How to Take Flattering Full Body Pictures

Written by mark spowart
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How to Take Flattering Full Body Pictures
Position subjects on angles to take flattering full body pictures. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Often the difference between a flattering full body picture and one you never want to show people is a combination of the pose and the type of lens the photographer used. Camera lenses have different characteristics depending on the focal length and aperture of the lens. A wide angle lens can make people look wider or will distort the perspective of the picture. These lenses are not the best choice for full body pictures.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn your camera on, and adjust the lens on your point-and-shoot camera to a focal length of 85mm. If you are using a single lens reflex (SLR) camera, attach a lens to the camera that will give you a focal length of 85mm. This lens will produce a picture that accurately reflects the perspective of the person you are photographing.

  2. 2

    Set the camera to "AV" for Aperture Priority. This setting allows you to control the aperture -- the lens opening -- and the camera will select a shutter speed to match the aperture you selected. Set the aperture to the lowest number. This will open the lens to its maximum setting. Not only will it allow more light in, allowing the camera to select a faster shutter speed that will reduce the risk of camera shake, it will also create a picture in which the background is slightly out of focus, directing the viewer's eye to look at the subject.

  3. 3

    Position the person you are photographing in front of the camera and have him or her turn at a 45-degree angle to the front of the camera. This is a standard full body position when photographing people. Once positioned, have the person turn his or her head directly towards the lens. If possible, stand on a chair or stool and have the model look up to the lens. An elevated shooting position will create a picture that makes the person look slimmer.

  4. 4

    Hold the camera to your eye and compose the picture, ensuring the individual's feet and head are in the viewfinder. Turn the camera to a vertical position to give you more space to fit the person in the frame. Once the subject is fully in the viewfinder and you are happy with the models' smile or expression, press the shutter release to take the picture.

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