Directing and Posing


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Directing and Posing

Directing imposing is not composition, but what it deals with is composing things within that frame, so in working with people and having them move around and thinking about how you want to communicate with them, this is kind of a precursor to what we're going to be doing later today and tomorrow is directing imposing people so I thought it might be nice to have a visual we're going to do a hands on later, but so it's good to see some pictures and get some ideas so candid versus posed. Um, there are basically two extremes in it's a portrait photography, for example, and one extreme is to pose people perfectly. You know, those shots you've seen on the wall where everyone in the family is like this, you know? And you can tell that the photographer like, turn your chin that way and then convicted in there like this and perfectly posed other ones maybe look a little bit more naturally pose there are ways to naturally pose people, but you can tell it was it was done right? It wasn't somethi...

ng that was captured that was just like casual. That was just a moment, so those posed pictures are kind of one extreme, and then you've got some that air completely candid where people aren't even aware of the camera at all where those air just like the completely candid journalistic shots that's the other end of the spectrum and then you have all this area in between and this area in between it is really where a lot of my photographs tend to be, and I do capture some candids and things like that, but oftentimes most people know that I have a camera in the scene, but what I'm doing is interacting with them and kind of letting them do their own thing or giving them something to do or just giving them a few suggestions, and then I'm kind of I'm capturing what I talked about yesterday sometimes it's the shot between the shot that are supposed to be happening that are really the most important shots. So for instance, this family out on the beach, they wanted just they just wanted a picture together and they're pretty casual group it wasn't like they wanted to, you know, sit there and there in perfect clothing and have a perfect portrait perfectly lit they just wanted to have them together interacting, and that seems to kind of be a trend a lot of people want that, and so what we did is went down to the beach and kind of played around where I was posing them and like, oh let's, all let's all get together and and ok, you stand over here and let's, try this and hey, this was the daughter that was going to move back east and they were they all wanted to have a picture with her and I'll be together so she was the one that was kind of the focal points I want to kind of get her out in the front middle and I was just kind of saying fun stuff that I knew about her and her brother who's behind her and just, you know, funny thing so they were kind of we were laughing but they were also making jokes amongst themselves and sometimes people surprise you when you are opposing them are directing them they'll just start doing fun stuff if you can set an ambience said an environment the mix it makes it feel like it's fun and it's ok to kind of you know, talk to each other and kind of goof around and you know, converse with them again this is about style too, so there some photographers that they really just they want to control every aspect of it and they want it very technical and controlled and that's in their clients they find clients that like that that's one style this is another where it's a little more casual so they're variations on that but I just wanted to let you know that you can you can often do is say ok, we're going to have a shoot, you get all the family or friends together and, you know, you want to be in a particular space of fairly contained space, but there's a lot that can happen within that space. Maybe you're taking a picture of the full group, but then maybe you've got a couple people, you know, teasing each other, laughing or something between each other and call whatever and you can capture those close up shots along with getting the large shots it's really about the interaction not only between you and who you're photographing, but between the people in front of the lens experiment, you know, have some fun with what you're doing now. This family, a little boy in the front, his eyes were closed and it's, like I just could not get a shot anywhere out on the beach where everyone's eyes are open. So I just kind of went with this one, but I'm just really using it as an example that this family wanted pictures all together. They wanted they live at the beach, they wanted something fun, and so we were doing all kinds of things. We ran down to the beach, we were jumping around having fun, weird, I was trying to come up with all kinds of ideas, we had some other shots that were very more opposed or more kind of quiet sort of shots and they were interacting with each other, but the essence was we really had a lot of fun and I have to share this with you sometimes when I'm taking pictures just anywhere of anyone and I feel like ok, you know, I take a couple shots and then I just want to add some energy to it, so sometimes people say, well, what do you do to get people to interact or just to start getting people to loosen up and just have some fun and your pictures? And I have this kind of annoying thing that I do with some people like it? I'll say jump and so they dio and I can capture some energy and this in fact I'm going to have I think web page coming up soon that's just called jump if only people from all over the world that just jump up in the air but this is something you can try to do if