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Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview

Lesson 14 from: Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Scott Robert Lim

Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview

Lesson 14 from: Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


5 Shots That WOW


Four Fundamentals of Photography


Create a Visual Impact with Composition


Importance of Foreground and Background


Create Depth in Landscape Images


Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules


Composition Practice Exercise


Composition Critique of Student Images


Keys to Posing


Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose


Shoot: Modern Female Pose


Shoot: Rollover Female Pose


Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview


Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female


Seven Posing Guidelines


Headshots Poses with Male Model


Shoot: Headshot for Male Model


Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model


Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model


Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model


Keys to Couples Posing


Shoot: Couples Posing


Couples Transitional Posing Overview


Shoot: Transitional Posing


Keys to Group Posing


Accordion Technique with Groups


Shoot: Accordion Technique


Shoot: Best Buds Pose


Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose


Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose


Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses


Shoot: Pod Method Pose


Posing Critique of Student Images


Introduction to Lighting


Soft vs Hard Light


Difficult Lighting Situations


Bright Light Techniques


Overcast Light Techniques


Low Light Techniques


Lighting Techniques Q&A


Drama Queen Lighting


Laundry Basket Lighting


Make it Rain Lighting


Smart Phone Painting with Light


Mini LED Bokeh Lighting


Choose the Right Lighting System


Hybrid Flash System


Innovative Accessories


Gear Overview


Theatrical Post-Processing


Ten Keys to Post-Processing


Essential Skills to Post-Processing


Headshot Post-Processing


Bright Light Post-Processing


Flat Light Post-Processing


Low Light Post-Processing


Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing


Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing


Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing


Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Lesson Info

Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview

Let's get to hands and arms posing, and what do you do? And that was my whole thing. Okay, I've got the walkaway pose or whatever, the classic, and then I've got the sexy one, but what do I really do with these things here? Oh, question. Yeah, just a quick question for you, 'cause we have several people asking it. Could you tell us about the video light that you're using? Oh, okay, yeah. So, this is my killer video light. If you just go to, you can find it there. But I created this light that had to be super strong. This is not... I'm gonna tilt this up here, okay. And I don't like lights, video lights, that are dual temperature, you know the ones where you can adjust the temperature? I know that's a huge selling feature, but I don't like those at all. And the reason being is is that when you have a dual temperature light, part of the LEDs are gonna be devoted to warm light, and part are going to be devoted to blue, but you won't be able to get 'em all at ful...

