Shooting tips: Best 12 posing techniques for every body type


When it comes to shooting portraits, the right pose can make a world of difference. Every body type is unique, and the key to great photography lies in highlighting your subject’s best features. In this guide, we’ll explore twelve posing techniques designed to flatter various body types, ensuring your subjects look and feel their best.

1. Hourglass shap: accentuate the curves during shooting

For individuals with an hourglass figure, the goal is to highlight their naturally balanced proportions. Encourage your subject to:

  • Place one hand on their hip to accentuate the waist.
  • Shift their weight to one leg for a more relaxed and natural stance.
  • Use diagonal lines by positioning their body slightly sideways to the camera, which enhances their curves.

2. Pear shape: draw attention upwards during shooting

Pear-shaped individuals have wider hips compared to their shoulders. To balance this, direct focus upwards by:

  • Asking them to tilt their head slightly and smile.
  • Using props like hats or accessories around the neck.
  • Positioning their arms away from the body to create a more elongated look.

3. Apple shape: Create length and definition during shooting

For those with an apple-shaped body, the aim is to create length and definition. Consider these tips:

  • Have them stand at a slight angle to the camera with one leg forward.
  • Suggest placing one hand on their hip while the other hangs naturally.
  • Use high-waisted clothing to define the waistline.

4. Rectangle shape: Add curves and dimension during shooting

For subjects with a rectangle body type, creating the illusion of curves can be very flattering:

  • Ask them to bend one knee slightly and shift their weight to the other leg.
  • Encourage them to use asymmetrical poses, like placing one arm above the head and the other on the hip.
  • Suggest clothing with belts or details at the waist to enhance their figure.

5. Petite: Elongate and enhance proportions during shooting

For petite individuals, elongation is key. Here are some effective techniques:

  • Shoot from a lower angle to make them appear taller.
  • Encourage poses that lengthen the body, like standing on tiptoes or extending one leg.
  • Use vertical lines and patterns in clothing to enhance height.

6. Tall: Embrace height with grace during shooting

Tall subjects can embrace their height by:

  • Standing straight and confident with shoulders back.
  • Using poses that involve sitting or leaning to add variety.
  • Avoiding overly crouched or bent poses that can look unnatural.

7. Plus size: Highlight confidence and elegance during shooting

For plus-size individuals, confidence is the most flattering trait. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Use angles and perspectives to highlight their best features.
  • Encourage them to wear form-fitting clothing that flatters their shape.
  • Use poses that show off their personality, such as laughing or playful movements.

8. Athletic: Showcase strength and definition during shooting

Athletic body types often benefit from poses that highlight their definition and strength:

  • Suggest poses that involve movement, like running or jumping.
  • Use lighting to emphasize muscle tone.
  • Encourage strong, confident stances with hands on hips or crossed arms.

9. Maternity: Capture the beauty of expectancy during shooting

For maternity shoots, the goal is to celebrate the beauty of pregnancy:

  • Use side profiles to highlight the baby bump.
  • Encourage gentle, loving gestures like holding the belly or interacting with a partner.
  • Opt for soft, flowing fabrics that add a dreamy quality to the photos.

10. Senior portraits: Highlight wisdom and experience during shooting

For senior portraits, focus on capturing the wisdom and experience of the individual:

  • Use natural, relaxed poses that reflect their personality.
  • Encourage them to bring personal items that tell their story, like books or musical instruments.
  • Shoot in environments that hold significance to them, such as a favorite park or home.

11. Family portraits: Create connection and warmth during shooting

Family portraits should emphasize the connections between family members:

  • Arrange family members in a way that shows closeness, like hugging or holding hands.
  • Use varied heights and seating arrangements to add visual interest.
  • Encourage candid moments that capture genuine emotions and interactions.

12. Children: Capture innocence and playfulness during shooting

Photographing children requires patience and creativity:

  • Allow them to move and play naturally, capturing spontaneous moments.
  • Use props that engage them and make them feel comfortable.
  • Get down to their eye level to capture their perspective and expressions.


Mastering these posing techniques can transform your shooting sessions and enhance your portfolio. Remember, the best poses are those that make your subjects feel confident and comfortable. Tailor each pose to highlight their unique features, and you’ll capture stunning, flattering portraits every time.

By understanding and applying these tips, you’ll not only improve your photography skills but also create a memorable and positive experience for your clients. Whether you’re working with an hourglass figure, a pear shape, or an athletic build, there’s a perfect pose for everyone. Keep experimenting and honing your craft, and soon, you’ll see remarkable results in your shooting sessions.