Posing Strategies for Your Upcoming Photoshoot
Having a camera pointed at one's face is in disconcerting. In the age of selfies, it seems like it's more comfortable to get a decent shot of yourself - by yourself. To trust someone to photograph you seems like a big leap, but getting a better version of those selfies is one of the reasons I love photography. The reason I'm able to get the best shots is I've honed my ability to relax clients so they can be themselves.
How do you relax someone who walks in the door stressed? By getting them to put on their Sasha Fierce persona, move around and have fun. You're thinking this sounds lame, but I guarantee it has helped many CEOs put their best face forward. If all else, it will give you some ideas about what to try so you get a ton of mileage from your session and you're not a deer in headlights. Below are four strategies I use to get clients to be themselves in front of the camera.
- Find Inspiration. Inspiration comes in many forms. I think seeing classic art helps us understand the most appealing way to be photographed. You can go to your local museum or gallery, or go online and search "famous portraits." I also really love the Google Arts and Culture app which you can download to your phone and scroll through when you've got a free moment or two. While you're perusing these pieces, notice the way subjects are posed, their expressions, and what they're doing with their hands. Believe it or not, working out what to do with your hands is sometimes the hardest thing for people.
- Put Your Sasha Fierce On. You've head Beyonce sing, but have you heard her speak? The reason? She's incredibly shy. When it comes to getting up on stage and performing in front of millions, she takes on the persona of Sasha Fierce. What works for Beyonce can work for you. If you think you may have trouble being yourself in front of the camera, just be someone else for an hour -- your most confident self. Pretend you're in your favorite place, your favorite song is on, and you're dancing like no one is watching. There will be no judgment from this side of the camera, just encouragement.
- Move Like a Toddler or Your Cat. There's a reason images of children and pets turn out so well. They are themselves and most certainly don't care about a camera. Another thing you will notice about children and pets is that they touch everything. The walls, the floor... they bend, they stretch. As you are being photographed, I invite you to bend, stretch, lean on your hand, put your hands in your hair, sit down, get up, turn around. What this does is get you out of stationary poses we tend to lean on, and helps you to find something new. Something natural and different than the standard boring stuff... and it's way more fun.
- Turn to the Left. The hardest part of any shoot for the subject is the first five minutes. You may ask yourself why you signed up for this kind of torture. The key to shaking those nerves is to get moving. Some people know they like being photographed from a particular side, but most don't, and that's totally fine. To find it, start straight on, then step back on one foot, then the other, then turn to the left, then the right. Turn all the way around and look at the camera. By the time you get through this, your nerves will be gone, and more than likely we'll have captured some shots that are amazing.
While these posing strategies may seem a little unconventional -- they work! It also helps to hire a photographer that's patience and will work her hardest to make you look your best (hello!). It's more than just yelling at someone to "BE THE TIGER," or expecting someone to just make it happen. The best photographs take patience and skill.
Jenn Heflin in a business portrait photographer who specializes in capturing the best of up-and-comers to mavens. To book a session, email firstname.lastname@example.org.