Photography Posing Guide

Photography posing guide are important to understand for a photographer or a casual shooter, whether your posing a spouse, child, friend or a bonafide model. Not only will your images seem more professional and polished, your model will look more attractive.

By taking care in not only how your model is posed, but also paying attention to the background, you will minimize your post processing workflow. For example, it is much easier and faster to take a minute or two to clean up and remove the offending clutter, lint, or errant strand of hair before shooting than spending an hour cloning it out in dozens of individual pictures.

There are hundreds of different photography posing guide, and this tutorial will cover only a few of the common ones along with some suggestions such as the camera angle, composition and poses. A caveat: there is no one-size-fits-all technique when it comes to working with your model. A body position or camera angle that works for one person may not for the next.

Let’s start with a quick overview of composition in portrait photography.

  • The Rule of Thirds: know it. And when you know it, you can break it. The better you understand why this rule of thirds is so effective, the better you understand when to break it.
  • Centering: avoid centering your subject; instead frame the model slightly off to the side. This has been proven to be more aesthetically pleasing. It has to do with what’s called the “golden ratio.” Observe television shows and movies; you’ll notice that the actors are often shot off center for this very reason. This is obviously related to the rule of thirds as well.
  • Amputation: when framing the portrait, avoid cropping your subject at their joints. This has the illusion of amputating a limb and is generally undesirable.
  • Eyes: Focus on the eyes. It can look strange if your model’s ear or hair is in focus, but not her face.
  • Camera angle: If you’re shooting an image in which your model’s face fills most of the frame, make sure the camera is a few inches above her nose. Nostrils are not attractive. And this compels your subject to look up at the lens, which is more pleasing. The angle will help thin out their face slightly. If you’re photographing a woman that is bottom heavy, aka “pear-shaped” or heavy-weight, avoid shooting from below. Shooting from extreme low or high above will exaggerate people’s proportions; photographing low to the ground makes the hips seem overly large and the head small. And the opposite is (usually) true if shooting your subject from above may help make a heavyset person seem slimmer.
  • Distance: some photographers are wary of getting too close to their subject. This has the end result in which the main subject – the model- is just a speck, too small to have any real impact. Practice filling the frame.



These are only few of photography posing guide that are very common used in practice.

“Football Shoulders”:

Hunched up shoulders are never attractive. It makes your model seem like they have no neck. Ask your model to sit or stand up straight and lower their shoulders.

A common pose an amateur model may adopt is a three-quarter turn with the shoulder raised, hiding the neck and chin or jaws. While this may feel coquettish in your subject’s mind, all it accomplishes is hiding the model’s neck and makes the shoulder nearest the camera seem overly large and rounded. Have them drop the near-shoulder downward instead.

If you choose to have your model laying down on the floor looking at the camera, remind them to support themselves to avoid hunched up shoulders.


Similarly to the “football shoulders,” slouching simply isn’t attractive, not even if they’re a model on the ANTM show. Tell your model to straighten up! This also has the effect of helping your subject appear slimmer, taller and more poised.

Head tilt

Up, down, side…experiment with the different possibilities to see what’s most flattering for your model.

If your model protests taking many pictures with slightly different head and shoulder poses, point out that actors and actresses often practice their poses for the red carpet, and then know which pose to strike that will be the most flattering.


Some people have double-chins or may be tucking their chin subconsciously. Make them aware of this. If excess skin is still visible, change your camera and lighting angle to slightly above to minimize it.


If your subject is squared off with the camera, this has the effect of making them look broader. This may work well for a male subject; however, for a female, this usually is not a desirable stance; a slight angle will be more slimming and attractive. Place all the weight on the leg furthest from the camera and the other leg bent or extended.



The surrounding in which you take the picture of your model is equally important. If you’re shooting indoor, ie. at home, be sure to take a moment and declutter. A neat, tidy room is far more attractive than a room full of magazines, papers, toys and books. By cleaning (or temporarily relocating) the mess, you will ensure that the focus of your audience remains where it belongs: on your subject.

If you’re shooting outdoor, the background is still important – the last thing you want is a pole or tree growing out of your subject’s head. Oftentimes just moving either the camera or your subject a couple feet to the left or right will fix the errant-growth issue.


Black Vs Color

Many photographers recommend dark, solid clothing articles because it’s perceived as more slimming. In contrast, I recommend bright, well-fitting clothes. Most casual or beginner photographers lack the studio lighting to adequately light a subject clad in black/dark clothing and the details of both their clothes and body are lost in the shadows.

