Those gals on the red carpet? They’ve got a black belt in posing and you can learn from their hours in red carpet lessons to help pose your female subjects to look thinner, bustier and happier in their portraits.
Tip 1 – Fresh face – Ever wonder why Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson look like bobble-head dolls on the red carpet? All that moving of their heads. Not only are they looking into a thousand different cameras, but they’re flashing fresh (not frozen) smiles with every move of their perfectly primped little heads. Here’s how to use it in your own photography: ask your subject to look away. On the count of three, tell them to turn their head towards you and flash you a smile. You’ll capture a fresh smile each time and the eyes usually light right up, too!
Tip 2 – smaller bum, smaller tum - I wonder sometimes. How come these ladies, who I’ve come to believe only look so hot because of Photoshop, also look hot on the red carpet? As I’ve said…it’s all in the carefully calculated posing techniques which they have actually learned specifically for this purpose: to maximize their assets and minimize their…well…asses. If your subject feels a bit chunky in the front or back, the solution is to get her slightly rotating her upper body. This will add shape to those curves and it works for even the most perfect of bodies which means it can even give a stick-thin girl some curves she didn’t already have. With that, check out Jennifer Lopez in the shot on the right –> this is how she poses. Note that her hip is facing the camera and her torso is rotated towards the camera. But you know me…I hate ice cold poses. I get girls and ladies to get their lower body stance down and (like in tip 1) I count to three and take the photo just as they’ve rotated their upper body towards me. This adds the element of a spontaneous moment and a genuine smile or laugh to a pose which takes 10 lbs off the waistline. A perfect combination!
Tip 3 – longer legs - Once I said to my husband, “wow check out that girl…her legs are sooo long!” He replied, “Yes they go all the way to the floor.” How can you help your ladies lengthen their legs so they reach all the way to the floor, too? Starting with heels helps. And not heels with an ankle strap because that just cuts your feet off. To pose like a celeb and maximize your leggage, take a trick from Elle Macpherson over there –> ask your subject to rotate her body just a tad and cross her outside leg (the one facing you) over the other leg. But not like she’s holding in a pee. She shouldn’t be putting any weight on that front foot and her legs will look long and lean. If this doesn’t seem to come easily or naturally, combine it with a lean against a tree or have her lean her hands back against a low wall or something similar. In short, whatever you do make sure she’s always crossing the leg that’s facing you. Otherwise, she’ll be cutting those beauties in half.
I’m sure there are loads more tips out there that I’m missing. I’m not one to peruse the galleries of the red carpet, so I’m afraid I’m not a total expert, but these are just a few tips I’ve actually used and found helpful in my portrait photography experiences with girls and women.