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Great posing achieves two different objectives. One is that it gives the subject something to do and will naturally relax them. The second is that is adds movement and context to your photos. Sometimes poses feel a bit weird, even if they actually look natural in a photo. (I call this “I swear it feels weird, but you look great”.) Other times, poses are things that a subject might do in real life, just with a few tweaks.
One of my favorite poses (as the title of this post suggests) is having the subject look over their shoulder at the camera. It is fun, natural, and doesn’t take a lot of instructions for someone to nail it. Read on for all of my tips on this great pose!
Once you’ve done the walking pose adding the over the shoulder is a great option because it is a similar set of instructions. (Want to know more about walking, check it out here!) Have the subject walk away from the camera, slowly, and then look over their shoulder at the camera. Depending on their comfort level, they can alternate which shoulder they look over, or they can stick with the same shoulder. They can also pause mid-walk if they are having trouble moving forward, but looking backward at the camera.
The biggest trick to the over the shoulder is that they twist their upper body enough. If they look over their shoulder without actually opening up their upper body, you’ll be lucky to get a profile shot. Make sure they are twisting and pushing their shoulder blade back so you can see most of their face. Look at the photo below of Karen. She is really opening up her upper body and twisting. Because of this, the camera is able to see almost 100% of her face.
Over the shoulder is a pose similar enough to how folks move in real life that it tends to be really easy for anyone to pick up. Because this pose (along with a walking pose) is so easy to execute, I generally start the session with it. They can help the subject relax and feel like they are already nailing the session – which they are!