Onsite Course
1 day | 2 hours
California Center for Digital Arts
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(15 Available)
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Posing Guidelines and Techniques

Learning How to Portrait Pose

Posing a subject or group of subjects is a critical component to creating exceptional formal and informal portraits. Yet many photographers find portrait posing difficult to understand and master.

The reason posing can create problems is because inexperienced subjects look to you for direction. If you freeze up and fail to direct or lack good form and figure ideas, you will struggle to create good photos. It’s up to you to take charge of your subjects be they a familiar a professional model and tell them how to pose. The key is learning, practicing and being prepared.


In this class, students quickly develop the skills to pose individuals, small and large groups. Moreover, this class teaches you to understand the posing requirements for a particular visual message. The family portrait, high school senior shot, are all very different from a fashion shoot. Choose a particular pose is the result of determining the type of image you wish to create and what is appropriate. Students learn how to evaluate anatomical structures, image purpose lighting conditions and the chosen appropriate poses. Students leave with new knowledge and confidence for selecting and creating stunning posed situations. Using what you’ve learned, your photos will now start making sense, be pleasing to the eye and flattering for your subjects. In group photos, you will now start seeing the relationships and positions of each other.


  • Building rapport with your subjects
  • Formal single person pose with gender and age differentiation.
  • Informal single person pose with gender and age differentiation.
  • Group poses
  • Creative pose movements for specific portrait goals
  • Hands on Practice and Evaluation.


  • DSLR Camera and 1 or more zoom lenses
  • One or more portable flash units recommended


Beginner to Intermediate


David LaNeve