Photo by DNA Photography by Ann Jessup
I'll let you in on a little secret...
Photographing girls is a much different process than photographing boys.
Girls and boys tend to have different needs and wants when it comes to having their photos made.
They usually have different temperaments, too.
That's not to say that photographing one is better or easier than the other - it's just different.
That includes the way that you pose them for their portraits...
With that in mind, let's look at four crucial posing tips for getting the best portraits of girls.
Have Her Lean In
Photo by Amber Fite
When it comes time for a portrait, most girls will have their hair done, and if they're of an age in which make-up is an option, they'll have that done too. They'll likely be sporting a special outfit too.
It's a lot of work to do hair and make-up, so you'll want to do what you can to get a few shots that emphasize your model's pretty face.
An easy and effective way to do that is to have her lean towards the camera.
Doing so gives the impression that her neck is slightly longer while also defining the chin (in the absence of a double-chin, as well).
This will also allow her hair to fall away from her shoulders, which makes it look fuller and richer, as seen in the image above.
Photo by Katie Andelman
When asking your female model to lean towards you, be sure she does so without slouching.
Posture is important for most portraits, but it's especially important in this situation because her shoulders are so prominent in the frame, particularly if she's wearing an off-the-shoulder gown like the one shown above.
For a different twist on the "lean in," have your model lean slightly to the left or right, as was done in the image above.
Note how the young lady's face and eyes are still fully visible, and her hair falls away from her body.
Either way, leaning in or slightly to the side will help ensure the viewer's attention is drawn first to your model's face.
Photo by Loni Smith Photography
It's hard for anyone to sit still for a portrait, but that's especially true of kids.
Why not use their desire to move to your advantage?
In looking at the image above, you can see how fun the shot is due to the slight movement of the model as the shot was being taken.
With a fast enough shutter speed, you can freeze your model's movement, but still give viewers enough information to know that she was on the move as the shutter was fired.
Photo by Shutter Darling Photography
Images like these are less stuffy and formal than a posed shot, which might align more with the energy and personality of a child.
But to keep things from getting too informal, you can dress your model in a gown or dress that has formal details.
For example, both gowns pictured above are simple and clean cut, but in the first image, the long sleeves add a formal touch to the dress, while in the second image, the ruffle detail on the bottom of the dress gives it a bit of formality.
The result is an image that has a nice contrast between being laid back and formal.
Try Alternative Viewpoints
Photo by Frosted Productions
Part of your process of working with a young lady as a model should be to find unique ways to photograph her.
Rather than relying on a typical three-quarter or half-body shot from the front, why not get a little creative?
In the image above, having the model lay down gives viewers a more unexpected view of her face and eyes.
Note how the focus is sharply on the girl's eyes, but that the supporting details in the shot - namely the lace gown she's wearing - help to give the image even more interest.
Photo by Jennie
In this example, there's much less detail in the gown the girl is wearing, but it's deeply saturated color adds a pop of interest to an otherwise very simple, beautiful shot.
Note as well how the little girl's hair fans out, which gives it more volume but also indicates just a bit of movement as if she's just laid down on the floor.
The placement of her hands really helps this pose as well because our eyes follow the lines of her arms and fingers to the center of the shot.
Use the Wardrobe as a Posing Mechanism
Photo by Virginia Rose Hodges Photography
As noted earlier, getting kids to pose for the camera can be a challenge.
But armed with the right wardrobe, you can get your young model in the right mindset for a knockout portrait.
In the image above, the gown the model is wearing clearly gives her confidence and makes her feel like a powerful young lady.
Looking at the expression on her face and her stance in the shot tells us that...
In this case, having a gorgeous, flowing gown facilitated the pose you see above.
Photo by Amber Fite
A slightly different take on using the wardrobe as a posing mechanism is seen in the image above.
A great way to get your model to relax is to give them something to do or to hold.
In this instance, merely playing with her gown helps this girl relax and forget for a moment that she's being photographed.
The result is a relaxed pose and a portrait that seems more like a window into an authentic moment as opposed to a formally posed shot.
Photo by Spinelli Portraiture
No matter the age of the girl you're photographing, these simple posing tips will give you a greater ability to create a unique, eye-catching portrait of her.
As you can see in the images throughout this article, the tactics you use to get a more impactful image don't have to be over-the-top or time-consuming, either.
Work on directing your model in a way that helps her relax and have fun, and give her some awesome clothes to wear, and you'll likely have a young lady that's excited to get her portrait taken!
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