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Posing Anchor Points

Lesson 3 from: Location, Posing, Execution

Roberto Valenzuela

Posing Anchor Points

Lesson 3 from: Location, Posing, Execution

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

3. Posing Anchor Points

Learn the specific parts of the body to pay attention to ensure you are getting a high quality shot.
Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of this lesson is posing anchor points in photography.


  1. What types of photographs did the instructor ask the audience to bring?

    The instructor asked the audience to bring photos that they do not like and are struggling with.

  2. What should photographers pay attention to when posing someone?

    Photographers should pay attention to the person's spinal cord and ensure that it is not straight or partially bent.

  3. Why should photographers avoid 90-degree angles in posing?

    90-degree angles create a sense of strength and structure, which does not work well in posing.

  4. How should photographers position the head in posing?

    Photographers should position the head by tilting, not by slouching.

  5. Why is it important to magnetize the heads of two people posing together?

    Magnetizing the heads towards each other makes the pose look more believable and creates a sense of connection.

  6. What should photographers avoid with the arms, wrists, and legs in posing?

    Photographers should avoid 90-degree angles in the arms, wrists, and legs.

  7. What should photographers do with the fingers in posing?

    Photographers should keep the fingers soft and avoid tension in the fingers.

  8. How can photographers ensure that the hands look natural in posing?

    Photographers should give the hands something to do instead of letting them hang down.

  9. Why is it important to show the origin of the hands in posing?

    Showing the origin of the hands creates a more realistic and natural look in the pose.

  10. What should photographers do to create balance in posing a couple?

    Photographers should ensure that there is an equal ratio of each person's body showing in the pose.

  11. How can photographers create gaps against a wall in posing?

    Photographers can create gaps in the lower back and elbows to enhance the chest and make the person look thinner.

  12. Why should photographers avoid mirroring in posing?

    Mirroring can make the pose look forced and unnatural, so it is best to create contrasts with the body and hands.

  13. Can photographers pick and choose which posing techniques to use?

    Yes, photographers can pick and choose which posing techniques to use based on the specific needs of the photo shoot.

  14. What should photographers do to create depth and explanation in a pose?

    Photographers should ensure that the placement of the subjects is self-explanatory and creates a sense of depth in the photograph.

Lesson Info

Posing Anchor Points

we're going to go and I'm gonna be teaching the lucky seven points seven seven seven based on photographs that I asked you to bring now for everyone in the audience they just make it very clear I asked the live audience members to bring me photos they do not like okay let me repeat I asked him to bring me photos they do not like this is not by any means they're top work or their best work this is photos that they feel that they're struggling with and they would like help with okay I'm going to be talking about all these seven seven seven points through these photographs so this is where a lot of attention trip early be paid and notes and stuff like that does he gets pretty heavy here okay before I start I'm going to go over some of these simple points because when someone says they're talking about the photos I want to start repeating these seven seven seven elements okay before I start I also want to say this is my interpretation off how I pose and how it has been successful for me th...

