Posing is often one of the many things that make my customers, and potential customers a little, well, uncomfortable. I can understand why. It’s not like we’re all born with the most amazing posing skills in the world. Trust me, even professional models struggle with posing sometimes. It’s a complex thing but it’s nothing to get all worked up about.
Over the next few weeks and months I will be sharing some tips on posing to make the topic easy and to help you feel empowered during your next photo shoot. So let’s get started.
Today we’ll talk a little bit about arm positioning. I won’t be able to cover off everything there is to know about what to do with your arms in one post, but this will be a good place to get started. To help us out I have enlisted one of my favorite people to photograph: Nikki (She will appear quite often).
Let’s take a look at this first photo and talk about the arm position a little.
This photograph, for the most part, is pretty good. Nikki looks great, the lighting is good, the location is great–but there’s something that just seems off about the shot. Her arms are working against us in this photograph. In this next photo I’ve employed my kindergarten drawing skills to try and explain why.
Now that I’ve drawn on it you can see where the problems lie. She’s done everything right–she’s tilted the shoulder, she’s got her weight on one leg and tilted the hip to create a nice curve in the mid-section. Her hand position (on the left of the photograph) is where things begin to get a little weird. It’s positioned on the outside of her hip making her appear “wider” than she really is (this girl has an amazing figure and gorgeous curves). Her other arm reinforces this perception. Her elbow is tucked in tight to her body, essentially filling in the negative space and hiding the curves in her midsection. It makes her shoulders look just a touch more square than they really are.
So, how do we solve it. There are a few things that we could have done. She could have bent her elbow more and put her hand on her hip. Or she can move the hand more toward the front of her leg. Let’s take a look.
Here she’s moved her hand more towards the front of her leg which helps greatly with the hips and improves the photo a ton. Her other arm is still in the bent position and is still working against us but this one simple adjustment has made this a great photo. Let’s take a look at what happens when the other arm is extended.
Yes! With the arm extended she has some beautiful shape. Nothing appears too wide and her curves are now working for her. See, posing has less to do with major changes from shot to shot and more to do with minor adjustments. These were all shot within about a minute and with minor adjustments in the position of the arms we were able to get a great shot. That fantastic smile doesn’t hurt either!