Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection
Today's video is about the other half of the rules. This is about creating an hourglass. It's about creating body language, always looking for asymmetry, and it's about always getting connections through the eyes. This tying in the body posing, making me believe poses with beautiful body language takes you out of posing people. You are no longer posing people, you are directing them to give me real, beautiful poses and body language that I believe immediately in my images. What we're going to talk about now is the hourglass. The most desired shape in a woman's body is the hourglass and I'm gonna teach you how to pose to get the hourglass. So when you have a really lean frame with no boobs and no hips when they're very, very lean, we want to give them shape. We want to give them boobs and booty. So, all the poses work exactly the same with curves and with lean bodies, there's only one slight difference and that is the angle with which you're shooting it. So when we have a curvy body, we...
want to pull the booty back from the frame and when we have a leaner body, we want to push it forward and bring the camera lower, so curvier is eye line or slightly above by an inch. Leaner is lower, usually about sort of collarbone height, camera to model. So, you can go lower when you've got a leaner body, but all we're trying to do is create shape in the body. There is actually only one way to move the hips out in the body, from standing up, and that is if you come up onto one toe, so I'll move that so you can see our feet. We want to come up onto our toe, cross our knee over, and when we cross our knee over, we know can move this shape here, either way, and it's just a lot easier to move. Then, from the side on, when we turn this way, we bring our right foot up and we kick back this way. So we create shape always, and when we're lying down, in the ottoman position, we bring the knee up, which kicks the booty out. So we're always trying to create shape, so whether you're lean and you want to push the booty out, or whether you're curvy and you want to push the waist in, we do that by moving the shape. So from front on, you bring the foot up, you cross the knee over, and then we can use our hands here and here to shape our body. Just like they do on the red carpet. Now, very important, is that we don't have our shoulders in a uncomfortable position, but we have them down, relaxed hands, and then we use our chin forward and down, and we're using lots of extension in the hips. Now, I think sometimes when people see this pose, they think that they're in a fully extended position and then we make them extend them even further, because the more shape we can get, the better it looks. Also, it tapers the waist in. I find too, that when you push the hips out, everybody tucks their chin in, so you really need to reset the chin and shoulders. And another thing that I notice with people is that they tend to tip like a teapot, so if your hands are down by your sides, one hand up, this one can shape around the body, kick out your body this way. You don't want to drop down like this. Okay, you want to try and close that space in the hip and shoulder there, so always, I'm trying to shape the body, in the most feminine way that I can, slimming curves and curving lean bodies, as best as I can, to make that shape work. So, there's a few little tricks like that, starting in the feet, so I just want to show you a couple of great little moves that really help accentuate the body. I'll show you a few mistakes people are making by going to the hourglass and then leaning over too far so that you're losing your angles and your perspective on the chin and the face and the ability to move the shoulders. It is simply a sideways movement, so when the toe comes up and across, the hip goes out to the side. A lot of people are doing this and turning away from the frame, to try and kick their bottom out, that doesn't work either. So, I'll take you through the rights and wrongs. Now, with the hourglass, we just really want to create the most feminine line that we can, so let's see what it does, let's try some good and bad, and then you can practice this one. Okay, so let's have a look at some hourglass posing here. Push your chin towards me, Tiffany, and I want you to come up onto your right toe and then put that knee across, actually go the other side, is there a way that, yeah, I can see you go lower on that hip than you do on the right, so that's a really good move here. This hand here, I want you to hug the hip line, a little lower, and elbow back, perfect. Now this one here, I want you to come up. So, for now, I'm starting to create some shape in her body. Now, bring your chin back to the camera this way, stop. And pushing towards me. I'm just gonna take a shot here. I feel like the bottom half of her hips are projecting towards me a little too much, so what I'm going to do is push her booty away from me, so that's it, stop, not too far, but reengage the head again, so chin this way, that's the one, slight tip there. Now, Tiffany, we take a shot and we can see the difference. Just kicking her booty back there, made a significant difference to how it looks in the front, but notice how I've lost the waist shape. I want you to bring this hand up and around, into that curve of your waist, and push it in. Good girl, 'cause that gives me lots of shape. Now, I want you to push the bum back a little bit more, away from me, no, no, no, don't turn, so come back to the front, just