Posing Women – One Tip to Transform Your Portrait Photography

January 6th, 2022 Jump to Comment Section
Posing Women - One Tip to Transform Your Portrait Photography

Photography and Filmmaking have always had a natural crossover, and it’s inevitable that as a video creator you will also be asked to take professional photos at some point in your career.

(Feature image credit: Jerry Ghionis – @jerryghionis)

But with photography, especially with female portraits, posing is a unique skill that almost never comes up with moving images. And yet, knowing how to pose women can make or break a photo shoot. So how do you direct a woman to pose in a photo?

Thankfully in MZed’s How to Wow course by legendary photographer Jerry Ghionis, you can quickly learn how to pose women in a way that is flattering and professional, resulting in unforgettable images.

Screengrab from How to Wow at MZed – Image credit: Jerry Ghionis

Posing Women 101

In the Problem Solving when Posing lesson of the How to Wow course, Jerry offers a ton of tips on how to beautifully pose a female subject, whether you’re shooting a wedding, portrait, or even lifestyle photography. When posing women, he provides one simple tip that will get you through most photo shoots.

“Point the toes, bend the knees, shift the weight back.

Screengrabs from How to Wow at MZed. Image credit: Jerry Ghionis

“The more curves we see, the more beautiful it becomes,” Jerry tells his class. To illustrate his point, he shows a variety of examples of posed women where they are pointing their toes, bending the knees, and shifting their weight back. 

It’s easy to remember the phrase, just say it a few times and you’ll never forget it. Point the toes, bend the knees, shift the weight back. And this applies not only to figures standing up but lying down, too. Shifting the weight back allows the arch of the back to emphasize more curves. 

Image credit: Jerry Ghionis

When it comes to lighting those curves, Jerry encourages turning the model’s body away from the light, and then turning her face back toward it. This creates more opportunities for light and shadow to play with the curves of a woman’s face and body. 

When Posing Women, Bend the Leg Closest to the Camera

When you point the toe and bend the knee, you want to focus on the leg that is closest to the camera. The reason is more than just composition. By bending the knee closest to the camera, you’re covering up and keeping the photo classy, which is especially important if you’re shooting boudoir photography. 

If she is facing you directly, you can just rest one knee over the other. That way, it shifts the model’s weight, which creates a more dynamic pose.

How to Pose a Woman’s Hands and Face

When it comes to a woman’s hands and face, Jerry suggests to bend everything. “The more things we bend, then chances are it’s going to be more aesthetically pleasing,” he says.

Screengrabs from How to Wow at MZed. Image credit: Jerry Ghionis

So experiment with bending the arms and wrists in a variety of ways. Bend the head back, turn the face, bend an elbow. The curves will interact with the light more, as well as give the image a sense of movement. Try to create gaps between the arms and the body, and the chin and shoulders. This will help to fill the frame and push you to pose the woman in ways that are flattering to the camera.

And what to do with hands? Try giving them something to hold, touch, or adjust. It could be a bracelet or necklace, or her hair or face. The main lesson is to take charge when you’re posing women, rather than waiting for them to do something and then hoping to capture a beautiful moment. 

Watch “How to Wow” with MZed Pro

There are many essential lessons to posing women in the How to Wow course with Jerry Ghionis. If you want to improve your ability to light, pose, and photograph subjects in any location, this course will give you the knowledge and tools to get there.

MZed courses

As an MZed Pro member, you get access to this course as well as everything else on the platform, plus we’re constantly adding more courses. For just $30/month (billed annually at $349), here’s everything you’ll get:

  • 42 courses, over 500 high quality lessons spanning over 275 hours of learning.
  • Highly produced courses from educators who have decades of experience and awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award.
  • Exclusive access to ARRI Academy online courses.
  • Unlimited access to stream all the content during the 12 months.
  • Offline download and viewing with the MZed iOS app.
  • The majority of MZed courses provide an industry-recognized certificate upon completion.
  • Purchasing the courses outright would cost over $9,800.
  • Course topics include cinematography, directing, lighting, cameras and lenses, producing, indie filmmaking, writing, editing, color grading, audio, and even how to launch a YouTube channel.
  • 7-day money back guarantee if you decide it’s not for you.

Join MZed Pro now to get started.

Full disclosure: MZed is owned by CineD

What are your best tips for posing women in photography? Let us know in the comments below!

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