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Posing for Curvy Women

Lesson 1 of 11

Class Introduction

Lindsay Adler

Posing for Curvy Women

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I'm Lindsay Adler and if you watch Creative Live, maybe you've seen me before. This is one of my favorite places to be in the entire world. And today, I'm going to be talking about a topic that man, I really wish existed for me when I was shooting a lot of portraits. And, I'll tell you a little bit about that story. But the class that I'm going to be teaching today is: Posing for Curvy Women. But although the class is called Posing for Curvy Women, I'm gonna cover a lot more than that. I'm going to go a lot more in-depth, because posing isn't a stand-alone thing. There's many other elements that work together, so we're going to be diving into that. So, 'cause I got lots to cover, I'm just going to get started, and I want to talk a little bit about my background or understanding of posing for curvy women. So, I have been in business for 16 years at this point. And I started with a portrait studio in upstate New York. And today I'm a fashion photographer and a lot of the models that I sh...

oot are, like, five foot 10, size two, 18 years old. And so people think that that's all I know how to pose but actually, the people that I shoot most regularly is a lot of singers, and a lot of athletes, or performers, or people that just want to have their own fashion shoot. And that comes in all shapes and sizes. So, let me just back up to when I had my portrait studio. I photographed the everyday person. Currently, the average size of a U.S. woman is U.S. size 14. That's kind of like, that's the middle of the road, the average size. And all those posing tutorials that I watched, they were using those size two, five foot 10 women. It's not that there's a right or wrong, it's just there are a couple of different considerations. Alright, well fast forward into the, I've been shooting for a little while and I took a workshop. I took a workshop from this photographer, who said, "Okay, well, if you've got a bride that's a little bit fuller-figured, just always pose her slightly behind the groom. Like, hide her." He's like, "Oh, and if you've got a full-length shot, well, put her behind a column and have her peek out." I was like, really?! You know, the thousands of dollars you spend on the dress, you're going to have them hide behind a column? My point is, a lot of people, they don't know how to photograph curves or fuller-figured, they're just like, "Well then I'm going to hide it." And that is horrendous. And that's why people are self-conscious about being photographed when they're curvier. So, moving on to being a fashion photographer, I have posed a lot of people of all different sizes, so I started to develop my tips and tricks of what worked best. So in the fashion world, all of a sudden I got asked to shoot a portfolio for an aspiring curves model. There's different names in the fashion industry, but curves is the most common title. And when I gave them the images, they said, "Oh my god, how did you know how to pose them?" And I'm like, what do you mean? So my point is that a lot of the times, people that had just shot the sample size model didn't really know the tools available to them. So it actually helped me out, being a portrait photographer before being a fashion photographer, because I learned how to pose everyone. And I noticed that all of the curves photos, the women were all posed kind of the same and not in a very flattering way. So my images got to stand out because they got treated like a fashion model instead of something different. So I was able to give a lot of women their day to feel like a fashion model without there being a fashion model "but." There didn't need to be anything extra. Like the girl on the right hand side there, that was her very first photo shoot she had ever had as an adult. Ever. 'Cause guess what? A lot of people, if they're a little bit curvier, later on, they're like, "I don't need photos." And she absolutely loved them. The girl on the left, this portrait we did for her birthday. And so, it was a celebration of her as an adult. Now, what I want to say about curves. The thing that people forget is that everybody's got a totally different body type, like drastically different. And you're gonna see some of those different body types in my presentation. So when I say curves, I've got here, from U.S. size 10, the girl on the left, to another with U.S. size 24. So curves and body types, they're drastically different, and there's some things that work better with others. For example, this is a girl that, she used to be an assistant to my wardrobe stylist. And she has a very different body type than most other women I shoot on a regular basis. She's much smaller up top, much fuller-figured on the bottom. I did this shoot for her not too long ago, and she called me crying, 'cause she just said, "I didn't ever feel like getting a portrait taken because I didn't think I could ever look good." That's awful, that someone has to feel insecure about this, so I'm hoping to be able to help you all out. And the reason I've included this slide here is, I'm posing people with drastically different body types in this image. So this is just to give you, I'm not trying to advertise their size, but to give you an idea of the height. Five foot three, size 20, team 20. Size zero, five foot eight. Size 14-16, five foot 10. I've posed each one of them in a specific way to flatter their body, which means we've got a lot of different tools available to us. There's not just one thing, which means you've got to learn to use them all 'cause everybody is a little bit different. And we actually have all of these tools. There's going to be clothing, and lens choice, and camera angle, and a little bit on lighting, and posing of course, and then retouching. But notice my retouching is last on this list for a reason. I'm going to end this day with a little bit of retouching, but I kind of want you to see what I actually do for curves, it's subtle and the things that are important, versus, I'm not changing people's size. It's not about that, it's smoothing edges and things like that. You'll be able to see that. But this picture I shot recently, I think it was very successful, the girl loved it. But notice, it wasn't just because it was a good pose. That's one part, but it was also the clothing, and it was also the hair and makeup. And it's also the lighting, and it's also the fact that I treat it like a fashion shoot, oh and I didn't crop her from here up. It's all of those things that work together. And so I can talk to you about this over and over again. We're going to talk about clothing to get started. And I wanted to say that what you wear in your every day is fine, I wear sweatpants. I have neon pink velour sweatpants that I wear around my house. That's fine. However, it doesn't necessarily work for a photo shoot, and the non-photographer clients, they don't know the difference about what you can wear every day versus what looks better in a portrait. So we're gonna talk about clothing for sure. This girl is a U.S. size 18. It's the lighting and the posing and, I'm gonna tell you, all of the images in this presentation, their bodies, the shape has never been changed. This is what it was captured in camera. I did do things like blemish removal and things like that, but I wanted you to actually see how the posing and the lighting and all of that work together. It's all of it. So we're going to jump into these five elements. These are my five tips for photographing women with curves, and they all work together, so we're gonna kind of build. I'll give you one piece and the next, and we'll see how the two pieces work together, and it'll keep building up, which means, I would keep these five things in mind every time you shoot somebody that's a little bit curvier, or a little bit fuller-figured. We're gonna dive into the first one, clothing matters. The next one, again, notice the first one is not necessarily posing, but you'll see how it comes into play. And then perspective matters. It's not really posing, but it is, 'cause your posing won't matter at all if you don't pay attention to your perspective. You have to pay attention to that. We're gonna talk about narrowing points, which is my favorite thing, the secret that I didn't know about photographing curves, defining the waist, and retouching subtly. And then throughout there, I've got a whole bunch of other tips.