As you can see in the above image, the green shirt shows a lot of detail, where a white or black shirt may may have look flat.

While clothes do not need to be solid, patterns and prints are perfectly fine, the subtler the print, the better. If your model has a polka-dot shirt and the environment is cluttered/busy, the overall look can be chaotic and may appear more like a typical snapshot than a well thought out portrait. On the other hand, a polka-dot shirt, a coordinating, solid-colored pants and a well-chosen background can be a stellar combination.


Another suggestion is to request your model to wear tops with sleeves. Unless your subject is fit and toned, a tank or sleeveless top will just make your model’s arms seem larger. Having them hold the arms slightly away from the body (do take care that this seems natural) will also help them appear slimmer as well.


Portraits don’t need to always be a standard headshot or body shot. Get creative with how you frame your model. Focus on one body part. Make use of props.

Sometimes less is more. Use a prop and frame carefully to obscure most of your model.


Having Fun!

The most important part of making portraits is your. While very occasionally, you’ll find a model having a really bad day, 99% of the time your in control of the situation and the model is feeding off your energy. If you’re asking your model to smile for 30 minutes straight, you better be smiling, too. Show a lot of energy. Talk about things that reflect of the mood of your shoot. Most importantly, talk. Engage your subject. And finally, keep in mind, you are not performing a root canal. It’s photography, it’s supposed to be fun, so have a great time while you’re shooting.

Other Resources:

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ISO in Photography

ISO is the measure of sensitivity of sensor to light. The measurement start from number 50, 80, or 100 and will doubled until 3200 or more. ISO with small number means the sensitivity to light in low, ISO with large number means the opposite.

ISO with large number or called high ISO will reduce picture quality because the appearance of spot called “noise”. The photo will seen speckled like sand and the smooth detail will lose. But for the difficult condition such as low light in the room, high ISO often needed.

high iso photo

high iso photo

Playing with three basic setting of camera: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, we can make photo becomes bright, dark, or middle. Brightness or darkness of the final result of the photography depends on each taste of you.


Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is duration of camera open the sensor to absorb the light. The unit of shutter speed is in second. Usually start from 1/4000 second to 30 second. This variation of shutter speed unit regulated from camera body.

In digital camera screen, if seeing number 200, it means 1/200 second. While seeing there is “two quotes” up in the number, such as 2″, it means 2 second.

Beside affecting quantity of light that comes in, shutter speed affecting photograph in 2 case:

  1. The fast shutter speed can capture/freeze the moving objects clearly when photographed.
  2. The long shutter speed can capture motion impression of object continuously.

In practically, we use fast shutter speed to capture the moving objects, just like photo in sport coverage. In contrary, we use long shutter speed to capture motion effect, just like photo of water fall motion.


shutter speed 200

shutter speed 200


waterfall shutter speed 2 sec

waterfall shutter speed 2 sec

Understanding Exposure: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO

The key to gather with ideal light and dark is golden triangle photography. The golden triangle photography consist of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Combination of these three factors determines the darkness and brightness of a photograph.


Aperture is the opening of camera lens where illumination get in. If the aperture is large, there will be more light get in compare to small aperture. In addition to the way control the light that get in, the aperture also used to control the depth of field (dof).

Practically, if we are in the environment that have very bright light, then we can reduce the aperture so that less light that get in. If the environment is dark, then we can open the lens aperture so that the finishing result could be optimum. This could analogous as a window, more open then more light that comes in, so on the contrary.

Aperture could be used to control depth of field (DOF). Large aperture make depth of field becomes thin, consequently the background becomes blur. Smal aperture make depth of field becomes thick, consequently all field in the photo becomes sharp or being in the focus field.

The unique part and often make confuse the beginner is the naming in aperture setting, because the number used is inverted with the aperture dimension. Aperture symbolized with “f” in the camera. Small number means large aperture, while large number means small aperture. For example: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/16, f/22 and so on.



Each lens have maximum and minimum aperture. Number shown in lens such as f/3.5-5.6 means the maximum aperture vary between f/3.5 until f/5.6, depends on the lens focus/zoom range. For example, if we placed the lens in 18mm then maximum aperture is f/3.5, but we ofter enlarge focus range with zoom in, the maximum aperture change to f/5.6

AF-S Nikkor 85mm F1.8G

Nikon Inc. announced the addition of the new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G FX-format lens to its legendary line of NIKKOR lenses. The new 85mm is a fast, fixed focal-length lens with medium telephoto capabilities and a large maximum aperture of f/1.8 that is capable of performing a wide variety of imaging tasks with amazing sharpness and clarity.

