It’s time for another posing post! The last!
For this last post , I wanted to focus on how posing guidelines differ from style to style—because you wouldn’t want to pose the same way for h.Naoto as you would for Angelic Pretty (or would you???).
Posing guidelines will be relatively the same across the board as many of them are the basics of posing. However, when you want to be a bit more creative, it’s good to keep the style you’re wearing in mind. This should come across more naturally since, as humans, clothing affects our moods so much! Still, I wanted to highlight a few good examples just to show how posing can differ from style to style.
Posing in sweet lolita has a lot to do with happiness and energy! There’s no way you could look down about life while wearing cupcakes and candy….right?
Sweet lolitas wear sweet because it makes them happy (hopefully). This is one style where you should definitely let that happiness shine through! There can be a lot of details in sweet coordinates, so make sure you pose in a way that helps you highlight those, or alternatively take a few detail shots. Keep your hands and wrists relaxed and think vacationing-on-a-marshmallow-beach thoughts!
Personally, I love posing my models pigeon toed while they’re in sweet styles. It helps bring out the happiness and innocence of the style and helps the mood be just a little bit lighter overall.
Because of its light mood and popularity, sweet lolita can be posed very casually. You can even simply stand there, smile, and lift your skirt just slightly to show off the print! Typical ootd shots work well for this style too. Just remember to ooze happiness!
Consider this a more moody version of classic posing. In gothic posing, I really like to match the poses to the theme of the print or common motif—whether that’s vampires, churches, crosses, or whatever else! Catherine in the photo below has quite a few crosses on her—and even a halo crown to match the old Christian art—so I figured praying in front of a church door was a good starting point. Again, we made sure that the details of her coordinate (the pearl bracelets, the crown, and the bag) were prominent in the pose.
If your coord has a vampiric theme, definitely consider posing like one! You can get some unique shots that way. Simply standing and posing like you’re in sweet lolita doesn’t really match this style, in my opinion. Brooding poses are better, and in this case it’s very similar to EGA or visual kei.
Posing for classic lolita is pretty much in between gothic and sweet style posing. Depending on your coord, you might lean one way or another, but generally I really like to see poses more on the gothic side. The muted colors and prints of classic really go a long way to tone down the overexcited happiness of sweet.
One of my favorite ways to shoot classic is in monotone. Take these photos that I took for Kuroshiro Kawaii’s recent photoshoot to display Metamorphose temps de Fille’s Holiness Cameo set in ivory. I loved shooting Katie with a more monotonous background and toned down, serious poses to match what you might see with brand photography on taobao. Personally, I think that brand photographers on taobao are really underrated, and many taobao brands create actual art with their product photography. Some of it takes my breath away.
I’ve always been a sucker for this style of photography, and therefore the serious poses that go along with it, but Shiro (Katie’s character and one of the Kuroshiro Kawaii mascots) is a very outgoing and goofy person—something that needed to come across in the photography as well. In addition to the serious, majestic “gothic-style” photos, we also took a lot of photos with goofier and more outstanding poses that might have suited a sweet coordinate better. With her coordinate, I did think that the more outgoing poses felt slightly out of place; however as with everything else in art and fashion, the rules are only guidelines. Why not play around with the contrast a bit?
There are as many different ouji posing guidelines as there are ouji styles. In general, you will want to follow the Masculine posing guide I’ve posted earlier. Keep your lines straight, lean on things, and take up space! Whether you’re in a sweeter or more gothic style, you can follow the suggestions for lolita, just make sure to follow the masculine posing guidelines when you do.
Age also plays another role, unlike lolita. I don’t mean your age, but the age of the coordinate. This is more of a personal distinction since I find myself very uncomfortable in “younger” ouji (shorter shorts, brighter colors, etc) but I’m alright in “older” ouji. I’ve talked to several people about this kind of disctinction, and most people said that they knew what I meant but had never thought of it that way before. So, I’ll break it down a bit below by telling you the personas I associate with the two styles.
Young: shorter shorts, shorter shoes (ie not boots), short sleeves, vests, mini hats, bow ties, ribbons, and lace. Channel the energy of a young, excited little prince. I imagine younger ouji excited to go out on the town, very extroverted, goofy, carefree, etc. If this is the kind of person you are, definitely show it, since it works with that style very well. To me, this kid would get along great with a sweet lolita—but keep an eye on them because they are bound to cause all kinds of mischief.
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Sailor coord from this past weekend! ⛵ I really like cute sailor stuff, even though it's a bit different than my usual style. I tried to incorporate a bit of a punk vibe into this one, since the sweater is from Putumayo. Are there any fashions styles you like that are really different from your normal style? . . . . . . #sailorlolita #sailorstyle #tokyostyle #altstyle #oujifashion #harajukufashion #alternativeboy #ouji #alternativefashion #eglcommunity #jfashion #boystyle #japanesestreetfashion #lolitafashion #eglcommunity #putumayo #demoniashoes #punklolita
Old: Longer shorts or pants, boots, long sleeves, jackets, top hats, tricorns, jabot, and clean, no-frill lines. This is young ouji’s taller, more experienced, bored older brother. He’s outgrown those short shorts and has to look a bit more professional and fancy since he’s of age for the crown. He’s more reserved and more well-behaved, if not an introvert. Traditional ouji and aristocrat posing works well for this dude, and he’s likely to have a gothic or classic lolita on his arm. He teeters somewhere between ouji and EGA.
