Skip to main content

photo & video

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 7 of 33

Shoot: Basic Two People Poses

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Shoot: Basic Two People Poses

Lesson Info

Shoot: Basic Two People Poses

Let me show you the other way to bring two people together. This is the easiest way this is the way I do like ninety nine percent of the time this next way is kind of like what they used to do at the prom. They call it the basic pose they call it the putting two people together back to front actually, let me tell you a quick, funny story. Where did monty come up with this? The basic pose and I think he really did coin this because it used to be called the masculine pose. Can I get a witness out there, jerry here that you guys way before your time yet you've heard that right? The masculine pose. Well, monty had this bride came in the studio, she is the sweetest thing, but she was a little heavy little short she's actually like five by five and he set her down and I thought, what what is the master going to do? He turned her to this basic pose and put and I said, oh, the mask of impose and the price just went well, you know, she her face turned red and monty looked at me like I'm going t...

o kill you so after that session he said from now on, we never use that word it's just we used the basic post for men women, children, grandmothers, even pets, you know, put the dog up, hold a little carrot out and he's looking out like this. So the basic closes for everybody does that? Is that a good story that help? So now what we're gonna do is we're going to do a really cool thing just leaned together. I'm gonna go live tip you head to your sister now what we're going to do now is we're goingto leave hannah exactly where she's at. Turn your nose to the right. Hannah hannah is now in a feminine pose. You see that chin down a little bit hannah's in a feminine pose, so I'm going to move her sister to the other side. So stand up, amanda, and you're going to come over here right here and now the chairs are going to be on top of each other. So what you'll do is stand in there and I'm gonna put it right under your bum. All right? Now, this is really pretty educational because what's gonna happen here, your shoulder's gonna lean to your sister a little bit and your left shoulder right here and you're going to tip your head this way and turn your nose to the right good, so this picture right here, they're basically on top of each other you see what's happening so this was the way we used to put together the basic portrait of two people together and it helps when the father are the man is very heavy. You can hide him behind the wife your elbow up just a little bit just a little bit right there and your nose to the right a little more and a little hair off your face right there. Good, good, good. We're ready. Strain your head a little bit good. I love it. That's two people together with the what we call more of the basic close how about a smile from amanda now and the light's drifted off the face of a man to turn your face to the right good lean into your sister a little bit on your chin up just a dash good and smile. How about amanda? All the way eyes right up your hand right there. Chin up a little hannah and a man whose chin up tio hannah's chin down a little bit right there. Good. Now this is all set up, hannah you're a little bit to riot a smile. Let me do it again. I'm looking at the picture and I'm thinking him is not gonna like that right there chin down, hands just a little and hand in your eyes right here, yes just a touch of a small easy handy you got it a little more hannah there we go right there. So now we've put the people together in two different directions one back to front and one facing each other that's what you could do right here we're going to do this let me have guys pick you girls uh, how about this scene I'm going to do with the dark outfit it matches just come on off hannah you know what's funny and this is really really gonna be good for you guys. All right? Hey, you stand right over here for a second. Don't go far. Tell me your first name sean sit right here. All right? They just held up a cue card. Where is my camera? Ten minutes let's see what I can do in ten minutes? Okay? Let's, light it up so my first picture is going to be a three quarter view. Okay? Because I can start here with the man and it's really nice. And for a three quarter view, the cameras got to come to chest height because I always want to keep the plane of the camera on the plane of the of the, uh of the body of the subject, train your body to the right charm and cross your left knee up over your right and hold your ankle good you're there perfect you back up a little taller chin down a dash and tip your head to the right good now pot's light what I need to do shawn is bringing down just a little bit so he's a little more comfortable now pot's light lift refined so there you go buddy I want to see a little fist out of your hand we used to say hi to golf tee you're hiding a golf tee bring your hands back and soften him a little bit good right there now the backlight showing barred if you could just hide that a little bit to my right these might be a little soft and we shoot fast straight you have a little bit showing keep going bart little more art right there and your your chin down a little bit good right there you're right elbow softening right elbow all right, now I'm just gonna do this this is definitely a vertical shot you guys know that just tip your head to the right good there's picture one all right that's how easy it is I could add amanda to this three quarter view like that but I'm going to keep going closer because I've got ten minutes and I'm going to get ten portrait's okay so so that's one and now he looks very natural and relaxed there I don't think it looks to pose you could do this outside under an overhang in a garage in a room in the ritz carlton I'm just bringing my camera a little bit and it'll stay up for the rest of these portrait so picture to is right here chin up a dash right here beautiful that's picture too how about what happens when you smile let me see