All this being said, it is absolutely OK to break the rules. Take for example the below two photos. Here, the styling is what informed the poses. I adore this look—a pair of kicky trousers and suspenders. We decided to have fun with the styling and play up the more masculine energy of the wardrobe through posing that I normally do with men. However, it works beautifully here because of both the styling and the energy of the model.
Model: Sam Quinn
It’s also very important to remember that there are lots of people in the world who don’t distinctly identify with either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, and as photographers we have to make sure we are honouring them as well when they step in front of the camera. The idea of creating an hourglass figure for women and getting men to take up more room through posing is a cisgendered one. It works for a lot of my clients, but I also know that there are a lot of potential clients out there that those poses don’t work for. This is another reason why we have to be present for the person we’re photographing. We need to be sensitive to what works for them and what doesn’t if we’re going to honour who they are.
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