how to take a full body portrait

If you are looking for How To Take A Full Body Portrait, then you are on the right page. It contains sfull body portrait poses. Suppose you want to know how to take full body pictures of yourself instead. Then this article is what you need.

Full body portraits involve a lot more work than when you are photographing just the head and the shoulders.


Because when you incorporate the full body in your imagery, you have to focus on posing your model, choosing the right lens, the right camera angle, use more light and spend more time setting things up.

Many of the techniques that we covered, e.g. the outdoor portrait photography tips, are equally applicable for full body portraits.

full body portrait poses

How To Take A Full Body Portrait


In full body portraits positioning of the hands become important.

Most people don’t have modeling experience (and that’s 90% of the people you will ever photograph), and they feel awkward with their hands. They don’t know what to do with them. Most leave them dangling on the sides.

Posture becomes important too. If someone slouches or positions the head in a certain way that can produce a stiff posture and a bad image. You don’t want that.

full body portraits
Portrait of a Man standing in a Corridor

Related Post: How to Shoot the Perfect Corporate Portrait Photo

The position of the feet and the legs are also important. I have previously discussed at length about how to pose a bride and a groom. All of those posing techniques are applicable here.

The legs shouldn’t be together. They should be positioned in a way so that the weight is on the back leg. That frees up the other leg to be positioned as one chooses. For example, a slightly bent leg or one that

For example, a slightly bent leg looks far better than the ‘attention’ posture.

full body portrait tips
Woman Full Body Portrait with a Foggy Background.

I have written about how to create the letter ‘S’ with a female model’s body. That posture requires the transfer of weight from the front to the back leg. It brings out the feminine form and creates a much better pose.

For a male model, leaning against a wall, with one foot resting against it and the other foot on the road/floor, body turned slightly away from the camera and the head turned towards it is a nice pose to start off.

better full body portraits
Full Body Portrait of a Young Man with a Bike.

The easiest way to find some inspiration about the best postures is to look at several good fashion magazines.

Try to understand why these professionally made images with professional models work.

Concentrate on the postures of the models. These will become your rough and ready guide when you go out to make full body portraits.

Related Post: Best Cameras for Fashion Bloggers

The Look

The manner in which your model gives her/his facial expressions can go a long way in shaping your photos.

A bland, emotionless expression might not look good. A slight smile, an off-camera look or even a cover tilt of the head can produce a far better and visually pleasing image than one where the model is giving a straight emotionless look at the camera.

As a portrait photographer a majority of times you will come across models who are not professionals and therefore have no clue about how to pose or give a facial expression. To make matters worse, they would be tensed facing up to a camera.

A good portrait photographer always brings out the best in his/her models. It is the job of the photographer to break the ice and to ease the mind of a nervous model.

As they say, 80% of the energy of a portrait photographer him/her on setting up the model, speaking to him/her and preparing him/her for the shot.

Only spent 20% of your time making the actual photos.

Best Lenses for Full Body Portraits

For full body portraits, the best option is not to shoot with too wide a lens. Wide angle lenses are affected by distortions, especially at the corners and edges.

Wide angle lenses will make your model look weird. With a wide angle lens, you cover a lot of the scene. As a result, you have to move in close in order to get a tight shot. That is what creates distortions.

Another reason to avoid a wide zoom lens is they are difficult to work with in small studios.

The best choice is something like a 50-70mm. On the other hand, with telelenses, you have to stand too far away in order to crop out negative space. That means your subject will be compressed against a background.

Between a wide-angle zoom and a telephoto, however, choose the latter. The look is a lot more natural with a telephoto. And always shoot from a distance and zoom in rather than use the widest focal length and shoot from a close distance.

RELATED POSTSInspiring Portrait Photos (10 Awesome Portrait Shots)How to Remove a Person from a PhotoBest Lenses for Portrait Photography

As already noted above wide angle lenses will distort anything that is at the fringe or the corners. So, your model’s head might appear larger, and his / her legs will appear shorter. Not exactly the sort of result you might have in mind.

A few recommended lenses are

  • the 24-70mm,
  • the 24-105mm and
  • the 24-85mm.
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These zoom lenses cover the essential working focal range necessary for shooting full body portraits.

Camera Angle

When shooting full body portraits, lens choices go hand in hand with the camera angle.

Camera angle denotes what angle you shoot from. There is nothing that prevents you from experimenting with your camera angle as well as the actual focal length you shoot with.

Always experiment and figure what works best for you. But as a general guide use these following tips.