tip your bum back. Good girl, now bring your chin forward and down. Okay, now let's have a look at that now, pushing into the waist line, and see the difference between those two poses. So, now, let's go straight up and down and let's show, if we've got our arms by our side, and we push our chin forward, then even when there's no fabric on the arm, so it's no dress, straightaway, big significant difference just having the arms two-dimensional by the sides. Let's try kicking the hands to the outside of the thighs. Let's try and bend the elbows around the back of the body. Straightaway, now not your shoulders, really important. In fact, a cheat way to do this is to come out, I call this Barbie position, push down with the palms of your hand, and bend your elbows around your waist. Now, as soon as her arms come up around her waist, that instantly slims her down. Let's take a look at that, push your chin forward, and that instantly slims her down because it follows the line of her hourglass. Let's try and pin back a little higher, that's it, stop, and now tip towards me, stop. Now, bring your chin down a little wee bit more. That is absolutely perfect, sorry, I got that. Just do that, refocus, and I got you, there it is. Now, big difference between this and go back to your normal, two-dimensional. So, straightaway, shaping the arms in the shape of the body works. So, if she was leaning on a chair, let's just pretend that you are, and she was kicked out with this hip, all they have to do is put their hand on their hip and slide up and go elbow around the body. See the difference, put this hand lower. Yeah, that's it, so, go back out to the outside again, slide up, and around the body. Now, that's without even turning her hips away. If I turn her hips away, like that, I can shape her hip anyway I want, but what I'm trying to show you, come up to upright, is that when the arm follows the line of the body, it looks so much slimmer from the front. So, whenever you see anyone, and particularly the bride, you can use her hands her as well, this works. So when you bring the hands into the veil, you can hide those arms and then shape the hip out this way. Everything we do is about shaping those hips. Now, straightaway, you went out with the hip and you look like you dominated forward with your lower body even though you didn't, so I'm gonna push your booty back and as soon as I push the booty back, always, hand down, you're just gonna get constant slimming of the lower body. So, I am shooting Tiffany directly on her eye line. I don't wanna shoot down on her, let those hands go. Now, let this hand hang out. Okay, so just sort of flat, so don't hold it out just there. Don't tip your head to me, stay upright, and even with the hands behind the hips like this, so you can change hips and just, yep, just show that movement, even with the hands behind, it's still showing that shape, so, now, what I want you to do here, is turn this way, 45 degrees this way, and I want you to hold your elbows and your boobs there. I want you to kick out your left knee and go back into your booty this way. Okay, now, when she did that, the first thing she did, two things, was she squeezed her arm against her body, so we've gotta make sure the pressure comes off that. And then the other one was she threw her head back. Okay, so straighten your head up to me and then bring your chin around this way. Now, I don't want to turn her away from the camera, I want to turn her back to the camera, so I'm gonna turn her this way. Now, as soon as I turn her this way, I feel like, this here, is taking too much. So, I'm going to pull it back on her shoulder. Now, what I don't want is that arm forward. Okay, 'cause I don't want this. And I want that arm to be as close to up and down as I can. So, if this hand looks awkward, we can put it on the inside. So, she can swap it to the inside, but she's not to hold her belly, because we don't hold the belly unless we're pregnant. Okay, we never put our hands on our belly. So, the more upright this is, the more she can work her should in the front, and then, really this hip. Now, if this hip is dominating towards the camera, she can still kick back, but she just needs to pull it away from the camera, or she can tilt forward, as long as she doesn't tip forward, which is really, really important. So, let me have a look, at how that's looking to the camera, so I can take a still. Alright, so lot to shape into the booty this way, I'm just gonna go lower, and what I want you to do, is put this hand across even more, this one, Tiff, across, that's it, now come back, so it's almost straight up and down, stop. Alright, now drop that shoulder down and bring your chin forward, alright, there. Now, coming back to the front, I just want you to come back into cover girl. Okay, I'll lift this up, and this is a a mistake I see a lot of people making, long chin forward. She looks like she's dominating with her lower body, but she's not, so I'm just gonna tip her booty back. So, just let one knee relax and just kick your bum back to the wall, good girl. Long chin forward; now, what I don't want you to do, so that looks really good, what I don't want you to do, is actually lean forward, so lean forward and shoot down on them. Not that far, yet people are coming into here more. This doesn't look right and I can tell because I can see the top of the hips coming through the outsides of the hands, so, it's about being upright, it's about bringing your chin forward and your bum back, but without tipping, so it's such