Five Posing Tips for Brides, Models and Moms

point1
As a stay / work from home mom, I maintain two websites – this blog, and my photography website. I’ve been asked multiple times now why I don’t ever blog instructional photography related content here on Domestic Geek Girl, when it’s pretty much one my favorite things on the planet. I never really had a good answer to that, except for maybe it’s because I am the least technical photo geek that I know.
I don’t really get overly giddy talking about the technological aspects of cameras and lenses, but I’ll swoon away in a fan girl faint if you give me a lovely landscape or a willing model to go paparazzi on. It’s the taking of the pictures that I love, and that’s all from the heart. I wouldn’t know how to put that down in text without sounding overly poetic or abstract.
But I realized.. part of the reason why I blog is to gather my thoughts, learn new things along the way, and hone the few skills that I have been blessed enough to cultivate and indulge in. And photography really should be no exception! Amiright?!
So! Photography blogging it is! Since I know a lot of my readers are into cosplay, modeling and family photos, I figured I’d take the time to talk about posing for portraits.
I feel I must confess, intentionally posed portraits are not really my forte and when it comes to photography. I am a photojournalist at heart, and my best shots happen when I’m just hanging out with my photography clients, goofing around and taking pictures of natural body language, natural postures and natural interactions.
I always question my worth as a photographer when the family who hired me to make them looks beautiful says, “How should I stand?” I usually urge my clients to loosen up, and take a slew of casual shots, and by the time the formal portraits roll around, they are that much more relaxed. But some people (like me) are just so camera shy that “relaxing” (even while having a blast taking photos!) never happens. I quickly learned that if I’m going to be a good photographer, I need to be able to answer the “How should I stand?” question. So over the years of offering portrait and family photo sessions, I have picked up some tips and tricks along the way.

Five Posing Tips for Brides, Models and Moms

As a photographer, while I LOVE getting Pinterest-inspired clients that just KNOW what they want from their photos, ultimately it is the photographer’s job to come up with photography poses that are both flattering and creative. Part of taking flattering photos is letting your client know what is, and isn’t flattering! So here are some of the tips I like to share with women I’m shooting…

point5a

Tip #1 – Practice posing in front of a mirror BEFORE the photoshoot, and be aware of awkward or unflattering poses.

Okay, let’s be honest. Us women are a vain lot. Even when we love the camera, we (especially moms) are often a bit self-conscious of half and full body shots. So long before the planned photoshoot, PRACTICE posing!
Start with a basic, flattering pose and then you can make small changes with arms, head, and whatnot to get a variety of images.
A basic, flattering pose would be standing slightly angled to the camera, with the foot that is nearest to the camera pointing toward the camera and your weight shifted to the back hip. This puts the knees, hips, and shoulders at a pleasing angle. Then SLIGHTLY bend forward at the waist to minimize and flatter upper body features and the chin area.
Most women tend to lean away from the camera instinctively. Unless going for a creative or playful shot, try to always lean towards, not away from the camera. If you’re feeling saucy, stalk Pinterest, find a position you love, and practice it in front of a mirror.. seriously, it’ll pay off!

doublechin

Tip #2 – Watch out for neck creases and the dreaded double chin.

First off, let me state in the boldest way possible: IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW SKINNY A WOMAN IS, SHE WILL HAVE NECK CREASES OR A DOUBLE CHIN IF POSING INCORRECTLY. The neck crease is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, if your body is turned away from the photographer and you turn your head to look over your shoulder, it is very likely you will be sporting a lovely double chin with that witty smile.
Neck creases aren’t inherently bad, and I’ve seen some beautiful, emotional and amazing photos of women in mid-laugh or looking down at their beautiful children, and they happen to have a wrinkle on the neckline… but for the majority of models, it’s not something you want in every photo. Or any. Luckily, there are some easy fixes.
1) Lift your chin, or turn your upper body and shoulder (the one closest to the photographer) toward the camera, so that it opens up the neck area and minimizes the likelihood of creases.
2) If you are looking back over your shoulder, move your position more to the side of the photographer, rather than directly in front of them, so that you don’t have to crank your head so far to see the camera.
3) Use your hair to strategically hide any unwanted creases along your neck that may crop up.
point2

Tip #3 – Don’t square off your shoulders to the camera.

