Photography: Posing for the Camera

What a great month for me to run an SOS Photography series.  It seems photography has been on so many others’ minds as well!  I mentioned Jenny of Cashmerette‘s tips earlier in this series, and then this week I’ve seen posts from Oonabaloona suggesting we have fun and get low with our shots and Heather Lou of Closet Case Files dishing on how to edit and format photos for our blogs.  There was even a recent post on A Beautiful Mess that shared many, many tips for taking photos.  I also really enjoyed this other recent post of their’s on Emma’s food photography journey over the years.  It’s refreshing to hear that she didn’t just start out knowing what to do – she had to make a conscious effort to work on her skills.  We’ll all get there with our sewing blog photography, right?!

Sew Well - Shingle Dress

Okay, so far the photography-related topics I’ve covered include smiling, lighting, and gear. Today I wanted to talk about posing for the camera.  Unfortunately, since I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing, I am far from qualified to suggest what we all should be doing!  But, that’s what these SOS posts are all about.  Identifying something I don’t know much about, and then putting in the research to learn more.  Since my books are still packed away, I figured I’d instead point you to blog posts from others in the know.

Rebecca of Cup + Penny spent the summer modeling for Zulily, and they taught her quite a few tips on posing, which she summarized here (in a companion post she wrote what she learned about styling a photo shoot here).  I picked the photo above since I think it captures a few of her pointers:  look at the light source; don’t forget to smile; one hand on hip, the other hanging; asymmetry with my hips; etc.  Check out her post if you want to read more!

Rachel of House of Pinheiro posted a fifteen minute vlog dedicated to her thoughts on posing. If you check out the date, you’ll see she posted it over a year ago, but it left such an impression on me that I still remember it.

In the comments of my post earlier this week on body shape flattery, Angela of Collected Yarns directed me to Imogene of Inside Out Style.  When I was searching around the new-to-me style blog, I found a post Imogene wrote on her six posing pointers:  gaps are good for making you look narrower, angles make for good composition (Cashmerette suggests the same), whatever’s closest to the camera will look biggest, knowing your best side can help downplay asymmetries, stretching the neck out minimizes double chins, and the trick to touching your face in a photo is to only lightly touch it.

(Also, as a total aside, Imogene’s body shape classifications include both an H and an I.  While I would have guessed they were fairly similar types, I found it very interesting that she suggests very different types of clothes for both.  So, now I’m left wondering – which am I?  An H or an I?)

All of the photography for Rochelle of Lucky Lucille seems very well planned.  Here she writes about how she tries to tell a story in her photos by taking advantage of props and location.  She even uses a stand in to help explain to her photographer how to capture just the right image.  My take home here is that Rochelle spends time thinking about how to best show off her outfit before even setting up the camera, which includes thinking about different ways that she’ll pose.

Carolyn from Allspice Abounds has also shared her photography tips here, which are specifically geared to sewing blogging photography.  She asks us to show our “garment from all angles”, let our “garment be the focus”, make our photos big (Closet Case Files suggests the same), “capture the details”, and edit to “overcome challenges” like capturing a dark fabric.  Most of these aren’t really about posing, but I liked how they bring the topic back to reality.  We can contort ourselves into all kinds of crazy angles while holding all kinds of crazy props, but it does help if we make sure our focus is on our newly sewn garment.

After rereading all of these tips for this post, I’ve decided that before I shoot my next finished garment I’ll spend five minutes in front of a full-length mirror thinking about how to best show off the garment while trying out wild body angles and silly faces.  If I find one or two things that work, I’ll try to reproduce them for the camera.  We’ll see how the experiment goes!  I’m sure at least my husband will get a kick out of it!

14 thoughts on “Photography: Posing for the Camera

  1. Thanks so much for all of this. I feel like I’m in a rut as far as posing goes and I’ve been just winging it this whole time. lol Off to take a read with all of these glorious links. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this awesome roundup! I can definitely use some help when I’m in front of the camera!

  3. I’m going to have to look into these photography tips! As for the ‘H’ and the ‘I’, Imogene says they are similar, but the ‘I’ is slimmer and not as broad as the ‘H.’ I am definitely in the ‘H’ camp;), but you might be an ‘I’. I would suggest looking at the clothes she recommends for each and see which ones look better on you.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Amy! Thanks for a great round-up too. I love that everyone contributes their own unique perspective to the conversation, and we all benefit. As for posing for the camera, I never know what to do! I always think I look ridiculous unless I’m smiling at the camera with one hand on my hip. I guess confidence comes with practice. 🙂

  5. No matter how many times I do the picture thing, I never quite know what to do with my arms. I feel like Kermit the Frog – all elbows, limbs flailing.
    One thing that has made getting blog photos easier is consistently using the same photographer. Most of my blog photos have been taken by my mother. Because she is familiar with the kinds of images I am looking for and has some sense of what has worked in the past, picture-taking goes more quickly than it used to!

  6. Such great links! I’ve read some and opened the rest and plan on perusing them with a big cup of tea. I admit I rely way too much on the photographer for direction, so I think I might steal your playing around in front on the mirror idea 🙂

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