they're if everyone's capable of it, you have to be cautious. I mean, if you've got, say, grand parents in there that are tio agile, then maybe you won't want them to jump when you want to be careful you're on stairs or things like that that's one thing I'll often do and here's another one another kind of extreme is I'm actually, I'm laying down on the sand, and I've got this group of teenagers, and they're all decided that just lean over me, you know? And and I was just on the ground, taking all kinds of shots like this and the way I exposed for because I've got a very bright sky behind them is exposed for their faces, and the sky just kind of goes white, but that's, ok, because the emphasis is on them a fun thing to do, but again, it depends upon your group with a bunch of teenagers, they were willing to do a lot of different things we were, you know, first it's like the line up now, I wanted to show this is kind of an example of oftentimes what people do when they're opposing especially larger groups of people, but just any group of people that just light him up like you're, you know, the firing line or something light him up? Well, that could be kind of boring, but it depends. You know, in this instance, all these kids were very unique and had great personalities, and they're having fun at the beach that day, and I just love looking at at all the different kids that were here and just what they had on and it's kind of like documenting, you know, people in an era and probably thirty years from now this will be even more precious photograph just because of what they had on what they were, what they were doing, but this is one thing that sometimes you want to avoid is the lineup, but in this case, it kind of worked and then, of course, I told him to guess what and it's fun I love this photograph, lots of energy, and they love it too, but, you know, sometimes group photographs don't have to be a faces, maybe it's of, you know, feet or something else that just kind of depicts what's going on in that family at the time. Um, and I think they all have kind of cute feet, especially the one in the middle. Now when you're photographing couples, these are parents of a friend of mine, I'll give you this set up how we now I shot this I was at their house for thanksgiving, and they had their parents come into town from the east coast, they don't see him that often, and we were talking and they're both super professional careers, and I understood that most of their photographs that they had were very posed and they hadn't had any photographs lately, but the ones that they did have or like, you know, perfectly lit very posed shots and they weren't even touching each other but there were such a cute couple have been married for a long time so just having a conversation with them and I said you know what? I would love to take a picture of you would you mind just coming over here to the window so we were in the dining room and it was kind of a great wall which is perfect you know, great background and you can see over here on this side the lights just coming in from the side softly it's nice indirect window light I wasn't using anything else I might have had a reflector in there I don't remember but maybe not but sometimes if I have window light coming in all he is a reflector like this um just bounce a little light back into their face because sometimes shadows are a little dark so I might have had light coming in over here and I could have just been standing like this and photographing that's sometimes what I do on the fly but um in directing them and having them interact with each other I just started asking them questions like how long have you been married? And so what? How did you two meet exactly and and all that's interesting and so we just kind of had this conversation going I'm just talking to them happening? I'm just happen to be photographing a few times and then talk to this them some or like one then when did your kids come along? Because and where did she live exactly? And so whether it's having this conversation and then I said, hey, would you just mind giving each other a hug? And because I built up this report with them, they felt comfortable and at ease because I had not met them before, you know, there their parents and friends of mine, but I hadn't met him, so I had to kind of build up that comfort level, so they felt it ease and and I was actually interested, I wanted to know, and I mean that's it to you really need to be authentic if you start complementing someone or asking them questions and and you don't really care, you're just trying to kind of manipulate the situation. People can read that, and it just is not going to come across well on your photographs. I mean, you have to have some interest in asking questions from people that that you're photographing and I'll start to build up that relationship so as I understand, they have this on their refrigerator and maybe framed also and it's the only picture that they've had taken professionally, where they're actually hugging so interaction between people in relationships is really important. And here's some other friends of mine and my god there's another picture of the manhattan beach pier I've got to change out some of the slides you know they say the shoot what you love right through I think we've found what aaron that let's be it's so these are some friends of mine and they had just gotten engaged and they wanted to my shots and you know, as a president I said yeah, I'll come take some shots of you and and he happened to be in that out of each of the time so that's where we went so I think in this picture on the left that's kind of the classic shot but there's some things I wanted to point out that you want