You can do the same thing. For example, in this portrait of a Buddhist monk in Burma, I asked the young boy (through an interpreter) to look out of the doorway as if he were looking for a friend. I closed the right-hand door to show the carving, and then I spread the boy's fingers and told him where to place his foot. In this way, I was a director and I was therefore able to capture exactly what I wanted.
In most cases, the people you photograph don't know how to pose well, they have no idea what you see in your mind's eye, and they are not aware of light as it pertains to good picture taking. This is where you, as the director, have to take the lead and direct your subjects so you get the best shots -- all the while being as sensitive as possible to the culture and to your subject.
More on Jim ZuckermanBetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman is a top pro who teaches a number of interactive online courses, including: Low Light Photography, Perfect Digital Exposure, Techniques of Natural Light Photography, Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography, and Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision.
Also, Jim Z is one of the contributing photographers to Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager's how-to books: The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light and The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography.
Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.