Elevate your LinkedIn Profile Photo: 5 Posing Tips for Women in Business

20.03.2024

by Zürich Family and Personal Brand Photographer Kati

Mum hugging her two daughters for family photos at Katzensee, Zurich
Whether it’s for a professional headshot, a social media profile, or simply to capture a moment in time, knowing how to pose can significantly enhance the appeal of your photograph. And make you feel better about yourself.

It’s not about striking artificial, disconnected poses; it’s about moving in a certain way to bring out your best features and communicating confidence, approachability, and professionalism aligned with your goals and ethics.

This guide with tips for posing is designed to demystify the process of posing, offering tips and tricks to achieve a flattering portrait.

You’ll learn the subtle art of posture, striking the right pose, and all those little tricks that make photographers’ work look like magic. So, get ready to step in front of the lens with confidence and grace.

Five Easy-to-Follow Steps for Women on How to Pose for Professional Photos

1. HOOLA HIP – Turn Your Hip for an Enhanced Shape

Stepping in front of a camera, we tend to stand straight on to the lens. However, in this position, even the slightest person tends to look a little square.

Turning your hip away instead completely alters your body shape. By getting your hip in the right place, everything will feel less constrained and almost fall into place by itself.

Firstly, a slight turn has a fantastic slimming effect. It introduces a natural S-curve to your posture, which creates the illusion of a more defined waistline. This subtle tweak can dramatically change how your body shape appears in photographs, offering a more flattering silhouette.

Secondly, when you face the camera directly, your shots can end up looking flat and two-dimensional. By turning your hip, you’re adding both depth and dimension to the picture, making it visually more engaging and dynamic.

And let’s not forget the importance of looking natural and at ease. A straight-on pose can often come across as stiff or forced, but turning your hip slightly lends a more relaxed vibe to your photo, making it appear more authentic and inviting.

The trick, though, is in the subtlety of the move. Just a gentle turn is enough to create that perfect, flattering silhouette.

business woman demonstrating how much larger a hip looks when facing the camera straight on.
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

2. SNAZZY SHOULDERS – Roll your shoulders for a confident Stance

The positioning of your shoulders plays a pivotal role in how open and approachable you appear in your photographs. To project a welcoming demeanour, it’s important to position your shoulders in a way that they are pulled back and slightly down. In addition, keep your back nice and straight. This posture suggests confidence and openness.

However, it’s important to strike the right balance in this adjustment. You want to avoid pushing your shoulders so far back that you look stiff or tense. A useful technique is to gently roll your shoulders back just before the photo is taken. This helps you settle into a position that looks both comfortable and confident.

For women aiming for an added layer of elegance and poise in their photographs, a slight turn of one shoulder away from the camera can be particularly effective. This adjustment not only adds depth and interest to the pose but also works well with the body’s natural contours, creating a more dynamic and visually appealing image. If you want to take a step further, you can even slightly lift up the shoulder facing the camera.

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

3. TIPPY TORSO – Bend forward for a flattering look

Just as we tend to stand straight on to the camera, it’s a common instinct to lean back as well. However, this can inadvertently distort our body’s natural proportions.

Here’s why: anything closer to the camera lens tends to appear larger due to perspective. Therefore, when we lean back, parts of our body that end up closer to the camera—like our hips or chest in a closer-up portrait—can appear disproportionately larger when compared to our heads. But this is certainly not what we are aiming for, right?

So, how can we counteract this? The trick lies in making a minor adjustment by leaning slightly forward from your hips. This simple shift in stance brings your face into the spotlight, naturally drawing everyone’s gaze right where we want it, and helps to balance the appearance of your upper and lower body, creating a more proportionate and flattering image.

In addition, it also tends to stretch the skin under your chin, making your chin look more defined.

So next time you find yourself in front of the lens, remember: Lean in, not just metaphorically to seize opportunities, but literally too, to capture the perfect image.

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

4. CHIN GIRAFFE – Move your chin like a giraffe for a pretty expression

Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through your photos and thought you have a double chin? We’ve all been there! Even the most photogenic among us don’t always look flattering.

Just as it creates distortions, the posture of leaning back also pushes the neck back and the chin down, which can give the appearance of a double chin. And noone wants that for sure!

To counteract this, you imitate a giraffe. The ‘Giraffe’ technique is inspired by the long, elegant necks of giraffes. It’s a simple but effective way to enhance your natural jawline.

Here is how it works:

  1. Stand or sit up straight. A good posture is the foundation of any great pose. It elongates your body and gives you a strong, confident look.
  2. Stick your chin out. Just like a giraffe stretching its neck, gently push your chin forward. It stretches the skin around your neck area, smoothing out any creases or shadows.
  3. Now move your chin slightly down. This helps to further define your jawline.

Keep your movements gentle and subtle and with a little practice, you’ll find the sweet spot that works best for you. It might feel a little strange at first, but trust me, it’s a game-changer!

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

5. ARM ACTION – Bend your Arms for a sophisticated appearance

A question I hear all the time is, “What should I do with my arms?” And honestly, it can be quite the puzzle to strike a pose that feels both natural and looks great.

I always suggest to avoid letting your arms just hang there. It looks a bit like limp spaghetti. And sure, most people like spaghetti – it’s just not a good look when it comes to arms.

Straight joints tend to look rather stiff and unnatural.
Instead, give them a slight bend for a more dynamic and engaging shot.

The trick is to introduce a gentle bend in your arms to soften your stance and add a touch of grace. You’ve got several options to try out:

  • rest one or both hands on your hips
  • gently clasp your hands together
  • cross your arms over your chest with a slight wrist bend and a turn to the side
  • casually place your hands in the pockets of your cardigan, trousers or jacket. It’s a simple fix, yet it’s something many of us overlook.

So, remember the spaghetti analogy, and you’ll never forget to add that crucial bend to your arms for a picture-perfect pose!

Conclusion: A Final Thought on Posing

As we’ve explored the various poses and techniques, remember that the most impactful images are those that reflect your true self. Whether it’s a candid laugh, a thoughtful gaze, or a bold stance, embracing your authenticity is key.

It’s not about perfection but about connection—connecting with the viewer, the moment, and most importantly, yourself.

So, as you step in front of the camera next time, take a deep breath and let your inner light shine through. Just remember:

  1. HOOLA HIP
  2. SNAZZY SHOULDERS
  3. TIPPY TORSO
  4. CHIN GIRAFFE
  5. ARM ACTION

Experiment with different poses, play with angles, and find what feels right for you. Remember, each photograph is a celebration of who you are, a testament to your journey, and a step towards owning your space with grace and power.

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

FYI, these techniques are not limited to standing poses; it’s equally effective when sitting too. Try it out!

Do you want me to help you with your posing and guide you through for a successful portrait? Get in touch today.

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