When planning your senior portraits, figuring out how to pose for them can be challenging. First and foremost you should choose a photographer you trust that makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera. No matter who you choose as your photographer check out these tips and tricks to have your senior images rival the cover of your favorite fashion magazines.
1. Watch your hands
It might seem silly to think about your hands, when posing for a portrait, but your hand position can make or break your pose. Its important to soften and relax your fingers to look as naturally as possible. If you want to give you hands something to do, run your fingers through your hair, touch your face or shoulder or even place your hand on your hip.
2. Cross your knees
You can cross them while sitting or standing. At the ankle or at the knee. It helps to add a curve to your figure and slims the legs which makes you look taller. Who knew that your knees could make you look taller? If you are sitting, make sure one leg is higher than the other, either on a taller step or just slightly higher to create some asymmetry.
3. Smize – aka the unsmile
Have you ever noticed in nearly every magazine the models are not smiling, but they still look amazing and not angry? How do they do that? Well its the smize, smile with your eyes. Yes its a ridiculous expression, but the truth is the eyes are as expressive as your mouth. One tip I give my clients who want to master the unsmile, is to look down or close their eyes. I ask them to hold that until I say, then I snap the shot as soon as I tell them to look. This works because it gives you a chance to relax your face. If you TRY not to smile, you end up looking tense and uncomfortable. So while technically not a “pose” expression is everything in a photo.
So I realize the movement and posing are in fact opposite so this might feel a little bit silly. But even though an image is a still shot, movement in clothes and hair and really make your image stand out. Its like catching a senior in her natural habitat. A slow twirl of your skirt, or some wind in your hair makes for a really stunning shot. I have been known to use my reflector to create wind to get some flow to the hair. And while this might not apply to everyone, I love when I get a dancer that is comfortable to pose and move. It really is fun to capture that movement and especially fun to look back years from now to see how strong and talented you are.
5. Bend it
Bend what you might ask? All of it. If it bends, you want it bent. We aren’t talking perfect 90 degrees here, sometimes its a slight bend and sometimes it is a a bit more. And often its a combination of both across all joints. This helps create interesting angles and lines. When your arms are bent it can create a line directly to your eyes (which is exactly where you want someone to look in a photograph). It also helps creates space between your body and your arms (or legs) which makes your waist look smaller. And who doesn’t want that? It literally flatters every body shape and size. And it just plain looks more natural. I mean, unless you are a British soldier, you shouldn’t pose like one.
With the right photographer and these fool proof tips your senior photos will be the envy of all friends. You will not only look amazing but feel amazing too! One last note about posing; it often times feels awkward. While the goal is to look relaxed and natural, a photo session feels like anything but those things. But there are many things that make a pose fantastic, such as the photographers’ lens choice and angle. So while it might not feel natural or comfortable, remember your photographer knows what the camera sees. And if you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for a peek at the camera! I never mind showing my clients what we are capturing as its happening. It gives us both an chance to make sure we are getting the perfect shots for you and your family.