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8 Simple, Sexy Posing Tips Every Photographer Should Know

by Nicoal Price
photo & video

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Courtesy of Kate Hailey

The word ‘posing’ might conjure up embarrassingly dated senior photos or cringe-worthy glamour shots taken at shopping mall studios in the early ‘90s. But posing is simply a way to help your subjects look their best, and it’s a crucial skill for portrait photographers.

Jen Rozenbaum of Jenerations, a luxury boudoir studio in New York, makes her clients look beautiful and sexy by posing them in ways that enhance their best features. In her creativeLIVE course Building a Successful Boudoir Business, she shows her students how a successful pose flatters the subject, conveys the photographer’s vision, and creates visual interest.

To achieve a successful pose, Jen focuses on eight points along the body:

Neck

Separate the chin and neck from the shoulders and direct your client to move her chin out and down.

Shoulders

Have your subject to relax their shoulders and pull them back. This opens up the chest to emphasize the body’s natural curves.

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Courtesy of Jen Rozenbaum

Elbows

Bent elbows and careful placement of the arms helps with framing and leading lines. Create negative space around the body to avoid the added bulk that results from keeping the arms close in to the torso.

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Courtesy of Jen Rozenbaum

Wrists

Pay close attention to your subject’s wrists. Move the hands to make them look soft and natural, and make sure the arms and wrists are posed in a way that matches the flow of the legs. Check out this short clip to see how Sue Bryce teaches her subjects how to move their body naturally.


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Waist

Waist movement can make or break a photo — especially when it comes to boudoir photography. Bending the waist sideways and back emphasizes the female shape.

Hips

Another flattering move is to push one side of your subject’s hips back from the waist. This adds an S-curve to your composition, especially if you’re shooting straight on.

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Courtesy of Jen Rozenbaum

Knees

The position of the knees directly affects the contour of the hips. Direct your client to pull their knees up (which helps make the waist look smaller) and also cross their knees — a move that emphasizes the hips.

Ankles

Combat ‘bird feet’ by turning one ankle toward the camera. Always avoid posing the feet symmetrically — no one stands with two feet mirroring each other!

Posing is one of the simplest ways to improve your photos and satisfy your clients. No matter how gorgeous your subject or location may be, without a thoughtful pose, your photo will not put your subject in her best light, give your photo a deliberate mood, or entice viewers with creative composition. When your clients look good, you — and your business — look good.

Courtesy of Jen Rozenbaum

Courtesy of Jen Rozenbaum


Get your learn on with Lindsay Adler and join her new class Posing for Curvy Women. RSVP Now!

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Nicoal Price

​Nicoal is a freelance writer and photographer with a penchant for learning as much as possible. Her imagery ranges from nature-inspired portraiture to outdoor product photography. Connect with her at nicoalprice.com.