There are some awesome, facing the camera square on type shots out there, and they aren’t a bad thing. But for the majority of portraits, as a general rule, avoid standing or sitting with your shoulders straight on toward the camera.
Shoulders are the widest part of the body, and it’s hard for a photographer to flatter wide parts of bodies with creative posing when shot straight on.
Instead, angle your shoulders slightly. Pictures taken at this angle help to lead the viewer’s eye into the shot and towards the face in photos. Again, this is a rule that can easily be broken with beautiful results, but as a general rule, it results in some natural, flattering poses.
point3

Tip #4 – Straight joints are generally not your friend.

There is an old saying in photography, “If it bends, then bend it.” Straight arms, legs, head, and torsos generally look stiff and unflattering when photographing women. The natural tendency when camera shy or nervous, is to stiffen up… (overly straight posture, locked legs, etc.) which does NOT photograph well.
So whether you are sitting, standing, or laying, try bending your arms slightly at the elbow, tilting your head, leaning slightly forward at the waist, relaxing your fingers, and bending a knee, or both knees.

infrontofmirror

#5 – Avoid the “arms glued to body” phenomenon.

Never let your arm to hang so that it is pressed firmly up against your body. It’s just not pretty. Especially if you are wearing short sleeves or no sleeves. Again, this has nothing to with weight. It’s just a sad fact of nature. As I’ve said before, there are always exceptions to the rules, and this case is no different. The key is being very mindful that this posing rule applies to the majority of the female population.
If you are worried about looking frumpy or lumpy in your photos, then do everything in your power to avoid large and unshapely looking arms caused by poor posing. You can avoid this by slightly bending your arms at the elbow and pulling them away from your body, and either putting your hands on your hips, holding an object (bouquet, a piece of your clothing, someone’s hand, etc.), or placing your hands in your front or back pockets. If you’re feeling adventurous, try clasping your hands behind your back, resting against a wall, or even putting your arms over your head!

 Do you enjoy modeling for the camera? Are there any useful modeling tips I forgot? Share below!

Gingi Freeman on sabfacebookGingi Freeman on sabinstagramGingi Freeman on sabpinterestGingi Freeman on sabtwitter
Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
at
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

92 thoughts on “Five Posing Tips for Brides, Models and Moms

  • 14 January, 2015 at 1:41 am
    Permalink

    Absolutely great tips and I admit I never know how to react naturally when the camera is on me, but at least now I may have a fighting chance, so thank you so much for that 🙂

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 2:53 pm
      Permalink

      What’s sad is, even when I know what will look awkward in front of a lens, when *I’M* the subject in photos, I can’t help but be stiff and tense.. haha.. and I love to do cosplay modeling! Go figure! lol…

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 3:38 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I had to come over and see all the happenings at your blog! I love this tips. Sometimes having your picture taken can be so awkward, the practicing in front of the mirror is a great one! It may seem silly when you are doing it but it will make the photo shoot so much better!:)

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 2:54 pm
      Permalink

      LOL, it seems silly, but when you think about how many people practice speeches and stuff in front of the mirror.. it kind of makes sense! hehe! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 2:55 pm
      Permalink

      I’m glad! Thanks for stopping by! ^_^

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 2:58 pm
      Permalink

      Anytime! And thanks for stopping by! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 9:14 am
    Permalink

    These are great tips! 🙂 I am like you, I take pictures from instinct and for the love of it. I am also one of those camera shy people and always wonder where I should put my arms when the rare occasion comes around that I in front of the camera and not behind. 🙂

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      Permalink

      LOL, have you seen 30 Rock? I’m like Adam Baldwins character.. I need something in both hands (like two coffee mugs) to feel natural in photos.. BEHIND the lens is definitely my place. 😉

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 9:57 am
    Permalink

    I never know how to pose and feel comfortable. It’s so much easier to pose while wearing a costume! You do get the best from your models though.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      Permalink

      I agree!! A costume is kind of like a mask, haha..

