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Posing for Photos as a Woman

| Dec 30, 2013
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Elegant with shoulders back

Elegant with shoulders back

Leah Valdez has been doing amateur modeling and she has some ideas and experience about the art of posing as a woman that she is sharing with TGF readers so you can have a successful photo sho0t.

The first and most important point about posing for photos as a woman is that you have to be comfortable doing what you are doing, be at ease with the idea of being a woman — or pretending to be one. If you want to be seen as a guy in women’s clothing (because you can’t let go to your maleness) this article is not for you. I am not implying that you have to transition into being female at all, just have enough confidence in yourself to let your female side express itself, something that is very hard for some folks to do.

The second thing is to learn to embrace the flaws of your face and body and turn them into a focal point — the more natural you appear in the photo the more attention you will bring to the viewer as well as being interesting to others. As they say: “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” I get surprised at the array of “likes” some of my pictures get on social media. Often a photo that I consider just okay is liked more by others, and some that I like get no feedback at all.

Third — you have to convey your emotions in the photo, so the viewer will relate to them. Like it or dislike it, or be neutral about it, but no one is going to pay attention to a photo that has a blank, unemotional facial expression. It can be seducing, daring, submissive, dominatie, simple happiness, puzzled, intrigued, angelical, devilish, etc.; the point is that you can’t have the same emotion in each photo. It also reveals when you are faking it because most likely it will come through in the photo and the viewer will get a bad impression. It helps to practice at least one hour a day in front of a mirror to get more comfortable expressing emotion.

Fourth — have fun doing it otherwise it’s not worth it! Believe me you will convey that loud and clear in your photos!

Lastly, it’s important to have different “looks” — not to look the same all the time. By that I mean the clothing for each photo shoot should always be carefully chosen. You must have a vision in your mind of how you want to look, or what you want to say with the clothes you are wearing. They don’t have to be expensive but they should make a statement. I have a natural flamboyant taste, but that is not for everybody.

I don’t subscribe to the notion that a transgender woman shouldn’t be interested in makeup or that it’s too mundane for the “real” transgendered to bother with — or that it’s only for crossdressers. I understand the views of Transcending Trans-women, but I am a pragmatic and I take the world as it is.

Prepping for the Shoot

The night prior to a photo shoot I get a good night’s sleep. I begin with a good exfoliation of the skin with a skin peel before a shower, to get rid of dead skin so the makeup will look crisp and not dull. This is followed by a good prep of my skin using vitamin C serum and essential oils and nutrients. Some people use toners. Once this is set I put a generous layer of makeup primer to smooth out the skin imperfections and blemishes; the same way a painter applies spackle to a wall before it is painted. I have noticed that it is essential to be well hydrated, so I drink plenty of fluids while I put my makeup on.I am not going to describe how I apply my make up because that not the object of this article. Suffice it to say that everybody has their own routine and there many ways to skin a cat, so to speak. I follow a technique that I have developed over the last eight years watching a lot of YouTube videos of drag artists as well as genetic women. In the end, my philosophy is simple: bring attention to your hair, eyes and lips and that’s it!

On Camera

Note the hands: posed to minimize size.

Note the hands: posed to minimize size.

When you are in front of a camera pretend it’s a friend instead of an object that scares you. If you think that you have something unique or positive assets bring them to your posing. Your smile, your eyes, a gap in your teeth, etc. can all be used positively. We all are attracted to people who look happy one way or another, and we turn away from people who look miserable about themselves.It helps not to look at the camera straight on all the time unless you want to bring or say something with your eyes, like being happy, sexy, daring or sensual.Learn how to portray a vulnerable and soft side of yourself instead of “macho” guy — so it’s of paramount importance to create angles with your body — like placing one leg in front of the other, putting your weight on one leg, or learning how to bend inward on one knee or bring outward one of your hips to give the illusion of a curvaceous body.Avoid keeping your arms straight; always bend them at the elbows or be doing something with them like touching your hair or the side of your face with one hand. Please don’t have your arms glued to your body!Position your body by bringing your shoulders back in a comfortable way so you won’t be in the picture with straight shoulders and lean towards the camera instead of away from it.

We naturally have larger hands than women do, so I show no more than four fingers when my arms are in front of my body to give the illusion of a smaller hand.

I have neck creases, so I try to turn my head to one side or the other, or look over the shoulder so they don’t appear in the picture.

IMG_5095One thing that helps is to not separate your legs, bring them together. If you choose to keep them apart bring one or both arms in between them; if you are sitting and cross your legs lean your weight forward using one arm.

Some of us have a “full figure” so it doesn’t help to use your whole frame in the picture.

Special Effects

Lastly there are what I call the “special effects,” like touching the side of your leg or your heel while sitting, go on tip toe with one leg or bring drama by bringing one arm above the head or doing the classy Marylyn Monroe pose — blowing a sensual kiss to the camera.

I hope you find these points helpful, at the end it’s good to develop new poses all the time so you don’t look the same in every photo. When I am in a photo shoot I keep moving through different poses from one to the other, some work — some don’t. C’est la vie.


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Category: Transgender How To, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am a Latin androgynous gal. My career has been in medicine. English is not my mother language. I have been active in the transgender lifestyle for the last eight years. My interests are writing about daily events in the life of transgenders. I leave the esoteric discussions to others, lol.

Comments (4)

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  1. leah leah says:

    Linda, I shop in different places including EBay, my favorite place is Loehmann’s. I put together an outfit around something that I fall in live with, even a pair of shoes, lol.
    Thank you Veronica for your sweet comments, you are a darling!
    Michelle, you are very kind, thanks for your comments

  2. Leah, you are always so beautiful! How many times do you see girls forget to SMILE? Your smile is a signature! Being so tall, I have found that I must slant the shoulders away from the camera to give my upper body some proportion.

    Take care!


    Washington, DC

  3. you are amazing in you8r beauty and your insights and advice are spectacular and well so helpful to me and I am sure to many class is personified by you at all levels hugs veronica black happy new year

  4. Linda Jensen Linda Jensen says:

    I LOVE the confidence and the openness those poses imply! And where did she get the beautiful dresses?

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