Guest Blogger: Stephanie Rogers
We are Bradley and Stephanie Rogers, a husband and wife photography team located in Houston Texas. We primarily photograph weddings, portraits, and seniors with an artistic and editorial flair. Posing was a really tough subject for us when we first started. Typically we would have thought of ideas and felt energized before the shoot, and then we would get there and freeze up. So, if you’re nervous about explaining how to pose to your clients, we’ve felt your pain. It’s taken us years to get where we are now and we still have more to learn. We hope this article will help develop the skills you need to take your photography to the next level.
#1 Here we had the model sit down and lean back a little to give her body some shape. When having your client lean back, be sure to take note of the support arm. In this image, we decided that having her bend the arm she is leaning on provided a more relaxed pose. We also had her bring up her left arm so that her hand could be rested on her shoulder. Fingers can make or break an image; it’s really easy to not pay attention and accidentally have them look claw-like. Telling the model that you want “ballet hands” has worked very well for us, as it helps them to relax their hands and keep their fingers looking natural. We had her look off towards the primary light source and directed her eyes to a specified reference point. It’s important to make sure that the subject isn’t looking so far off that you only see the whites in their eyes or they look cross-eyed.
#2 Sitting poses that are shot straight on can easily be too boxy or boring. Creating dimension within a pose will make it more interesting. We had her bring her left knee higher than the right and turn the right knee inwards. This provides forward depth to the image and keeps her legs from blocking too much of her body. Her hair was brought to one side of her face and was evened out on the right side of the image by having her bring her hand up softly under her jawline while her other hand is sitting relaxed (again, pay attention to the fingers.) Her eyes are directed off to the side and her mouth is slightly open to create a non-nonchalant appearance and also to bring out her beautiful cheek bones.
#3 The primary purpose of a pose isn’t always about the beauty of the model. As a photographer you have to be creative with your posing to elicit the desired mood or emotion. In this image we wanted to capture the inner strength and determination of the model. She’s a runner, not a body builder, so bringing attention to her physique would not necessarily accomplish our goal. We had her pose in the starting position, with her body angled towards the ground and her chin lifted with only her eyes pointed towards the camera, implying that she is about to charge straight ahead. Looking up from this position may cause the model to naturally raise her eyebrows which forms lines on her forehead. Make sure to keep the camera high enough to create this dramatic stare, but not high enough to where she has to raise her eyebrows.
Ultimately, the best lessons you’ll learn about posing comes from trial and error. Reading will only get you so far, so be shooting as much and as often as possible.
Be sure to look at this article on posing GUYS! FREE Senior Guys Posing Guide and Tips