5 tips for flattering posing

When it comes to business brand photography, one of the best reasons to hire a professional photographer for your shoot is that they know how to pose and light people in the most flattering way.

As experienced brand photographers, we’ve photographed all ages, shapes and sizes of people. Almost everyone – even professional models – has something they feel a little self-conscious about. Whether that’s a bit of a tummy, a pronounced nose, a fuller figure or a lack of height, we’ve all got some attribute we’d rather not present to the world in high-resolution detail!

A professional photographer is able to assess their subject and, through a combination of camera lens choice, poses and lighting, achieve results that represent their subject in the most flattering way possible, no matter what their body type.

Over the years we’ve developed many creative techniques and poses that flatter our subject and bring out their best selves.

We wanted to present some of these ideas to help anyone preparing for a brand photoshoot, whether that’s with a pro photographer or a more D.I.Y. business shoot.

Tip 1: Relax

Probably the most important advice for anyone on a photoshoot is to relax and enjoy yourself!

You know that aspect of your face or body you might not like? The truth is most people viewing your photos won’t notice or won’t care. What people do care about is someone who looks relaxed and comfortable with themselves.

A warm, friendly face draws attention away from ‘problem’ areas far better than any pose, lighting or Photoshop retouching can.

You’re not posing for a formal Victorian portrait – don’t stiffen-up or freeze; pro models know that keeping fluid yields better results, so loosen-up and re-pose if necessary.

Have fun, take lots of photos and let the real you shine through.

Tip 2: Slim A Fuller Figure

Shoot down from a higher level than normal, well above eye level. Perspective helps whatever’s closest to the camera – face and chest – to look biggest, and tummy and hips to look smaller.

Tip 3: Bend your arms, wrists and knee

Straightened limbs look tense and awkward, and can lead the viewer’s eye out of the frame. Instead, try to introduce more interesting shapes by bending the elbow, wrist or leg. You’ll often find that this creates pleasing, attractive curves elsewhere in the body.

For example, if your legs are in shot, bend the leg closest to the camera; this can flatter not only the thigh, but the bum and lower back.

Tip 4: Remember When You Were 8?

Remember how your teachers told you to sit when you were 8? Back straight, chin up! They had a point…

Try to keep your back straight but relax your shoulders. Try to imagine a string pulling straight up from the top of your head, which will help elongate your torso and neck in a way that flatters everyone.

After that, stick your jaw straight out in an exaggerated way – head up, chin out. Then gradually lower your chin. It might feel odd, but it can really help define the jaw line, provided you don’t look too tense!

Tip 5: It's not hip to be square

Being square-on to the camera is rarely flattering, no matter what your body shape or physique.

If standing, start by avoiding having flat feet – put your weight down on one foot or the other, never both equally. This tilts your hips so they’re not parallel to the ground. This will help give your middle area more shape, and enhance your feminine curves or masculine shape higher up.

Next, imagine the camera is at 12 o’clock; turn your body slightly, to say 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock, and then look at the camera, turning either the head or neck. This can create a more flattering, natural-looking look.

Conclusion

We’ve only touched on the techniques and tools we use to produce flattering photography to help promote your business, but if you’ve got any questions, do feel free to ask for advice here or on our social media.

And if you’re ready to present yourself and your business in the best possible light, let’s talk and find a solution that suits your brand and budget.