Point your front leg and toes (nearest the camera) towards the camera, bending that same front leg slightly. We may use a small prop to raise the front leg to add dimension to your pose. Placing more weight on back leg will be of help.
Introducing a bit of space between your arms and your body will lead to a more flattering look as well. Sleeves are better than sleeveless.
Feel free to cross your arms. Keep as much of your hands exposed (especially if you have fine jewelry or a watch you want to show). or to use your arms to create triangles for interest.
Hands & Wrists
For ladies, the best look for your hands is to show the side, rather than the back. And bending your wrists downward generates more interest.
Pockets are helpful if we remember to show a thumb or fingers when in view. If you want a more casual look, you can rest your hands in your back pockets as well.
You've probably heard about 'smize' from the show 'America's Next Top Model', or maybe you know the concept of 'squinch' from photographer Peter Hurley. Either way, the idea is to express confidence with your eyes. An easy way to get started on a good smize / squinch is to imagine you're trying to read something really small, like the bottom line of an eye chart, yet keep a smidge of a smile on your face at the same time. Or like the expression on your face when you know you are about to win against your nemesis. (Yes, I'll show you what I mean when we get together.)
Head & Neck
We'll start with a slight turn of your head to your right (2/3), then straight on (full), then slightly to your left (2/3), looking for your best side. These first three images won't be keepers as much as they are giving us a starting point to consider.
For most images, we'll have your head turned to the camera, but often a pose with your head turned away leads to a dramatic impact. I'll also look for the best level for your chin and ask that you pull your head forward ever-so-slightly, as if I were to have a string to pull your nose towards the camera. Let's elongate your neck as you pretend there's also a string on the top of your head being gently pulled upwards.
Are you a "tilter"? If so, let's make sure to include a tilt in your images so that they emphasize your unique style!
Expressions and Emotions
Conveying the right message to your clients, or just trying to get the look you want to share in your image, for most folks is about capturing the right emotion. Here are a few examples of words that when seen in an image can help you find the look that is you! Practice these in a mirror and be ready to dazzle in your session!
- enamored - corny - amazed - maniacal - despicable - stern - baffled - rambunctious - gutsy - bewildered - delighted - deceitful - devious - evil - pensive - greedy - debonair - devilish - neurotic - hip - kooky - intrigued - perky - macho - inquisitive - clever - nutty - optimistic - wacky - flirtatious - cunning - dastardly - sultry - feisty - dapper - cutesy - crafty - mysterious - suave - excited - conceited - dreamy - refined - charming - mischievous - witty - suspicious - nonchalant - sweet - perplexed - cuddly - fascinated - sophisticated - brazen - fierce - adorable - loving - keen - confident - dorky - coy - friendly - psyched - sassy - kind - quirky - romantic - elegant -
Got another word that isn't listed? Let's capture your idea!
Your most flattering image will have your body turned at a 45-degree from the camera, with the main lighting flowing across your body. That gives depth and dimension and helps avoid the 'driver's license look'. You'll want to keep in mind your posture, with your back straight, and lifting yourself with a deep inhale as needed.
Here's a few ideas on how to improve your appearance. We will revisit many of these same suggestions during your session to help you look your best, and still look like you!
Summer is looking fantastic in her poses (above) and you can, too!
She uses the turn of her feet, body and face to bring more interest to her look ("If there are two, be sure they are not level!"), uses her arms to move your through an image ("If it can bend, bend it"), and has used color to her advantage from one background to another.