Use This ‘Hold Your Sub’ Trick for Slimmer Portraits

New York portrait photographer Peter Hurley is back again with yet another pro portrait trick he uses for shooting better headshots of people. This one is called “Hold Your Sub,” and it lets you shave 10 pounds off your subject with a super simple move of their arms.

A common place people put their hands while posing is on their hips. This is a terrible place for hands, Hurley says, as it “makes you look 3 times wider than you actually are” by stretching out your shoulders and arms. The solution is to have the subject hold their elbows close while swinging their hands out to the sides, as if they’re holding a giant sub sandwich.


The result is an instant slimming of the body on camera, even compared to holding the arms straight down the sides of the body.

A comparison between placing hands on the hips (left) and "holding your sub" (right).
A comparison between placing hands on the hips (left) and “holding your sub” (right).

This is the third portrait tip released by Hurley over the past few years. The first was how to accentuate your jawline by bringing the head forward, and the second was about “squinching” the eyes to be more photogenic.

Check out and subscribe to Hurley’s YouTube channel if you’d like to see more of his tips and behind-the-scenes videos.