chin up a little that's good chin up a little more right there picture three how about I take your left hand and hold it right here and turn this way a little bit more and inform me I got in there and pulled him up a little bit kind of establishing this report and the report is kind of like I'm the boss here and look at that great smile right there can you turn your hand this way the other way never see the back of the hand that's it right there how about no no smile lips together lips together chin down a little bit right there touch your hair and your beard with your hand chin up a little bit chin it right there soft right there it's one, two, three come on in with me amanda right here and put one hand here one hand there I could lower you here or I could just have amanda just go up on that block right there either way and my idea here's put your chin in front of his ear it's posed hey, is this fair? He hasn't even moved the light hasn't even moved and I'm knocking out all these pictures I don't think this is fair to anybody amanda, your hand back look at that right hand it looks like a you know it's too you look at me distracting hair right here let's go fast lean right and I got a couple of minutes here the wedding's going to start I still got to get some pictures I've got to make a sale I gotta fill the book up now his face feels turned a little bit too much to the right there we go tip your head here right there lean on him a little more of that front hand a man to bring it back a little bit right there now leaning on him right there nice and steady beautiful now it feels like he doesn't want to have anything to do with her he's got his back to her so I know what I'm going to do put your right hand on his cheek right hand fingers going up that's good. Now put your hand on him again and squeeze him in like that right there. Pull your left hand back down that's good that that works a little bit now how about this time both arms around him? Yeah, even lower hook your hook hook you're up yeah, your risk there we go and tip your head on it. Oh, that's beautiful. I like it anyway you want there with your head tipped either way turn your nose back to the left a little bit, shawn, your nose back to left. Little that's gorgeous right there laughing, shawn, she looks so good. You're so lucky. Smile, sean! Sean, your chin up a little sean your chin up good. Now slowly can you guys turn and look at each other? And I'm saying slowly because my camera's got a delay and I just can't keep up with you wanna put your hair behind your ear and then just hide it right there now just kind of looked at each other there and press your head right on him yeah that's it that's it that's it eyes that good right there. Now we're going to bring you over or if he was smiling, I bet we could do it again. Come on, put your head in there. What's going on? I'll trade places with you if you want me to. Here we go. One, two come on, camera. Yes, get right in there and a good smile. Now come over on the other side for me, amanda and then you're gonna lean forward, put your left hand here, amanda and your left hand up here I'm sorry you're going to come over here and then back up watch how easy I can bring the chair down and watch this put your chin right there you see how I opposed her put your chin right there huh now this pose right here I've seen twenty newspaper photographs of a bridegroom by monty in wedding attire in this pose turnaround in me a little shawn keep turning I got to get his shoulders where I want him he's in a basic pose lean into him a little bit not turned your nose to the right sean pretend like there's a table out in front of her and put your elbow out in front of her hips out in front no just out in front low in front not behind now lower lower that elbow down now he's square you see how square he is turn away a little backup aman and helping yep and one key here is just like we did with the chairs a minute ago a man is going to be back here this way and leaning into the picture wow that's huge and that's what we're doing we're leaning people in this is it this is the picture of the couple right here amanda tip your head this way lean in amanda it's great we just had good looking people this would be fun and easy now look amanda just teasing amanda tip your head here bart, can you get the reflector and place a little? I normally even have a fill light I haven't even discussed but it would block everyone's view in the camera's my fill light I wouldn't even need the reflector but I like the reflector amanda your nose to the right a little bit. Sit up. We'll talk right, sean yeah. Now lean into it a little. We're getting there your nose to the right now lean in a little sean tip your head this way. That's the portrait right there. Look at the big wedding ring. God, I'm going to make it look real. Here we go now, how about look at each other and put your foreheads together right there. Now turn your face to the right a little amanda, I just lean down on him right there just now. Now, just let me get the camera live. I can't see what I'm getting. Come on, come on, come on, come on. Right there. How about looked down at him and just a big smile right there and that's good and easy platt lighting just perfect. Relax now, let's, keep going. Stand up for me for a second and you're just going to back up his all and sit there again a man who used it here and put your left hand there left and then that's it stay far away see how she pulled the chair in that's what I was telling you they always do that sit up tall we only have a few minutes now there's the pose suppose that baby in three seconds didn't I right there put your shoulder right into sean I'm looking at her her shoulder position hey have you guys ever seen this picture? We just did it look at sean he's sideways sean turned to me yes coming together a little bit all right, little hair off your eye here and we're there we're there tip your head to the right a little bit that's beautiful he would smile we got it made come on all the way teeth both of your eyes right up here her eyes up a little bit just chin up a little bit more right there beautiful. I'm gonna take my time