I know what you may be thinking, “Why is a photographer giving me advise on posing? What would he know?”
Well, being the person on the other end of the camera allows me to see what works and what doesn’t, what are common mistakes.
First and foremost, RELAX! You have to be confident and comfortable, otherwise any anxiety or doubt you have about yourself will show on camera. I find it helps to have a little fun during the test shooting. It’ll help you calm down and enjoy the shoot instead of looking at it as a stressful situation or a job. You may also be surprised and find that you actually like those test shots, as it shows your true personality.
Try not to get stuck in one pose. This is a common issue with beginners due to lack of experience. There’s nothing wrong with having a “go to” pose, but don’t let it dominate your set. Try moving bit by bit after each snap, slightly shift your shoulders or change the angle the camera is catching your face. What may be a subtle change, may make a huge difference when reviewing your images after your shoot.
When posing, try to be aware of how the camera sees you. When a model places their arms at the side or drapes their arms around their stomach, they unintentionally cover and hide the natural curves of their body. Let your “S” curves show.
Ever see Liar Liar? “No one can stop the CLAW!” Well, we’re going to try. Few things can kill a great shot faster than the claw. Keep those hands soft, no vice grips. Unless you’re in the middle of a fitness shoot, white knuckles are no bueno.
Sometimes a set will take a bit longer than expected. When they do, I notice some models start to tense their mouths. It’s not intentional, it just happens. If you notice this, try mouthing the vowels of the alphabet slowly. You can even do this in front of the mirror, you may find that you like how it looks while doing this.
Finally, having an idea of the type of images you’re going for can help greatly. Glamour, Fashion, etc. they all have different styles of poses that fit appropriately. For glamour, think sensual, soft curves. Highlighting your sexy nature and feminine assets is your main priority here. In fashion, think bold and dramatic. Powerful angles will make your image strong and beautiful. Fit your poses to the shooting style.
Hopefully my rambling has helped in some way. If you ever find yourself lacking inspiration, take a look through some portfolios of other models or check out some photo shoot videos online. In your off time, practice posing in front of a mirror. You will see things that you won’t like, this is the point. Find what works for you, and keep practicing, practicing, practicing.