Learning to pose effectively is a process of learning and adapting the human body to develop the best possible position for the unique look of each person.  The best poses build from a basic structure or idea to make the person look their best as well as fill the composition with the lines and shapes that please the eye.

Variations is a process that we use to show or demonstrate posing ideas to our clients to allow them to select the pose that they like best.  I use variations as a way to involve the client and get their input into the creation of the images.  I also use Variations of a way of learning and creating new posing from similar poses that we already use.  The idea is that we demonstrate each pose for each client, meaning I go through a series of poses that will look good for the client’s body size, clothing and overall look.  I then have the client attempt to do the pose themselves.  Most of the time they don’t get the pose completely right, however many times these near misses turn into to excellent posing ideas that we use and use again in other people’s sessions.

To remember these new poses, we add them to the sample books that new clients look at before they start their sessions. They select the ideas that most impress them.  My assistants then writes the ideas down and I use that as a guide or starting place to pose the client as well as background and set selections.  Learning posing is more about remembering posing ideas that will work for a certain body types and style of portrait than it is coming up with new posing.

Whether learning posing ideas from a book, DVD or magazine you have to get the new posing ideas down, adapt them to work with your clients, then remember then for the next session.  When I learn new posing ideas, I set up sample sessions to “work them out” on non-paying clients.  I take the variations of the pose and select the very best ideas in put those into the sample books.  Some photographers don’t want to have clients select their own ideas, for these photographers, they would take these new posing ideas and keep a posing album or book that they can frequently look through to refresh their memory.

You will find that many clients simply can’t do a certain pose or won’t look comfortable in it.  When this happens, you must quickly and effortlessly help them into another pose or variation to the existing pose without struggling to properly direct them.  Saying, “um….lets see…what should we do?” doesn’t instill confidence in your client and says little for you skill as a professional photographer!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on January 9, 2011.

One Response to “VARIATIONS….A Process of POSING”

  1. Thanks Jeff,
    more great advice from the Master! lol
    Christopher in Brasil

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