The Art of Posing


Family Portraits


Lesson Info

The Art of Posing

there really is an art of posing and here's the thing the posing word tends to be a bad word in our world right most people say oh I don't I don't want to do post portrait I don't like post portrait's they look stiff they look on natural but the truth of the matter is a npo x'd portrait's really not so good no on the key deposing is posing people in a natural relaxed way and posing them so their body looks the very best it can posing is where you take off ten pounds ten years where you make bodies look thinner where your puzzle people together so if you're really good at posing and you understand it then it looks natural like you look at my portrait's and you know like wow is people look really stiff and uncomfortable they look natural they're leaning in you know it's ah it's a whole art so there's three languages of posing that I use and they're they're important and the first one is body language and body language is you showing your client what you want them to do using your body so...

in essence you become an aerobics instructor right so if I'm working with my client and they're standing in front of me I'll say okay I'd like you to separate your feet and turn your left toe out so I'm turning my right toe out but they're going to mirror me so I'm saying left turning my right they're mirroring me it's sort of like aerobics instructing if I want them to papa hit papa hip in this direction lean forward pressure hips back drop your left shoulder turn your head to your right shoulder so the language that we speak is really important and the body language is equally is important because honestly most people will near you and here's the thing let's face it no one is comfortable in front of a camera I mean very few people ninety nine percent of the people that you photographed will never be comfortable in front of the camera it's awkward we love our cameras most clients really don't like being in front of the camera so the more comfortable you can make your client the better you'll get opposing and really it all starts with you if you could do it you can show it to your client so separating the feet turning a tow out pressing the hips back look what happens when I just pressed my hip back I'm pretty small person but if I stand straight to the camera and my hips are just right here I look a little wide if I just pressed my hips back I've lengthened out my legs and I've narrowed my hips and I now look about oh maybe five pounds thinner c five pounds right it's the craziest thing now what it's in really the reality is the camera can't tell that I'm kind of sticking my butt out right because they're looking straight at me but when you push those hips back and narrow out the body most people will stand like this right so it's a easy fix pressure hips back he almost become like an aerobics instructor aerobics instructor slash yoga instructor because a lot of the terms that I use to direct people imposing come from yoga so here I am with my client and part of the body language is actually jumping in there and showing them what I want them to do so a lot of times I'll just start out sitting in the seat leaning on the edge I'll sit on the seat and lean into the sister and I'm telling mom here's what I want you to do I want you to put place your foot behind your daughter left foot behind her right foot front bring your hands her her turn your shoulder in and lean together so that literally is what I'll do with clients and here is a cool thing about it really starts to relax people because I'm touching them right and still usually squeeze an arm like you no this is fine you know just lean in squeezed together you know and so there is an element of a personality that comes in here that makes it much easier it's much easier for mom to jump into my place and do what she just saw me do rather than for me to try to explain it to her I'm working with the guys here and you can see I'm literally pushing my hips back I'm like okay everybody just pressure hips back and so I'm behind the camera and I'm you know there are three guys and you guys are just going to do this right so if you lift up pressure hips back the instantly look a little bit thinner a little bit better here's the other thing that pressing the hips back will do when you have somebody with a little bit of a belly when you press the hips back it flattens it out a little bit especially to the camera interesting huh there's so many great little finn ass things about posing I can't wait to share with you all right verbal okay so being able to really communicate is so important so the language that we use make sure you use left and right is really important you know drop your shoulder well which one you know pull up from the center of your spine most people say good posture and people kind of do this when you say good posture they kind of stick their chest out when you say pull up from the centre of the spying people just naturally get a little bit taller pull it from the center of your spine which is one of the most important things I probably say two people lean over from lean over your belt from your hips so pressing the hips back leaning over the belt instead because a lot of people do this when they lean right they kind of do this whole like shoulder thing when they lean push yur hips back slightly pop your left or right hip depending on which way people are going papa left hip operate hip you know just moving the body the body needs motion