Tall Fashion How Tos: Posing with a Shorter Man

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise at the Academy Awards in 2000.
Getty Images / Dan Callister

All tall women have been there — that moment when it's time to pose for a standing picture, and you're clearly taller than the man you're posing with for the snapshot. There's an uncomfortable moment when you try to decide whether to bend your knees and crouch awkwardly next to him...No, that won't do. Or maybe you can tip forward at the waist, sticking your butt out behind you so your face will be at his level. That won't work either — both of you will end up feeling bad.

First off: Don't do either of those things unless, of course, you're posing for casual pictures with a group of good friends and no one minds.

Like any other skill, learning to pose for pictures with a shorter man (or woman!) will take a little practice. The important thing to remember is that you should never feel ashamed of your height, no matter whom you're posing beside. When you pose with someone shorter than you, it's never about trying to look like you're their height; rather, it's about making you both look and feel great about the pic.

Consider the Following Tips

  1. Turn inward. You want to exude confidence in your picture without looking like you're trying to dominate the frame. By angling your shoulders slightly inward toward the other person, you'll give the impression of familiarity and acceptance. Try to adjust your frame so your inside shoulder is behind the other person's shoulder. This will help with dimension and depth perception.
  2. Shift your weight. Place your inside leg slightly behind your other leg and shift your weight to your inside leg, flexing your knees in the process. This slight shift will pull your body away from the camera and "behind" the other person. The farther away a person appears, the "shorter" they appear.
  3. Lean backward. Since your knees are slightly flexed, angle your body slightly backward. This is not a drastic lean, just a slight tilt.
  4. Keep your shoulders back and proud. A woman who stands with her shoulders back looks confident and sexy, so make sure you avoid hunching your shoulders forward in an attempt to diminish your height.
  5. Tilt your chin down slightly. Look straight into the camera and ever so slightly tilt your chin down. Not only will this help "mold" you into a better picture with your counterpart, it also helps focus the camera on your cheekbones, making your face look thinner.

One last tip: If you're very familiar with the other person, try turning your body toward him even more. You can play with hand placement based on what's appropriate for your relationship. If you're just meeting someone for the first time, simply allow your hands to remain at your sides or rest one hand on your outer hip.

Updated by Taylor Davies