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Tips & Tricks

Tips on Posing Full Figured Women Using Only One Light | Lindsay Adler

By Hanssie on August 28th 2015

Posing is one of the biggest challenges for most photographers. As a photographer, you need to be an expert with working with lighting and angles, as well as know some psychology and how to work with and direct people. Whether they are a supermodel or a soccer mom, people have flaws (or perceived flaws) in their physical appearance, which makes them self-conscious when a camera is pointed in their direction. Everyone wants to look their best in photographs and, in a nutshell, that is your ultimate job as a portrait photographer.


That said, there are many tricks you can do to make your subject look more flattering in front of your lens. In the following CreativeLive video (an excerpt from her Portrait Photography Bootcamp), Lindsay Adler gives some tips on how to pose full figure women with a one light setup. Using a large umbrella with a diffusion to create a softbox, Lindsay begins with talking about adding a little bit more shadow to give some more “sculpting,” instead of just flat lighting, so she puts the light on the side of the subject. Lindsay then demonstrates her “super basic, super essential pose” and gives various, helpful tips throught the 5.5 minute video.

Lindsay first shows what it looks like with her model standing “normal” with no posing direction:

Lindsay Adler Posing

Then Lindsay demonstrates her basic pose technique, and the results are much more flattering:

Lindsay Adler Posing 2

Watch Posing Full Figure Women with a One Light Setup

For more tips on posing check out, A SUMMARY OF ROBERTO VALENZUELA’S 21-POINT POSING SYSTEM.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Christian Santiago

    This is a great tutorial. Succinct, to the point but filled with tons of great information. Love her demeanor and style of teaching too.

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  2. lee christiansen

    Very useful so thanks.

    However it does make me smile a little when I think of some of my clients. Some of the have trouble tilting their head, or folding their arms, one couldn’t manage twisting slightly at the waist. It seems some (lots) people don’t have any awareness of where any of their body parts are.

    I’d love to offer so many posing elements to some of my clients and not have them end up like a twisted wreck like they seem to end up in. You’ve got to laugh (maybe after the’ve gone) at the results from simple and demonstrated pose suggestions and what you may actually get…

    I hope I’m not the only one who asks a client to slightly push their head forward (like the simple “turtle” trick to get a good jawline) and end up with a client who’s jamming their chin into their chest… Please tell me other photographers get these clients too… please…

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  3. Timothy Going

    Ah posing…one of the most underrated skills that separates a professional photographer from the budget hobbyists…

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    • Michael Young

      no, it’s what separates a good photographer from a bad one. Posing has nothing to do with budget or if you make a living from photography. You can be a great photographer if you understand lighting, angles, and posing, even if you’re an amateur/hobbyist on a budget.

      Try to sound less elitist.

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    • Timothy Going

      Sorry micheal. Your right, that did sound elitest. I meant it the way you said. Not budget as in they have cheaper equipment, but budget as in the charge $25 dollars for a photo session with 25-30 images on CD. The ones who don’t try to learn any of the items you mentioned, they just have a camera and take pictures. I just know that I’ll have clients who ask why my prices are so high when such and such only charges a 1/4 of my price. And one of the first things I mention is how a well-trained photographer knows how to use light, posing, and angles to make a person look there best, something such and such doesn’t do.

      Sorry for the confusion.

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    • Michael Young

      Oops, then nm :).

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