is is after all our work and it's open for interpretation you can feel free to agree or disagree with me I'm just giving you what has worked for me okay so hope that's really really clear by no means think this is like the way it should be it's just really good stuff that has worked for me when you're opposing someone on when you judge photos all over the world I noticed that the person spinal cord is never straight or partially bent which means that if you are posing no matter if you're laying sitting or standing keep eyes on that spinal cord if they are at all like this you've got nothing but if they are like this you've got everything makes sense another thing is the color on I'll explain this later that when you do have dirt couple of your groom or your senior portrait or whatever you're photographing and you haven't looked down haven't looked down with tilting the head killed in the four the four grand off the forehead tilting it straight to the ground so you're pivoting around the top spinal cord point do not by any means have your you have like a short bride and you have a groom don't go like don't have in the guy go like if you hunt your back it's over okay if you do have to have him looked down it has to be through a pivot off the off the bone off the off the head you pivot this way not this way okay um so that's what I mean position head by tilting not by slouching also uh if you want the energy to be mutual you need to magnetize their head towards each other so if you have a boy and a girl they magnetize it had still teach other avoid this is a big one avoid ninety degree angles on the arms on the risks on the legs I was just gonna ask what you mean by magnetized heads so if you have ah if you have a boy and a girl if their heads magnetized towards each other it looks more believable that they're actually feeling something love whatever if the girl is tilting towards her and the guy is kind of like guilting him away there's some sort of negative energy going on which could be a good thing doesn't necessarily mean a bad thing you can create tension in a photo but in generally in general speak terms magnifies the head start each other avoid ninety degree angles on the arms wrists and legs now why the heck did I choose ninety degrees exactly do you know why ninety things were so bad because when you're trying to hold up when you're trying to hold up something or give something strength and structure you use ninety degree angles like in architecture you have the floor and in the columns create a ninety degree angle when your flight where you're flexing for ah a muscle cos you do ninety degree angles when you when when you do a lot of stuff that requires any kind of strength you do ninety degree angles how many times have you seen a poster looks beautiful where the rest of the person is like this right ninety degree angle or the lack of the person it's not see when I'm sitting I look kind of like relax and chill forty five hours in a ninety degree angle the sort of natural to make sense and also the arms and now this is what brings to the very nick big point when you're when people post especially girls there you do this right this is getting really close to ninety degree angle so it looks like you're trying too hard and you are because there's a ninety degree turn it down a little bit you fix everything you can go up on a person so if you have ah can I bring the models how pleased madam keyshia everybody master keisha and master matt if you have models on they are kind of just walking around here get close if you have this ninety degree angle okay not easygoing symbolizes strength and structure it's not flawless romantic beautiful delicate okay all you have to do it's to change into a sharper angle and you fix the problem okay or you can do something like that and that's I longer angle you fix the problem so doesn't help a little bit avoid ninety degree angles the wrist if the rest is like this which happens when people get nervous ninety degree angle photos ruined doesn't work okay so um thank you next one oh you guys I'm gonna need you like the holding back something fingers so you have your senior portrait your fashion model or you're right it doesn't matter this applies to everybody on the fingers are good like that how does it look to you does that look really cool so a lot of times you have just get like that sometimes you have things for you if you don't pay attention carefully too delicate parts of the off the post you end up with a finger kind of sticking out by itself like that because people are nervous or the there's ninety degree angles going on on the fingers like they're kind of bent in and any degree angle and looks like you're about to clothe them see what I mean all you have to do is stopping them now by using the word soft in the fingers you your brain just like releases all the tension out of him if you say smooth out the fingers or something it's kind of like they are smooth I put cream on see what I mean so you want to be like soft in the fingers if there's any kind of tension and you say something the fingers just it just stopped in some just like that that makes sense okay uh give the hands something to do let's pretend you have a post on the bridis uh standing like that what are their hands doing nothing out right now she's standing in a cool like she's shifting her body weight don't know that's obviously that looks nicer but trust me the arms just hanging down like this it's not gonna help your post so give your arms something to do put him somewhere sometimes I see them like together and you just killed a love there's nothing there you know I mean but if you give the hand something to do um you automatically fix issues so when you pose yourself remember hands have to be doing something usually both of them okay solved in the finger's on dh now he's shorter than her in this case but normal pence's hold on a little bit more a little more than ok if you were goingto have hurting him looked down at her don't go in and do it by slouching yourself that's what people do sometimes they try to go like this they tried to reach over to try to kiss her cheek or something if you do it by people in the point so go ahead and people to head just down like this see natural and you still achieve the same look the same look okay um okay let me see what else you okay origin of hands must be visible if you have to know where the