“Whether a professional photographer who needs extreme sharpness or a photo enthusiast looking for an affordable, lightweight lens with amazing clarity, Nikon photographers appreciate and rely on the vast selection and dependability of NIKKOR lenses for their imaging needs,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “The new 85mm f/1.8 is fully optimized for capturing amazing photos and videos, while providing the ability to utilize background blur to compliment the subject of their photo.”

AF-S Nikkor 85mm F1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 85mm F1.8G

A welcome addition to Nikon’s growing line of versatile prime lenses, the new AF- NIKKOR 85mm is ideal for travel, general photography, low-light, landscape, portraiture and capturing movies with extreme depth of field. The 85mm is designed to capture photos utilizing beautiful image blur achieved due to its large maximum aperture. Furthermore, the lens is lightweight, easy to carry, and provides an equivalent focal length of 127mm when attached to a Nikon DX-format D-SLR camera body.

The construction of the 85mm f/1.8 consists of nine optical elements, with a seven-blade diaphragm which contributes to a substantially more circular bokeh for a natural appearance to out-of-focus background elements. Additionally, instances of lens flare and chromatic aberration are suppressed using Nikon’s exclusive Super Integrated Coatings, which also help ensure vividly accurate color balance.

The new lens also comes equipped with a carefully engineered optical system optimized to deliver superior image quality. The integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures fast, whisper-quiet AF operation, which is essential when recording movies. The 85mm also features two focus modes, M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual) to further enhance versatility and adapt to a shooters needs. Additionally, Internal Focus (IF) design prevents the front element from rotating, allowing for the use of filters and attachments.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 G specifications

  • Focal length       85 mm
  • Maximum aperture      f/1.8
  • Minimum aperture      f/16
  • Lens construction     9 elements in 9 groups
  • Angle of view     28°30′ (18°50′ with Nikon DX format)
  • Minimum focus distance      0.8 m/2.62 ft (from focal plane)
  • Maximum reproduction ratio     0.124x
  • No. of diaphragm blades     7 (rounded)
  • Filter-attachment size     67 mm
  • Diameter x length (extension from lens mount)     Approximately 80 x 73 mm/3.1 x 2.9 in.
  • Weight     Approximately 350 g/12.4 oz
  • Supplied accessories         67 mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-67
  •                                             Rear Lens Cap LF-4
    Bayonet Hood HB-62
    Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1015.


AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR is a long awaited lens by many Nikon users. For a couple of years the community looked with envy towards Canon where even two good quality, slow speed tele zooms are available. Interestingly some product images of the Nikkor leaked into the web about a year ago but it seems as if the lens was either not ready at the time or the immensely popular AF-S 18-200mm VR blocked required resources. Well, speculations – only Nikon knows. Unlike most of the recently introduced Nikkors the AF-S 70-300mm VR is a full format lens but as usual we’ll have a look how it performs on a Nikon D200. Within the APS-C DSLR scope its field-of-view is equivalent to 105-450mm.

AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G

AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G


  • Equiv. focal length    105-450 mm (full format equivalent)
  • Equiv. aperture    f/6.8-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
  • Optical construction    17 elements in 12 groups inc. 2 ED elements
  • Number of aperture blades    9 (rounded)
  • min. focus distance    1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)
  • Dimensions    80 x 144 mm
  • Weight    745 g
  • Filter size    67 mm (non-rotating)
  • Hood    Nikon HB-36, snap-on type, petal-shaped
  • Other features    Silent wave AF motor. VR II (vibration reduction), effectivity equiv. to 4 f-stops. Normal and Active VR mode.

AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II was announced in July 2009, as the second iteration of the company’s professional stabilized fast telezoom. It’s the successor to the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR which first appeared in 2003, and brings to the table an entirely remastered optical system designed to match the demands of the latest high resolution FX format cameras such as the D3X, accompanied by an improved vibration reduction system which Nikon claims offers up to four stops stabilization.

The optics, as we’d expect for this kind of lens, are pretty exotic, with 21 elements in 16 groups. No fewer than 7 of these are fashioned from Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass to minimize aberrations, and Nikon’s latest Nano Crystal Coating is employed to combat flare. One handling improvement is the addition of a new A/M focus mode, which prevents accidental movements of the focus ring from overriding the autofocus while it’s operating. The build quality is appropriate for a professional workhorse lens, with a barrel that’s made from magnesium alloy like the bodies of Nikon’s pro-level DSLRs, and extensive sealing against dust and moisture.

AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G

AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G

The ‘VR II’ has a high expectations to live up to, as its predecessor was considered pretty well best-in-class on DX format bodies. But with the shift to full-frame ‘FX’ sensors, its shortcomings towards the edge of the image field at longer focal lengths became somewhat exposed, with unusually soft corners even at small apertures, and heavy vignetting wide open. So the Nikon faithful (and more importantly its professional user base) will be hoping that the new model can address these issues on full frame, without significantly compromising performance on the smaller sensor format. So let’s see if Nikon has achieved this goal.
Headline features

  •     70-200mm focal length range; fast f/2.8 constant maximum aperture
  •     Optical image stabilization – 4 stops with automatic panning detection and ‘active’ mode
  •     Ring-type ultrasonic focusing with full-time manual override
  •     F mount for Nikon and Fuji DX and FX format DSLRS

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II specifications

  • Maximum format size     35mm full frame
  • Focal length     70-200mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)     105-300mm
  • Diagonal Angle of view (FF)     34º – 12º
  • Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)     23º – 8º
  • Maximum aperture     F2.8
  • Minimum aperture     F22
  • Lens Construction     • 21 elements / 16 groups
  • • 7 ED elements
  • Number of diaphragm blades     9, rounded
  • Minimum focus     1.4m
  • Maximum magnification     0.12x at 200mm
  • AF motor type     • Ring-type ultrasonic
  • • Full-time manual focus – A/M and M/A modes
  • Focus method     Internal
  • Zoom method     Internal
  • Image stabilization     • 4 stops claimed
  • • Auto panning detection
  • • Active mode
  • Filter thread     • 77mm
  • • Does not rotate on focus
  • Supplied accessories     • Front and rear caps
  • • HB-48 Hood
  • • CL-M4 Lens Pouch
  • Weight     1540g (3.4 lb)
  • Dimensions     87mm diameter x 209mm length
  • (3.4 x 8.2 in)
  • Lens Mount     Nikon F only
  • Other     • Dust and moisture sealing
  • • Reports focus distance information to camera body

AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G

The AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G is Nikon’s latest take on the classic ‘standard lens’ concept, and was introduced in September 2008. It’s a replacement for the older AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4D which we reviewed last year, with revised optics to better meet the demands of modern high-resolution full frame sensors. The optical formula is an updated version of the classic ‘double Gauss’ design, with an additional element placed towards the rear to give an 8 element, 7 group configuration. According to Nikon, this improves correction of off-axis aberrations, which promises better performance towards the edges of the frame particularly when using large apertures.

The AF-S designation indicates that the lens features a built-in ‘Silent Wave’ motor for fast and quiet autofocusing, which also provides full compatibility with Nikon’s entry-level DSLR bodies such as the D60 and D5000. A further benefit afforded by this ring-type motor is the ‘manual priority autofocus’ mode, which allows the user to adjust focus manually after autofocusing. There’s also a circular aperture design which employs 9 rounded blades, for a more natural rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds.

AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G

AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G

Of course all these improvements over the older lens come at a price, and the AF-S 50mm F1.4G is significantly more expensive than its predecessor. It also has to compete with the other new kid on the block – the impressive (if slightly more costly) Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. So lets find out how it compares to these two lenses, and whether it’s worth your hard-earned dollars.
Headline features

  •     50mm focal length; fast F1.4 maximum aperture
  •     Silent Wave Motor allows autofocusing on all Nikon DSLRs
  •     Full-time manual focus override

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4G specifications

  • Maximum format size     35mm full frame
  • Focal length     50mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)     75mm
  • Diagonal Angle of view (FF)     46º
  • Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)     31º 30′
  • Maximum aperture     F1.4
  • Minimum aperture     F16
  • Lens Construction     8 elements / 7 groups
  • Number of diaphragm blades     9 (rounded)
  • Minimum focus     0.45m
  • Maximum magnification     0.15x
  • AF motor type     • Ring-type SWM
  • • Full-time manual focus
  • Focus method     Unit
  • Image stabilization     • None
  • Filter thread     • 58mm
  • • Does not rotate on focus
  • Supplied accessories     • Front and rear caps
  • • Lens Hood HB-47
  • • CL-1013 Lens Pouch
  • Weight     290g (10.2 oz)
  • Dimensions     73.5mm diameter x 54.2mm length
  • (2.9 x 2.1 in)
  • Lens Mount     Nikon F only

AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G

The AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G DX is Nikon’s latest lens, announced in February for PMA 2009. Its introduction came as something of a surprise to many observers, not because it’s an updated 35mm lens with a built-in autofocus motor, but because the ‘DX’ designation indicates that it’s designed for use on DX format bodies, and isn’t fully compatible with Nikon’s growing FX format camera range. According to Nikon, this has allowed the company to design a lens that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than it would have been had it offered full coverage of the FX image circle. In effect, the lens is primarily targeted as an inexpensive, large aperture option for users of the entry-level (D40 / D40X /D60) series of DSLRs.

