Whether you’re a professional portrait photographer or someone still learning the ropes, you’ll definitely be working with non-models. So if you still need some help on how to pose them for your next project, we have a really useful video tutorial that should provide lots of ideas. Portrait photographers Anita Sadowska and Irene Rudnyk recently teamed up for a quick but really helpful video demonstrating poses for non-models. With Sadowska behind the camera and Rudnyk following her directions, we see a good variety of posing techniques that will make everyone look really great in portraits.
Basically, Sadowska’s tips involve paying attention to the curves of the body (especially for females in this case) while also elongating the legs and the neck for a more flattering look. The latter is especially helpful for posing people who are shorter than the usual model height. Most models know what their best angles are and how to emphasize certain body parts. But for non-models, you’ll need to direct them into poses that will make their best features stand out.
With some simple tricks you can make a boring standing pose more eye-catching. Bring a leg forward and bring the hip to the side to emphasize the curves and you’ll instantly have a significantly more interesting shot. You can also do this with the subject sitting down. Having your model on tiptoes can also create an illusion of height, so you may want to experiment with that. Non-models also often don’t know what to do with their hands, so you can get them to place a hand on the hip or in front of the raised leg. Another tip is to place their hands over their heads in an interesting post or to play with their hair. Turn their head to the side or have them hold their chin up slightly to highlight the jawline and produce a flattering portrait angle.
From the gear side, you’ll do great shooting with a focal length of 28mm or 35mm, and shoot from a slightly lower angle to your subject. These will maximize the effect of extra height and make the poses even more powerful. We have more awesome stuff from Irene Rudnyk and Anita Sadowska, so if you want more portrait photography tutorials, go check them out! You can also check out and subscribe to their YouTube Channels here and here.