January 7, 2021 at 12:56 pm #56861
Hey everyone, I was curious if anyone has tips on posing business professionals for headshots. Particularly women. How to pose them in a flattering way, especially since a lot of women don’t like how they look in pictures.
I was taking portraits for a lady in a political campaign and she did not like the way she looked. “Oh! I look like an elephant!” “My smile is always so awkward!” I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it, other than assure her she didn’t look as bad as she thought. 🙂 I realize some of it is out of my control (I can’t help if people don’t like the way they look), but I know there are surely some more things I could do to put the person at ease, make them comfortable, and hopefully take a photo that they don’t mind looking at!
I’ve also attached some pictures I took for a real estate agent; she was completely comfortable in front of the camera and the shoot went well. I just wasn’t entirely sure what to do with the little details of her pose, like how she should place her hands, etc.
Anyways! My aunt (who is in the nursing profession) recently mentioned that she might need me to take her professional portrait at some point, and seemed not too excited at the prospect of having her picture taken. So I thought I’d put this question out here before I’m in that sort of situation again!January 14, 2021 at 10:49 am #57059James StaddonKeymaster
@bennett-family, I wish I had more experience in this area. Some thoughts:
*Use a mirror, so they can tell what they look like?
*Make the surroundings as business-like as possible so they will act more business-like? (including what you wear)
*Haven’t reviewed these articles, but this one seem like what you’re looking for? How to Pose People and Get Great Expressions in Headshot Photos and
*Does business professional always have to be indoors? Just something to think about.
*The more “sophisticated” my equipment/lighting setup looks may make the the more professional it makes me look, which I find looks and it helps build confidence in the subject (from my experience)
Having a mirrorJanuary 20, 2021 at 2:07 pm #57621
Thanks for those tips and the article, @jamesstaddon. That’s very helpful! I’ll bear these in mind going forward.March 30, 2021 at 9:12 pm #61680Kina LambParticipant
@bennett-family Ooh! Posing! I took a course on this. 🙂 The base pose for women is to have their toes pointing 45 degrees away from the camera, have them twist at the torso toward you, and lean forward a bit. This creates a synched waist and a nice jawline (eliminates double chins!) If they are standing, you also have them put their hand on their hip, and then lower it a little bit. That is the most flattering base pose for women. If they are standing, you do the same thing – you have them point their toes 45 degrees off camera, have them turn at the torso toward you, and lean forward a bit. Generally they don’t put their hands on their hips when they are sitting – lol – but they can fold them in their lap. Make sure to create space between their arms and their body so that their arms don’t lay flat against their torso. There is a tendency to do that when you are nervous, but it flattens their arms out to almost twice their size and no one likes them then. (That is one of the reasons you have them put their hands on their hips.)
For genuine smiles, the easiest and best way is to praise the smiles out of them. 😀 I have heard some photographers say that it is okay to “lie” and tell them they look great even if they don’t because then they WILL look great when you tell them that… but I wholeheartedly disagree because lying is never okay… it is *always* dishonoring to God and I just will not do that. However, there are tactical ways to get them to smile well, like, “oh, this looks *good!*” (if it does! – you don’t have to say ‘perfect’ or ‘great’ or ‘amazing’) and then when they smile a little bit bigger, you say, “YES! Aaaah, you’re going to love this photos!!! Yes yes yes, keep doing what you’re doing! Yep, you’re nailing exactly what I told you, this is great!! Awesome job!!!” (If, of course, they are doing a good job, but if you are positive, they can’t help but have genuine smiles. 🙂 And snap away while you’re saying these things, because that is the window where you will get the most genuine smiles. 😀March 30, 2021 at 9:15 pm #61681Kina LambParticipant
@bennett-family You can also ask them to “just go ahead and melt your shoulders down your back” or “yep, just press those shoulders back” (at least, that’s how I would say it :D) and this helps them to stand up straighter… it’s just a bit more of a tactical way than to say, “um, yeah, could you also stand up straighter?” 🙂 Standing up straight helps EVERYONE look their best. 🙂 And even when someone is leaning forward a bit, (which I really recommend for jawlines) they can still “press their shoulders back” and look straighter and more confident… and, really, more like themselves which is the goal. 🙂 Hope that’s helpful! 😀April 20, 2021 at 4:26 pm #62103
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