l strength on to give you maximum light. And so if I wanted to create the smallest form light but very powerful, they would all have to be the same like, white light, right? And so, that's, my whole philosophy is this: if my subject has pure white light on them, their skin is fine. I could care less what the colors in the back look, because to me, the client's paying me, so I need to make their skin look perfect. And so as long as I have white light on my subjects, then I'm golden, and I don't care about the background. I could even change that if I need to in Photoshop. But I need that skin to look amazing. And so skin looks more natural when you're using, what? Window light, white light. So everything that I have is white light. My video light's white light. My flashes are white light. This makes white light. And so as long as I get that on my subject, then I don't care about white balance at that point. In fact, most of the time, I'm just on auto white balance, because this is seeing it as white. And so, I need this light. Why I need this so powerful is that I love diffused light to make it look soft, and when you put light through an umbrella, you lose four times the power of it. I mean, the trade-off is this. I get big, beautiful light, but I lose a significant amount of power. So what could I do? A small form factor, but have powerful light that'll get through this, and I found that this light works the best for me. It also has an AC adapter, so if you're in studio, you could plug it into the wall and let it go forever. So, this is what I like using. Thank you. Good? All right. So, moving forward, how's that? And I also, you could just get a, so the key too is to put it on an umbrella mount. I have this bar here just in case I wanna add another flash or something, but you could literally just put this on a straight umbrella mount, and you're good to go. So, let me just put this through, and let's move on. Okay, great. Let's get into hands and arms posing. And this, what this really does is helps with the balance and the expression of the pose. Hands, they really say a lot and convey emotion with your hands and what you do with them, and this is another essential element in expressing the emotion, is through the hands. So if I use my hands, I did something like this, that really adds to the emotion, whereas if I just did that and, right, it doesn't. But the hands just add so much to the shot. And so later, you know, as my career progressed, I realized, I gotta get the hands in there, because I see these shots that are so beautiful, but I don't know what to do, how to do it and what was the philosophy. And so I'm gonna go over these, I think there's six or seven different ways what you can do. Okay, so let's start with number one, and this is what I call, it's like you're smoking a cigarette, right? So if you were smoking a cigarette, you would either have your wrist up like this, right, or you could have it down, like this. And so the key thing is is that when you have a hand up that that wrist is bent. 'Cause if you keep it straight, it doesn't look as natural. So either you're gonna bend the wrist down, or you're gonna bend it up, and it's like holding a cigarette. Okay, so, and if you're gonna touch the face, you're gonna lightly touch that face. The reason why I don't like touching it is because it distorts the act if you touch it. But if you're just slightly off it, or it's slightly touching it, you don't distort the face. So that's why I do that, and let's look at some examples of that. Okay. So, cigarette. Doesn't it look like she's smoking a cigarette right there? And here's another one. Instead of cigarette, I had her hold this lipstick. So I really liked these lights, and I wanted to do a profile shot, but then I go, oh, what am I gonna do with her hands, right? Okay, grab that lipstick. Let's pretend it's like a cigarette or something, and she has her wrist bent, and it's actually doing something, and it looks better here, okay? So, again, hands by the face. And so you can see here in this example, see where she didn't bend the wrist? It doesn't look as natural. So you gotta just simply get that wrist bent, and it's great. Another thing I usually put that hand on the shadow side, and the reason being, if the light is coming this way and I have my hand here and the light's coming this way, it could cause a shadow across my face, depending on where I put it. So in general, if the light is coming this way, I like the hand on the other side on the shadow side here and get it out of the way. Here's a typical, here's a nice example of that, of how that wrist is bent there, and it's very important to have that spine tilted one way or another. So, if you feel, you look at your pictures and you feel, ah, it just looks really stiff, it's usually because the spine is perpendicular to the ground. But once you offset it, it's gonna look a lot natural, and you can see here how that spine is offset. It's because she's leaning. She's got all that weight on that one leg. She's doing the sexy pose, and I'm just shooting it tight. What the heck is she doing? Right? So the light is this way. She's posing this way, looking right here, right? And so that's why you gotta shift that weight. 'Cause if you automatically shift that weight, that spine is already, bam, it's tweaked for you, and it's not straight up and down. Okay. So, the second one is called a shoulder tap. She's just kind of gracefully tapping their shoulder. A lot of it, it's just not the hands, too. These shoulders have to seem relaxed also. So it's the hands, arms, and the shoulders, 'cause you can kind of just talk with your shoulders, right? Hello, right? You can just, that's a good exercise. Just try shooting with your shoulders to try to express something. Hi. Right? (Scott laughs) For some reason, I have too much fun doing that. Love it. (all laugh) I guess I wanna be an actor but I'm not. All right, so shoulder tap, right? Get those, and you can see what's great about that is is that the shoulders are not at the same level, too, and so it's tilted and tapping the shoulder, and so that creates that diagonal. So if you look at this picture here, don't you see in a diagonal across the picture? It's gonna make you look at the entire frame, and that's what you want, when the posing, the lighting, and the composition work together to create this line, forcing you to look at the entire photo, which is gonna be really strong at that point. And here's the next one. I call it the necklace, or it's kind of like when they're touching their collar bone here, and, you know, a lot of women think that the collar bone is like the sexiest part. I mean, if you ask guys, it's gonna be different. No guy goes, oh, check out her collarbone. That's so sexy. But anyways, women love it, I don't know. Okay, so that's what the necklace is, is that kind of touching that collarbone area. Okay. And here's the next one. I have a, you saw me do it already. It's like, okay, usually if the hand is doing something, you can justify it being there. And so a lot of times if they're pulling their hair, it just creates some balance with the shot, and so I'll do that a lot, like in this section, she's puling her hair back, or she's pulling her hair across the face, but it's just something to do with your hands here. Here's the next one. Pull the hair, then pull the dress, and I do that a lot, especially if it's long. It is that you can simply pull that dress up, and it works really well, despite whatever you're doing, and it keeps the hand within that frame there. And so look at everything here, right? See that diagonal line? That's what you wanna do with your posing and your compositions, is that now you have diagonals that are very, very strong, and seeing them and creating them in your photo, just, first of all, that diagonal line, I used to be a graphic designer too, it breaks up the squareness of the page, right? 