Posing Before Your Photo Session?

Women Posing for Natural Photo

As a San Francisco photographer, I get asked a lot of questions about how to get the best photo from a session. Everything from wardrobe, to makeup, to location and lighting. One thing that many people also ask about is posing. Whether you need online dating photos to get the date or a great business portrait to get the job, your posture and presence matters.

How should I pose to look my best on camera?

I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable with the idea of posing my clients. For me, professional profile pictures are all about being natural. Natural lighting, natural makeup, natural poses. I want people to be themselves and stand or sit or walk how they naturally do- not in some foreign contortion. I’d rather simply let them find a position where they feel comfortable and relaxed, and then start snapping photos.

Recently, I have started researching posing and body language. I knew how I felt about over-posing people during pictures, but I’m always curious what others have to say on the subject. One thing I definitely hadn’t thought of was posing before having your photo taken.

Let me explain. I recently watched a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy about how our body language actually affects the levels of testosterone and cortisol in our brains. And, in turn, a ‘power pose’ for as little as 30 seconds before entering a situation in which we would like to look and feel our best (like a photo shoot) can actually help us feel much more confident and in control. Pretty interesting!

Some of the poses include putting your hands on your hips and standing tall like Wonder Woman or reaching your arms out and taking up as much space as possible.

I highly recommend checking out this Ted Talk on Power Posing and striking a few poses BEFORE your next interview, meeting or photo shoot.