Photo poses are one of those things that can make or break a photographer. You can master amazing poses, yet capturing only mediocre images. There is a reason why good images does not necessarily need good photo poses, and in this article we are going to give you the only tip you will need to transform great photo poses in great photos.
Before going deeper into the “secret“, we would like to touch two important points; the first will be the eternal question: do photo poses work? The second will dwell on how to learn (and remember) good photo poses.
Photo poses: yes or no?
To me the answer to this question is simple; yes, poses works and every photographer should learn them. Actually, every photographer should learn to dissect good photo poses, understand why they work and learn how to reproduce them.
Going back to the main question, to me there is a good reason why photo poses work: they uses the human body in the best ways. You can find great poses for women, for plus sizes, for men and couples. As long as you treat them as a canvas, a blueprint, then photo poses are a big fat yes; however, if instead of a guideline, they become things you blindly copy, without understanding why you are using them, then it is not a problem of photo poses, but a problem of photographer. If you use them without thinking, without asking yourself why you are using them, then you should reconsider your role as photographer, not the role of photo poses.
How to learn photo poses
Learn static poses is not simple, and remembering them is even less simple. There is a method you can use, that won’t just make you “remember” them, it will allow you to easily reproduce them. Do you want to know how to do it? When you see a pose, you need to understand why every specific part of a body looks great. Feet, ankles, legs, hips, stomach, bust, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, fingers, neck, head, mouth, eyes… everything. Compare every detail to the same details of photos that “don’t work” and understand why the same work in good photos.
Do it as an exercise, understand deep down what works and what doesn’t, and you won’t need to remember how to pose. You will just put together all the details that work.
The one secret behind photo poses and natural looking images
Sorry it took me some time to get here, but the two points I touched were needed to introduce the one secret behind making a great photo poses look great in photos.
Make your model understand them and learn the photo poses as they were normal movements
As you understood why the body needs to be in a certain position to look good, make sure your models understand the same. This is the first step; the second is just to allow them to practice every part of the body for a certain number of times, in order for the movements, the poses to become natural.
Do not put a person in a pose, take one shoot and expect a photo to turn out nothing more than a mannequin. That is not a good photo. Connect with your subjects, teach them what looks great, make them “feel” the posture you are looking for. This is how you get them to play a role, more than holding a pose. Then just make sure to look at them, and understand if they feel comfortable in what they are doing. If they are not, then either make them practice a bit more, or just switch to another one of your photo poses, that right now should just be the sum of your knowledge of what looks great in camera!