I think Posing is the last step in truly mastering photographic skill for a portrait photographer.  A skill that many photographers just never get around to learning.  I look at some portraits and the photographer that created them truly, “Can’t Pose For Shit”.  Professional Photography is the one few professions that if you don’t want to learn something that is vital in creating professional quality portraits for your clients, its OK, its accepted.  The collective thinking seems to be that the market will weed out these photographers and quit doing business them.  How many photographers can the market weed out before the buying public thinks we are a bunch of buffoons?   During parties and other social situations its fun listening to guests talk, especially when they talk about your profession and don’t realize you are in it.  When you hear people talk about photographers you hear about the idiot that photos look like snapshots, the man or woman who screwed up the wedding and yes very rarely, you hear about the photographer that created beautiful portraits that the guest at the social event was happy with.  I said all that to say this, if you know how to light a portrait, you know how to control the composition and camera angles, but You can’t pose for shit, LEARN!  Quit relying on candid moments (for what are supposed to be posed portraits) and the clients ability to pose themselves.

Posing requires you to know how to pose each and every part of the body, then bring each part together as a whole.  You are in control of everything from the hair and eyes down to the appearance of the size of feet and toes (for women, very important!)  As a portrait photographer you have to control and position each part of the body, without it looking controlled and positioned.  It must look: cute, elegant, professional, regal, sexy or whatever look the purpose of the portrait being created dictates.  That is part of your job and something that should be mastered before offering your services to clients.  We all start somewhere, and the past is the only thing you can not change, so buy (or go to the library to check out) some books (mine are always a good choice)  Instructional DVD’s (again)  or attend professional workshop or seminars.  The key to learning posing is doing posing.  You can’t read a book or watch a DVD without practice.  You have to show each pose to each client so the poses you offer are remembered (yes even if you are dude!).  If you are or will be in the Clovis Ca. area on July 8th I have a Hands On Posing Workshop, from 3:30pm to 8pm.  We will be working with single subjects, couples, bridals and families.  I will develop a posing structure for each set of images, that each attendee will repose the subject(s) to keep with a similar concept, but create their own pose (with my help if needed). They will then photograph their pose for the final portrait for themselves.  It will move quickly and be intensive for those photographers that for once and for all master posing!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on July 1, 2012.

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