Photographing Curvy Clients or Models

May 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

GirlsGirls As photographers, we want to flatter any subject that happens to be in in front of our camera. This is true regardless of whether we are shooting a woman who happens to be size 4 or size 20. Most people who are not professional models tend to be a little nervous even under the best of conditions when being photographed and look to the photographer to coach them into a great image. If we happen to be shooting a curvy professional model, she may be expecting to use those images professionally.


When choosing clothing, the goal should be to focus the viewers eye up and down the form, rather than side to side. A long or decorative neckline can help in this manner. High neck lines may draw attention may make the subject look wider than she actually may be.

Choose clothing that is form fitting or flowing toward her bottom half is typically best. Loose or bagging clothing will almost always make your subject look larger and will be more difficult to achieve a good pose. Undergarments that support the figure are always a plus and dark colors tend to make the subject  slender. A belt or sash placed correctly may accent curves that you may wish to focus upon


As with any subject, well done makeup is almost a must. Curly hair or full hair styles can certainly be a plus.

  FigureFigure Poses and camera position:

Anything close to the camera will look larger, so anything that you want to look smaller or draw less notice should be pushed away from the camera. 

  • Have your subject push their hips away from the camera
  • Have them slightly lean into the camera to accent the face and bust
  • A 3/4 pose with their torso toward you may be helpful
  • Your position with the camera should be at eye level or even slightly higher. Shooting below eye level may make your subject look larger than she may actually be. Be careful though, if you place yourself too high, the subject will look shorter and less flattering.
  • Have the client pose with her arms slightly bent and away from the body. Arms flat against the sides of the body will only increase the size of her waist. However, it there is a problem area of the body, a carefully positioned arm across the problem area may improve the image. A slight bulge just about the waistline is not uncommon.
  • Positioning the legs close together rather than a wide stance may allow the eyes to continue to follow the subject contour vertically to a narrow portion of the body, thus enhancing the pose.
  • Ask the model to press her tongue against the roof of her mouth, and place her chin out and down. This will greatly accent the jawline, which is attractive in any photo.
  • During a pose with hands on the waist, try moving the hands slightly lower on the pelvis and in toward the belly button.


As with any female subject, train your eye to look for curves and don't be afraid to move around your subject. By mastering a few coaching skills you will be amazed at what you can accomplish without having to rely on hours within post production.


Bob Barford is a published award winning portrait and glamour photographer based out of Pennsylvania. 


No comments posted.