Portrait photography is one of the most lucrative forms of business photography - the trick to good portrait photography begins with posing your model. This article focuses on my tips to answer the question: "What are some ideas for posing a model?" Let's address this question to maximize your portrait photography potential.
I recent published my tips for a successful portrait which included lighting, emotion and composition. This article takes a step back from those three tips for successful photography and focuses on posing as a key element of your portraits. Keep in mind, each of these elements: lighting, emotion, composition and posing are each important and serve a role in photography - you need to develop and practice each element to improve photography.
There is no one pose that will work for all models. There are unlimited posing options for portraits - the trick is to narrow your ideas and focus on one key photography tip: pose your model to highlight their personality. The most overlooked aspect of photography is getting to know your client.
One major difference between amateur and professional portrait photography is professionals know how to read their clients, they know what questions to ask and they create a portrait bringing in aspects from their clients personality. My main tip on posing should become very clear: do not use one pose for all of your clients. If your client is sensitive and compassionate you should pose your client in a softer light, softer touches, and color throughout your scene. I teach photographers to embrace the differences of their clients.
This is why I prefer to photograph almost all of my models in their natural environments. This may mean bringing elements of a studio to them. I still often will shoot a model in front of a white backdrop, but the key I rely on is to focus in tight, bring it in close on their eyes and their expression. Avoid posing all models the same way. You can bring similar elements into different photographs, but embrace your client's differences to bring out the best of your portrait photography.
For example, in my recent portrait session with WeLove2HateAdam he had contacted me to photograph him for his upcoming bodybuilding show. I have known Adam for a long time and know his personality, he is a big strong guy with a big strong personality. Most people don't know he is a huge family person and loves to interact with kids. I have photographed Adam before for fitness photoshoots, but this time I wanted a picture that highlighted his personality and who he is. My focus was to pose him in a scene that incorporated strength and family. There are several ways to do this, but to capture Adam appropriately it should focus on weights and kids. The end result was a fantastic portrait that my client Adam was absolutely thrilled.