abandon a pose
instantly. You may
just need a bit of
time (and better
posing) to get the
shot to look right. Experiment with how
posing meshes with a particular camera
angle, perspective and lens choice—they all
work in conjunction to create a flattering
pose. Just like no one pose works for
everyone, no single camera angle is right
for every body type.
Remember to stay positive. If you struggle
and make them feel like they are letting you
down, everyone loses. Work with the pose a
bit, then try something a tad different until you
achieve something that flatters that individual.
POSE WITH A CLEAR CONCEPT
There is no clear and definitive definition
that encompasses what fashion posing
looks like. It’s more about conveying a
mood or fundamental cool with a pose
that can be soft and subtle, dramatic and
aggressive, and everything in between.
What you’ll notice in most fashion
editorials is that every element of the shoot
works together to support an underlying
theme or concept. Is the shoot meant to
be dreamy and ethereal, or glamorous and
theatrical? The lighting, styling and posing
should all fit the theme and mood.
Many photographers have a vision of
what they believe fashion posing is—hands
on hips, arm draped over the head. Don’t
use a cliché as your go-to. Think of it this
way: If you are shooting a soft, dreamy
shoot, why would you put the subject’s
hands on their hips? That creates right
angles and a more aggressive stance, when
you’re actually going for the opposite.
One way to think about fashion posing is
not about specific poses that you see all the
time, but instead how a pose can reinforce
the central idea about the shot you are trying
to make. No, it’s not just a headshot pose
meant to create flattering angles of the face.
What more can you do with the body to be
emotive or reflective of the concept?
Lindsay Adler is a fashion photographer whose
latest book, The Photographer’s Guide to
Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone, was
published this year. She also posts videos on
her educational site, learnwithlindsay.com.
LEFT: This raven-inspired dress was dramatic,
as was the concept, so I chose lighting and a
pose that were bolder to fit the overall mood.
A subtle or curvy pose would convey mixed
messages to the viewer.
HO; IT LOOKS ON ; RE;L SENIOR
The fashion posing
techniques that Adler
has acquired over time
are evident in the senior
portrait sessions she
conducts now (she shoots
about two seniors every
year). Photographing at
the blooming botanical
gardens in New Jersey, she carried the soft feel of the
shoot from the location to the wardrobe, delicate pose, and
graceful movement of the hair and dress. Aligning all of
these elements gives the shoot an art-directed feel familiar
to the pages of Vogue, making her teen subjects look and
feel like fashion models.
Every element of
the shoot works
together to support
an underlying theme
LEFT: This scene is soft
and ethereal, so I
selected hair, makeup
and a pose that fit that
look. A more dramatic
pose may not have
suited the mood I
wanted to achieve.