Oct 21

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How to Pose for the Camera: A Client’s Guide

There was a short time when I worked on the other side of the camera as a model.  I trained in makeup, hair, runway, and fashion modeling at the school of John Casablanca’s years and years ago.  For me, a magazine-obsessed girl, being in the modeling industry was a dream come true.  I loved the glamour and art of it all, but, unfortunately, my self-consciousness and insecurity got the best of me.  Being 5’2″ and a half, flat-nosed, and not having flawless skin put me at a disadvantage.  We truly are our worst critics. I gave up after working only a few commercial and glamour shoots and finding that most of the criteria for modeling gigs was a height above 5’4.”

Fast forward to nearly a decade later, I’m the photographer on the other side of the camera, still remembering every self-conscious thought of insecurity and anxiety that I felt years ago as a model.  When I photograph wedding and portrait sessions, I understand very well the nervousness my client’s may be feeling, so I decided to put together this blog post to help you prepare for your big day in front of the camera.

As many tips as I can tell you about how to achieve your best shots, let me explain one thing, getting you to feel comfortable, relaxed, and looking great in front of the camera is entirely my job.  I cannot emphasize this enough. Your job is simply to show up and have fun.

I will, however, give you a few preparation tips that will help guide you throughout the session:

1.  Please get your makeup and hair professionally done prior to a shoot.  This really makes a world of a difference on camera.  If you are doing an engagement session, it’s a great idea to use the same makeup artist that will be working with you on your wedding day if you already have one in mind.  In this way, you can decide if your hair and makeup is the most flattering for you on your special day and also in pictures.



2.  Practice posing in front of a mirror and figuring out which angle is most flattering for you. If you can get your partner to pose with you, even better!  Use magazine pictures or images on the internet as a guide and source of inspiration.

3.  Don’t be afraid to constantly re-powder your face, wipe away your sweat, brush your hair, and re-apply lipstick during the shoot and on your wedding day.

4.  Be confident, take deep breaths, relax, and have fun.  Your emotions will be evident in all of the pictures. Practice suppressing negative thoughts or nervousness, even if you have to fake it. Eventually, you’ll find positive feelings beginning to emerge, and this is what I hope to capture of you.


5.  I will constantly pose you throughout the shoot, but, as I place you and your partner in a certain position, make continuous fluid motions and expressions, as if posing in front of the camera is a form of dance.  If you feel stuck, simply looking down or to the side is a subtle change that will still look great on camera.  The more you do this, the more we will flow together and capture the most amazing shots.

6.  I always emphasize over-dressing for your engagement session.  Think ball-gown attire, glitter dresses, ties and polished shoes, tulle fabric, etc…  The more glamourous the better.  I find that a lot of couple’s tend to dress casually for couple’s sessions.  Imagine how much everyone will drool over these images if you go above and beyond the norm.  So I say, go as glam as you dare!  You’ll be surprised how easy it’ll be to pose when your attire makes you feel especially fabulous.

7. As much as I love high heels and glamour in pictures, it’s also a crucial point to be comfortable throughout the shoot. In conclusion, bring your best self and get ready for some fun!


Again, these are just a few tips about posing techniques and preparing for a big shoot that I wanted to share with you.  However, the most important element is how much I can get you to open up in front of the camera.  My job is posing, encouraging, praising, and getting you to laugh and feel less awkward in front of the camera.  The element of trust and all of the above tips combined will essentially give us the best images that you can dream of.

Cheers and happy posing!

Blog Written by Sophan Theam of Sophan Theam Photography


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