Whenever I am planning for a photoshoot I instantly start to think about the poses and composition. Depending on the type of shoot I usually either choosefun photography poses or the common ones. Sometimes I have to go back to my own images to see what I’ve done in the past. But if you don’t happen to have that option, here are some creative photography poses I like to use in my photoshoots. Remember to always ask consent from your models before before asking them to pose in an unusual way.
Making your subject lay down is an easy but also an interesting pose. This can be done on the floor if you’re at the studio but also on the couch or on the grass if you’re shooting outside. Laying down can also be done while leaning onto something; a tree, a rock, or even a car. Let them try out laying on their back and on the side. Just make sure you photograph from a good angle. It might be difficult to be graceful while laying down. Unless that’s exactly what you’re after, then photographing your subject without a neck is a deliberate compositional decision.
2.Create a shape
Most of us have this misconception of especially women having to pose looking thin because that’s what media shows us. Go against this belief and embrace those shapes fully. Make your model take up more space in the photograph, to dominate it as the main subject. Let go of the dusty mindset of having to portray everyone through a conventional composition. These elements make us who we are. Putting the hands on the waist to build a visual composition of power and strength is usually used in more masculine photographs. Bring this into a feminine image and you will create a beautiful contradiction.
3.Leaning with your hands
If you’re photographing your subject up close but don’t want to make it too basic, let them lean onto something with their hands. This can also be done when photographing from afar, but especially in close-ups. This creates a different kind of relaxed state for your subject. Even slouching can be interesting if you’re really avoiding the stiff poses. Hands can bring elegance and vulnerability into your images. How the fingers and palms are places also always depict a meaning; they can be placed delicately or powerfully. Use either just one hand or both hands to bring emphasis to this part of the image.
4.Using their legs
I have gone as far as finding poses from yoga positions, and there are many may I say. If you’re looking for something quirky to add to your poses, playing with your feet is a great option. If your subject is sitting down, they can raise their feet or if they’re standing up, they can stand on one foot. Let them play and try out what positions their bodies can reach. On the other hand, if your subjects are flexible enough, they can even try touching their feet while standing on one leg. This usually results in a series of fun images.
When starting out as a photographer, I had this thought of having to make my subject stand still. We all know how that’s going to turn out: they wait and try not to even breathe to get the perfect shot. But most perfect shots come from experimentation and fleeting moments, which we cannot otherwise build. Adding this element of flowy hair or a split-second of a smile brings out the natural gestures we as humans have.
I like to let my subjects move freely to see what it is they’re comfortable with. After letting them get comfortable with the movement, I train my eye to see the exact moment to press the shutter. If for example, I see a jumping pose being what I want, I will ask my subject to do that couple of times. This way I can be certain to get the shot.
One of the most used poses must be the sitting down one. People usually want to do something with their hands and feel uncomfortable just standing. When they sit down, the hands can be placed on their lap which is a comfortable position to be in.
So it’s safe to say it’s a comfortable position that can be used when you’re out of ideas and want to get that one great shot. And even when sitting down, your subject can place their hands in different positions like behind their head (power position) or on their lap (submissive position). They can also lean in for the camera with their elbows on their lap, this pose communicates their dominance. Plan before a photoshoot what it is you want to convey.
7.Go crazy and experiment
But other than these poses, there are multiple other ones you can use in your images. Experiment within the boundaries of your subject, because you still want them to feel confident and not exploited. Ask what they’re comfortable with and always make sure they can physically perform the poses. I know my mother has fragile knees so I avoid poses where she would have to put pressure on them. We can find many resources from our surroundings; leaning onto a wall or hanging from a tree, it might turn out to be one of the best photography poses in your photoshoot.
With time you will also accumulate more unique photography poses, which will become the main poses for your photographs. You might even be known for your distinctive style of posing, which will strengthen the way you direct people. Posing with composition creates the final image. Everything is possible, and there are no rules to this. Planning out a photoshoot with printed poses or drawn ones will give a better idea to your subject to understand what it is you’re after. I feel it gives me a more structured direction and a goal when photographing. You can see what poses I’ve used and find inspiration.