a subtle movement and from the side, I'm gonna show it from the side. Just turn this way, look that way, I want you to bring your chin forward first and then your bum back. So it's not about her leaning back, it's just about her being on a tilt. And that tilt makes a huge difference. Some come back to the front, Tiff, and I'm gonna take a still of it. I want you to just push your chin towards me. I like that but she's looking bottom dominant in that shot, and feel like, when you look at this shot, that you look down at her hips. Now, when she kicks her hips back, and her chin forward, and now, a little bit off to the side, drop those shoulders down. Then, I feel like now, her focus is all on her face because we're taking the body out of frame, and it makes a big difference. So showing hourglass, making sure you're using those feet to position the knee, to position the hip, lots of movement, and just be aware that when people often kick their hip out, they tuck their chin in. So, they'll often come up into this position, they'll tip their head to the side, which you don't want, so you want them to come straight, with their head and then look straight, and you want them to just kick out. They lean forward too much, which happens a lot, and they also turn their hip out this way. This is a really common one and that does not look good. So from the front, it's just a sideways movement that way, sideways movement that way, and a slight kick out back square to the front of the camera and that looks beautiful. Let's talk about asymmetry; really important for me as I'm always shooting on asymmetry. When I go back to 80's glamour, I thought all the poses were very symmetrical. Okay, hands in the same position, always very similar in exactly all of those moves. As we've progressed into more of a fashion style of glamour photography, we've definitely started to mix up the asymmetry, so for me, I shoot and edit in asymmetrical composition. I'm going to show you that first and then, I'm always looking at an asymmetry body language. So, I always think, the only time that I'm ever symmetrical now is when I'm doing the cover girl pose, but I shoot it off center. So today I want you to practice your asymmetry. I want you to shoot slightly off center so it looks more magazine. Also, really important, I know I've said this a lot, and I'm going to say it a lot too. I want you to shoot just below her eye line. So the camera is sitting right about there. Again, you're not shooting down, you're not shooting up, and you're not shooting side to side. Your client is flat to the camera and if their body moves, their face still says flat to that camera. I want you to stay on that angle, 'cause that angle is really important. Then, we push the chin forward and then we look for asymmetry. So for me, asymmetry is just about the body having two different things on either side. If this hand is here on this side, so you come up with this one, then this one is around the hip, out that way. Now, if I put two hands out like this, like a little teapot, it doesn't make sense. I like that you can have one up, one down. If I put two, now if I am symmetrical here doing cover girl, so back to the center when I've got two hands there, and I'm shooting a little bit off center, as you always see me do, that's okay, that's the only time that I'm symmetrical, but when I move, I want to change it up. So I also practice movement like this. If this hand comes up to the shoulder and sweeps across, then, yeah, then this one can go to the bottom of the bra, and then I can move this one to the hair, straight up, and then I can move this one to the waist, straight down. I'm always trying to get one up, one down, and remember to move these shoulders, so make these shoulders work in your body language, so that you can just, but we're not turning the body away from the camera. So, asymmetry is about saying this hand is here and then this hand is slightly higher. It's about having one hand on the heart and then the other one is slightly higher. It's just not straight, straight, straight. So I'm gonna take you through a few asymmetry poses with Tiffany. After I first show you some asymmetrical compositions that are flat to the backdrop, once we nail these, then you are shooting pure magazine. So all you need to do then is direct her to look like a magazine model and that is what we're here for as portrait photographers. As women, you know, when you read those magazines, you go, "I wanna look like that." This is about angles, shaping, contouring the body, using your camera angle to make her look like a supermodel and it is really, really easy, so let's go. Just bring your chin up to me in cover girl here. I'm gonna show you what not to do first and that would be shooting at right down the center. And then I'm gonna show you where I want you to crop it. So see my eye line is directly on her eye line. So now I'm gonna step a little bit closer and I'm gonna move to the right of her a little bit, and I'm gonna go down because I'm gonna shoot at a nice, low fashion angle and then that's where I want to be there. I'm just going to open up my f-stop a little bit more, and then, take down there, I'm at 2. and I want to show you just that slight asymmetry. Now I don't want to go too close down here and cut her arms away, I would rather pull back slightly and just get the top of the hands. So making sure that I just get that beautiful side angle. And if I'm gonna go right into the face, I make sure her eyes aren't center frame. I make sure it's there, that