The 35mm focal length is roughly equivalent to 50mm on an FX camera, and the lens therefore fits into the ‘standard’ category, with an angle of view offering none of the ‘perspective distortion’ associated with wideangle or telephoto lenses. The fast F1.8 maximum aperture admits more than four times as much light as the AF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR DX kit lens, which is useful for shooting in low light while keeping shutter speeds reasonably high. The ‘Silent Wave Motor’ allows autofocus on all of Nikon’s DSLR bodies, with the added bonus of allowing the user to tweak focus manually in AF mode if desired.

AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G

The 35mm F1.8G features an optical design of 8 elements in 6 groups, including an aspherical element for the correction of aberrations usually associated with large aperture prime lenses. However unlike the typical 50mm standard prime for the full frame (FX) format, this lens’s focal length is rather shorter than the flange distance from the lens mount to the imager. This necessitates the use of a so-called ‘retrofocal’ design, which is more usually associated with wideangle lenses; unfortunately this often results in increased aberrations relative to traditional near-symmetric 50mm designs. So how does the 35mm F1.8 DX measure up?
Headline features

  •     35mm focal length; fast F1.8 maximum aperture
  •     Silent Wave Motor allows autofocusing on all Nikon DSLRs
  •     Full-time manual focus override
  •     For DX format cameras

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX specifications

  • Date introduced     February 2009
  • Maximum format size     DX
  • Focal length     35mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length    52.5mm
  • Diagonal Angle of view     47º
  • Maximum aperture     F1.8
  • Minimum aperture     F22
  • Lens Construction     • 8 elements / 6 groups
  • • 1 hybrid aspherical element
  • Number of diaphragm blades     7, rounded
  • Minimum focus     0.3m (1.0 ft)
  • Maximum magnification     0.16x
  • AF motor type     • Ring-type Silent Wave Motor (ultrasonic-type)
  • • Full-time manual focus
  • Focus method     Internal (rear) focus
  • Image stabilization     • None
  • Filter thread     • 52mm
  • • Does not rotate on focus
  • Supplied accessories     • Front and rear caps
  • • HB-46 hood
  • Optional accessories
  • Weight     210g (7.4 oz)
  • Dimensions     70mm diameter x 52.5mm length
  • (2.8 x 2.1 in)
  • Lens Mount     Nikon F only




AF-S Nikkor 28mm F1.8G

Nikon Inc. announced the wide-angle AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G, a fixed focal length lens with a large maximum aperture to carry on the legacy of superior NIKKOR imaging technology for enthusiasts and professionals. With a large maximum aperture of f/1.8 and Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghost and flare, the 28mm FX-format lens offers stunning sharpness and versatility for both photos and HD video.

“This NIKKOR lens is the latest addition to the popular family of f/1.8 primes designed to give HD-SLR shooters the performance and versatility needed to capture images and HD video with outstanding image quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The new AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G is a great way for photographers to discover a high-quality, wide-angle prime lens that provides amazingly crisp focus and natural background blur.”

AF-S Nikkor 28mm F1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 28mm F1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 28mm F1.8 G Specifications
Principal specifications

  • Lens type    Prime lens
  • Max Format size    35mm FF
  • Focal length    28 mm
  • Image stabilisation    No
  • Lens mount    Nikon F (FX)


  • Maximum aperture    F1.8
  • Minimum aperture    F16.0
  • Aperture ring    No
  • Number of diaphragm blades    7


  • Elements    11
  • Groups    9
  • Special elements / coatings    2 aspherical lens elements and lens elements with Nano Crystal Coat


  • Minimum focus    0.25 m (9.84?)
  • Maximum magnification    0.22×
  • Autofocus    Yes
  • Motor type    Ring-type ultrasonic
  • Full time manual    Yes
  • Focus method    Internal
  • Distance scale    Yes


  • Weight    330 g (0.73 lb)
  • Diameter    73 mm (2.87?)
  • Length    81 mm (3.17?)
  • Sealing    No
  • Colour    Black
  • Filter thread    67 mm
  • Hood supplied    Yes
  • Hood product code    HB-64
  • Tripod collar    No