How to Pose Someone Who Is Not a Model for Portraits (VIDEO)

Portrait photographers who are just starting out often have to use non-professional models in the beginning. That’s fine if you know how to pose someone who is not a model for portraits.

If you don’t know how to pose non-models, amateurs, or even friends and family for photos, check out the tutorial below from photographer Tatyana Zadorin where she shares some simple posing tips.

“In this tutorial, I will be going over how I pose someone or people who are not models and who are potential clients,” Zadorin says. “I found these tips very useful along the way and I hope these tips help you also.”

In the tutorial, she uses Annabelle Edwards, a non-model that Zadorin found on Instagram, to demonstrate these can’t miss poses.

#1 Get to Know Them First

“You will probably meet the person you are going to photograph the day that you’re shooting. Just kind of get to know them a little bit and break the ice. You don’t want it to be awkward. You don’t want to not talk and not ask questions.”

#2 Direct Your Subject

“Try and direct your subject pretty much the entire way because if you’re shooting somebody who is not experienced, they’re not going to know what to do. They’ll generally just going to stand there and be like, ‘What do I do?’”

#3 Have Them Hold Something

“Have the model hold onto something, such as their jacket. Not only can that be a good posing idea, it will give your subject something to do with their hands. It will make the portrait look more natural.”

#4 Get Ideas

“If you don’t know any posing ideas, look at other photographers and their work. Just get ideas. Screenshot some pictures on your phone. Just get something you can look back on.”

#5 Keep You Subject Moving
“Sometimes when your model is still, they can look a little stiff. So, I tell my clients to constantly be moving. But just a little bit with their body, such as moving back and forth, over the shoulder etc. When they’re in that constant movement it just makes a more natural photo. But just make sure the model is moving slowly. You don’t want any super-fast movements.”