Body-positive posing tips for boudoir photographers
I’m excited about today’s blog post because it really encompasses something that is so important to me; body-positive posing. One of my top priorities with my boudoir clients is to make them feel amazing in the skin they are in. I am all about embracing ourselves and who we are naturally (ya know, with a little hair and makeup help to make them feel special).
I make it a point to do body-positive posing with all of my boudoir clients. What that means is that I do not have certain posing techniques for plus size women, taller women, smaller women, etc. There isn’t one size fits all with posing, because a woman’s body is individual and therefore the posing you do for them is individual! However, I have a few key principles that go into body-positive posing so that I’m making my clients feel beautiful and naturally accentuating them in the ways they will love to see on camera. Today I am going to be sharing the tips with you so that you can bring body-positive posing into your own boudoir business!
1. Lasso Trick for Body-Positive Posing
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and it’s all about creating curvature, but with my own little visualization spin! When my clients walk in, I take note of how my client naturally stands and how they distribute their weight. This is going to be important because it’s helping you know how they will naturally start out in front of the camera, and how you will coach them into a pose that creates more curves.
To start out, you will have your client stand and shift their weight to their back leg. That is helping to distribute the weight back which is an old Hollywood trick! You’ll definitely notice this in red carpet photos. Now I will tell my clients to imagine that I have a lasso that I have tied around their waist. This is going to help them visualize this and help you ease them into the pose. Now I can tell them I’m pulling them with the lasso and that helps them know to move their hips back more or to move forward an inch. I’ll say things like “Ok, I’m pulling on the lasso from behind you, so let your booty get pulled back!” It’s just a nice way for your client to have some visualization and for you to create more curves!
2. Be mindful of your mind
This is a general overall tip, but it will help with your posing. Don’t let your mind project any of your insecurities onto your client. For instance, if you think your client may be shy about her tummy (but hasn’t said that to you), you may put her in poses that naturally try to hide some of her tummy. That can make your client feel like you see something wrong with their tummy, when in fact it could be something they absolutely love about themselves! Be body positive in the way you talk to your clients so that they know you don’t see a single flaw in them.
Now if your client brings up something they may be insecure about or want to try to minimize, that is a different story and there are tricks that can help with that. But overall, truly work on being a genuine body positive advocate because it will reflect in your work and your client’s experience!
3. Camera tricks for Body-Positive Posing
This is a follow up to the above tip, because sometimes clients will tell you they have something they would like to try to minimize or emphasize. You can definitely do that with body-positive posing! For example, if a client wants to minimize their tummy, you can have them stand to the side and use their arms to drape down their side or across their middle in a natural way so that you aren’t hiding them, but are making them feel good.
And a top tip for any posing is to push things away from the camera that you want to minimize and bring things towards the camera you want to emphasize. For example, everyone loves a good booty photo! So in this case, I would have my client face away from me and pop their hips backward so that we are creating a natural emphasis of the booty!
4. Take up space
I think women oftentimes are naturally trying to be straight and narrow and not to take up too much space. I tell my clients to throw that out the window and take up as much space as they want! A fun way to talk to them about it, is to tell them to have their peacock feathers out for their boudoir session. It’s time to strut their stuff and they deserve to show off! Curves are so important for all of your clients, whether they naturally have very few curves or they are a true hourglass shape. But, I don’t think clients always know this! That’s where it’s our job to create natural curves for them and let them know they are perfect just as they are.
I think sometimes people need to be given permission to not hide themselves, to take up space, and to feel powerful. I’ll tell clients to pop their booty out and have their hand on their hip. Maybe even have the other arm leaning against a wall or the frame of the bed. Taking up as much space as possible can be powerful for clients and it’s another way to be giving them a body-positive posing experience!
5. Angles are key
You probably know this, but in photography, angles are everything. With boudoir, it’s even more important. It’s all about knowing the best angles for your clients and using them to their benefit! It’s also important to know how angles work for you in the editing stage. The way you crop an image can actually change where the eye goes to the photo, and therefore how the client sees herself in the image.
When you are editing, you should never cut the image off at the widest part. Cut or crop where the image is narrowing. For instance, if I have a photo of someone laying down, I may crop the photo at the knees where it narrowed. I may have the head (wide), neck (narrow), chest (wide), tummy (narrow), hips (wide) and knees (narrow) in the frame. Cutting off at the knees is cutting off at a narrow spot. This helps with how the angles will appear in your final image!
Okay, I think that is a great round-up of my body positive posing techniques. Above all, I want you guys to feel amazing about yourselves so that you can truly reflect that in your clients! If you want even more, I have a blog post on boudoir posing tips and a full boudoir posing course! I would also encourage you to join my light and airy boudoir Facebook group where I post tips, videos, and you have access to a full community of other boudoir photographers.