Posing is an Art and a Science

When we start into photography we learn how to pose the body for artistic appeal (the overall feelings from the predominate lines, the tilt of the head, the placement of the center of the eye, etc.).  As we learn posing for clients, we learn that posing has to be more than artistic, is has to provide our client with a view of herself that her ego can handle to have a portrait the client will buy.  Lighting took me about 5 years to become very proficient at, posing on the other hand, I will let you know when my training is complete.

To pose the human form is the greatest challenge to the photographer, but because it is hard it the one of the main things that separate professionals from the untrained masses in our profession.   Some professional photographers have quit posing in an attempt to be “edgy”.  This is a great idea if you want to create work that looks like the untrained masses!

We work with seniors, which means more fashion posing, which is posed but it is more free-form and fluid.  This type of posing can be a challenge to incorporate, but as a professional, I not only have the pose the body to make it look interesting and help frame the composition, but to also make the client look their best, which typically means hiding the neck area, thinning the waistline, hips and thighs, making the legs look tone, the feet look small (at least for a majority of ladies), the hands look elegant, with the fingers neither too long nor too short.  For many clients the face must appear thinner, the hair vibrant and shiny (with no areas of scalp showing through the hair, yes even women are experiencing baldness now days!) and position the eyes to create impact and make them the focal point of the portrait.  That’s All you need to accomplish in your posing.

I have written many books on posing and the easiest way to pose your client to make her look elegant (yet hide the flaws) is learning how to pose each part of the body to look it best.  Posing is building process.  Start with the core of the body, which is the waistline for most portraits and the hips for a full length pose.  Pose this area first, as the base to the pose, then build the pose part by part until you have posed every area of the body and face.  This sound like a long process, but only while you are learning to pose in this way.  Once you learn how to use corrective posing, it is just the you learn to work when posing your client.  You mind quickly scans every area of the client.  For male photographers this seems hard, because women worry about everything in their appearance.  While this is true, the also worry about the same things (hips and thighs, waistline, upper arms, hair on forearms, thickness of face, double chins, feet and hands), pretty much everything from the top of the head down!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on March 7, 2010.

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