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 9:59 am
    Permalink

    These are actually really good tips, not just for mums, models and brides! I think I actually learnt a bit here and I’m neither of those 😉 xx
    Sam | Samantha Betteridge

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:01 pm
      Permalink

      I thought of saying, “Posing Tips for Women”, but it didn’t sound as catchy, haha.. 😉

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 10:04 am
    Permalink

    I love your tips for taking a photo… I never really know how to pose for a photo, I usually have to have someone really experienced who knows how to take that great angle… I am picky as most women are but as I get older, I am less afraid of the camera as I used to be… 🙂

    Great blog and thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment… Have a great week Gingi xox

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:02 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by! And yeah, even knowing what NOT to do, I usually only photography well if it’s someone who knows what they are doing, and can naturally maneuver around me to get “the” shot.. lol.. some people are just naturals I suppose!

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 10:15 am
    Permalink

    Such amazing post and so helpful. I had the same problem when we planed our wedding photos. I have to say, I knew exactly what I want, but wasn’t sure on all the poses and tricks. This is such a great blog. Thanks for stopping by. We will definitely keep in touch. Have a great day darling. Mel
    http://livingoncloude9.com/

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:03 pm
      Permalink

      I was a camera Nazi during my wedding.. haha.. I pretty much told my photographer EXACTLY what I wanted.. it was like a wedding photoshoot before the ceremony, haha! She was a doll though, and put up with my pushiness! 😉

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 10:26 am
    Permalink

    I wish I had of practised posing before my wedding, as we didn’t get all the photos we would have wanted.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I will be back to comment more 🙂

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:04 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, I am starting to wonder if I should tell my client to practice posing.. or maybe just share this link with them? lol… Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to keeping in touch!!

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 10:35 am
    Permalink

    These are great tips! I am not very photogenic so I will try some out. Most of the pics that I love are more candid shots(of me). I just think I look more like my self in them. I am terrible at posing lol. I think I need to try the shoulder angling tip. xo

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:05 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, I really only care for candids myself.. although now that I’m preggers, I’m NOT liking my silhouette, lol.. Can’t wait to get back in shape!!!

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:06 pm
      Permalink

      Pinterest!! That’s my answer for everything!! lol 😉

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 12:00 pm
    Permalink

    Usually I don’t like posing for a camera, but as now with the blog it’s necessary for me to take some pictures, I will follow your advice!!
    Thanks for stopping by, I’m following you on Google+ now!! :))

    Rosa
    Styleyourselfinstyle.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:06 pm
      Permalink

      Hope the tips help! I look forward to following your blog and seeing what you come up with in the following year!! <3

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:06 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 1:16 pm
    Permalink

    These are all such great tips! Being in front of the camera all the time I could use these! Your photography is beautiful!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:07 pm
      Permalink

      I hope the tips help!! (But you look lovely in all your photos, anyway!!! hehe!!)

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:07 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    Great tips…for the photographer…if you’re taking two shots of the same pose, have the model move their hands, slightly. It makes it easier for you when you’re deciding which to offer in the preview prints.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:08 pm
      Permalink

      Great advice!! I am notorious for taking TONS of photos of the same pose, haha…

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 3:08 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by!! <3 <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 3:57 pm
    Permalink

    Gingi…you’ve got your comments set to “no-reply” and I’ve spent 5 minutes searching your blog for an e-mail…you’re making it Very Difficult for folks to contact you. Or else, I’m just too old to figure out how to find your e-address. Anyway, can’t respond to your comments to me if there’s no address.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 4:35 pm
      Permalink

      Really? Oh man, thanks for letting me know.. I will try to figure out how to fix that… Sometimes I can be quite technology stupid, lol…

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 4:42 pm
      Permalink

      Glad the tips are something you can use!!