camera's right there if you have this kind of thing and you see the hand but you don't see where the origin of the hand comes from you just have a creepy hannigan creeping creeping up the guys are kind of like one of those weird movies you know that so if you have a hand where is the origin of that hand it doesn't you don't know right but you can't do this you can grab the arm on his four grand for a second if you do need to have the arm somewhere try to show at least part of the wrist and a few inches off the arm so you have the army's coming from somewhere okay which reminds me of the next point if the guy's wearing a black suit let's pretend this is the black suit don't put their hand underneath the black suits because now you have black creepy hand and in black so it's like a beautiful backdrop for a really creepy I mean you don't want out draw attention to you through the distractions right so oh this is a good one near near equal ratio subject body off subjects bodies this is important uh let's say you have the groom standing there and you have the bride can you go behind him and just kind of hug him from behind okay take right there's good on turned to the camera that one so people like in a turntable like a lazy susan just turn your bodies like turning like a weight yeah okay can you guys see that clearly how much of the body that you see of that guy matt the whole body one hundred percent how much of the body do you see her ten percent five something like that if you're shooting and you show ten a little bit of the bride and ears on everything off the groom it's gonna throw you officially all you have to do is step tell the brightest step to the left a little bit on the post becomes a lot nicer now her army stretching and is creating in any degree on the right side on because we're here we're fixing it so grab the arm bring it around and you fix the problem so some makes sense okay now you don't have a ninety degree angle now you have more of her body so it's showing up this much is showing up and he's showing up this much it's more equal ratio some incense when you see photos if you spend hours and hours like I do looking at photographs you start noticing like that rachel's wrong that rachel's wrong like you see a piece of the bright on the whole group or or even worse that the whole bride on a piece of the groom and it doesn't look very good ok ok part two color the color bones have to be at an angle now this is not a rule this is just a suggestion that I follow and I break this rule all the time actually I break the rules when I feel like I need to uh but I these are good guidelines for me if the collar bones are facing the camera you white and white in the person right all you have to do is a little tilt so if you're the camera nicky a little tail to the collarbones changes the whole perspective of the person that's it if I'm standing like this and I'm taking the photo this way it's just going to look very broad unless you're trying to do that photo where the bread and we were standing next to each other and they just kind of facing the camera that's where you break it okay but in general if you're trying to create fi nest photos you normally went to turn the color bonds to not face the camera just a little bit of an angle will do the job okay shift the body weight it's what she's doing right now and he's not okay so if you want to posing start from the feet and he goes up if you shift the body weight they both look more relaxed and he looks better if you have can you stand again in case you're just like totally straight just nothing even drop your arms is gonna looks like just dad boredom right nothing's going on now look what quicks just shift your body were quick look at the hip movement like it creates so now you go from this like skeleton to like this more glamorous looking post then you lean towards the groom without bending the spinal cord so turn towards ing and lean towards in using your whole back you'd lean this way and then you can put your arms and get your arms engaged right now that looks good now what happens if you do this go ahead and pull back now lean towards him using your stomach like actually slouch over that's what I see all the time what about that hand you see the origin of that of the arm no so so peppy how many problems do you see here three give me the main once you see the main wants this ah the uh she's not shifting her body and then her spinal spine spinal cord is straight it's been a little bit here and then I can see the origin of her hand I'm on that night and er you can arm just straight you get the monkey I'm going on just kind of like sitting there right okay um create gaps against walls with lower back and elbows in other words if you have a wall and you're gonna use it let's pretend there's a wall here now what you want to do is come this way quick freeze the camera this way you don't want to have that lower back to b flat against the wall you went the lower back to have a gap so you basically enhance the chest you know bust or whatever it also creates a little bit of a gap in the back and light can get through that and it makes you look thinner same thing with elbows you don't you want to create a guy between elbows under the waist because if tissue is looking at you kid you're looking at you this way of course he's got like the perfect waist but okay right there you just gave her three inches each side of her body right a little bit off off a gap now light can get through and he makes her a lot thinner so when you're opposing you're like how could I keep track of all this well that's why you have to do it a little bit at a time like bring some friends over and just post I just concentrate on the capture of the elbows and the gaps in the lower back and little by little you will become second nature to you okay when I'm posting people this little red flags come up and I know exactly where the reply yes so I just fix it that's why you can have a limited posts okay yeah about shifty body weight for a man I know how to shift the body way for a wound but how can I shift the body weight for a man without looking famine in you don't have to because if the guy's just sitting let's say you're trying to push him in front of a wall if he just shaves his body weight leans his backing the wall he's gonna look good okay the only problem is in a guy if you feel the head towards the high shoulder you're