Posing curves for female photography
How can I show you
that you're beautiful
when the world is not enough
and a million voices
fail to change your song
unable to silence
the doubt that beats away
I was asked about posing tips for a help with glamour photography poses or how to pose for boudoir photos voluptuous or curvy women so many times that I thought it is time to write some photo posing tips for posing women, especially curves.
One of the questions I get all the time is pasted below.
“Hi Kira!! What would you recommend for those of us who have never shot “boudoir” sessions for not-showing those parts of the body women are not comfortable showing? Can you tell us what lighting do you use, what colour, angles, lens? What poses would be flattering for curvy women? I have a session coming up soon and the lady is worried about looking fat in the photos, and I want her to feel great; feel beautiful. Can you help??”
So lets start with what to do first and then we will get to posing techniques.
You need to gain some information first. And then, after asking your questions – you need to listen. Not only to their answers, but what might be hiding behind them.
Before the shoot
Talking to them beforehand and discovering what sort of person you are dealing with will help you decide on how much to use Photoshop for post-production; what to focus on when you are shooting and what, if anything, to hide.
Some people are more vain than others and will hate seeing themselves being big in the photos. Others will hate being “fixed” noticeably via Photoshop. It is a lot to do with psychology and learning how to deal with each individual.
Some girls will be very happy with their curves, proud of them and that would be a mistake for you to try and hide them.
Some will hate their curves and will want to hide them.
You need to know all of it before the shoot as it will help you tremendously with the direction, lighting and posing of your client for boudoir photography , glamour photography or, in fact, for any female photography.
You can give them some posing tips to gain their confidence in you.
A lot of your clients will be very vulnerable, even fragile. They will need a lot of support, sometimes - “convincing”.
Talking to them about the way they feel about themselves, about their insecurities, their dreams, their fears will help you a lot in knowing what sort of images to create, what sort of poses will suit this or that particular person.
You need to know if they want to be somebody who is sexy and confident, but life got in their way; maybe they want to show their strength as they believe they are perceived to being “meek”, or they want to show their feminine side as they lead an “Alfa” or male-role in life; maybe they want to be playful and provocative, but they think they have forgotten how it feels.
They might feel they don’t know how to be sexy any more.
Or they might want to feel romantic and innocent and their photos. And glamour photography poses might be too much for them. You don’t want to create images that they won’t be able to associate themselves with.
You can and probably should discuss with them some posing techniques you are going to use to portray different moods. Again – you are gaining their trust.
If they do it for their partner – you need to ask even more questions to find out what their partner loves about them, what their partner wants to see them in, what sort of feel and mood their partner would want.
Try and coach your client on what to wear before they come.
As a general rule - no baggy, shapeless clothes. Fitted clothing is much better as it will help you when you pose to create lines, spaces, curves.
Definitely make sure they don't highlight their imperfections with loud clothing.
No patterns. No logos, no stripes.
Have some props like scarves to cover their arms.
Props are good idea in general as they help with getting into the character and also serve well for concealing some things, but emphasising or framing others.
When talking about lingerie and how to pose for boudoir photos - ask them to avoid lingerie that is see-through around stomach/back area.
Make sure their stocking or panties are not cutting into the skin, creating unnecessary bulges.
Robes can be a great idea - silk, simple or fancy Hollywood types with feathers as they will help you mask some parts of their bodies and also help them get into character.
Aim for V necks or square neck (boat?) blouses, no collars, no round necks or cowls. The angles help de-emphasize the already present "roundness" and collars will shorten the neck.
Tight, good corsets are often a great idea to keep that middle area in shape and also help with posture and attitude.
Talk to them about styling their hair – some hair-dos make their faces look bigger.
Always ask your client what do they love about themselves, what do they hate about themselves. This knowledge will help you to highlight the features that they like and de-emphasize the others. Focus on their best traits and those they are most proud of.
For example, some hate their smile or their teeth and don’t want to smile, but photographers try and force them to. Try to find their best angle.
Sometimes not hiding curves is better. When you are trying too hard to hide something, the tendency is to start looking for it.
Heels. Heels make women's legs look amazing and add height. They also help with creating slimmer silhouettes when posing women.
Definitely recommend to have a professional make-up and hair done or
recommend your own make-up artist.
This will help with the confidence boost and positive energy.
Feeling pampered is part of the experience you need to provide.