by Lora Swinson
Posing your subject is an important element in photography. There is a lot to learn when it comes to posing but I have four quick and simple tips for you!
Take That Second Glance:
When you are in the middle of a session, things can get hectic pretty quickly. When it comes to posing, one of the biggest traits you can pick up as a photographer is to take 2 seconds and double check your pose. Where are your subject’s hands placed? Are there any spaces that are too large? Are your subjects connected to one another somehow?
Watch for floating hands, this happens most often when you have a subject with their arm around someone else. Their hand instinctively goes to the other person’s shoulder, which creates the random hand that the viewer may not know who it belongs to. Hands can tell such incredible stories. Yes, it sounds silly, but it is true. The wife’s hand placed lightly on her husbands neck shows romance and love. An older brother holding his little sister’s hand portrays a protector. Keep this in mind when taking your second glance. Do your subject’s hands tell a story or are they hanging loosely by their side with no purpose?
I always tell my clients, “What feels like being already too close to the person next to you, can shoot very large in the camera. The closer you are, the better!” Being vocal about the importance of this with your clients will just make your job easier. Your subject’s are more than likely going to feel a little uncomfortable in front of the camera and any verbal directions we can give them, will make them feel more confident and knowledgeable.
Making The Connection:
This goes back to both hand placement and the spacing of your clients. While knowing the traditional ‘rules’ of posing, we also want to break them. When I have my clients posed in a very traditional pose that may feel stiff to some, I ask them to take a deep breath, relax and then I shoot. Next, I want to show their connection. By setting them up in a strong pose, I know can ask them to interact with one another and get a more relaxed image that shows more of their connection as a unit. Asking the sisters to tell each other a secret, or blurting out that Dad just tooted usually relaxes them and gets lots of giggles for more candid, but still strongly posed image.
Thank you for the fantastic tips, Lora!
Would you like to learn more about posing your subject from Lora? Her workshop, Posed for Success, begins July 15th and there are still a few seats left. You can sign up here while seats are still available!
Lora Swinson, Colorado
CM Mentor | CMU Instructor
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Happy wife and mother of two young boys, Lora enjoys life in the quiet state of Colorado. As a sophomore in high school, she began her photography journey with a roll of film and a darkroom. Her style has evolved over the years into the natural, timeless, and heartfelt photography that it is today. She is a Canon girl at heart shooting with a 5d mark II and both 50mm and 135mm lenses and loves to help others learn which she does in her Shooting 101: Posed For Success workshop. And although she proclaims to spending her days off as being lazy, Lora loves crossfit and running. Reading, music, and coffee are among some of her other favorite things.