Over the Shoulder Pose – Photo Posing Tips: How to Pose Using Shoulder

Over the shoulder pose. Getting your model to look the way you have in mind is not always easy. Posing corrections are key to take your work to the next level.

Looking over the shoulder pose

Over the shoulder pose

This pose allows you to show the model’s back while still being able to see her face.

Ask the model to bring a shoulder nearer to the camera and to turn her head toward the camera also. Ask her to turn her chest slightly toward the background and look over her shoulder. Then, at that point, shoot marginally from above to more readily characterize the facial structure and the jawline.

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The secret of a perfect portrait with over the shoulder pose

The main thing the model should avoid at all costs is to keep a straight profile. Ask her to rotate her torso towards the background or even towards you: do not have her staying perpendicular to the camera (i.e. looking left or right). IT IS NOT A MUGSHOT!
Avoid the static mugshot, keep an eye to the jawline and you will have a beautiful picture in a few shots.

Another variation of the looking over the shoulder pose

Looking over the shoulder pose

You can actually have her body somewhat perpendicular to the camera as long as she is bending her shoulder inwards, showing the back of her arm to the camera. This creates an archetype of the gentle feminine figure. And of course her gaze goes directly into the camera.

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We made a short video to share some simple but effective photo posing tips on how to make your model look best in photographs, focusing on just small shoulder movements. Anyone can use the following techniques, whether you are a photographer posing a model for portrait photography or fashion photography, and whether you are a beginner or a pro.
Watch the video to see examples of the do’s and don’ts described below:



How to pose shoulders tip 1: Rotate the upper body

When your model is facing one side, let him or her rotate the upper body as well. This way it’s easier to keep the neck straight. You can also play with it to change how your subject looks. Do you want your model to look powerful on the photo? Then let your model look directly into the camera, and he or she will look wider in shoulders (thus stronger). This works great for a portrait of sports star or a business headshot for example. Are you searching for a slimmer profile of your model instead? Then make sure your model rotates the upper body.

Tip 2: Drop the shoulder while posing in over the shoulder pose

Straight lines are static and boring. Diagonal lines instead have a more dynamic and appealing effect. Avoid a straight shoulder line because this pose will make your model look rigid or ‘boxy’. Moreover, hunching up the shoulders might give the appearance of little or no neck. So drop the shoulder for a more neutral look.

Tip 3: The triangle rule

When you’re using relatively difficult poses, keep the ‘triangle effect’ in mind (also known as the ‘pyramid effect’). By adjusting your model’s pose to create triangular shapes, you make the pose look better. The shoulders are the base of the triangle when you are shooting a head-and-shoulders portrait. For an upper body portrait, the shoulders should be halfway between the base and the peak of the triangle.

How to pose shoulders


Are you eager to practice with a model in a rental photo studio? Discover and hire studios and locations anywhere in the world or near to your home on MisterLocation!

Pictures: Foto Ritratto di una bella ragazza con il trucco che posa su sfondo bianco creato da racool_studio