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Posing is Necessary

Lesson 2 from: Lifestyle Family Photography: Posing and Direction

Elena S Blair

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Lesson Info

2. Posing is Necessary

Lesson Info

Posing is Necessary

If there's one thing that you learn today before we actually get into the poses, I want you to know that posing is necessary. So, lifestyle photography requires quite a bit of direction. So, for example, let's use the movie industry for an example. So, think of your favorite movie. One that makes you laugh or cry or you know movies can do that, right, you're sitting there watching it and you're like Oh, it's amazing. Think about the fact that there is a director that you never see, you might not ever find out their name unless they're super famous, right? There is a director behind that scene making every single thing happen. Telling everyone what to do telling them where to stand, telling them how to act. And, of course the actor infuses the scene with their talent and with their personality, and it becomes something amazing, something more. But there's a director there and that's what I'm talking about. Today, with family photography and that might seem like a weird parallel, but it'...

s true. We have to do that for our families, we have to. Your clients want you to tell them what to do. When I first started, I keep bringing that up, because I think it's important, but I would show up and I would be like, okay we've got the best location, and we're at golden hour and they would show up and I'm like oh my God, they're dressed amazing, this is all going to be so great and we would get there and they would be like, okay, now what? I'm like, I don't know, haven't you been looking on the Instagram? I mean, don't you see how people frolic through fields? Like that's what I want you to do. And it wasn't happening. (laughs) It wasn't happening. It was super frustrating. So they literally want, what I've learned over the years they want step by step instruction. They want you to be, 100% in control. They hired you to take these photos and they trust that you are the professional and the expert. So, this is just an example of a pose that looks very much like it just happened on it's own, when I directed the entire thing. Mom was feeling very stressed out, at this session because she has a lot of children, under the age of six, I believe the oldest one was? She's actually a professional photographer herself. Thank goodness I had poses to use because if I didn't the session would have been completely out of control. She was worried we didn't get anything which happens a lot I love when that happens and she was, she cried, she was over the moon with her gallery. So my job is not to as a lifestyle photographer take a family, take this scene and make it perfect. My job isn't to do that, my job is to show her that I see all of this beauty and perfection in all of the craziness that is family. And I know how to keep it under control and pose and direct to give her images like this one. So, this is one of the biggest things I hear from people in workshops and when I'm mentoring, is that they come to me because they want to learn how to do this kind of work. I start talking about posing and they say yeah, this isn't going to work though, because my clients want candid and natural photographs. Mine do to. This is a screen grab from my portfolio if you're familiar with my work at all, my work is super messy, my work is very much candid looking. I'm known for the organic and movement type of poses. But, the way that I get these, is by posing. 100%. I'm totally in control here. This is another question that I get a lot, I'm answering these questions now, because I know that some of you may be having them, maybe at home. How do you convince your clients to want lifestyle photography? The first thing to learn is that posing is necessary. This is the only other thing you learn it's that, you should never you guys ever, ever, ever have to convince anybody to want the style of work that you're offering. Ever. If you do, if they're coming to you and it's unclear what you offer well then that's a communication issue on your part. You're not putting out to the world in your portfolio or wherever it is that your ideal client is, you're not giving them a real representation of what you're going to capture. I'm not going to get anymore into ideal client, I'm not talking about business today. My friend Sandra Cohen is teaching a business class on Thursday about these things so definitely tune into that. Right here in Photo Week. What I always say is that you should push your portfolio to it's absolute limit. If you want to capture more of this candid stuff, this is what you have to put in your portfolio, even though the more posed ones sometimes they come out really pretty and, this is amazing. You can't, you can't show it at all. Full disclosure though I will say, I'm a transparent teacher. That I do take at least one money shot at every session. This shows that I know how to use light and my camera right? Look at that guy's smile as super stiff and this is cute grandma's going to be really happy about this. This is not why they hired me. This is why they hired me, this is the kind of work that I put into the World. This is the only type of image from this session that I would put on any Social Media channels or portfolio. This is what they're expecting from me. The thing is, that this and this were posed just as much. There was no difference. And if not, this one probably took more direction.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Family Posing Made Easy

Ratings and Reviews

Kristen Anderson

I would recommend it because it shatters a few misconceptions about building a lifestyle photography business that a newcomer like me battles on a daily basis. So much information on the internet and just so much of it is false and should even apply. But we do, we waste our time and resources on pursuing phantom myths about the business and we suffer. Our families suffer. Elena addresses some of those misconceptions here and gives you some tips and models to follow to help navigate as a new start up business. She made me feel like my passion for this is not misplaced and to keep going. This isn't an all encompassing tutorial on everything you need to have a successful business. If you are looking for that, you won't find it...and heaven help you if that's your goal. But, it does do what it says it will do. Help you learn and understand the necessity of posing in a lifestyle shoot and implement poses that will put you and your families at ease and on the path to a successful session. I'd definitely recommend it for it's price point. It was very useful.


Elena Blair is a talented, positive and creative teacher. She is a great communicator, and builds you up as the student to be proud of where you are as an artist, while at the same time, motivating and inspiring you to take it to the next level. It was really neat to get a front row seat to her process. She is very energetic, and offers a refreshing perspective on how to run a session and a business. Awesome class! I can't wait to see what she does next!

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Excellent course and great teacher. I love how clear and conscience she is. I also appreciate how she gives specific examples of her work, and step by step instructions on how she sets everything up. There are so many tips that I will be incorporating. I would highly recommend this course.

Student Work