Plus Size Posing


Posing 101: Women


Lesson Info

Plus Size Posing

Top five guidelines for photographing somebody who is plus size. I have a lot of clients that are not size zero or size two. I photograph a lot of singers, that have a lot fuller voluptuous shape. Or a lot of professional women athletes that have broad shoulders and they're big girls, and so I need to flatter them. So here are my top five tips. Tip number one, is enhance the shape and curve, not size. So there's a difference, like you can, you do not try to hide anything, you're just trying to put the shape where you want it, if that makes sense. So if somebody's just standing, there's no shape. So you're trying to actually push it where you want to see it. If you don't want to see any weight here, you're gonna push way, way back, have someone lean. But if you wanna see curve, you kinda kick it out to the side. Number two, is avoid straight on to camera. This is a huge one. Everybody looks widest straight on to camera, doesn't matter who you are. So then you're not gonna shoot straight...

on to camera, you're always going to shoot 3/4 or somewhere in between 3/ but not totally to the side, because totally to the side is where you can see the size of someone's stomach. So it is 3/4, you know little less then that. Not straight on, not to the side. Next one would be, hips and waist back, shoulders and head forward. Okay, so whatever's closest to the camera's biggest, whatever's farthest from the camera's smallest. But the reason I'm saying that is I'm not just talking about this, okay, I'm not just talking about kicking your hips back, it's everything you do. So if you are sitting, for example, on a chaise, you would kick the hips back and lean out on that chaise, pushing all of that behind. Or if you're, it's a laying down shot, photograph more front on so that the face and the chest are closest to the camera and everything else is further behind. So consider using your camera angle with these goals. It's not just about posing, camera angle becomes more important here. So, remember closest to the camera's biggest, farthest is smallest. The next one is elongate and posture. It's combined with this avoid full length while sitting. If you really want to elongate somebody, don't have them sit. Even if you have good posture when you're sitting, everything gathers. So even when I sit, even if I'm sitting up straight, if you have a little bit of a stomach or a lot, it will gather right there. It doesn't matter how much I stretch, it's still going to be there. So if you are trying to elongate somebody, standing, leaning, is going to be the way to do it. But if you do want somebody to be sitting, then you don't do full length, and it's fine. Just don't get this part of the body, you would have them elongate and crop maybe here, not full length. So it's a little bit of cropping, a little bit of camera angle, a little bit of posing. So a little bit of everything all together. Tied into this elongate and posture, everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody looks heavier when they have bad posture, everybody. Because it shortens your neck, okay, and it makes you look more stressed and it hunches everything together. So if I'm sitting like this, I gather here and I gather here. Anything you can do to elongate and lean, chin out, chin down, all, anything to elongate is what helps you in these poses. So, we are going to photograph my friend. Hi. Okay, I'm going to bring her out here. And I'm going to do five quick poses. Hi gorgeous, I love you. (giggling) I've known her forever now, even though I've been here a lot and so now I like I've known him forever, I've known her forever, it's nice. Okay, so first of all, shake. Okay, right, (giggling) okay, awesome. So, what I would yell at her for would be her cardigan, don't worry because I can't pose and work with shape when it's flowing. Because, let's say that for example, I'm gonna have you put your weight on your back foot and kick it way back. It made no real difference because of the shape. So can I get the A-clamp or C-clamp, it's actually right behind there. I'm gonna clip a little. Okay. If I don't photograph, if I don't photograph from behind, it's not a problem, so I do this all the time. So I'm gonna clip a little bit, you wanna, okay, I'm trusting her not to clamp you. Can we actually turn that so the cameras can see exactly what you're doing. Because this may come up for people. I'm just gonna roll like this. Okay, cool, perfect. All right, cool. So that's gonna be a little bit better. You can also make it look like a crop top if you want. For a lot of women that are plus size, are more concerned about their arms, because if you lean on your arms it's going to look wider. So I actually have two important arm tips, which is beyond this, but just two things to think about. Number one, is don't have arms close to the side. When you have your arms close to the side, it flattens it out. And then the other one is don't lean really heavily on it. You can absolutely have your arms out in the shot but done lean heavily, because that flexes muscle and it just makes everything look wider. So you just want gentle weight on the arms. So I might crop top you, is that okay? She's like, that's 'cause you love me. You're in charge, you got it. That is my favorite thing to hear in life. (giggling) Yeah, nice crop, do this. Okay, and just right there's great, perfect. Okay, good, great, perfect. That's perfect, awesome, okay. All right, so I'm going to do a standing pose first. And I'm actually just gonna do my progression real quick. So I'm gonna do bad to good. And I'm doing this for posing purposes, I wouldn't pull it that tight but I want you guys to be able to see. Be flat and bored. And stand in the middle of the thing, I'm gonna move the light over. And what I want you to do is hands at your side, flat weight, even on your feet. See 'cause she already knows, she knows how to pose, I can tell. I've see a few workshops. Have you? I wasn't sure. Okay, so, just go like this. (camera click) So, let me check my light. Can we have the back lights on? So straight on to camera, flat foot doesn't work. All right, so what I'm gonna have you do, let me take one shot with that. Okay, great, perfect. You're fine. Straight on to camera doesn't work. It just doesn't do anything. So what we're gonna do is, I'm gonna have you put one leg back, kick your hip way, way out on that, perfect, I'm gonna have you lean towards camera and I'm gonna have you put your left hand on your hip and I'm gonna have you hide the other arm, I don't even need to see it, perfect. And I can kinda see this sweater, I'm just gonna kick it over here. Oh, she's got it, see. (giggle) Okay, and