when you're posing people this is boring this is all of a sudden makes people look better just a little bit of a pop it creates emotion in the body drop your left or right shoulder bring your jaw to the temple of another person so christine if you come right here for me real quick this is a key thing because portrait's are more interesting go ahead and have a seat right on the edge yep that's it and pull it from the center of your spine so when when I want to get people's heads closer together I always say pull your job it's a temple so instantly brings my jaw to her temple so you have your heads at different heights because most people want to do this right you go lean together oh ivory squeeze together yeah no good right so pulled from the senator's finally together bring your jaw to the temple such an easy thing to do awesome um let your elbows float away from the body okay they're the easiest way to take another five pounds off someone is to float the elbow is away from the body so again I'm a pretty small person but if I want to give myself even more of a waste I'll just move my elbows a little bit away from the body standing like this I'm wide little bit of a float away from the body I instantly have a waste any size woman can have a waste if you just move the elbow is away from the body and that's what we all want right all women want a teeny tiny thin little waist okay um till the top of your head to the left or the right so we say because a lot of times we do this you know turn your head and people do this or tilt your head and people do things it just cracks me up so tilt the top of your head and then people could understand which way you want to go the language is so important practice practice practice take people out talk in front of the mirror it's so important to not kind of be doing that well turn the right how many people do that you're not really sure how to communicate what you want people to do you're not really sure which way you want them to turn their body and ultimately you end up going up to them and like moving them and you can't really see what you're doing when you're right up against your subject you actually need to move back so you can see what you're doing raise your chin slightly and I know I'm italian I talk with my hands you know eh I was born like yohei my birthday no so raise your chin slightly till the top of your head so people I'm like a maestro you know turn you her head till lean so when people are in front of my camera there seeing me there seeing my hands and I can really get them to move any way I want them to move just with my hands separate your feet there's all kinds of way that statement go wrong I'm not even gonna go there but when I teach workshops and we have students posing the models and you know it comes time to like having two separate their feet off weird things come out of people's mouths but we're not gonna go there so but really literally separating feet starts right here all posing starts with base of your feet all posing starts at the bottom and works its way up so if we don't separate the feet or we don't have a little bit of ah separation in the legs there is no place for us to go so if we just stand like this is very difficult to lean forward now this looks uncomfortable right even if I push my hips back here this looks weird I can't really lean this way because there's there's no base for me to move round on so I have to create a base with my body and now I compressed my hips back and drop a shoulder move my hands and lean forward a bit you know everybody just needs to walk around like that okay I lost my remote um lift up lift up and lean into the centre of the group that's another thing lift up and lean and if you notice my portrait's air all very that you cannot deny my style p I'm a relationship person I love arms around each other love heads touching love people close that mean families to me that's what family portraiture is people leaning in and hugging and arms around each other and so when you see my portrait you see a lot of that leaning into the center um drop your left your right shoulder I think we talked about that place your thumb on the outside corner of your pants pocket so a lot of people will do this whole like pocket thing and they'll drop their whole hand in but usually I like to just throw a thumb in the pocket just like that just so that you can still see the hand we haven't cut the hand off it creates a bend in the wrist and it creates a little bit of a separation here in the waist the more descriptive you can be with your language the better your subjects will be able to understand you so I'm gonna let you guys write some of this down because these key phrases are super super important and the more you use them the easier it gets you know just turn your head to the left till your chin down slightly lift up from the center of your spine pressure hips back slightly separate your feet turn your toe out to the left or to the right and they're just easy directions that people can understand eighty percent of what we do is communicating with people eighty percent twenty percent is camera technique and you know post production and all that other stuff but eighty percent of what we do really is all about people communication skills if you don't like working with people this is probably not what you should be doing right family portrait ce maybe food photography if you don't like people photograph food food doesn't talk it doesn't move you sometimes can eat it when