6: The Art of Posing

The word posing has a bad reputation. Throughout the years I have heard more people than I can count say that they hate “posed portraits.” I believe what people mean is that they don’t like posed portraits that look unnatural and uncomfortable. Badly posed portraits look awkward and uncomfortable; however, if a photographer learns the art of posing people in a natural, relaxed way that makes them look their best, then “posed portraits” is a good thing.

Most people don’t like the way they look in “candid” photos or “posed” portraits. Almost every single adult who has sat in front of my camera says the same thing to me: “I never like the way I look in pictures.” Some even go so far as to imply that their face might break the camera. My response is always the same, “When was the last time you were photographed by a professional photographer who knows how to pose the body in a way that hides your flaws and makes you look thinner and younger?” Most clients will tell me that it has been many years since a professional photographer has photographed them. Usually, the last time they were photographed professionally was at their wedding. It is up to you, the photographer, to help your clients look and feel beautiful.

I frequently explain to clients that models look they way they do because they know how to pose their bodies correctly. They also have had a ...

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