David Sdika

Professional portrait : the best pose for a successful picture.

The overall quality of your corporate profile photo depends on a number of factors. These include the facial expression, the outfit, the colours and the background. Subtle yet decisive, the way you pose also influences the impact of your professional portrait. The position of your body reflects your confidence, hints at your assets and reveals your charisma. Aware of these codes, you’ll find the ideal posture to make your business portrait a real asset.

An older man wearing a suit poses for a studio portrait

How to pose for a successful professional portrait ?

Posing for a corporate profile picture is not as trivial as it might seem. The corporate portrait follows specific communication guidelines that will trigger a reaction from the person you’re talking to. The posture you choose helps to express your professional skills and abilities. It makes people want to get to know you and creates a positive perception in the eyes of your customers, future employers or prospects. Learning the secrets of effective posture is a guarantee of success for your LinkedIn profile, for example. Your professional photographer will also be able to guide you in finding the ideal option.

Posing: our tips

  • Naturalness above all : adopting a posture in front of the camera is, of course, a premeditated action. But nothing is more pleasing to the eye than a natural attitude. So opt for a pose that is consistent with your character and your professional identity. To convey optimism and confidence, you first need to feel in tune with yourself.
  • Stately but not stuffy : a noble bearing, a straight back and a high head carriage are advantageous marks of prestige. The trick is to distinguish elegance from rigidity. Avoid being too tense or too strict. Stand up straight, clear the back of your neck, lift your chin slightly, but relax your shoulders. With a smile or the intention of a glance, add a touch of gentleness and relaxation that will give your corporate portrait a warm look.
  • Make sure your body is well anchored : feeling uncomfortable during a photo shoot comes from not knowing what to do with your body. Shifting the weight of your body onto one leg is a good way of finding your feet. This shift gives you visible confidence and relaxation. You can also opt for the 3/4 position, a great portrait classic that encourages confidence by avoiding confrontation.
  • Expression as an example : while posing is mainly about the body, facial expression is a guide to posture. The direction of your gaze influences your posture. A smile adds naturalness to the overall look. In other words, take care of your expression and your body posture will follow. To inspire confidence and encourage a bond, opt for a straightforward look and a genuine smile directed at the camera.
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A man poses, smiling, for a corporate portrait

The professional photographer, guide and mirror to find the right pose

To find the right posture and attitude, there’s no substitute for the expert eye of a professional photographer. Drawing on his experience, he acts as a mirror and guides you, in a personalised way, to help you pose. Through your discussions, the photographer identifies your personality, your strengths and your professional environment. He will then highlight your strong points, the salient features of your character and your essential skills. They can also reassure you and advise you on any aspects of your image that you are uncomfortable with. The role of the corporate photographer is to accompany you during the photo session, to show you off in a natural way.

The different poses for a professional portrait

Classic pose

Traditional, sometimes described as institutional, this is the usual posture of the businessman or woman. Standing on their two feet, the model is confident, even conquering. He or she usually poses 3/4 of the way up, but may dare to go frontal if the personality and professional sector lend themselves to it. Crossed arms are a great classic. This position avoids dangling hands, and adds an impression of anchoring and decision-making power. Another alternative: hands in pockets. This option, which is widespread on LinkedIn profiles, evokes confidence and success.

The relaxed option

If you work in a more creative or innovative professional sector, you will be more likely to adopt a relaxed posture. It evokes confidence, but also open-mindedness and originality. It’s a way of combining professionalism and flexibility. The back or the shoulder resting on a wall are very aesthetic options. You can also choose to shoot in motion, which gives spontaneity a chance. Walking slowly or turning towards the lens allows the photographer to capture the key moment that makes you stand out.

The seated version

For a good sitting position and an impression of stability, you can also choose a seated corporate portrait. It’s slightly less flattering than standing, but you’ll feel more at ease. The position of your legs and hands will follow naturally. More intimate, more convivial, sitting on a stool creates direct contact and triggers the desire to communicate.

A woman wearing a red shirt poses for a studio corporate portrait

Feminine and masculine assets

The female and male body types have distinct advantages. To optimise a woman’s aesthetic appeal, professional photographers prefer the X-shape of the arms. The straight or slightly staggered shoulder line, combined with crossed arms on the knees, accentuates the harmonious curves.

For men, the aim is to take up space and provide a strong anchor. The shoulders and arms should therefore be open, possibly meeting at the knees. The model can also raise one knee to support the arm.

Making the most of your strengths

Photography is an opportunity to use art to enhance a person’s natural elegance. A corpulent person will gain in harmony and style by leaning slightly forward. To slim the figure, you can also opt for the 3/4 position.

Paying attention to the empty spaces between the arms, legs and body will emphasise the curves. People with a very slim build will be more comfortable facing forward, in a posture that broadens the body.

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Picture of Who am I?
Who am I?

I am a professional photographer based in Brussels, specialising in portrait photography, child and family photo shoots, editorial portraits or corporate headshots. I work with film and digital.

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