you're done with it it's good stuff on dh then hands we talked about that a little bit and I'm going to a little bit more but it's so easy and you know what christine what have you come back here and I'll come back here so from here if I am it if I'm at camera yeah and here's what I wanted to sit in the chair like you would normally sit in here yeah so so right most people sit in the chair fully and just like slouch right exactly so come all the way to the edge of the chair lean up from the center of your spine pull up and then take your left elbow and lean it right out onto the arm of the chair a little bit further relax your shoulder drop your shoulder till your head to the shoulder and chin down just a little bit that's it lean a little bit more really get a good lead and that's it and lift up and then lean towards me just a little bit see how I can control a whole body from here so I don't need to go up to her and you know mass with her and you know make her feel uncomfortable and everything I do is like perfect that's awesome beautiful because if I don't say that to her she's going to like that by doing this right now do I look okay you know and if you go home yeah no I never say that never ever even if it's the worst polls have ever created in your life never let the client know that because it's not bad for you but it's bad for the client to follow something like oh yeah no that's that's not good pooja like oh god I look horrible right and that's the last thing we want her to do is feel uncomfortable so that's it perfect like that shoulder let that arm fall all the way over there ej that's it let your head till it all the way and then chin down and you're leaning back a little bit so lean towards me that's it and then press into your knee just a drop see how I can just totally and I'm doing everything I'm asking her to do so that and you feel comfortable right and I'm sure I don't even have a camera in my hand isn't that funny no camera all right go ahead we'll switch places again the more you can master that the better so practice with people find neighbors find friends frank family members who are willing to just sit and be controlled by your hands okay maybe not that um but here you can see on behind my camera and this is the actual shoot that I did with this family they're actually in the book and my husband paul photographed me photographing this family and this is me working with them live and I have just okay so till your head just a little bit more leaning together so this is what I'm doing I'm always almost always working from behind the camera and here I know what I'm saying some lean it leaning like just like that all right so it's just oh this is another but by the way this is another great location it looks horrible doesn't it it's a wash between my house and my neighbor's house but the direction of light at the right time of day is so computer before that when I say there's a little wash between my house and I'm going to use for a portrait and again clients like okay but it actually works out really what well okay you've got to walk like you're wearing for sochi how mean and a lot of us is you know who done weddings you realize you know you see like brides maids walking down the aisle like this right like you flowers and hands elbows tight nervous as all get out shoulders rounded you know one of these you ever watch a runway model or red carpet model they walked like this like they own the dress there have a swag their arms come out right no matter how then they are no matter how tiny their arms are always away from their waist hip is always pop back shoulders always bad there always twisting a shoulder right and the reason why is because well they're wearing a thirty thousand dollar dress that saci probably send them for the red carpet event that they're going to and they can't walk down a red carpet like this in sochi it just doesn't work but we always say well how they look so amazing that dress how they look so good they're taught to walk and they're taught to pose and they're taught toe work that dress so you know it's so funny because wherever I go I'm sort of just like yeah walk like you're wearing for sochi even if you're wearing target doesn't matter just kidding but it's really important toe watch the red carpet watch model shows there really a great way for photographers to learn how to pose because those models know what they're doing they're taught to pose there taught to make their body look good so one of the best ways to do this and hansen farm has greeted this when he teaches a workshop on the end of the week he makes him he pairs people up together and says okay you two are gonna pose and you're going to do a pose off and so you and a partner will have to create all these poses and do them in front of hanson four like a score basically and so as students all week we work on opposing each other and posing ourselves so it was like you know be with like a a male student and were like doing like a double profile like looking at each other and you know we have to learn howto throw her hips back the best way to learn how to pose is to do it yourself in the mirror you know maybe when no one's home because it's going to look a little weird you know you're in the mirror like yeah papa hip throw a shoulder what does it look like if I turn this way if I dip a chan like but the key thing is you have to understand how your own body works and how your own body looks good so that you can teach other people how to make their body