May 19, 2021

Height Differences: How to Visually Minimise Through Posing

Before we met up for this session Q and T (who are in fact real cuties… get it?) at Mount Tam, they sent me a message that they called a warning. They wanted to let me know that they have 15 inches separating them in height. And more specifically, this warning came with the request of having some photos that visually minimised that difference.

Which… if you’re in a relationship that has this dynamic or are a photographer with a session like this on the horizon – you know this can be a challenge. But never fear… here are a few tips.

1. Use your landscape to your advantage. Look for logs or rocks that the shorter partner can stand or sit on. Place your couple on a slope where the taller can stand downhill.

2. Squats, squats, squats (sing this to the rhythm of the shots song please). This type of posing will require more creative composition and framing (we gotta crop out those squatty legs) – but when done correctly can imitate photos of similarly heighted couples standing and hugging.

3. Get low. Whether this means lay down, sit down, kneel… one of the best ways to reduce a height difference is by taking the taller partner out at the knees. For couple like QT who have an especially dramatic gap, sitting on their lap is extra amazing because it brings their faces even closer. I am also SUCH a huge fan of photos of couples laying from above – they’re so dang intimate and cute.

4. Focus on close up portraits, rather than wide landscape shots. When you centre on the face you are drawing viewer’s attention to all that love and intimacy, rather than their gap.

5. Lifts! Bridal carries and piggyback rides are both fun and playful, and can allow you to step back for more full body shots. This will help add some more diversity to the gallery, while still minimising the height difference!

But please-oh-please (I beg you) – do capture some photos that show and embrace that height difference too. One of my favourite things about portrait photographing is the incredible honour that it is to capture people (and relationships) exactly as they are.

On this note – for my photographer pals: do be sure to ask your couple if they are wanting you to photograph them in a way that minimises their height difference. As it isn’t something everyone will want! And so we shouldn’t project or assume anything.

Height differences are magical, and so are all of you.

SHARE THIS STORY