How to pose a middle-aged woman for a portrait

Written by rebecca rogge
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How to pose a middle-aged woman for a portrait
Consider personality when posing middle-aged women for portraits. (Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Middle-aged women can make beautiful photography subjects, but posing them properly is crucial. Middle-aged women may have more body anxiety than women of younger ages; helping them assume a flattering, natural pose will result in the most genuine, expressive portrait possible. They also may have definitive ideas on how they want to be represented and how they want their personalities to shine through the portrait. Be open to their ideas and let them explain what makes them feel comfortable.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Ask questions. Open communication with the subject you are photographing will result in the most natural, expressive portrait --- and one with which she will be extremely happy. Ask if she has anything about herself that she wants to emphasise or disguise. Get her talking and engaged; if she is comfortable and relaxed with you, it will be easier for her to be calm and happy while being photographed. Ask how she would like to appear --- does she want to look pensive, happy or professional? Allowing her personality to shine through will result in the best portrait, but only she can express that to you if you don't already know her well.

  2. 2

    Try different poses. If she is unhappy with her body, she may want to photograph just her head; pose her both looking directly into the camera and looking off into the distance. For other body-disguising portraits, have her lean out from behind a tree (this pose is girlish and whimsical), or have her lean on something with her arms crossed in front of her and her chin propped on them. Angle her shoulders away to decrease their visual width. Some women will be most comfortable in an upright, proper position, while others prefer a more relaxed posture (but no slouching!).

  3. 3

    Be age-appropriate, keeping gimmicky props to a minimum. Don't try to position the subject like you would a girl for a senior portrait or a glamour shot (unless that has been specifically requested). Allow the woman's natural beauty and the mellowness of her age to shine through the portrait.

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