look good everybody is a different size well I could do with one person I can't do it another person so you have to learn body size you know height differences and family members what's going to make one person look good is not gonna work for someone else so the best thing you can do is really just start learning how to pose yourself posing really is an art form and it takes time to master the key elements to remember is that each person look good that's the key thing because what is the first thing that people do when they see portrait's of themselves in a group they look for themselves they don't care about anybody else in the picture right they look right for themselves and when you're photographing families if you have a couple of teenage girls and they don't like the way they look in a portrait mom's not buying it no if mom doesn't like how she looks she's not buying it bad sometimes doesn't care as much but for women they need to look good look att puzzling bodies together so when you first come you know it's talking to a family and you're looking to see who is the smallest who is the largest what the body size is how can I puzzle these people together um we're going to put the bigger taller people towards the back we're going to put the smaller kids in the front one thing I love to say two moms who say oh you know I really want a family portrait down because I haven't lost the baby weight yet and I said don't worry about it we'll use the baby to hide the weight right so I'll place kids on the lap you know just to hide the body parts that mom doesn't really feel comfortable with um creating triangles and diagonal lines which we're going to get into and talk about opening up the bodies to the camera the easiest way to stack people isto have shoulders and space above people to actually stack heads so a lot of times you'll see like you especially a gold school bridal party pictures it was like this you know like their heads all turn but we open up the bodies then we have places to stack people different ways to separate height andi actually when you open the body up to the camera it flattens it out it makes it look thinner so if you have a dad with a little belly or mom or anybody who's got a little bit of a belly when you flatten them out to the camera they're actually going to look thinner as opposed to turning them this way and then showing off what we don't want to see use a tripod and even use a tripod for portrait now you try I know it takes some getting used to but it's one of the most critical things I think we can do and we're going to talk about that use great communication skills the number one thing make those people in front of your camera feel awesome that's perfect you know this before especially kids are you professional model we have done this before kids like it was like is a great way to relax people and get them feeling really good facial angles there's three facial angles that we should be aware of um the first is a full face where we can see both ears full face view of full face view includes both ears you can see the entire face cheek to cheek here tio here most people are good in a you know pretty good in a full face view the second is to third view of the face and the two thirds view the face ends right here at the edge of the eye so you have a full I d but it ends at at the edge so that you're only seeing one year this tends to be the more flattering facial angle for most women now the two thirds view of the face will depend on where her hair is or where her where she tells you her best side is because how many people you know every mommy photograph old is my best side and my god I think you had one I'm just kidding I'm just kidding but this is a two third view of the face this is a profile a profile you should still be able to see a little bit of the eyelash to give you a perception of the other side but really you're only seeing on this side of the face now you can mix and match all of these different facial angles within the same portrait so for example dad looks good in a full face so I'm going to say to dad when I'm posing him no matter what the poses turn your face all the way to me no straight at me I think mom looks better in a two third do so while I'm working with them mom turn your face a little bit this way I'm putting her in a two third view and this you know hey child number one turn your face slightly this way they're going into a two thirds view so when I'm working with people and I'm telling them to move their faces in different ways I'm actually positioning their face based on what I think is their best facial angle for the portrait so it is important so when you look at faces look at them is it around face it is a long face which which direction is her hair going in that's going to be important if she has a big swoop coming down one side you're probably gonna want to put her on the side where you'll see most of her face so using facial angles to make everybody look good is super important and then that's a little bit of analyzing going on if one eye is smaller than the other you're gonna want to make sure that the eye that is depending on the shape the eye that is bigger you want you actually want the smaller I towards the camera because if you put the smaller eye away from the camera it gets even smaller because it's further from the camera and so sometimes if you see people have it discrepancy between the size there I you might build clinton's famous for this if you ever watched him speak he turns