There are essentially four approaches that can be taken in photographic portraiture — the constructionist, environmental, candid, and creative approach.
Each has been used over time for different reasons be they technical, artistic or cultural. The constructionist approach is when the photographer in their portraiture constructs an idea around the portrait — happy family, romantic couple, trustworthy executive. It is the approach used in most studio and social photography. Shooting Full Body Portraits: Full body portraits involve a lot more work than when you are photographing just the head and the shoulders. Why? 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.
Posing: 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. 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. It has been 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. 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.