5 Posing Tips for Portraits of People with ‘Challenging’ Facial Features


Want to get better at posing your subjects when shooting portraits? Here’s a 12-minute video tutorial in which well-known wedding and portrait photographer Jerry Ghionis shares 5 corrective posing tips, explaining how to pose your clients so they always look good.

When shooting portraits, your subjects may often have facial features they’re insecure about, and as a photographer, you can help them overcome those insecurities and help them look their best.

“I’m going to give you 5 tips on corrective posing that will help you bring out the best in someone with challenging features,” Ghionis says. “I’ll demonstrate what you need to do when you photograph normal people just like you and me with real problems and physical insecurities, specifically facial features.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the 5 things discussed in the video:

Tip #1: How to Minimize a Large Head or Forehead

To deemphasize a prominent head or forehead, Ghionis suggests cropping, pointing those features away from the camera and light, and angling.

Tip #2: How to Shorten a Long Nose or Deemphasize a Crooked Nose

Using posing/camera angles can alter the appearance of a long or crooked nose, and it can help to position the main light based on the subject’s nose.

Tip #3: How to Minimize Pronounced Ears

Your choice of lens can make a big difference in how features like ears look in resulting portraits. You can also turn your subject’s head until the ear balance is most pleasing. Finally, make sure the lighting isn’t drawing attention to the ear.

Tip #4: How to Minimize One Eye Being Larger Than the Other

Put a smaller eye closer to the camera to balance it out a little bit.

Tip #5: How to Add Mystique in the Eyes

To overcome blank stares, ask your client to give you a hint of a squint to add instant mystique and take a deep, full breath.

Watch the video above to hear Ghionis explain each of the tips in-depth as well as show some example portraits of what to (and not to) do.

You can find more of Ghionis’ work on his website and Instagram.

(via B&H Photo Video via Reddit)

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