his face a certain way and his back I looks completely closed because of the size difference and then he turns a different way and and he looks totally open so another great way to really learn posing is whatever you're doing what people watch analyze faces you know see what happens when people turn our there is their face symmetrical was one eye smaller than the other you know do they have haze that person good in a profile ninety nine percent of people hate a profile and was never shoot profiles you know because most people don't like the way they look in profile she's actually pretty good right so it's important to analyse faces analyzed bodies and so when you get your subjects in front of you all of a sudden you've got all this thinking going on in your mind right all this preplanning let's talk about we're pre planning our location we're looking for leading lines were looking for texture depth direction of light now we're working with our family were looking for body size who's the smallest who's the biggest one of the facial angles who's going to be in a full face who's going to be in a two thirds face so this way you're already starting to put the pieces together in your brain before you start working with your clients does that help it's fun stuff camera height this is fun camera height is super important and highly underestimated okay um again I think I spoke about this earlier because on for eleven and I'm shooting portrait I'm almost always standing on something because I want to be higher than my subjects for so for camera height this is a high camera angle and she's totally adorable and she's got a beautiful long face and the camera angle here does a couple of things ah hi camera angle creates a background that is the ground so we have very little trees back here we have mostly the railroad tracks and this high camera angle actually lengthens her outright I mean it gives her ah long neck and it has her looking up towards the camera so it lengthens out her neck it diminishes any double chin you know people say oh you know I'm gonna break your camera have no too many chance no problem hi camera angle right if you want to make a face look thinner high camera angle if you want to make the body looks smaller hi camera angle because remember what's closest to the camera focal plane is going to appear larger than what's further away so if I want her body to be smaller I'm going to get up higher so that I I can focus on her face and diminish her body this is an eye level so now the backgrounds change we have a little bit in the ground and we have more of the trees but her body shape is changing a little bit her face is slightly rounder if you really take a good look at her face is slightly rounder and her hip is getting a little bit bigger so let's just go back see how tiny she looks back here next image she looks a little bit bigger in the hips doesn't she cause I'm coming down to a lower camera angle she's still pretty small but look how bigger hip looks in here it's all camera angle I see it it's so cool look are faced with a little bit more full and rounded here and she looks a little bit shorter because I'm all the way down here let's just go back to the high cameron go look how long she looks and lean she looks thinner here doesn't she they're all writing so furiously I don't know if you guys can see them right now that they are writing that is so awesome it's like sometimes like you like not interested or you're just busy writing but this is so key because most people just shoot from the same eye level all the time and I'm always you know different heights now you can have fun with this is she's you know she's a really small thin model you want to shoot from a low camera angle and get like kind of not looking up sure great no problem when you're talking about you know a forty year old mama's got an extra twenty pounds on her and is already self conscious about her weight we're gonna want to get a high camera angle we're going to make her look good we're gonna wanna minimize your hips are gonna want to do everything in our power to make her look good so let's just go review it again so our hips get a little bit bigger the background changes or face gets a little bit rounder and here she's a more of a round face or arms actually look bigger and her whole body looks bigger jos from camera height it's cool huh you guys okay okay good fun stuff okay so watch the red carpet shows we just already talk about this the three languages opposed great communication skills are the key to posing a kid you know you've got to be able communicate with people and you've got to be really self assured you can't be like wow turn your head this way a little bit you've gotta walk in there and know what you're doing and being command and you know you fake it till you make it even if you don't know what you're doing you act like you know what you're doing and if you've just taken the worst portrait of your life and you no it's bad that was awesome let's move on going to a totally different pose but the best thing you could do for your client is encourage them and really show them that you know exactly where you doing totally in charge you got this down and you're in control your confident in what you're doing all right also put the camera down we're photographers we love our cameras right we love our cameras are gears really cool it's all like we just love handling our camera playing with our camera most people don't like the camera right so if you look like this