Skip to main content

FAST CLASS: Posing 101

Lesson 2 of 29

Expression & Interaction Posing Tips

Lindsay Adler

FAST CLASS: Posing 101

Lindsay Adler

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

2. Expression & Interaction Posing Tips

Lesson Info

Expression & Interaction Posing Tips

for success is a portrait photographer. I tend to find that your ability to be a chameleon is more important then really a lot of the photography part because I got to figure out what makes you comfortable. What makes you laugh if I need you to be happy, so just kind of reading different people. So I'm going to give you, um, my tips on getting expression because a photo can be good without expression, but it won't be great. All right, so I recommend that what you dio is you pose somebody and then you get candid shots. That's it's not candid shots there posed that look candid. So if you can post somebody and get them to laugh, get them to move, get them to interact with the camera that looks a lot better than a truly pose shot. These are my five key tips to building interaction and report with your subjects. Have any of you guys read how to win friends and influence people in that book? Okay, so the book is by Dale Carnegie, and it basically is a book on how to get people to like you. I...

mean, that's what the book is about, and it's much more than that. It's how to interact with people, to get them to do what you want. I mean, it's I'm missing manipulate because it's like he wants you to be genuine about these things. Um, well, as photographers, when we want to pose somebody and get good expressions, we need to get them to do what we want. So, actually, I found that the five tips that I decided are just twists on his book on some of the chapters in his book. So let me give you one example would be number one is exude confidence. Number two is pay a sincere compliment. Um, and this is why. Okay, so the word flattery actually has negative connotations, right? I'm flattering you. You know, I'm tryingto get you Do what I want. I'm just saying it for the sake of it. But a better word instead of flattery is more like appreciation. You're appreciating through your images something good about that person. Tip number three. This is definitely from the book. Say their name repeatedly. No, the person. And that sounds obvious. It's not know the person's name and say it all the time. because when you hear your name repeatedly, it's basically someone saying you are important. Number four for good expressions and interactions is to really find out where someone's passions lie, whoever you are photographing, no matter what walk of life they come from there something that they love. And Number five, which was late related to the very first tip, is to never use negative terms. Like always, find a way to twist what you're saying into something positive or whatever it may be. So like. I said, for example, if somebody is posed in a bad way and I don't suppose like this like Okay, good, I have an idea. Let's try something else and we'll shoot it and you'll be bad and be like, All right, I think we got that shot, you know, under the next one, whatever it may be, so never using that gives. I don't care what it is. Just it's 100% positive, the entire photo shoot and one of the things that I do is if something is stressing me out and you can't handle it, step out. While we're on this, I'm gonna give you guys a couple other tips for expression not related to those overall big concepts. So a couple things said, I always tell people to do for the expression number. One thing is relaxed like, Was it? Relax? Chickened Oh, and I like would be silly and Jaeckel around and encourage them to do the same thing, because you can see when someone's tense in a photo. The main places that people hold tension are their shoulders, their hands and their job. For people that are a little freaked out about Portrait's, I would let them sit comfortably and then tweak it. This is why you don't need to know. Somebody poses, because if you know what makes a good pose, you can let them be comfortable and then just get rid of the things that are making it look bad. When people are tense, they bite their jaws right. Girls also do two things with their lips, like it's either like, really nervous or like yeah, um, and instead I found a better tip when somebody doesn't know what to do with their lips for a serious photo. So breathe in and out, and I tell them to feel that feeling at the end of the breath and keep their lips like that so ago. My friend Peter Hurley. He's a head shot in Portrait Photographer based in New York City. Um, and he's hilarious and entertaining to watch if you guys just want to laugh and enjoy. But one of the things that he talks about is expression and interacting with people. So if you go ahead and search these words on YouTube, you'll find one of his videos. Um, and you don't have to watch the whole thing. You get the idea very quickly. But what he's saying is that when you were watching a subject and you look at them, ah, lot of times, if you say OK, just relax. Relax is often interpreted as dead face like no nothing with no emotion. And so what I would often say to models. And I do say, this is I would say, Okay if I want something more alluring and saline for it, just kind of squint. Give me those little like that little sexy squint because it looks like they're looking into the camera versus looking through it there, really interacting with it. Well, he made a really, really good point in this video, and what he's saying is, when you tell someone to squint, squint is actually this right. Like actually squinting everything. Where is what I was really trying to get subjects to Dio is what he named squinting um, which is a pinch and a squint. It was how he called it. And what you're really doing is you're just like lifting up your lower leage just a little, and that's more of what, Instead of squinting, it's just that little bit of flirtatious eyes.

Class Description


Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks – so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class:  Posing 101 with Lindsay Adler

Subscribe to CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.


  • Use camera angle, lens choice, and cropping to improve your poses
  • Hide unflattering problem areas
  • Address different body types through posing and wardrobe
  • Go for simple poses rather than extravagant ones
  • Pose couples, individuals, and groups to ensure everyone looks good
  • Understand the differences between posing women and men


Posing is one of the fundamentals of great photography. It’s also the thing that photographers have the least control over. We can choose our lenses, set up, lighting, and retouch with Adobe® Photoshop®. But when it comes to photography poses, we need to pay attention and work closely with our subjects to find the perfect pose and the best way to capture the most flattering image.

Fashion and portrait photographer Lindsay Adler will break down the fundamentals of perfect posing, giving you the basic rules you should follow to make your subjects and your photos look their best. Through live photo shoots and slides, Lindsay demonstrates the do’s and don’ts for every category of subject, including men, women, older people, couples, brides and grooms, groups, and more.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Connect with your subjects through sincere compliments, repeating their name and discovering their passions.
  • Avoid using negative terms that will make subjects feel ill at ease.
  • Master the rules of posing, then know when to break them.
  • Be confident when posing couples at a wedding whether it's a bride and groom, mature couple or same-sex couple.

This course is perfect for novice photographers just getting their feet wet in the world of portrait photography, but it also offers useful advice and techniques for even the most skilled professionals. By the end, you’ll be able to discover the beauty in every one of your subjects and bring it out for the world to see.


  • All levels of photographers who want to set themselves apart and up their posing game.
  • Professional photographers who want to learn new ways of posing women, men, children, couples, and groups so they can impress current clients and attract new ones.
  • Hobbyist photographers who want to learn to pose their family and friends.


Samantha Riegels

This is a great course for a quick reminder of things to keep in mind when headed out for a particular shoot. It's bullet points. General principals. If you are new to posing, you'll want a more in-depth course where she has live models and is positioning them rather than just talking about posing techniques. But for a Fast Class, I think this is perfect. Wonderful job, as always Lindsay!

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic quick but comprehensive summary of the key points for many different types of shoot. As always Lindsay Adlers delivers excellense. Brilliant

Creative Team

Lindsay's classes are always informative and interesting.