Some boudoir photographers will have you believe you can use any pose just about anywhere… and they’d be right… to a point.
For example, any pose where you’re lying down could be shot on a bed, sofa, chaise lounge, or on the floor.
So, why distinguish floor poses as being special… as “floor poses”?
Good question… and one I plan on answering right here, right now. (Hmm, reminds me of a song.)
In this article I’m going to present five poses I’ve specifically picked to be “floor poses” because shooting on the floor gives you several advantages you can’t get shooting anywhere else… like on a bed, sofa, or chaise lounge.
Advantages Posing On The Floor Gives You
Floor Poses Give You Space
The first big advantage posing on the floor gives you is… … … space.
Shooting on the floor allows you to create space within your subject’s pose. It’s that hard surface that doesn’t sink in (like on a bed), filling in all that potential space that a pose can give you.
Space is your friend because it allows light to enter where it otherwise would have been blocked or filled in.
Space allows you to see more curvature of your model’s body, but there’s another advantage that shooting on the floor gives you.
Floor Poses Emphasize Your Subject
Floor poses emphasize your subject more so than any other place for two reasons.
One is that it serves as a blank canvas for your model to be featured against. She’s not competing with an ornate winged-back chair, the sensual line of a chaise lounge, or the tufted surface of a blue velvet settee.
It’s just her and her curves.
She occupies the sole focus in the image.
The floor is the blank canvas you get to “paint” your model onto with your camera.
Floor Poses Provide Sharp Contrast
The second way floor poses emphasize your subject is by providing a sharp contrast to your model’s curves.
To see this in action, take for example the pose I call Icon (see further down why I call it this).
With this floor pose you have three distinct geometric shapes in play, they are:
1.) The flat plane of the floor and wall
2.) The thin horizontal line where the floor meets the wall
3.) The S-curve of your model
With the Icon pose you can have all three of these geometric forms in play.
My point is that your subject’s curves get emphasized that much more because they’re being contrasted so clearly with the flat plane of the floor and wall, and the horizontal line where the floor meets the wall.
To say it another way… the curvature of your subject is made even more noticeable because it’s being juxtaposed with the flat floor, flat wall, and horizontal line in the background where the floor meets the wall.
It’s this geometric contrast that allows your subject’s curves to stand out in the image.
Another Advantage Floor Poses Give You
But wait… there’s more!
Shooting on the floor can give you leading lines if on a hardwood floor and you’re lined up correctly. The same holds true for a tiled floor as well.
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 7
If you use all four of these advantages shooting on the floor gives you, with the appropriate floor pose, you’ll get an image that is greater than if you tried doing that same pose not on the floor (like on a bed or sofa).
So, the poses I’ve picked were carefully chosen because they take advantage of some (if not all) of the points mentioned above.
Okay, poses… Come on down!
I call this pose Icon because if there was one pose to represent all of boudoir, it would be this pose. It is, in my opinion, iconic of boudoir.
It has everything.
Geometric contrast, leading lines, maximum curvature, S-curves and triangles, whole body image from head-to-toe, facial expression, and it looks good shot dark and moody, light and airy, or as a silhouette.
Everything is on display here, legs, waist, booty, arms, stomach, neck, face, hair.
It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of boudoir poses.
Keys To Icon
I prefer the model close her eyes in this pose. I’ve shot it both ways and I much prefer it with eyes closed. With head tilted back and eyes open, it just looks weird. This pose references sexual rapture, and I think that is best represented with eyes closed.
Arch the back
Tilt the head back a bit
Face in profile
Stagger the legs so front leg is lower than back leg
Point the toes (this will make a big difference than feet flat on the floor)
Position the arm closest to camera so it doesn’t block the arch of her back. I usually place it above her head.
Arm furthest from camera rests elegantly above her head as well.
Shoot at ground level.
Have her take a deep breath (to suck in the stomach and lift the chest) and Click!
There are slight variations moving the arms and legs. Just play around with it and find what you like.
Booty A La Carte
This is another favorite that clients love because is shows off their booty.
Have your subject lie on her side, back to camera.
Her head rests on her outstretched arm while her top arm traces the curve of her waist/hip. It’s important we see this top arm so it doesn’t disappear in front of her.
Have her bend her top leg, hooking her foot over her bottom leg.
Keys To Booty A La Carte
A slight bend in the elbow from the top arm.
Top hand lays flat on side of bum.
Make sure she’s as perpendicular to your shooting position as possible, as opposed to being slightly angled.
Bend the top leg high enough so we don’t see her thigh. You want to isolate that top butt cheek to get it as round as possible and seeing her thigh tapering away will diminish that effect.
Shoot at ground level.
I call this pose Cleopatra because it reminds me of a movie where Cleopatra was being transported by her minions on her human-powered chair-throne.
Have your subject lie on her side, propping her upper body up on her forearm with her top hand either tracing the curve of her waist/hip or tugging on her bra strap.
Face in profile.
Top leg crossed over bottom leg.
Keys To Cleopatra
I like to shoot these on-the-side poses in teddies or some other kind of onesie because regardless of size or weight, the woman’s side will pucker and create folds in her skin in this position.
Having her don a onesie hides all that making the image a “keeper” instead of being rejected because she doesn’t like the folds her skin makes when she’s on her side like that… (just sayin’.)
Face in full profile with chin up.
Shoot at ground level.
Reclined Floor Pose With A Twist
This is one of my favorite poses.
There’s just something about the liquid-like flow of body and the line it creates that makes this rather simple pose quite elegant and unique.
This pose works best on a hard floor so the body won’t sag in the middle from a soft mattress or sofa cushion. You also need a lot of room to stretch out so using the floor helps with that as well… especially if you have a subject that’s six feet tall like Madison in the photo above.
Start by having your model lie on her side, crossing her top leg down over the bottom. Then have her twist her upper body so it’s laying flat on the ground (or as close to flat a possible) with arms resting above the head.
I like the head angled at roughly forty-five degrees as opposed to in profile, just seems to look better in my opinion, but play around with it. There will be many variations since everyone’s body is a little different.
Keys To The Reclined Floor Pose With A Twist
Head angled at forty-five degrees
Arms resting above head
The Seated L (because the shape made by her legs looks like an “L”) is another casual pose like the one just mentioned above.
This pose is mainly about two things.
One, is her expression. Expression is big with this shot because her face will be featured prominently and you’re going to be rather close since she’s so compacted.
The other is how much you want to show or hide her nether region (code for crotch which I find a rather harsh word).
Any pose where the woman is exposing herself in this manner is highly sexualized, at least that’s how I see it. One can hide this area in shadow or by repositioning your angle, or leave it exposed.
If you have a willing subject shoot all three and see which ones she chooses.
Keys To The Seated L
Focus on expression
Shift your position to get the appropriate angle concerning her nether region.
Wrapping Up Floor Poses
Icon, Booty A La Carte, Cleopatra, Reclined Floor Pose With A Twist, and the Seated L are all poses that take advantage of the benefits that shooting on the floor can give you.
So, the next time you’re trying out a new pose, ask yourself if shooting it on the floor would elevate it even more.
Thanks for your time!
Founder / Lounge Boudoir
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