to your client you're pretty scary there's no communication going on here with you and your client right so you're talking you're climbing and you're doing the uh let me grab my camera from him you're real click right so you do in the um sorry okay so you're doing your chute and you're talking to a client like this and I have a lens cap on here but and you're talking your client like this that's it lean in come a little closer that's it sasha huh beautiful love that say say cheese one two yet oh wait wait just tell your head a little bit come on really as opposed to hey okay tilt your head down just a little bit turned your head with me lean towards me just a little bit look where I start doing I start smiling at you and then what do you do know how back at me I don't think in my lifetime I've ever asked him when actually smile for me right like it's amazing you agree I know you totally uncomfortable right now but form over function you look good right and so the portrait's come from where the real nation ship you build with your clients right you can't build a relationship when you look like this so learn to use the tripod because when I worked on my tripod I can just at first of all I'm already set ready to go my you know all the things I need to know on my camera and we're good to go um here we go we're gonna attach this right and so from here it's so much easier for me to be right here and be like okay aaron lien over to me to settle with perfect turn your head this way justine class is just a tiny bit that's perfect I boom now right here a lot of times I'll pre focus so that this way I'm already focused on you and I don't even have to look through the view camera again because the viewfinder because you already there and it's so much better for me to get an expression right here then for me to go here all right it's key I'm telling learn to use a tripod so good okay so instead of looking like that I looked like that is better I'd remember photographing people's all about relationships getting expression you don't want like you know you want oh yeah this is great and I'm gonna get time she's funny like this is a good time hi building family groups ready creating triangles now that we've talked a little bit about this but we're going to go into depth with this I'm always looking for triangles in my group meaning heads or stacked who started in the base of the body so let's just look at this group for example and I'll pop in the triangle so that you can see a mall but you can actually start seeing them before I even start talking about them now this mom awesome amazing mom beautiful what does she say to me oh michelle I never like to have my portrait done because the arms still waiting we don't worry about it I've literally caught her body in half by putting her behind her husband having her lean over she's leaning and look at the camera angle my camera angle you can see is higher thinning out her entire face put the little ones in the front dad is now the centerpiece the force to be reckoned with in this family and the oldest daughter coming overhear his other shoulder all right so here's one triangle here's another triangle and then we put them together it's slightly off goes slightly off but you can see I'm talking about now here this is a family I photographed up in canada and I was there for a workshop and you know mark invited me up there so you can see here the triangle we created now the triangle starts with um his feet it goes up here and it comes down here now what have I done for mom check out her body right I've hidden any I think that she's uncomfortable with here by putting her son right there and bring the daughter over and then dad over her shoulder so look at how they're leading in there lifting up and they're leaning into the center of the portrait now each of these people would look good if the other person was missing that makes sense right so if we took out the two girls mom and dad still look pretty good right where they are if we took out this daughter this grouping still looks good if we took this daughter out well they still look pretty good we've got a nice diagonal line I might shoot it a little bit tighter but here the whole family creates a triangle starting with making sure that their legs are going out in opposite directions making sure their legs were on opposite directions so that that creates the base of the triangle right that makes sense all right so coming from the base of a triangle up to this first daughter mom dad and outside the other triangle the outside other corner if we move dad out of this well still have mom and the girls looking good so when I'm posing people on I'm working with families I'm stacking the groups so that I can continuously add on so don't have to change the pose every time so I probably started with mom and the girls just like this and then added dad into the mix can you see my triangles here you look confused but they're there now check it out here is a situation where having those bodies open to the camera makes for all this space and we've got stacked triangle so jack is open to the camera but look where mom is what have I done to mom I've made her look thinner even though she's a thin mom by placing part of her body behind her children purposely I've narrowed our her body and made her look thinner now if you can see she's slightly press back a little bit you can tell right I've got her leaning over just a little bit dad nice and strong this daughter hidden behind her sister and her