going to make him look feminine very family let me look at this I'm gonna stand this way right I'm gonna tell my head towards my lower shoulder I looked like a man now I'm going to go like this and I look very girly makes sense so the size that counts of structure this is like the grammar off the english language this is what I'm talking about you put all these things into this little grammar and you can do anything you want okay thank you one hind higher than the other avoid mirroring so let's say they're facing each other and she's got her arms around his waist and he's got his arms around her okay how many of us have done disposed like freaking everybody right if you do this you're creating a meter between each other so the girls meeting herself and it doesn't look very realistic if you're trying to hug don't keep turning and people table it looks very prom pose like you're it looks very contrived that you're trying very hard to just put him together it looks very forced so soft in it put one hand get closer to put one hand higher than the other and he turns the whole photo around you see that now all you gotta do is come to keep pretending put her put her body this way this way this way there's no way I pulled her arm or so I could see the origin of the hand if I would have done this now you have a perfect backdrop for a creepy hand okay so I pulled her arm just to show a little bit of that risk a few interesting will do the trick but looking much more romantic this looks they just stand like a skeleton I hold them together like like a mirror like this is mirroring decide okay try to create contrasts with the body with their hands and stuff so when han is low put the other one hand high when when the girl has the hands over his shoulder and the groom has the hands in his pockets so you have this open down opened down thing going on okay thank you thank you and you just had here um with the hand says it works really good but I could only see like her face teo do all these points you have to put him in every poll so can you pick and choose which ones you were working with these are these are going to be little pieces of knowledge that you can throw in an implement imposes there are times when you want to break these rules they're not rules their guidelines there are times when you break it rarely do I break this because he has been so good for me not to when I am what I've done this a billion times and the post is look very like just looks like seamless natural like a movie still like you were watching a romantic movie and you just push the first button and he's everyone's in their element and you do that by creating realistic believable post is having the bride go like this it's just not realistic believable having the bride go like this and turning his body towards her with the whole bag instead of just by slouching you create a more believable body energy okay symmetrical post in single person strong this one right here so if you want a post the guy this is works better for the guy who you could do for the bright too symmetrical posing means everything about them is totally symmetrical so if his arm is bent this way this arm needs to be where you are this arm should not be like that this arm's gonna be doing exactly the same type of thing okay or if you have a bride and she's got a long veil or something you can have the veil lift up lift up the veil and you do it all in a symmetrical way looks very strong it could be a very cool look so in your brain you're opposing you're like I'm gonna do a symmetrical pose you can turn the groom photograph him against the cool wall with you shadow or something and you can really get a strong structure for him without ninety degree angles ok three point check single person finessed that means this if this is the groom and you're photographing nikki again from your angle actually nominated from my angle since people are watching ok I'm photographing him here's what I do turn your color bones that way so that's one point now that color bones are not facing me all the way okay turn your chin this way bring your eyes back to the camera now you have a really cool look to him that's a lot more interested in justice since it's my three point check I go collarbones chained ice they goto different direction you can try with kiss you to turn your collarbones this way turn your chin this way turn your ice this way pam you do freakin rock it mean you can create all kinds of photos this way shift their body weight which is already done her arms are not at a ninety degree angle she starts to look very good oh my gosh okay this is the hardest one to explain placement of subjects must be self explanatory unbelievable let me explain what that means if you get hungry quick if you're hugging does that is that separates monitoring yeah the explanation is they love each other just got married whatever if you're shooting a fashion shoot you khun do like separate yourselves and just look that way and keep your so now they're kind of like doing this fashion thing going on right there's some explanation to it you can kind of your reaction is a human a human body just react since it's like that make sense to me they're hugging because they love each other but what happens when the bride is like come take three steps forward their brightest over here and you're kind of crossing your arms and looking at her which you know we've all don't expose a million times right why's he they're like if he's admiring here shouldn't you be like with her not necessarily if you want to create depth photos but that's selective focus and we don't do that we show the whole thing like we show everything all the context is there there's no if I was to crop just that the heads and I was to focus on her he would go out of focus and he could be kind of like a cool like he's gonna creepy looking at her you know cool well if they love each other it's not creepy it's gonna need to make it less creepy you could have him turned that way while she's looking at the camera and he's out of focus but that creates a feeling that you capture afford a journalistic moment like you just focus on her and he happened happen to be looking over there cause he was talking to uncle tom so that's believable but when the guy's just looking at her with his arms crossed or whatever and you show everything in the frame you removing any mystery and you wonder why is he there

