© Peter Dressel Photography

How To Pose Your Portrait Clients

Beautiful portrait of an African American female dancer

Posing can be one of the more challenging aspects of portrait photography when first starting out. It’s not enough to be able to compose, expose and light. Here are sone tips for posing your portrait clients

Do Your Homework

A great way to master the art of posing you portrait subjects is to look at the work of other photographers. Study magazines that feature portraiture like Vanity Fair. Study the greatest portrait photographers.

Start with a relaxed pose

Have your subject stand or sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. This will help them feel at ease and help you capture a natural-looking pose.

Use natural body language

Encourage your subjects to use natural body language and facial expressions. Avoid poses that look forced or artificial.

Headshot of an African American Female Physical Therapist

Vary the poses

Try different poses and angles to see what works best for your subject. You can have your subject turn their body slightly, tilt their head, or shift their weight to one side.

Beautiful portrait of middle aged woman New York

Use props

Props can be a useful tool for adding interest to a portrait and helping your subject feel more comfortable. Consider using props such as chairs, hats, or even pets to add variety to your portraits.

asian female interior designer portrait

Consider the environment

The background and surroundings can also affect the overall look and feel of a portrait. Look for a background that complements your subject and adds to the overall composition of the photo.

portrait of a beautiful woman meditating in Prospect Park Brooklyn

Communicate with your subject

It’s important to communicate with your subject and make them feel comfortable. Ask them if they feel awkward or uncomfortable in any particular pose, and work together to find a pose that feels natural and authentic.

Overall, the key to posing your subjects for a portrait is to find a pose that looks natural and feels comfortable for the subject. Don’t be afraid to try different poses and angles, and be open to suggestions from your subject. With practice, you’ll develop a good sense for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to posing your subjects.

© Peter Dressel Photography