dad holding on pop in the elbow gives me a little bit of ah waste on the sister thumbs in the pants pocket dad's holding on to his daughter that's fun right easy here's my triangle there's the first one there's an inverted triangle second one their legs are also creating triangles remember how we talked about the bass opposing starts with the feet so he started with the feet and we also have for the most part toes facing out all right she's facing into the group so she would look silly a photo is facing out we always have a toe turned out so this way it gives a nice base instead of this right so using the toe starts the triangle at the bottom of the frame it's good stuff right I know it's a lot here same thing I'm using her boot coming up to dad putting him in the center he's the tallest point of my triangle and then coming down the other side I want this image because we have that gorgeous background all right it's in that same location we shot that other family their color coordinated she's got this little one's got a great little attitude and here still using all the concepts I talk about I can pose for the other direction because I'm using her toe to create that bottom part of the triangle her shoulders are leaning her she's leaning back dad's got his hand his pocket looks you know what's pretty good and look at mom look how thinner body looks because I've hidden her she's pretty thin woman to begin with but you know my mother he says you can never be too thin or too rich so I'm sorry mom if you washing really sorry on dh then maddie is in front of mindy giving her like cutting her body in half and mandy's actually cutting jeff in half a little bit and also separating the legs makes the body look thinner because if the legs together like this everything seems wider well separation legs popped hips back I know everyone on the break is going to be in their bathroom mirror no joke okay how pop my hips back if I drop my shoulder okay here you see the triangles before even shown teo there's one there's another one right oh and we have a diagonal line in there too okay nancy one of my favorite all time I've photographed her kids since thiss little guy was too that was tough who now where he was ethan no yeah ethan was tough but I love nancy because she's one of my moms who says michelle make me look thinner okay and so here the way of seated her on the ground slightly rolled under a hip I've got her husband wrapped all the way around her of popped her knee up this is the kind of family the portrait I love this is what mom wants to see think about it all right think about what mom wants for her family what she has in mind everybody's harmonious and hugging and connected right because really how often do they look like this I'm probably never so from mom this is a really big deal right and so would have the hands wrapped around each other you know kids holding onto dad everything we're happier arm squeeze and lift up squeeze around nancy see how their heads were all it's slightly different heights you could have so much fun with families it's so awesome okay same thing right I'm telling you is another really thin mom who said michelle I'm a little overweight I don't like where in your big toe like where like seriously but starting at the base look at how I have their legs going out in separate directions so I'm literally I I get down on the ground and I show her here's how I want you to sit you're gonna be on your hip your legs are going to go out to one side I'm gonna put your little one right on your lap this guy's gonna go in front his leg's gonna go the other way and then we lean dad in over mom shoulder I want all the heads or nodding see their heads nodding that's awesome you guys I love the life bowl that's why I love teaching because you I can see the light bulb going off in your eyes right now like uh I see the ah ha moments are you having our moment they're quiet group I'm just saying shoe so here we go with the whole triangle this is at their home I love the reflection in the glass behind dad using the architecture of their home and then look so this is a great portrait of one if just the kids were sitting here that's pretty good if just the kids and mom are sitting there awesome it was just dad and mom great it was just the kids and dad I'd have to put down a slightly different place but again we start with mom and her daughter we had the boy then we put that in here I love this what we see going on here for for this in terms of shape yeah we've got an inverted triangle and we kind of got a circle going on right okay okay so that's what happened when we changed the aspect ratio okay I'm trying to figure out why that happened and now I know ok anyway so this is a big circle again this is another image that okay mom loves this why because how often or her kids hugging each other they're unusually choking each other so this's what makes mom pretty happy and then imagine my triangles over just a little further because that's where it is here in this image this is that same location that I showed you earlier with I saw the mom and dad same location the rocks back there is our beautiful background I've got this beautiful texture in here that directional light coming through and we have triangles see it goes from here all the way up and all the way out so I purposely have her pop hernia purposely put her hand on her knee so that I can create the base of my triangle everything you see me do is absolutely done purposefully so that I can create that