14 ESSENTIAL Portrait Photography Poses


Justin Laurens


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in this video I'm gonna be teaching you the definitive guide to portrait posing where you'll learn the 14 essential types of female model poses that you absolutely need to start incorporating into your work right away if you want to start creating more flattering and impactful portrait images what's up guys Justin Lawrence here and in this video we're talking a little bit about portrait posing and it just so happens that the type of posing that you use can make a world of a difference when it comes to the overall aesthetic impact and mood of your portrait photography posing also happens to be one of the more trickier and confusing aspects of the portrait game so in this video I'm gonna be simplifying things by taking you on a journey through one of my typical photo shoot sessions all the whilst breaking down the top 14 types of portrait poses that you absolutely need to start incorporating into your work if you want to level up your portrait game and shout out to Cynthia by the way who sent me all of the following demonstration footage that you're about to see from the comfort of her home social distancing for the win honestly hats off to you Cynthia you absolutely killed it so with that being said and without further ado let's dive into the video the first pose on our list is the standing and leaning against a wall pose and I like it because of its ease of execution and simplicity but I love it because of its ability to boost your photos depth thus making your image look more cinematic and 3d it achieves this in two ways the first is that the wall provides plenty of negative or shadow fill to one side of your subjects face the gradual shift from shadow to light is a crucial contributor to adding a boost of dimension to your model and to the wall provides a backdrop that clearly shows a smooth and gradual transition from the InFocus area to the out-of-focus fall off in the distance the forward frontal pose is a classic and should always be kept in your back pocket during any of your planned photoshoots the open and relaxed nature of this pose helps to create a mood of innocence and vulnerability all the whilst fully exposing the emotional canvas that is your models facial expressions and body language remember posing is an art form in and of itself used to physically portray emotions so to create and enhance a particular mood or aesthetic so if you want to level up the impact and storytelling of your portrait photography it's important that you often guide your models expressions expressed emotions so as to help achieve the desired mood and effect that you've envisioned for each capture as a variation to the forward-facing pose the head tilt pose creates a very flattering lengthening of your models neck and jawline although whilst portraying a mood of endearment and attraction and you don't need to take my word for it this stuff is scientifically backed I'm not even kidding a recent study conducted by the University of bamberg in Germany to determine the most attractive way for people to pose themselves during a photo shoot or selfie shared photos of 14 people in various poses to over a hundred and seventy two volunteers to gauge their reactions and the results well the study conclusively found that subjects who tilted their head slightly to the side garnered significantly higher scores when it came to the attractiveness rating pretty crazy huh I guess there is some method to the madness of the duck-faced influencer stars like Kim K right so let's move on to the next pose in our list these side profile pose ah yes the 90-degree side profile pose an excellent choice if you want to emphasize your models beautifully sculpted jawline slender neck and bone structure all of which can be extremely flattering additionally side profile portrait poses can be a great way to add mysterious and pensive vibes to your portrait work protip to enhance this pose simply ask your model to extend her neck out slightly so as to further define the jawline and reduce the risk of having any kind of pesky double-chin action making a sneaky appearance into your image the 45-degree turn is another classic and highly flattering pose to keep in your portrait photography repertoire it combines the best of the full frontal as well as the profile view poses by incorporating the best elements from each you see you still get to see the majority of your models facial features although while simultaneously emphasizing the jaw line and lengthening the neck it's a win-win situation this pose also has the benefit of adding a bit more depth and dimension to your photography a key component of making your images and portrait work look more 3d in general headshots are possibly the most versatile on our list because of the creative freedom that it allows for that's because the face is very easy to dress up and adorned with all kinds of creative decorations such as jewels fairy dust flowers scarves light textures neon paint you get the idea head shots also present a great opportunity to highlight your models most beautiful facial features such as the eyes or lips introducing hands into the mix is a great way to add a more playful and dynamic look to your work hands allow for a whole new layer of creativity thanks to the wide array of different hand poses that can be incorporated into the mix when used naturally and gracefully your models hands can be an excellent way to dramatize your photo all about helping you highlight your models expressed emotions a key contributor to mood creation so be sure to incorporate more hand gestures in your next photo shoot now I'm not sure who started this trend but the one artists who've had a major influence in popularizing it at least for me was Louise clasp all you need to do is ask your model to give herself a little bit of a mini facelift pull by using one or both of her hands this pose will effectively create a more flattering and youthful look all of us creating a stronger tapering to your subjects eye ultimately enhancing your models look a more beautiful and stylistic appearance I love this pose because of how understated ly sensual and flirtatious it is all without requiring your model to be too revealing it keeps things tasteful classy and low-key which is exactly what you want this pose also brings a very relaxed casual and playful vibe to your portrait as a whole which is an awesome mood to include in your work from time to time this pose just works well it's honestly one of my personal favorites everything fits in the frame super well the composition is well-balanced it fits the Instagram crop nicely really just hats off to this pose all round definitely an all-star player to keep on your starting lineup the combination of having your model lay down on the floor as well as the upward glance that is created from this angle allows you to benefit from a unique perspective that can create a feeling of approachability delicacy and intimacy this post can also be used as a good way to highlight the setting or environment in which your model is placed further adding to your images sense of storytelling this pose offers a unique Beauty enhancement to your models face you see by laying down on your back and facing upwards your model will get to benefit from a mini gravity inducing facelift similarly to the face tug pose that we explored earlier this facelift action will undoubtedly serve as a way to help your subject achieve a more flattering and youthful appearance another amazing benefit of using this pose is that by having your model lay on the floor you're able to use the immediate area surrounding your subject to beautifully frame your model as well as to decorate your photo in unique and interesting ways the leaning on a table or ledge pose works very well because you start to include more of the environment or setting into the frame which can be used to facilitate and enhance your photos sense of storytelling it just creates a more interesting dynamic mood that would otherwise be quite difficult to portray without it another great benefit of this pose is that it allows you to once again bring in a bit of the well-proven head tilt pose which as we've discussed earlier is a surefire way to flatter your model and make your model look more photogenic this pose creates a very cinematic feel by incorporating movement into your photo you'll effectively create a more interesting and dynamic look additionally and on the one hand the act of having your model walk away from you can create a very charming and flirtatious vibe as the model literally leads us on and into the photo on the other hand this pose can be used to evoke and inspire feelings of lusts or sad goodbyes which can be very powerful if used correctly the single most flattering pose for female models the over-the-shoulder pose it just oozes that double-take staring you from across the room flirtatious vibe all the whilst maintaining a graceful and elegant appearance this pose is so simple yet so effective for so many reasons one it has that slimming effect it lengthens the neck it allows you to get a bit more of the side profile pose involved it adds dimension it has an air of mystery to it it's easy to incorporate the dominant eye in the center of the frame composition it's a mood creator it's classy its elegant and it's easy to do what more could you possibly ask for a portrait pose so there you have it folks 14 poses to beef up your portrait photography game now if you're looking for more portrait photography and editing tips hit that subscribe button and be sure to check out the rest of the videos on my channel take care guys and I look forward to seeing you next week for the next video [Music]