Happy, happy Friday!! And welcome to this weeks installment of Thank Goodness it’s Foto Friday. Today I’d like to go over my favorite tips for creating natural looking poses.
1. Gather Inspiration & Previsualization
One of the things I recommend doing before going into a photo session is to gather images that inspire you. Take each image and try to dissect what is going on in the image. From there I like to previsualize how I would move my subjects into that pose. That previsualization is key, as it lets me play out ahead of time what I need to say, how I would frame the image, etc. Do I plan every single image to the enth degree – No. But I always go into a session with a core group of images that I feel will fit that particular subject, as not all poses work for every person.
2. Communication is EVERYTHING!!
If I had to only give one tip to help create natural looking poses this would be it – NEVER STOP TALKING.
Let me explain… In general most people are not comfortable in front of the camera, with exception to professional models and actors. It’s just an unnatural state to have this big camera in your face. To help people feel comfortable in front of your camera it’s best to keep a conversation going. And even more importantly – always be communicating at every point what you’re doing because as soon as you go silent… looking at the back of your camera or even while shooting – clients get nervous and can often times worry that THEY did something wrong. Instead, let them know what’s going on, for example, ‘Okay, I’d like you both to stand over here and just relax for a minute as I test the lighting.’ Simple and not technical because they don’t need to know any technical info nor do they care to.
You’re communication style and energy will influence your subjects and thus the look of your images. If you are looking for high energy, lots of laughter and playfulness in an image, then you have to bring that to the table and vice versa. If you are a shy person this can take awhile to learn, but if that is the style of image you are after it is vital to learn. Or if you’re like me, I LOVE laughing pictures, but I am TERRIBLE at telling jokes, but somehow in the failure and poking fun at myself, I get the job done and… they laughNot to sound like a cliche but…If there is a will – there is a way
One of the simplest ways to create natural looking poses is to have your subject recreate an action they would normally do. Walking, drinking a cup of coffee, dancing, etc…It makes them feel comfortable and is a great way to start the shoot. Action and movement keeps things natural versus being too ‘posey’ and stiff.
4. Body Language
Sometimes there are poses and images I’d love to create, but just aren’t right for everyone. Pay very close attention to your clients body language and subtle verbal cues. It will help you figure out if they are feeling comfortable and engaged with you. If they are uncomfortable and disengaging – move on to something else. And… Keep talking!
5. Confidence is a Two Way Street
Being 100% confident and comfortable posing and photographing people takes awhile to achieve. There is so much going on when you are first starting…worrying about exposure, what aperture, is my white balance correct, focusing properly, how do I get them to move into this perfect pose…it’s overwhelming to say the least. With practice it does get easier. In the beginning I recommend to truly believe in yourself, to really feel confident. That feeling of confidence will put your subjects at ease and thus get you better images. Not to mention your clients will have a better time because they trust in you. And that trust is priceless.