At some point or other in your career, you will need a professional corporate portrait for use in various media from annual reports to your social networking profiles. Capturing the photograph happens in a matter of seconds, but you will be stuck with the resultant image (portrait) for life.
If it was a bad portrait, on an organisation’s website (where you had no way of deleting or changing it), you would cringe every time someone said “I Google’d you ahead of our meeting”. While a good corporate portrait depends largely on lighting and the skill of the photographer, these posing tips will help you solve the other 50% of the problem – correct posing.
The number one rule is to always look straight into the camera. Fix your eyes on that lens and you will end up with a portrait that captures the proverbial ‘windows to your soul’ in a strong and confident manner.
Be aware how you tilt your head. Tilting your head towards your shoulder will make you look more feminine. A more masculine pose will be to keep your shoulders square, head straight or tilting very slightly forward. Tilting the head back can look too casual and disinterested.
If you are standing next to a light source (e.g. a window or studio light), stand facing the light so that the photographer can capture your portrait in the direction of the light. This will make your shoulders look broader and give you more presence.
A portrait that captures you at a low angle with your arms crossed will depict stature and confidence. However, be sure to smile or keep your face relaxed. This pose combined with a stern face will send the message that “I am domineering and I mean business” or “I am unapproachable”. Softening the pose with a relaxed smile will change the message altogether to “strong and confident professional”. As far as possible, pull your stomach in (without holding your breath), straighten your back and relax your shoulders. This pose works for most situations and will get you on your way to a great portrait.