Photo Posing Tips – Using Shoulder Movements

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. 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:



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

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.


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!