to pay attention to when you're taking pictures of couples in a photograph first off what's the relationship I mean if they're not you know, in love or something you don't want to have him hugging, but one thing that you want to pay attention to is the eye line of the eye line of people in the photograph if you have two people together and their eye lines are on the same level, it starts to look kind of in like kind of static and boring, so if you kind of move things around so at least one person might be a little shorter taller than the other that's easy to d'oh I'm in this instance too if I'm coming in cropping and kind of close you want to have people get really close and it might even be closer than what they would think they should be in this photograph but because you're cropping and close it just looks better if they don't have that space in between their heads to get their faces close together but you've got to kind of move around and see what looks comfortable I think we did a few different shots with this and he might have, you know, kind of been behind her and I think I did some where she was like coming back from behind him and both their faces were in the shot but this is when they really liked and then obviously incorporating a background this is where having some space above someone's head actually makes sense because there's something going on back there and what was great was the waves were big that day and so as the waves are crashing behind them and and I was giving them direction they told me that that was the most exhausting photoshoot they'd ever been on because I had him doing all kinds of stuff right over there spin around they're doing they're like uh at the end of the day when we got so many great photographs out of the chute but this was one of them I saw this happening behind him and I thought you know, that has some meaning to it, it's, like, you know, the fantastic kiss in the photograph, so I use that as a background element to add some interest that the shot and in this instance, it makes sense that I've got that extra head room above them because something's happening and, you know, couples could be all sorts of things, it doesn't have to be a couple engaged, it might be someone in the end, their pet in this instance, we're I think I was shooting pictures of, well, the girls out in the park and their one of their dogs, they happen to live close by, and so the dog just kind of came into the shot, so it wasn't a planned thing at all, but if you want to incorporate pets in pictures, it's, it's a really great thing to do, and they're so precious to people, in fact, they're people that have photography businesses that specialized justin, that justin photographing pets, and you kind of have to be an animal wrangler in some regard if you're going to really go that route, but just, you know, casually photographing people in their pets, I can't really be it's a nice thing, and they really value those photographs, so interacting with the pet is pretty key, it's hard to to get a dog or cat parakeet? I don't know, just sit there, you know, impose for you and get the light just right. So you're gonna have to, like, really be ready with your camera ready to capture a lot of candid shots. Some animals are more sedate than others, so it just depends on the pet, but you can kind of play around with this, my love pictures of people with their horses to I think that might be in a photo project I want to try next. That would be kind of interesting people moving around and having fun. Okay, this is mary and bob. They're my mom's best friends, and I just love them. They're like my aunt and uncle and they're so cute together, and this is their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and so we went to their house, to their backyard to sit outside and have a barbecue and and take shots, and, um, I hadn't planned it wasn't like an official photo shoot. I just always bring my camera, especially tio special events like that, and I want to capture some photos for them, but it's always kind of, you know, it's a trade off of you know, I'm going to have a drink and talk to people, and I got to capture that shot. So I kind of wanted to get the shooting out of the way first, so then I could party, so what we did is we were out in the backyard and so mary and bob thought, ok, we'll get some chairs and sitting in the yard you can take our picture I thought, well, you know, ok that's, what you want to do, we'll start with that we'll try that first, but I have some other ideas for you, so I kind of want to play around to get ready. They're like ok, so I got some kind of, you know, seated shots for them because that's what they wanted but then we put the chairs away and I said let's, just dance what what's the dance that you all love to do you know it's the waltz or whatever system that's what I want you to dio it'd just waltz all are all around the backyard that's the dance I want you to do and in this instance, I think I had a wider angle lens on the camera so they could get in kind of clothes and even their hands in the front might not be super sharp, but this just happen to be the shot that turned out and so they just dance all over the yard and I thought this was also a great analogy for relationships. You know, it's, kind of a dance through life together. And it's sort of represented what I wanted to show off in the image. So think about that. You know, people dancing around, doing things in your pictures. It doesn't always have to be someone just, like posed sitting in a chair or standing there together and think about, you know, all the different angles and ways that you can go about capturing that image.

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.