now, what I see that's not good, she's lifting her shoulder up. Drop your shoulder for me, long shoulder. And women's general posing tip, whatever side of the neck is closest to the camera, we're gonna flip the hair. Gonna flip your hair just like this. Okay, so lean out towards me, perfect, great. And pop your elbow up even higher. Just put it like here maybe, like on your waist, good. And relax your shoulders, you look stressed, good. (laughter) And I'm gonna have you bring that hand back and I'm gonna have you put it more on your waist. It's fine, I don't see it. So I'm gonna have you stand up straight, hands on your waist, you're actually gonna put it in front, like right here, like copy me. Keep going, keep going, keep going and up, up, up, good. And I'm gonna just pull your shirt, the shirt's hiding. It's a little loose, she was not suppose to be our model today so I couldn't you know advise. And hand across like this, good, higher, higher, higher, right there, okay now relax, perfect. So what you can do is instead of hands on the hips, when you put your hands right on somebody's hips this is saying look at my hips, if you put your hands on someone's waist you're saying, look at my waist. If you have your hands to the sides like this, it's saying, okay this is, I'm trying to wrap my hands around me but this is as far as it reaches versus if you pull the hands to the front more, it's saying, oh I can reach around even further. So it creates a waist and looks narrowing. Okay, perfect. And lean towards me and can I have an apple box as well. So I'm gonna shoot here. I'm wearing heels today. I'm short anyway. (camera click) Good, and so I'm going to work with this pose by getting higher. So she doesn't have to go like this, I can get a little bit higher. Perfect, thank you, perfect, great. And pop the elbow back just a little bit, good. (camera click) And chin out for me and down, good. (camera click) Okay and put your glasses a little bit higher up on your face, just a tiny bit, yeah perfect. (camera click) And relax your shoulders just a little. (camera click) Perfect, you look cute. Okay, but the thing is you have to smile. 'Cause I like you and we're friends and so you have to smile, good. And now chin out and down and huge smile, massive smile, good. (camera click) I just crossed my eyes. I saw that. (laughter) And I'm gonna have you do that one more time and just turn to your right. Keep going, good. And pop this elbow way out, right there, perfect. Relax your shoulders, shake, shake, shake, perfect just like that, great. And chin down just a little, perfect. Okay, so the next pose that I would do, so see how I have negative space and shape and I'm looking at her eyes and I love your smile. See I had glare until I had you look down. This looks pretty cute, I like her. I'm glad that you like me too. Okay, can I have the tall chair. Perfect. All right, so the next thing is going to be hands leaning but not a hands leaning, a hands set. So turn around backwards, well forwards is what I mean, good And you're just gonna lean this way, okay, perfect. So what I'm gonna have her do, is I'm gonna have her move a little bit behind the chair, just a little bit, and I'm gonna have you cross this arm over. So if I want to give a little curve, I don't want hands here where it blends, I would have her lean really over and kick this hip out. So I can have a little butt curve and I can have her lean out on this hand. And it is okay that there's not negative space here because I'm actually going to put it so it's within the waist. What I'll make sure I don't do is have the arm so that it's adding width. I'll pull it over so that it is actually reducing. So let's take a look at this pose, perfect, good. And I'll have you take one step like this with your legs. So that she can lean forward just a little bit more. Okay, great, perfect. Gotta pull your, little wrinkles. Hold on I'm gonna unclip just for a second, I don't want wrinkles on this one. Oh your still clamped, there's like 10 clips there. Okay, perfect just like that. Good and I'm gonna get from a slightly higher angle. And one more, chin out and down, good. And kick your hip up, good. And lean towards me even more, good. Perfect, oh light eyes, hold on. (laughter) We're going for like high school emo look there. (laughter) The hair and the eyes and the drama. Try it one more time, good. I need a haircut. I like your hair, I love the color too. And your shoulders are a little hunched, there you go, much better, okay, perfect. Great and tilt your head just a little bit this way and chin out and down, great. Perfect, that's what I like. Oh that's cute, perfect. The other thing that I would do, would be when leaning on a wall, I'll actually have her lean and use it to support her torso and lean really far. So can I have the wall, would that be okay? All right, I didn't wanna cause too much drama with the wall Great, so I'm gonna do a couple before afters so you can see. Perfect, thank you guys. That was easy. So I know you can't actually lean on it, 'cause you will die, no you won't die. (laughter) And Iris can you pull the back out towards the seamless even more. No I don't mean like that, you step two steps forward onto the seamless. That was just for Iris though. There we go, right there, perfect. Okay, so what I'm gonna have you do first, is stand right where you are, I just wanna shoot a couple before afters. So if you stand straight on towards camera. And put your shoulder on the wall. Okay, no negative space yet. I want a little bit more negative space. Next shot, okay, I want a little bit more negative space. So what I'm gonna have you do, is kinda put your hand on your butt and I'm gonna have you put that elbow onto the wall and you're gonna lean way the heck towards me. And you're gonna lean back just a little bit, great. So what I'm doing is, I want negative space here, I want her to lean her chest forward, she's kicking her weight already back on her back foot already for me, perfect. And turn your shoulders toward me just a tiny bit. Good, right there, perfect. Okay but look happier, oh my God. (laughter) Good, let me see if the light is showing that negative space It is, cool, let me do one more. And then you're free. And turn your head kinda toward this shoulder. Bring this shoulder up just a little bit and flip your hair off of that, off the front shoulder. You're fine, it's dramatic like you. That's all I'm saying. All right, elbow that way just a little more, good. And I'm gonna have you cross that one arm all the way over. Good, just like that. That's fine and then pop that elbow out a little more. Good. And relax your shoulders. Perfect, okay perfect. All right, you are free, love you. (applause)