Class Materials

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Roberto Valenzuela creativeLIVE Keynote Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Im a freelancer and have studied photo school several years ago and also been working as an assistant for a few years. I think you always have things to learn and keep you from getting stagnant in photography, and i find creative live is a great source for that. Been taking some of Lindseys classes and watched several others from Sue Bryce as well as other classes for equipment and about shooting people in general. I always read what others have said before to avoid any classes that are not informative etc or have a teacher that leave out too much, i was drawn to what people said about Roberto walking the students through the shoots and that he had this great system you could use and take with you when you go forward. I actually never heard of Roberto before but were mainly interested cause of what he was teaching here. I have now watched almost the whole course and first of all let me say i do recommend it a lot. Its a great system to use in my opinion, and i have learned some great stuff to think about that will enhance my own photography, and its a great reference to go back to when you need it. Roberto as a teacher is relaxed, intelligent and has great humor that i can relate to. So you you are not "bored" which is also very important, he keeps it interesting. Some things that i did not like about his way of teaching was that he was a little too impatient at times when the students tried shooting themselves , he reminded me of other photographers i have worked with in past. They were also very impatient sometimes when people around them were moving to slow for the shot to get done etc. I understand during the course the students had limited time to get every shoot done. But many times i was frustrated with that Roberto almost always stepped in too early to "help" them out but instead kind of took over telling them what angle would work best or what light that should be used. It was almost as he wanted his system to show up as flawless and felt as he was scared letting the students try it out on their own because that would somehow show a flaw in his system. I would rather have had him let them try first and later he could come in and suggest the different angles and light. But now many times he would take over and also take his own picture and pointed to the strengths of that picture and why it worked. Still, you learn because he explains at the same time, and walk you through everything. I just find that you would learn even more letting the students fail first or do it right on their own. Also sometimes he would choose a location and say: You can use this wall and these props etc, then when the student would start he would suddenly limit them and instead tell them what to use and how they should crop so that the location itself would not make much difference. Otherwise though, great course. I think i would buy another course from Roberto as well if it was something i needed from it.

a Creativelive Student

I have seen many of the creative live workshops, and attended many great workshops by photographers, including Jerry Ghionis. It was Jerry's wife - Meliisa Ghionis who suggested that Roberto's course on creative live should be a must see. This course was by far the best on creative live for improving your photography of couples, it is just brilliant and has improved my photography in leaps and bounds. There are many great photographers, but most do not know how to pass on their knowledge to others - Roberto is the exception I would consider this course a must see for any wedding photographer, no matter what your experience.


Love Love Love this class!! The way Roberto integrates class participation into his teaching is such an amazing teaching technique! CreativeLIVE has some amazing teachers, I have learned so much from many of them, but Roberto's "hands-on" approach put's the on-line audience in the moment. Very captivating teacher! By far I would say this is one of the, if not the best photography class I have watched!! Thank you!!

Student Work