Posing the Face

One useful tool to have in your DIY bag of tricks is to know how to pose a face.  Unfortunately, this is not as easy as at it would seem and often times makes your senior feel a bit weird.  It seems that everyone has a little flaw that they don’t to show up in a picture.It is your job as the photographer to notice these little things to make your portraits turn out the best.

Let’s take for example me.  When I laugh I have a tendency to pull my chin in and chuckle.  Why is that so bad?  Because it gives me the illusion have having this MASSIVE double chin.  I mean MASSIVE like the size of my entire neck!  So, as a photographer, how would you tell me how to pose my face?

  1. Push the forehead out.  This will get the neck moving forward.
  2. Tilt the chin slightly to one side.  This will stretch the skin out taught.
  3. Provide plenty of light to get rid of any shadows under the neck.

I know that this will make your senior feel awkward, but it actually will look pretty good in the final shot.

Here is my 80s era senior portrait.  Go ahead, get your laughs out! When you are done laughing, take note of the face pose. This photographer knew what he was doing back in the ancient days of the 80s.  He obviously watched me laugh or smile and then figured out how to get around my chin issue.


You will need to do the same things.  Take time to look at your subject after you take a shot.  I actually challenge you to take a good long look at your first few shots.  Give it at least 10-15 seconds to study your shot.  How could you change a pose to make this person look more flattering?  Have them push their chin out?  Have them push their forehead out?  How about pushing the face forward?  All of these things can help get more depth to your portraits.  i have some news for you, you will never be able to pose that helmet hair above away?  That can only be fixed with Photoshop!

Try the few things above and see how it changes your portraits. Have more ideas? What are your issues with posing?  Leave a comment below and let’s discuss it.

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