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 4:37 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t have any big event coming up, but these are good little tips for me to start practicing. I’ve heard the one about not looking straight into the camera, but I love the idea of “if it bends, bend it!” I’m going to try this out:)

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 4:43 pm
      Permalink

      LOL, yeah, as a general rule, if it feels awkward, it probably looks amazing! hahaha… not really, but.. well, yeah really. lol! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 6:05 pm
    Permalink

    So many great tips, I definitely need to keep these in mind when taking pictures.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 7:57 pm
      Permalink

      Glad they are helpful! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 6:33 pm
    Permalink

    Oh these are great tips! perfect for me since my wedding is coming up! I hadn’t heard any of these before!

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 7:58 pm
      Permalink

      YAY!!! I’m so glad they are helpful to you!!!! <3

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 8:00 pm
      Permalink

      Sure, anytime!

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 7:04 pm
    Permalink

    These are awesome tips! I’ve just started getting into photos of people (and not just food haha) so I’m still learning what looks good. This is a great place to start!

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 8:05 pm
      Permalink

      I’m so glad these are helpful!!! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 7:38 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Gingi, I am found you through my blog! I love connecting and visiting bloggers with similar interest. Really love your tips on “posing”. I’m not so good at posing in front of camera and I’m sure going to get some good idea here. thanks for stopping by! Stay in touch – Savita

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 8:07 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for stopping by and YES, we should keep in touch! <3

      Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 8:47 pm
      Permalink

      I’m glad!! I love yours too! <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 8:29 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Gingi! Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I think we have an awful lot in common. Don’t vaccinate either here, and boy, don’t I take a lot of heat for it. Husband very supportive though, ditto on the cats and babies. Conservative Christians here too ~you are not the stereotype at all, I love it!! Wish I could send some breastmilk your way, I was a pumping machine with my last one, was born very sick and in the hospital for many months before she came home until Jesus healed her….tears starting to spring have to stop typing. Let’s stay in touch!!!

    Great post on posing although I am the most unphotogenic women in the entire wide world. Nothing can save me from myself, but I tried your tips and vow to do better in the future.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 8:51 pm
      Permalink

      I’m so excited to have found your blog, and YES, we really do need to keep in touch!! I’ve been finding that more and more people are beginning to see the truth behind vaccines.. it’s just a matter of time! I mean, come on, the tabacco industry was trying to convince Congress in a sworn testimony in 1997 that “smoking isn’t addicting”!! Lies take awhile to die, but they die hard!! hehe… Anyway, yeah, let’s keep in touch for sure!!! <3 <3 <3

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 9:06 pm
    Permalink

    Wow ur blog is amazing….. love ur tips for posing photos…..since I’m a mom, very much useful for me….. Thanks for sharing the tips…Thanks for vising my space…. keep in touch 🙂

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 10:28 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you! It’s my hobby!! hehe.. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch!!

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    Permalink

    It’s funny because I use these tips as a photographer, but never as a model! Argh! I just totally look like a doof in all photos because, yes, I’m skinny but also, yes, I can get a double chin like the best of them!
    Anyway, gorgeous photos.

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 10:30 pm
      Permalink

      LOL, I’m right there with you.. minus the skinny part. 😉

      Reply
  • 14 January, 2015 at 10:10 pm
    Permalink

    From someone who runs from a camera (I’d rather be behind one then in front of one), I will try to remember these specific and great tips. Kind of you to share them! I enjoyed flipping through your blog this afternoon! Let’s stay in touch!

    Reply
    • 14 January, 2015 at 10:32 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, let’s! I love your blog! <3

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 12:28 am
    Permalink

    Love your blog! The design is gorgeous!
    These are great tips. I’ve been taking some fashion photos lately and learning by trail and error.