Class Description

Photographers are hired to capture portraits that accentuate the best features of their subjects. Lindsay Adler will share techniques on how to photograph your full figured and curvier clients by accentuating their lines and creating beautiful silhouettes. She’ll show you how to highlight curves and use the right camera angles to flatter the shape of any woman. Lindsay will lay down a solid foundation of posing and styling so that you can make your clients feel comfortable in front of the camera. 
This class will cover: 

  • Styling suggestions for full figured women including a bridal session 
  • Camera angles and posing techniques for the most flattering images 
  • Photoshop techniques to help highlight your curvy subject
Whether your photography focus is a wedding, portrait or intimate boudoir, you’ll be able to represent your clients as the unique, beautiful women they are.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

Posing for Curvy Women - eBook Free Preview

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I’m only on Lesson 4 and I’ve already learned so much! Lindsay explains everything she’s doing and gives you the why’s and how’s of posing curvy women. This is a must-watch course for anyone who is faced with the challenge of making a curvy woman look her best. These women are so beautiful and they deserve to have the opportunity to work with a photographer who knows how to make them look their best! Thank you Lindsay for such a great course!

Peggy Nugent

This class is so amazing. Lindsay packs a ton of information in, clearly and efficiently. The best part is that she explains the reasons behind every concept, so now instead of setting up my clients in a few memorized poses, I can customize each look for the individual. As Lindsay dramatically demonstrates in this class, over and over, implementing her concepts makes a huge difference in how a woman looks, no matter what her size and shape. And Lindsay does it all with her usual charm and effervescence. This class is worth every penny, and much more.


Quite possibly Lindsay Adler's best class yet on Creative Live!! I own several of her classes - all are informative and helpful, but she is especially helpful in this one, providing LOTS of specific, non-fluff type of tips and quality instruction. The material is well-organized, and I really like that there is so much actionable information provided. Looking forward to putting the tips into practice!!!