Curvy subjects can be a photographers dream to work with but you need to focus on slimming in-camera and this starts with the poses. Every woman wants to look and feel beautiful both inside and outside, and here is how to make this happen.
We’ll start on this page by discussing some of the general – but crucial – things to consider before and during your shoot. And on the following pages we’ll look at specific poses and discuss why they work.
General posing tips for curvy models01 Phone a friend
Do not show your subject the back of the camera unless you are 100% sure they will love the image. If you show them an image and they don’t like it, they may lose confidence in you. However, if it’s a great image it will boost their confidence. Make an informed decision based on the person or the image. Sometimes if a friend has come along to watch I will show their friend the image and allow this person – someone they know and trust – to comment and help boost their confidence.
02 Wear something comfortable
Ensure the subject wears clothes they feel comfortable in and flatter their body shape. Always ensure they are well fitted and highlight their key features.
03 Don’t be negative
Never be negative and say things like, “I am not sure if this shot is working for you; you just look awkward.” If a certain pose isn’t working, just tell them you have the shot and move on to the next.
04 Cover up
Focus on the subject’s main features and don’t be afraid to cover the bits they don’t like with props or clothing. Or don’t even include them in the image at all.
05 Avoid low angles
Remember photographing from a low angle can also cause distortion. It can make someone’s hips appear wider than they actually are or, again, create double chins. Low angles are generally unflattering unless the subject is a size 6 – 8 fashion model.
06 Plain and simple
Plain clothes work better than patterned clothes, and try to avoid logos for a more timeless image.
07 A shawl thing
The one part of the body I find many women do not like is their arms. Use a shawl to cover up arms – but not the shoulders – if the subject is self-conscious.
08 Side views
Try not to photograph a subject straight-on, as the shoulders are usually the widest part of the body. Get your subject to turn to the side a little and drop the front shoulder.
09 Full makeover
Photographing women is all about the experience you create. A hair stylist and makeup artist can boost women’s confidence before standing in front of the camera. This will let them engage in the makeover experience and can make a massive difference in the subject’s attitude.
10 Be vocal
Keep talking to your model. The moment you stop the client may over-think the process and stiffen up in front of the camera.
11 Look away
Tell your model that they don’t always have to look into the camera. Ask them to look away, look down over their shoulder or even past our camera to provide a variety of emotions in your photographs
12 Illustrate the pose
Don’t just tell a subject how you want them to pose, show them. You will be surprised at how well people can mirror you when you show them the pose you wish to achieve.
Posing Tips for Curvy Models: Basic posture
Your model’s arms should never be pressed against the body, as these will make the arms look bigger.
If you want their arms to hang down at their sides you should pose them to create triangles to show definition in the arm. Never position an arm symmetrically; always place one slightly higher than the other.
Straight arms and legs make the subject look uncomfortable so remember if it bends, bend it!
Posing Tips for Curvy Models: Frame their face
Some subjects need something to do with their hand to help them feel more at ease. Ask your model to use her hands to frame her face.
Get them to keep their hands relaxed or out of shot to avoid the nervous claw hand, which can ruin a beautiful image. This is when the fingers curl and make the subject look tense.
Encourage them to try different combinations and sequences of this pose to find out what works for them best.
Posing Tips for Curvy Models: Avoid the double chin
This is a feature no one wants, and even the slimmest of people can surprisingly find themselves with a double chin in candid photos.
To avoid this, ask the subject to lean into the shot and aim their chin forward and down.
But be careful that when you say ‘chin forward and down’ they do not go to the extreme. The key is that you want to still be able to see some of their neck.
Posing Tips for Curvy Models: The classic ‘S’ shape
Remember, you should always try to create an ‘S’ shape with the body when posing your model.
The typical hourglass shape is the most desired by men and women alike, so when posing a subject to photograph them from their front, for instance, ask them to bring their front leg forward, bend the knee and roll the hip up to create definition.
Always continue to pay attention to good posture.
Posing Tips for Curvy Models: Shoot from above
This beauty shot was taken from above and uses a subtle angle with a longer focal length to fill the frame with the model. As a result, it emphasises the subject’s key features and assets without distortion.
Here’s a top tip for this pose: if you try this pose do not get the subject to look up as this can cause wrinkles in the forehead.