Class Description

Posing women can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially when you consider the seemingly endless looks, styles and situations you can find yourself in as a photographer. In Posing 101: Women, fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler will show you how to pose women comfortably and with style in a variety of scenarios.

Lindsay will lay down a foundation to posing and show you the essential poses for women you need to get started. Using live photo shoots and a 5 guideline approach, you’ll learn how to pose high school seniors and mature women. You’ll see boudoir poses that are graceful and comfortable for the subject yet impactful. Lindsay will teach you specific poses for plus size, bridal and maternity clients. Additionally, you’ll learn how to wow and inspire awe with stylized fashion and beauty poses.

Regardless of your style and experience, this course offers a step-by-step approach to posing women easily and quickly. Regardless if it’s a wedding, portrait or intimate boudoir shoot, you’ll be able to pose with confidence and ease.


Hassan Hussein

This class was a pleasure to watch. Lindsay Adler as always studies the subject to a great extent and then provides it in a very clear and entertaining way to her audience. This class includes all the essentials about posing women. It contains very useful information, tips, and tricks to improve one's photography of women. It further contains great instructions on how to add artistic twists to every pose that could flatter the subject being photographed. I highly recommend this class to serious photographers who want to improve their skills of photographing female subjects.

Christine Yun

Such a great class. I learned so many posing tips and feel so much more confident when getting photographed. Lindsay teaches you the basics and breaks down the essentials to ensure you look your best in pictures.

Chris van der Colff

Lindsay does a great job at taking you through many poses. She not only shows you the poses, but explains why she chooses each for the particular model.