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Photography Question 
Kate L. Herron
 

posing people


i am entering my second year of study for photography and my sister wants me to take some shots of her at the beach in addition to her senior portraits that are being taken professionally. I feel confident and have worked with her as a model before, but don't want the poses looking awkward or too "homemade."
Do poses just happen? can you give me some ideas to work with? HELP!!!


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6/27/2002 6:31:49 PM

 
Jeff S. Kennedy   Posing is one of the most difficult aspects of portrait photography (at least for me and most of the people I know). The key is to get natural looking positions but at the same time create pleasing lines, shapes, as well as flattering the model. Things to look for are to avoid straight on poses (these are all general guidelines and sometimes just the opposite is true). Look for S shapes and triangles formed. Try to eliminate bends in arms and legs that are too severe. Eyes are drawn to 90deg angles so keep bends gradual. Experiment with higher and lower camera angles. Straight arms and legs look boring too so try to introduce bends into them.

That's a start. Lets hear from some other people and see what tips they have.


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6/27/2002 11:57:26 PM

 
Tom Darmody   Two things you should do:

1. Get a copy of Outdoor Portraiture, by William Mortensen. It's an old book, so ignore the processing finishing techniques disscussed.

2. Go to the mall/beach/park watch people with a "critical eye," see how they sit/stand. Bring a sketch book/notepad draw stick figures of natural looking poses that appeal to you.

I agree with Jeff, "S" shapes work very well and give a natural feel to the photograph. Pick up a some coppies of Vouge, Elle, Marie Claire, In Style, W, Cosmo--pay close attention to the position of the of the model's chin, hands, and feet in relation to the trunk.

One last note, a very important issue, is the comfort of the model during the shoot. A pissed off model doesn't make for good photos.


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6/28/2002 7:44:07 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb  
 
 
Posing it the MOST difficult part of portrait photography!!! I have Taught for Olan Mills for 7 years, and I can assure you that once you get it-YOu will love it- helping to bring out the beauty in some one is great-I have pictures from people I don't remember in my office but the pose caught them that day in a perfect way- Please check out mine and other photographers web sites-this is the best way to learn.
and Steal- from web sites and magizines ect-this is a great comliment to other photographers.
AND PRACTICE_PRACTICE_PRACITCE!!!-make your sister sick of you!!!
This is your art-it takes really looking at what you are about to create-from your eyes to the camera-fix every detail.
I have had so many people contact me from this site about posing that I created a CD of all the things I used to teach.Most of us who enjoy working with people really do want the Very Best we can create.
Best of luck to you, debby Tabb
www.tabb photography.com


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11/5/2004 9:09:54 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb   Posing it the MOST difficult part of portrait photography!!! I have Taught for Olan Mills for 7 years, and I can assure you that once you get it-YOu will love it- helping to bring out the beauty in some one is great-I have pictures from people I don't remember in my office but the pose caught them that day in a perfect way- Please check out mine and other photographers web sites-this is the best way to learn.
and Steal- from web sites and magizines ect-this is a great comliment to other photographers.
AND PRACTICE_PRACTICE_PRACITCE!!!-make your sister sick of you!!!
This is your art-it takes really looking at what you are about to create-from your eyes to the camera-fix every detail.
I have had so many people contact me from this site about posing that I created a CD of all the things I used to teach.Most of us who enjoy working with people really do want the Very Best we can create.
Best of luck to you, debby Tabb
www.tabb photography.com


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11/5/2004 11:29:56 AM

 
Shauna Linde
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/10/2004
  Looks like you are getting some good advice here Kate! I will offer my input as well. First off- shooting at the beach is a GREAT location where you can use the background in all sorts of fun ways! If there is any grassy or rocky areas in the vacinity- be sure to use those as a natural background. If there happens to be any large rock formations nearby, have her lean slighty against one to get the texture and color of the rock into the picture. Use a grassy area (like an area that may have sand and some tall grass together) as another nice background. If you're sister enjoys being in front of the camera, encourage her to just do "whatever". By that I mean, have her just walk along and observe the area- check out the scenery, draw in the sand, play in the water a bit. If she enjoys doing this you may get some really great candid shots. I have a friend who comes alive in front of the camera and all of my best pictures of her are things she was just DOING and I happened to snap a picture to capture it.
I'm guessing she wants to be fully clothed in her picture (rather than in a bathing suit), but if she is able and willing to do some shots in the swim suit, it allows you to get some really great shots of the water.
I once took an amazing picture of my girlfriend actually sitting in the ocean with the water swirling around her just enough to cover some of her legs. I used a fast shutter speed to stop the motion of the water and shot looking down almost over the top of her with her looking up at me- it's so great because her eyes match almost perfectly the blue of the ocean. It's priceless....

But do look at some portrait photography books. They will give you lots of good ideas to start with and work from.

Good luck and have fun!


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11/5/2004 7:06:32 PM

 
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