triangle dad's arm wrapped around um ali is a little bit behind jensen no dad's head is right here between the girls and I wrap your arms around them okay this is a great example of what I'm using my little reflector here this is that location we talked about earlier and this is how I set up this image okay so bethany is sitting on the floor suite on one hip she's like leaning on one hip terry is on her knees terry is camera two terrys camera two terry's on her knees and uh andy is same leaning over but look at the triangle between their heads and their hands around each other so again because I'm a closeup photographer I love faces that's kind of porch so I like there's where my images little reflector popping in here ready squeezing in but it's so simply put the first person on the ground sitting on her hip and you bring in mom on one side and you have them separate their knees and lean over the shoulders that's another really important thing because if mom was too far out here and leaning into her shoulder this way like leaning over her shoulder her body would be sideways it would be kind of awkward and her face would be turned too much so a lot of times I have to say turn your back shoulder into me because people always want to open it up and so I wantto alleviate space between the bodies so close it up by bringing the body in and opening it up to the camera that's really what we're doing is opening the body to the camera instead of closing it by having like more of a shoulder on mom does that make sense then we had nathan super easy nathan just come on in here to put one foot over your mom's feet lean over shoulder and dad lean over everybody we've got a diagonal line we've got a triangle we've got a triangle in here we've got an obscure triangle in there there's so many great things you can do and what and in this seriously this is all about puzzling bodies when I talk about puzzling bodies bethany anterior the smallest ones I'm going to put them up front right terry I want her to be over her daughter because she's mom so I want her to be higher than I have andy come in that nathan leans over and then dad leans over the whole day I literally already know in my mind in advance how I'm gonna puzzle these bodies together saving I love this family five kids who I think we have like nine children for tomorrow's shoot nine yeah I'm like this is going to be awesome because if all the kids don't behave they suddenly become a family of like eight kids or suddenly become a family of six kids but anyway and you know you hear the phone call because this little guy's too right and you know yeah we'd love to have a family portrait you know I've five children right because you just never know what to expect with children range in age from two to twelve you just you don't know these were the most amazing well behaved children I have ever met my life so far from the first you know oh that's not nice you know amazing kids so dr shepherd is here his wife and check out the triangles you can see him I don't even have to point him out anymore right there's one there's another one and you can actually see you know diagonal lines in here is well that diving online here got a diagonal line here heads or stacked in different spots and because the children's bodies are open to the camera there's space to put their heads you know what I'm saying we actually have room if they have a sixth child we can put a six child down there when that be funny was yeah uh works for me all right so here we go diagonal lines working with a lot of this image because this happened naturally you know sometimes you're trying to pose kids and you said do this do that and then they just like you just go with it right because this is the expression that sells everything but they're still in a diagonal line this aspect ratio cracking me up and hear diagonal lines here diagonal lines and heads are parallel to each other mom leaning over this thing this portrait is everything in that expression I called uh jensen like kate of a thousand smiles because she just cracked up no matter what I said they were just laughing their heads off here in that same location we talked about earlier creating dia diagonal lines

Class Description

Learn family photography from Michele Celentano! You'll learn how to pose and light groups, but to be a family photographer you also have to be a psychologist, director, sales manager, a marketing director and postproduction expert. Spending three days with Michele will help you find the style of family portraits that you love, learn how to create portraits that illustrate family relationships and learn how to work with people of all ages, from newborn to 99.


Courtney Zito

I love this class! I am transitioning from film & television to photography, specifically children and families, and this class is wonderful! I am only on Day 1, class 6 (The art of posing) and I have learned so much that I have already applied to my own photography. If you're like me, you have come across other's photos and thought "meh", and then you come across some and you are like "wow!". What is the difference? Well there are many factors that make a great portrait, but one aspect I hadn't spent as much time thinking about was posing. You don't think about how important posing is until you see it in action here. I am looking forward to the rest of this series and soaking up all of her experience and knowledge. She's cute and quirky, and very organized in her teaching. Thank you Michele, great class!