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:22 am
      Permalink

      My guilty pleasure is following fashion blogs.. I wish I had a local blogger friend I could shoot with!! I’m much more comfy BEHIND the lens, lol…

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 12:49 am
    Permalink

    These are great tips! I have no modeling/photography experience until I started blogging in late July. I’ve tried to learn as I go but it’s always helpful to get expert advice!

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:30 am
      Permalink

      I’ve been doing wedding photography for years now.. and I still don’t quite feel like an “expert”! lol.. I just consider myself a lucky hobbyist who can make some money doing what she loves! But I’m glad these are helpful! <3

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 1:45 am
    Permalink

    These are awesome tips! I always feel awkward in front of the camera and am not sure what to do! Thanks for stopping by my blog today so I could discover yours!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:33 am
      Permalink

      Of course! And I am looking forward to keeping in touch!! <3

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 3:10 am
    Permalink

    LOVE these tips! I am somewhat new to outfit photography, and I always love getting pointers on how to improve.

    xo katie // a touch of teal

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:12 pm
      Permalink

      Glad it’s something you can use!! ^_^

      Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:16 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks!!! And thanks for stopping by! <3

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 6:08 am
    Permalink

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:31 pm
      Permalink

      No prob! Anytime! ^_^

      Reply
  • 15 January, 2015 at 6:31 am
    Permalink

    Yea, that’s right! Use my picture to tell em how it’s done!

    And so help me if you respond with a “I was showing what not to do” comment I’ma drive to visalia and pull your hair.

    Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 2:33 pm
      Permalink

      Hahahaha, you know, I ALMOST said something like that in my original post.. haha!!

      Reply
    • 15 January, 2015 at 8:42 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks! ^_^

      Reply
    • 16 January, 2015 at 2:05 pm
      Permalink

      Hahaha.. I know, it’s like.. smile.. but don’t smile TOO big.. oh no, how do I control my mouth?!?! Why is it all twitchy and tight?! Nooooo!! lol.. yeah.. not a big “in front of the camera” person here… 😉

      Reply
  • 16 January, 2015 at 4:05 pm
    Permalink

    The tips about not squaring off your shoulders is a really good one! Also, the straight joints one. I have to take some professional photos soon so I’ll keep these in mind, thanks! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    Reply
    • 16 January, 2015 at 4:10 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, those are two big ones! Glad the tips help!! <3

      Reply
  • 16 January, 2015 at 9:38 pm
    Permalink

    I think I’m getting that old lady neck thing – ha-ha

    I need some of these tips – I don’t like how I come out in photos sometimes – far away shots or a filter might be good lol

    I need to practice more like you said 🙂

    Reply
    • 16 January, 2015 at 10:30 pm
      Permalink

      It’s surprising how many people DON’T practice.. it’s so important to get a feel for what YOU like in pictures! lol.. glad my tips could be helpful!!

      Reply
  • 18 January, 2015 at 11:46 am
    Permalink

    Poses are not something that I have given a lot of thought, yet at the back of my mind I always knew they mattered. Having a blog where I post my outfits and hence full body photographs helped me to learn a few tricks of the trade. Not that I’m an expert but I think I’m better than I used to be.

    Anyhow, it was really lovely to read this article as it was ‘all in one place’ . It is great to know these tips and I will surely keep them in mind.

    Reply
    • 18 January, 2015 at 1:53 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, I’ve learned most of these tips through trial and error. As a photographer I never really considered a knowledge of modeling to be an essential.. but it certainly helps to get the best photos, especially with nervous clients! lol! I’m glad this post could help you!! You look LOVELY in all your photos, btw!! ^_^

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HEY THERE! Are YOU a Domestic Geek?

Subscribe to Domestic Geek Girl's Weekly Newsletter and don't miss a post!! Receive weekly blog post summaries *** Be the first to know about giveaways *** Enjoy exclusive offers, discounts, specials and MORE!