Behind the Scenes: Tips on Posing

Box 2801
Denver 1, Colorado


Doran Propp & Frank Zuech by Don Whitman / Western Photography Guild

Doran Propp & Frank Zuech by Don Whitman / Western Photography Guild

  1. Don’t work out just before you pose, or even have a very hard workout, the night before. Relaxed muscles photograph better than tensed muscles. However a brief warmup will do no harm.

  2. Having a fresh haircut is not recommended. If you must, make it a light trim.

  3. Body hair will be clipped only if you wish it. Naturalism is recommended. Clippers are preferred over razors and shavers.

  4. A very light coating of mineral oil will be applied to your body -- enough to bring out highlights, not enough to make you greasy.

  5. Don’t be nervous the first time you pose; you’ll feel at home once you get started. However, if you should be nervous, you won’t be the first one, and it will soon go away.

  6. Your ideas for poses will be welcome, but don’t worry if you don’t have any. We have plenty, and your movements between pictures will suggest others.

  7. Try to feel your poses throughout your whole body and center them in your midsection. This will tend to make them look unified instead of falling apart.

  8. Your jaw determines whether your poses look relaxed and smooth or tense and difficult. No matter how much you are flexing, a jaw relaxed just before the camera clicks will make it look easy. Best way to relax your jaw is to give your lips a big juicy lick.

  9. Make sure your body weight is balanced in every pose; an unbalanced pose makes the viewer uneasy. If the pose requires all your weight to be on one leg, don’t shift part of it to the other.

  10. Smiling for the camera is easy for some, hard for others. We want a natural smile, but practicing before a mirror can help.

  11. In most side poses, a forward thrust of the pelvis gives a desirable back arch. A backward thrust can be disastrous.

  12. Getting the right head angle is the climax of any pose. It can make a pose elegant instead of ordinary. Often the way to achieve it is simply by feeling tall.

  13. Have confidence in the folks behind the camera. Their sole aim is to make you look as good as possible.

  14. Outdoor posing requires a good tan over all your body, if possible. In the studio, a tan is less important.

  15. Your copies of the pictures should be ready within a week. When you get them, don’t render your verdict until you’ve studied each one. You’ll find they grow on you, studying them to see where they could be improved will insure your second posing session being even more successful than your first. It will also help your contest posing.

Andrew Dimler