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Photo Posing Rules for Actors


Face, Body, Head & Hand  By Ms. Mae Ross

(These are general rules and may be broken) 


For good pictures you must always appear natural, relaxed and as comfortable looking as possible! Create a mood that relates to your surroundings and what you are wearing. At my acting school in Los Angeles for children, teens and adults we teach these photo posing rules. Get to know these and do some practice shoots. When it is time to do professional shots your pictures will turn out great

Nice Head Shot


  • Study yourself in the mirror and practice expressions, especially your smile. Be on the lookout for too much gum showing, squinting your eyes, wrinkling your nose and forehead.
  • If you smile all the time in pictures practice NOT smiling and visa versa.
  • Practice full, ¾ , ½ smiles and closed lip smiles.
  • Please NO hands to your face or resting on your chin.
  • Radiate warmth by thinking of pleasant thoughts
  • Remember the camera is the winning BULLS EYE.
  • Most important RELAX and HAVE FUN!! This is the quality that is attractive.


  • When in a pose, relax the muscles and breathe from the diaphragm to avoid looking stiff. Shoulders relaxed.
  • Good posture always. No slumping backs. No hunched shoulders.
  • Always keep your back straight! Even when you are bending forward
  • Do not stand with your body directly square to the camera.
  • Avoid a “straight to the camera” body position. Twist your body a bit.
  • When sitting No knees straight towards the camera place them sideways.
  • Think angles… body angles in all posing.
  • Over the belt buckle With a straight back lean forward a little to avoid looking stiff. Use the “over the belt” technique when you are sitting too!


  • No double CHINS:  The Orange Pretend there is an orange under your chin so you always keep space there, so when asked to drop your chin you do not create a double chin.
  • Turtle neck Just like a turtle juts his head out of his shell. Pull your chin out ever so slightly to avoid double chins.
  • Head tilt to the left is feminine. Right is masculine. Females can use both tilts.
  • DO NOT CLASP or STACK your hands on top of each other.
  • Relax your hands and fingers and let them drop
  • Do not grasp or interlock hands onto furniture props etc.
  • Don’t project the hands toward the lens and keep them within the range of focus.
  • Hands above your waist, the fingers should be directed upwards.
  • Hands below the waist, the fingers should be directed downward.
  • Do not use fists at anytime.
  • When placing hands in pockets have at least one finger or your thumb showing.
  • Feet, knees, arms, hands and elbows at different levels are more interesting than when placed side by side.
  • When placing hands on your waist or hips always “break at the wrists” dropping your wrists with your fingers upward.


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