'Cause the frame is very square. But what a diagonal does is it breaks that and it creates a fluid feel to it. It's because you're going against that squareness, that verticalness there, with that diagonal line. So here, we've got a diagonal this way, but also, your eye's being forced to look at the Eiffel Tower, too. So everything here, you're gonna wanna look at, and it creates those elements that are really nice that force your eye to look at the entire page. Here again, lifting up that dress, and I tried to make that one hand higher than the other. So, you'll look across the whole frame. Keep hands at different levels. And a lot of times when I'm pulling up the dress, I'll ask, oh, can you just raise that right above the knee? Because that's kind of like having a slit in your dress, and when you can poke your knee out, then, what, you can see that raised knee, and it just has kind of a sexy feel to it. So I ask them, hey, can you just pull that dress right above the knee? But, hey, if they give me more, then hey, that's them, not me, and I was like, great, take the picture. (Scott laughs) But, I like that. I just like showing a little bit of that. It just really accentuates the woman and shows her shape a bit more, and it's kind of like, you know, teasing a little bit, just like a sensuality, right? You don't have to show it all, just a little bit, and it just has a nice feel to it. And here, here's the next shot. I just said above the knee. She just did that on her own. That's fine, I'll take it. Shoot it. Okay, here's another pose that I love, and I call this the yin-yang pose. Now, I'm gonna demonstrate the world's worst pose, okay? This is the world's worst pose. Here. Hi, take a picture of me. Why is this so terrible? Because it feels like I'm gonna tip over here, right? So, if, how do we make it better? I've got yin on this side, but I've got no yang over here. So, if I've gotta make it better, well maybe, I'll just shift my weight over on this side to help that. If I bring this in here, maybe I'll put this out on the other side to balance it up. And so now, I have yin and yang. So when you're looking at your photos and how you pose 'em, if you have just one arm out there and you're not pulling this arm out a little bit, you're not balancing it off. And so that's what you're trying to achieve, is some balance. So if you've got a lot of something this way, then maybe you wanna push the arm out that way to help balance it off. And so that's the yin and yang effect. I do have one other thing that I call the yin-yang boom, and a typical pose that I do is I've got the yin here, right, the yang here, and the boom is the leg. So you've got three there. Yin, yang, boom. It works. So, and that really accentuates everything, especially if you're shooting a side angle of a person. It's really a strong pose, because it has balance in it, right? Yin, yang, boom. And it has a flow to it, or it has some really nice lines to it. Here's other examples of it here. Okay, and so I'll do that a lot. Oh, put your hand by your forehead like it's hot or something. Look towards the light. But if you're gonna do that, right, if you're gonna do that, you've gotta have something on this side to balance it out. You just can't have 'em do that. It has to be here too to create that balance for you. You can also do it as a side angle, and so hang or hold her hat there, but I had to have this arm pulled back. So I have this, and then I have this here. And so I did this next picture here, which was hard, 'cause she had super, super, super long arms, right? And so what you can do is if you have arms, if they're out like a chicken wing there, you can reduce that by just pulling them back. So a lot of times, when, let's say you're doing that with a dress and how you pose your arm here to give you this other part, what I do, it's like you're pulling, it's like you're lifting your dress, and you're pulling it back. And that way, that elbow gets tucked back like that and not straight out like this, okay? So, if I was wearing a dress, and I was pulling it back, it would be like this, right? And that's how you wanna have it, versus just, ooh, sticking your arm out like that, and then it could look too wide. All right. So here's different examples of it, different ways. All right. Now, let's get to the next one, and when you're shooting a nice headshot, I use the hands to frame the face. And so this is face framing. So what you wanna do is number one is you wanna make sure that you get some catchlights in there. So you get the catchlights. It always looks more pleasing, now, to get the catchlights, like how I saw Lana here. I was having her, what, look towards the light. So let's say they're wearing extremely long lashes. It's hard to get light in there if they have long lashes. So I have to move the head up in order for the light to come in there. But I don't wanna shoot a portrait of them and shoot straight up their nostrils. That's not cool either, right? So what I do is I get them in a lower position, maybe sitting down, and I'm shorter, so a lot of times, models are taller than me. So I get them sitting down, and so now even if they're looking up towards the light and I'm standing, I'm still shooting down on them. So this shot, a lot of times, you wanna get a higher position than them, so you can get that light. Look at those lashes she's wearing. Huge, right? And so to get that light in there, they're gonna have to look up at the light to allow it to get in there, okay? So, shoot down on your subjects. So catch the catchlight. Shoot down on your subjects. Now you might have to raise your camera a little bit higher. My camera has a display so I can see it, and so I can shoot down. Okay, so let's look at some examples. It doesn't have to be all the time straight, you know, kind of facing the camera. You could use it off to the side, too, and I do that, too. But see how the hands frame the face? And you try to have the hands at different levels, not at the same level, but just at different levels. And you're shooting the edge of the hand, too, which is important. Here's another example of that. But the catchlight is the key thing there. It all works if you get the catchlight. And because that light is higher, you see that beautiful shadow on the cheek there that's happening with that? Like, I can go back to these shots here, too. I'm always looking for this shadow right here on that cheek to define that face. I think I did it on the next one, too. See, yep. So, I position it here so I can see that shadow there. I just need a little bit of it there. In Photoshop, if I wanna make it more dramatic, I can tone that there, but if it's there, then I'm cool to go, because I can always accentuate it more later, but I wanna see that shadow there.

Class Materials

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Ratings and Reviews

Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.

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