is more magazine to me. That is a lot closer to what I see everyday in fashion magazines. Let me just check that, okay. Now, because the camera is metering to her eye, it's telling me that there's lots of black in this image because everybody's wearing black right now (laughs). Just chin up to me, beautiful, big smile, go. That's it, and relax your mouth again, what you just did then, Tiff, perfect. So have a look at all these images. This is where I like to shoot, this is really magazine to me, and if we look through these images now, you'll notice one consistent thing, and that is I am always slightly asymmetrical. Now exactly the same rule applies when I turn the camera horizontal. I'm not gonna put her in the center of my frame, okay? I'm going to keep her right, slightly just off to the right. Hands down now, elbows back, so put your hands flat, palms flat, chin up to me. So I want her face to be square to me. No, so straighten back, elbows back, good girl. So really flat and then long chin. As soon as she flattens out, I can see the difference. So actually, that was probably the best example that you could show me. Do that again, what you were just doing then before I noticed that you were off. I noticed through a camera that she wasn't square to the camera. So have a look at this, and then I told her to straighten up, and so she came flat down onto her feet and pulled her elbows back. And now look at the difference in this composition and shot slightly to the right. This is more fashion than the other one. The other one you can see she's tipping off and it just doesn't work. I always wanna be flat here, now, remember because Tiff has a heart-shaped face, I want lots of beautiful, buffy, magazine, beautiful, styly supermodel hair. I want her to have the longest chin pushing forward, but not down to me, because she doesn't need to slim down the bottom of her face. All I need is to just get that killer expression in her eye, there it is, and a little bit more on her mouth. We'll make that even better, and I'm pulling backwards. Not side to side, so always cropping on the asymmetry. Now I'm gonna go back to the tripod and I'm gonna show you some asymmetrical poses that are based on one up, one down. So today you need to practice looking through the camera, flat model, flat background, flat composition, slightly lower, real magazine, and here's another one. Moving her in the frame, like that, you can move your feet as well, but not moving her face. So lifting your shoulder up, good girl, stop, don't tip your head back, so, no, don't, that's it, stay there. Her face is exactly still square to the front of the camera and I love that. If you have a look at this line, now remember this morning when we went forward, okay, and then you're tipping your shoulder away from me, that way, a little bit more, but if her face stays long, chin to the end of the shoulder, to come around. Nice and square, she's still not symmetrical. So if your body is turning to the side but her face is directly to me and that is a beautiful shot. From here, give me, stop, too far, come back, that's a girl. If they go too far on their tilt it looks like a doll's head, so give me more shoulder, so turn more shoulder, away from me this way, good girl, stop, now tip in halfway, that way, don't move, don't move, halfway back, you just went too far, stop, and it's right there. Okay, from there, I'm gonna go back to the tripod and I'm gonna show you asymmetrical posing. So coming back to the start, look at that (laughs).
Ha! I love it!
Nice! So what I'm gonna try and do now, is have a look at some asymmetrical poses. How 'bout we just go into here. Tiffany's just gonna mirror me, that's exactly right. Beautiful, nice, pull into the waist, just turn your body towards me every so slightly. Perfect, and I want you to just sweep your decolletage here. So I can take shapes out like this. I often do this, I love this line on the outside of the shoulder there. Lift your chin up to me, pushing forward with your chin, that's it, stay there, don't come towards me though. So pull back there, so just your chin forward. Now, if I don't think that that looks good, I'm gonna go straight into here and try this movement here. So this hand goes into the bottom of the bra and then I'm going to put this one straight down. Okay so I'm gonna try a whole other different thing. This one here I'm gonna bring to the bottom of the bra and this is probably very close to a symmetrical pose. So when I bring both hands up here, like hands on the heart, now, of course, I would shoot that in an asymmetry crop. So I'm gonna try it and remember if she turns this way and then turns her face back there, then that hands comes forward. So come back to square again, and this time I want you to turn this hand up to me and put it up and behind the head, that's it, and then I want this one here so it's real boudoir style. That's it, and I would crop to the top of the head, just so I don't get the top of that hand in the frame. Long chin towards me, perfect, beautiful, supermodel face. Good girl, that's exactly right. Now from here, I can leave this hand up here and even come up to something like this. So in here, but it's gotta make sense. I can't do it because of my microphone, so you just push in, that's it. Now if she comes forward, I just don't want her to tip. So let's bring this hand down and straighten your head up to me. And I want you to tip towards me, this elbow comes into the center, that's it. So from here, now, hand goes around your throat. Okay, that