focus on storytelling (or storythinking).

Photography is all about emotions.  Photographs are meaningful because they have some sort of emotional pull to them.

The best way to create emotions in your own photographs is through storytelling.

Most often, your photographer will prompt you into thinking about a story.  She will start telling you a story or ask you to tell her one to help your face shine with genuine emotion. 

But, you can also do this when the photographer is not prompting you.  Think about different stories in your head.  If your photographer tells you to smile, think of something funny.  If she says to look serious, think of something kinda of dark and moody. 

I know it sound obvious, but when you are in front of the camera, your mind goes blank.  Nervous, awkward, and blank.  We forget to think about anything!  So consciously deciding to think of a story to elicit emotion can make a world of difference.

3. Pretend you are a rock star.  It’s all about confidence, baby!

Good poses and good photographs are all about confidence.  You got to kick that nervous, awkward feeling that we all have in front of the camera.  You got to be a rock star, baby.

Do whatever you can to shake off those nerves.  Buy a new outfit, get yer hair did, wait for whistles at a construction site, whatever it takes 🙂

Want more on confidence?  Check out this post.


Happy posing, all!  I want to see you all breaking out that inner Tyra.  Be fierce, my friends!

P.S.  If you have posing questions or tips, please comment and share! Click here if you would like to read through the rest of the Client FAQs!

P.P.S.  If you want to rock your hotness and have a portrait session with me, head on over to the contact page, and let me know!