How to Pose Women | Portrait Photography

How to Pose Women | Portrait Photography

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I’m Joe. I teach photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York. We’re going to talk about posing techniques for women.

First the things that you shouldn’t do.

Show up with your hair nice and not puffed up all over the place.

If you can get out on a cool day with a little cool breeze going, that makes a difference. Moist is nobody’s good look.

Dress nice. You don’t necessarily have to wear an evening gown for a casual outdoor portrait, but a tee-shirt with a logo or a pattern on it is probably not going to work great for you.

Poses that don’t work. I don’t understand why people put their hand under their chin. This is ridiculous. You’re hiding half your face and most of your body.

And wow, that’s really, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever. Oh, wow. Clearly our model is really into looking bad.

Try not to photograph people from below their eye line.

Another thing I see people do a lot is tuck their chin in really far, as though somehow by bending their chin down enough they will hide the fact, their assumption that there’s an extra chin under there for everybody to see.

Smiling is better in a picture than frowning or the fashion look. We’ve all seen t.v. shows where everybody in the picture looks like this. That’s not a good look for anybody.

Try to photograph people from above their eye line.

Something I see women do sometimes and I don’t know what finishing school they learned it in, see if you can do this, is they smile and then press their tongue up against the back of their teeth so that the tongue is smooshing out between their teeth. Where did they learn to do that? Your poor photographer is going to have a devil of a time retouching the tongue out of your mouth and you’re going to end up with extra long teeth as a result.

Just smile. Let the photographer do the rest.

Little whiffs of hair sticking out from the side, they’re distracting and they’re not anybody’s best look.

Talk to your subject. Keep them engaged, keep them paying attention to you. If you stand there silently and just take pictures and take pictures and take pictures, they’re going to get very self-conscious.

Keep your eyes on the lens. Looking off into space makes everybody wonder what you’re looking at. When you’re looking at the lens, you’re looking at the person at the other side of the picture. That’s better.

Smiling people look good. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. It doesn’t matter if they’re a hideous, misshapen troll. Happy people look good. So keep them happy and keep them smiling and keep them paying attention to you.

I want you to keep your eyes on the lens while we’re taking your picture.

Right and left is always your right and left, and if I ask you to turn a little to the right or a little to the left, don’t translate for me, just do your own thing.

This is turning your head and this is tilting your head. Let me see you turn your head one inch to the left. You turned your head all the way to the next state. This is an inch.

I’m going to ask you to make small amounts of movement. Okay? All right.

Keep your eyes on me. Let me see that smile. Arrrrrrrr.

Get a little above your subject. Everybody looks better when you look at them from above.

Roll your left shoulder back just a tad. A little more. From your waist, turn more to your left. There you go. Turn your head a little bit to the right. Very nice.

It’s nice when you shoot people across the shoulders just a little bit. Everybody looks thinner when you photograph across the shoulders so they’re making a little bit of an angle.

Put your hands behind your back. Spread your feet apart a little bit. Nice. Pop your hip to the left. Turn your head a tiny bit to your right. Very fabulous. Cross you legs at the ankles a little bit. Like that. Nice. From your waist, turn a little bit to the left.
Absolutely great.

Mary Ann, come in with that reflector. A little bit more.

Bouncing a little light into the face. Nice, soft, even diffused light. Shadows are great. Direct sunlight makes everybody look terrible. You get two big shadows in the eyes, and your nose makes your face emulate a sundial.

Shade and overcast are your friend.

Okay. First position. This is another thing that works for women that doesn’t work for men. This thing. I have no idea how you stay upright that way but it’s terrific.

From your waist, turn to your left. Nice. Keep the smile going. Tha




Good suggestions, but can we see more of the model and the results of his direction and less shots of the photographer holding the camera and shooting? That helps no one

His assistant is prettier than that model.

Vaughn Felix says:

green skin, ewww.

Fleshrac says:

this is so cringy

I want a teacher like you! :)

norm carpet says:

Why above the eyeline ? I understand red eye

+Joe Sinnott Is that a 85mm 1.4 lens?

Okay, so tbh, why is he being so picky with everything? I never will get it… photography is art, art is original. It doesn't matter what the heck you do when taking pictures, if you like the picture then the picture is good enough. I don't think we should have so many specifics during photography, just let it be natural and do your thing. Art isn't perfect so therefore neither is photography.

villegas24 says:

this guy likes to talk

Excuse me , Why you are removing a lot of shadows from your photos .. I'm not mean an insult you , But I think it's not good at all .. I think if it so dark on the face and you want to remove some shadows from it , Remove it but put some black instead of it

And Thanks a lot it's very useful video

nusrat jahan says:

oh…… awesome video..

ArisonBand says:

he's kind of a prick, lol

Michael Hope says:

this mans jokes were mediorce

All the pictures have a green tint and I don't really dig the lighting, but the posing advice is decent enough,

fee rose says:

Loved this! The way you direct your model is exactly what I wish my last photographer had done with me.  I am doing family photos this weekend, you have given me some great tips here. Cheers

Trent Sohier says:

The problem is he more or less just gave a video to models and telling them his pet hates that women do.

I liked the instructions but I didn`t liked the reasons why something looks better or worse , because that`s just a small point of view in a tiny area of Photography.

Martin says:

Great advic, but she lost her left arm at 3.40 … Martin

Adrian Ethan says:

A little bit too aggressive there

Share93 says:

He's the Ron Swanson of photography

Great…A how to be an angry prick, tutorial.

Sven says:

DDG? Digital dream girls you pervert!

This was so helpful wow. I came here for WHAT TO DO not EVERYTHING NOT TO DO!

These pictures werent even that great

TheMANDOG says:

This went great! Now I have 500 photos to go through and pick 5 good ones.

Carlos A says:

i wanna bitchslap this guy but his tips were ok lol

That's not a good look for ahhhhhnybuddddy

This guy sounds like a jerk

kodok burik says:

pretty waist <3

The model was looking great until she followed the photographers directions.

the reflector girl <3

That's one hell of a drill instructor lol He's got to be the nastiest photographer ever!

Eloines says:

Was expecting a rude guy when I read all the comments, didn't see any of that.. The girl knows what he's going to say and he is right. I hate when you ask people to do a small step to the side and they just jump to the edge of the studio.

hahahaha. Seriously?

bwoogie says:

i would never want this guy taking my pictures…

Justin Borja says:

I would only disagree with taking portraits from above eye level: for one, her head looks way bigger than it is supposed to be, and secondly why would I want to see the ground behind the subject? I guess this is okay at times, particularly when the background is less than ideal, or ugly. but for the most part, you do not usually desire for the ground to be behind your subject.

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