works for me and I love the shape in the body. So when she kicked on her hip then and she got that beautiful shape, just not talking on the phone, so nice and low around the throat. Chin up, nice and long, relax your mouth, that's beautiful. Okay, now what I do is, in this moment, I try and freestyle a little bit. I know that every single person moves differently. If you move over I'll come and stand beside you. I just have to be careful of my microphone here, otherwise it makes a noise. But what I'm trying to do, is I'm trying to see how she moves, and so what I'll do is I'll get her to start doing simple movements and then I think, "Oh, that looks really good," but the idea is that every time her hand comes up or her hand comes down, they're going in different directions, and so I try and teach photographers how to pose by doing simple moves like this. I get them to practice from cover girl and then I get them to sweep across the decolletage. I get them to run their hands over their body. I get them to find different shapes with their shoulders. I get them to cross over this way and this way. So you can do this simple move here. It's where I'm just going up and down and then I'm making my knee bend, but I don't wanna lose the face, so I'm always bringing the face back to the camera line, and then I do the touch at the bottom of the bra, and I do both hands. I sweep out to the shoulders, I try both. I try one hand up, one hand down, I try one arm up, one hand on the shoulder. I just mix up different ways to move the body and I just try them because everybody is really good at moving one way, or another. Now, what is the most important thing that you have to achieve here is body language. Okay, I wanna believe this pose. Come back into the center. I'll show you a classic example of what people do when they pose. They'll often bring somebody in and they'll say, "Put your hand on your waist "and put your hand behind your head," and I end up with people, literally, like this. And I think to myself, okay, that is not a pose, it's a wooden pose, and then they tell them to kick a hip out and I get this sort of variation where I kind of see people kind of moving very awkwardly. So what I want to say is bring that hand up onto the waist and let the wrist hold that waist. Now I can see that, push your chin forward, right there, I can see that that is comfortable on that wrist on that hip. Now, don't just put your hand behind your head, grab a bunch of hair, that's it. That is body language to me, now lift your chin up to me. Open this hand up a little wee bit so it's not all forearm. Come in halfway, bring your chin this way, that's it. Open up halfway with that arm, stop. Keep this one out and I just want the chin to come up. Now, see when I start to believe her, I wanna see her expression, match her pose. So let this hand just relax on the top and then long chin up to me and then halfway down straighten your head up, there, stop, okay. Now as I see her come in with her expression, drop that bottom lip, really relax that mouth, chin up just slightly now, I believe that pose now. Now that becomes more about body language for me than anything else and I think that that is really important. Exactly the same when I am looking for these poses here when I drop the hands down, I'm shooting symmetrically, so, sorry, I'm posing symmetrically, I'm shooting on the asymmetry, but it doesn't mean anything to me until she starts to work her body. So the elbow comes back, and I'm pushing her body, the hip goes out and then the chin comes forward and as soon as I engage that expression right there, I know that I'm starting to believe her body language. So the flirting positions like this where I turn her body this way, and then I get her to engage into her shoulder, I only believe it, stay there, Tiffany, because I don't believe that, and that is really important. But I believe it when I watch her body language come into play. So how about we do, I want you to hold your elbows there, I want you to tip forward, I want you to bring the shoulder forward, that's it, now bring your chin all the way around to me this way, now completely relax your mouth and give me a slight tip in. So from this position here, as soon as I see her expression come in, then I know that I believe that pose. And that to me is about using body language to flirt. So, I'm gonna come back in and just talk you through one thing. Remember, when we flirt, we touch parts of our body that we want people to look at, okay? We touch our hair, we touch our throat, we touch our decolletage, we touch the outside of our shoulders, and down our own body lines. We never touch our belly, okay, so never at any time, if I was flirting with Tiffany would I be here like, "hey, you you doing?" (laughs) Okay, so we do not touch the belly. The hands never go near the belly in any posing, we also never touch the breasts. You just do not flirt with somebody and touch your breasts in any way, shape, or form. So the idea really is, is that we're trying to create real body language and we want to do all these touch zones here, so we want to be on the outside of our body, so just touch the outside of your hips, your arms, your shoulders, across your neck, your throat, all of these work, here. Okay, so all around on the outside and then try, when one goes up, and the other goes down, try to keep that square to the camera, working the hips and shoulders and pushing the chin forward into the camera at all times. Try to touch down on those points and make it work.