5 Posing Tips for Authentic Portraits

by David Em

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An authentic photo is a result of capturing a genuine moment. As a photographer, learning posing tips to help you document authentic images is essential.

Woman wearing a collared shirt and laughing.

Importance of authentic photos

Learning posing tips to capture authentic photos is beneficial to you and your subjects. Your subjects will appreciate the photographs that you documented because they showed genuine emotions, and you’ll be happy with satisfied clients.

Related: How to pose in photos

Whether you’re a new or seasoned photographer, capturing genuine images is important to keep in the front of your mind. When an image looks authentic, it’ll resonate with the viewer and feel more powerful than one that looks staged.

1. Show while you tell

Telling your subject how to pose can work in some cases. However, showing and telling at the same time is powerful.

Naturally, your subject will mirror what you do, and if you can show them the emotions you want to portray, they’ll do it. To get authentic photographs, model the pose.

2. Tell a story

Stories are a great way to draw emotions from your subject. It’s also helpful when it comes to connecting with your subject, which will also cause them to feel more comfortable.

Richard Avedon, a legendary photographer, told the Duke and Duchess of Windsor that the taxi he had taken ran over a dog. Although it wasn’t true, it drew a reaction, and Avedon snapped the photo.

Stories, jokes, and narratives are effective ways to capture authentic photos.

3. Match their personality

You can follow all of the posing tips perfectly. However, if the subject’s personality isn’t accurately shown through the image, it won’t be authentic.

Related: 5 ways to get people to smile naturally in photos

The environment that you’re shooting in and the poses should be tailored to your subject. It should fit their personality, career, passions, and how they perceive themselves.

4. Movement makes it interesting

Incorporating movement in photographs will immediately make the image more interesting. Movement is a great way to mix things up from the standard photo of a person standing in place.

Simple movements such as walking back and forth, or jumping from one spot to another, will make the images look genuine.

5. Couples should be touching

If you’re photographing portraits of a couple, make sure they’re touching. It’s important to show intimacy, which will make the photo look more authentic and less awkward.

Some of the best posing tips for couples are the nose-to-nose method and whispering something sweet. Both of the techniques encourage physical touch, and you’ll capture authentic emotions.


Adding movement, telling stories, and making connections with your subjects will lead to better photos. Capturing authentic photos is an important part of photography because you were hired to document moments.

By taking the photo at the perfect time to capture genuine emotions, you’ll have a happy client.

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Featured photo courtesy of Pexels.

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