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Adding or removing a jacket/coat can really change the overall look of an ouji coord! Here's an example with a coord I wore a while back. Keeping this in mind will allow you to create more versatile coordinates and get the most out of your jackets and coats! 🖤 . . . . . . #androgynousstyle #harajukufashion #oujistyle #lolitacommunity #androgynous #lolita_fashion #lolitastyle #egl #altstyle #lolitacommunity #ouji #jfashion #eglcommunity #aliceandthepirates #angelicpretty #atelierboz #lolitacoord #piratelolita #ロリータ服
Drama! Drama! Gothic! Drama!
The most important thing you can remember for this style and visual kei is drama—especially in your eyes. Don’t be afraid to flash a very serious, dramatic pose that will make nonJ-fashion people cower in their boots! Flex your hands like claws, scream, take a wide stance. Even if you decide to just stand there, keep that same wild, crazy energy in your eyes and demand to be seen. If you’re in EGA, chances are you don’t want to blend in to the background.
The term EGA was coined by Mana (hail Mana-sama) and is often used by Moi-même-Moitié to describe their own pieces. Because of this, it’s pretty easy to find examples of great Aristocratic posing in Mana-sama himself.
Visual kei posing is very similar to EGA posing in terms of energy. Just remember where vkei has its home—the music! Watch any vkei music video and you’ll get an idea of the kinds of poses and moods I’m looking for here. Don’t be afraid to be dramatic, because that’s the whole point! Feel inspired by a vampire, a ghoul, a mummy, bleeding roses, or other macabre imagery and, if you can, try to match your pose a bit to the theme of your coordinate. I lean strongly toward “gothic vampire king/demon” type styles, and luckily that’s a fairly easy thing to bounce ideas off of to make poses from.
Vkei is very drapy and has a lot of details, whether those details are in accessories, bright colors, or monotone textures. Try to pose in a way that will highlight those details and show off those parts of your coordinate that might otherwise be hidden. Don’t forget the makeup, hair, and contacts!
The best two words I can use to describe larme posing are “whimsical and cute.” Poses tend to portray models as younger women, even if they’re a bit older. The result is very striking and attention-grabbing. When I see these kinds of poses, the first thing that my brain goes to is seeing tweens at a slumber party, heading to school, or going out for a sweet Sunday picnic with cherry blossoms and strawberries.
Mori is all about nature and drawing inspiration from it. The best word that I can use to describe mori kei poses is “serene,” with an emphasis on simplicity.
I love mori kei, and it makes me very sad to hear that it’s dying. I would love to come up with a masculine mori coordinate soon!
The coord below counts is a bit more cult party kei than mori, however the poses would be great for the mori too!
Decora is a very hyper-energetic style. It’s fun and happy 98% of the time, depending on the person of course, and there’s a lot of elements to deal with. In addition to showing off your favorite pieces of your coord, you can definitely interact with pieces too! If you have a camera around your neck, why not take a photo of the photographer? A ton of stuffed animals? Treat one like your baby.
Decora is one of the most fun styles to pose. The possibilities are truly endless with this style, and if you’re stuck you can always remember to interact somehow with a part of your coordinate—or just make a silly face.
For menhera, or yami kawaii, posing is similar to decora but with a darker approach. These styles focus on making mental health, trauma, etc more mainstream in an attempt to accept them. As you can imagine, this results in quite an accepting community—those who know what others are going through banding together and encouraging each other.
Unlike decora, the imagery here can be pretty dark: pills, blood, syringes—pretty much nothing is off limits. To make a yami kawaii coord look as yami kawaii as possible, I would suggest highlighting parts of your coordinate that are important to you. For example, I take an injection once a week. If I chose to wear this fashion, I would likely have syringes and needles as a major theme in my coordinates. Since that is what makes my coordinate unique to me, I might choose to highlight those details in a photoshoot or fashion show, similar to the below.
Thinking of poses that work with your themes can take you a long way in this style—and the reverse is also true. Coming up with poses is much easier when you have a theme to work with!
Shironuri in general is a lot more like assuming a persona based on the thing you’ve been inspired by—typically some form of nature. Just like the name says, Shironuri involves a stark white face, and any other rules are bendable!
A great example of Shironuri is Minori. She is the most well-known Shironuri artist out there, and she takes most of her inspiration from nature, makes her own clothing, and then poses for photos to help complete her character. Her coords and poses are made to make her not only the focus of the image, but to fade into the background and make the viewer more aware of the surroundings themselves. I don’t want to post her stuff directly on this blog post, so I’ll just drop a link and an example:
In contrast, here’s an example of two extremes that Shironuri can take.
Thanks for reading my (longer than expected) posing series! I hope it was able to help you at least a little bit.
I will be posing an index of all of these posts so they are easier to find, so if you’re interested in going back and reading up on some older posts, keep an eye out.
Until next time!!
Kal from Lightningsavage Photography specializes in creative portrait photography for J-Fashion enthusiasts and more. He has served as the J-Fashion event photographer for Oni-Con 2016–2020, as well as fashion shows, meetups, and personal shoots. He is also a co-owner of Kuroshiro Kawaii. You can follow him on Instagram at @lightningsavage_photography and @kaldec_
He is currently into visual kei and EGA fashions.
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