How to Pose People for Flattering Portraits

Photo of posing tips from Vanessa Joy

Posing people to make them look attractive in portraits is not easy. In fact, it takes years of training and practice. Fortunately, there are pro photographers like Vanessa Joy who has had years of portrait photography experience and wants to share what she knows with beginners.

In the below video, Joy gives you her tips on how to pose men, women, and couples to capture flattering portraits. Many of her tips are designed to help you pose people who are not models, so you can easily make friends, family and even perfect strangers look their best in front of the camera.

“We’re going to talk about how to get people to not look stiff, to look a little bit more natural and, obviously, to look flattering in photos,” Joy explains in the tutorial below. “And, most importantly, so they’ll like the photos when they come out.”

In the video, Joy shows how to get the most out of your subject’s body language by allowing them freedom of movement in portraits. At the same time, she explains how to use simple light modifiers such as reflectors to direct flattering light on your subject in not-always flattering lighting conditions.

“The nice thing about using a reflector vs lighting that a little bit more pinpointed is when you’re posing someone, they’re free to move,” she notes. “Because so much of posing has to do with movement versus stand, tilt, turn, smile. ”

The free tutorial from Adorama’s channel is nearly 33-minutes long and covers a broad range of posing topics including posing men and women both individually and together. Joy says she uses these concepts for portrait sessions, bride and groom portraits at a wedding, engagement shoots and whenever she’s posing models and non-models alike.

“When you’re posing anyone, you don’t usually want to pose them flat-footed,” Joy notes. “I like to pose from the bottom up, so the first thing I have people do is tilt one way.”

Check it all out below and after you’re done watching you should read this tutorial Joy wrote for us on how to use a portrait photography self-assignment to spark your creativity as a photographer.

Leave a Comment