  • Don’t shoot with a wide angle lens from too close.
  • Don’t shoot down with a wide angle lens from a close angle. You are going to shorten the legs of the model and extend the upper body. Also, we have explained how it can make the head look weird. That is never a great thing.
full body portrait tips
  • Shooting from about waist level is a better angle. At the same time, it is also a clichéd and boring way to shoot.
  • Try shooting from a low camera angle. Just so that you can see what difference does it make. Usually, when you shoot from a low angle the legs get longer and the upper body gets compressed (and therefore shorter).

Maximum Aperture of the Lens

Another thing to note when selecting a portrait lens is the maximum aperture. A wide maximum aperture will blur the background of the subject and isolate the subject. Most portrait photos with this creative effect look really pleasing to the eye.

Related Post: Example of Wide & Narrow Aperture Setting

However, this is not etched in stone. You are encouraged to shoot with a small aperture as well. Try to incorporate the surrounding if it’s nice and is likely to add something interesting to the image.

Lighting for Indoor Full Body Portraits

For full body portraits, you need to be able to light the whole body. Just one small flash with a diffuser will not work in this situation.

Flash units are smaller and they tend to produce harsh lighting. You need a more powerful light, preferably something like a strobe and one or two softboxes, depending on the number of lights you use.

Softboxes help to reduce the intensity of bare flashes and turns them into a softer source of light.

Related Post: Portrait Photography Lighting Basics

Another thing that these softboxes do is they expand the coverage area of small flashes. There are reflectors inside these softboxes. Plus, the front has baffles which further scatters the light.

In certain situations you need to shoot with an egg-crate (grid), but not for full body portraits.

Strip boxes are my favorite when it comes to lighting models inside a studio. As a matter of fact, they also work very well when shooting outdoors.

Strip boxes like the Profoto RFi 1’ x 4’ or the 12” x 71” Dynalite Strip Box cover a larger area and therefore are capable of lighting an adult model from head to toe.Profoto 254709 RFi 1′ x 4′ (30×120 cm) Softbox (Black)High efficiency for maximum output; Compatible with all major flash brands

You need two of these firing from camera right and left, just out of camera view. The placement of the light is also important. Use one as the key light to light the side facing the camera. Use the other light to produce an edge that separates the model from the background. This light should be slightly towards the back. Even the intensity of the two lights should be different to ensure that the image does not become flat.

Related Post: Great Outdoor Photoshoot Ideas for Models (10 Locations)

The zoom lens will come in handy as you zoom in slightly while shooting in portrait mode thereby just missing the two lights in the frame.

Raising the light about 3 -4 inches above the camera view and at an angle of about 35 ˚ from camera view will lead to a bigger coverage area. This is because the light now comes down from an angle instead of going straight on.

At the same time, there will be some dramatic light fall off as the light has to travel a much larger distance from the head towards the feet. Have a second light set-up on the floor, which will fill in the shadows towards the lower part of the body.

If you don’t have the second light then use a reflector to throw some light back to the subject as the key light fires.Neewer 43 Inch/110 Centimeter Light Reflector 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc with Bag…5 in 1 Light Reflector; cheap 5 in 1 multi photo reflector disc 43″ / 110CM; quality Multi Disc Light Reflector

Related Post: How to Shoot Portraits Indoor (without a flash)

Lighting for Outdoor Full Body Portraits

I would recommend mixing artificial lights with ambient light when shooting outdoors.

Use the ambient light to expose for the background and then use the artificial light to light your model. The artificial light should be set-up at least a stop higher than the ambient light.

With a strip box or a large octa softbox, you have an incredible amount of light to play around with.HPUSN Softbox Lighting Kit Professional Studio Photography Equipment Continuous…

The sun is the biggest source of light that we have. Unfortunately, however, it is not a soft light. It is one of the harshest light sources you can shoot under, except at certain times of the day. These are during dawn and the dusk.

For most other times, shooting under the sun means contrasty images with deep shadows and ‘raccoon eyes’.

Not exactly the best example of great lighting. Look for shade when you are shooting under the sun.

better full-body portrait photos

Trees produce dappled shade. It is not the best but isn’t as bad as shooting under direct sunlight.

You can get better results when you shoot under the shade of a building or a rain shed if nothing is available to hold a reflector over the head of your model.

I always consider reflectors as extremely versatile pieces of photography tools. Diffusion panels also work great, but they are more difficult to pack and carry.

how to take full body pictures of yourself


AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.×280&!4&fsb=1&xpc=2te2XkO5bA&p=https%3A//

It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.


LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.


Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.


Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.


DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.!5&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=p0yyaT31EI&p=https%3A//

The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.


Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.


BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.


ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.


Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.


Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon


AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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