and get this light right in there this is the one that's really going to be in a frame it's going to be their profile picture of their wedding picture this is gorgeous his hair if you push it down a little bit right here you know it's important because we don't want a photo shop I want to do it right lean right in shawn's nos to the left a little bit good shawn you could still push out this way just your chair just slide now lean in yet not tip your head a little right turn your nose to the right good chin down now I love the picture I'm going to take it real quick hey didn't smile let me do it again but I think what I want to do is the blond hair that's hanging between you pour it out this side just pull it all out yet now come back together again shawn close that in with your shoulder that lean in there together that's the picture right here sean she's upstaging you come forward a little bit come forward come out of her hair there we go there's the picture if she brings her elbow up a little that's it right there that nothing like working under pressure we did it now both arms around his neck my buddy calvin hayes says clay this is the town and country pose right here all day long at the wedding this one always works town and country hug tip your head to the right and lean into him or yet right there tip you head to the right more amanda yeah put your cheek right upon him that's the shot right there now I can follow this up real quick your actors so pull it off china want youto look down and just bite her on the cheek softly go ahead real black dress off you gotta smile you've got a smile now how about let's switch it around you look at me sean and you nibble on his cheek just a little come on, shawn fake it the camera's reloaded come on, camera come on, camera there we go. Sean asked me to take my time on this one a man to turn your noes to me a little bit a man of writing a squeezing tight right there you could see if I could go ten frames a second. I could do a dozen of those shots now here we go, amanda stand up and push your chair under his and then you're gonna lean back on him you lean back on him and you go around her like this right here boy, they're going to buy this dvd all these good tips right here. One two now here's what's happening here they're sitting straight up and down I took the picture to show you and amanda's just slouching look at that pot's light lift so sit up guys and lean forward over the belt buckle love it love it now the lighting is great just pulled a hair back a little bit now they're leaning this way which way? I'm going to tip the camera that way so I'm gonna tip the camera back here I love this shot look at that I'm going to get keep this one in my wallet right here now slowly slowly turn and look at each other and just laugh right there look up at him that's the shot right there that's the beauty shot come on, camera come on, camera I feel like that's it right there look down at her he's got an amazing profile watch this if I just cheat around here hey, bart, take the main light into profile position I'll help you just keep looking down. You might need to push the white back look right down at her right there tipped atop your head to the right a little more right there. All right, you're hiding let me see the monitor bart, take a knee right there just now look up with him look up at him look right at him even more beautiful. Uh look at that profile lighting what if she had a big ring on where's your left hand and let's just put that in here and you hold her hand and then how about just bring that ring into the picture somehow and you look down and just bring the hand under the wrist? I don't know just like that beautiful I love it I love it. Hey, montes in the room this looks like one of his portrait's tip your head to the right sean a little more that's the poor afar right there make your fingers long and skin you know, long yeah that's good right there I love it right there whoa now we're not done we're not done I stay one more how about we'll do this very famous monte shot where I would still do today stand up both of you and you'll sit right here amanda and turn your knees to me and sean you'll sit here in your straddle her chair one leg on each side I want to save enough time to review these so if we could go to the top to the bottom are we okay with that what we're going to his profile lighting so the lights back here it's really just one light and a reflector let's kill the hair light part and you're going to kind of lean your bodies together I think I can back your way up stand up sit back here and then you pull right up between his knees okay, good. Now look how far apart they are this is a great view here because guess what I even though I'm doing the back profile watch this she's gonna lean forward now look back at the profile you see what happened she's still leaning forward so I pulled the lights that way a little I think it's let me move the tv a little it's that lightning come back we're gonna shut off the kicker light we're gonna end with one beautiful portrait here no, you got your life now, bart all you're going to do is give me a shadow pattern which it's there on her foot on her on her nose sometimes I feel like we're getting a little crowded do it real quick bart go behind the tv I'm going to change this light you can set it on the floor. This kind of shows to to what we're doing a little better. What do you guys think I'm doing right now? What am I doing over here? Tell me this is so important I am putting a loop shadow on amanda come on over here and look come on, jerry jerry right? Just look over here. What am I doing here? I gotta light it so there's that loop shadow and then the reflector opens up the shadow there's the pose there's the light now get behind the camera and I'm gonna lower the camera. Why separation between the ten and the shoulder now he's gotta lean out to the right a little bit. Turn your nose to the right here. Uh, sean there's a little hair under your profile can you hide it a little bit? Uh, amanda behind your profile yet this's gonna be gorgeous uh it's there look, all I have to do is pull the trigger I got to make sure we're sharp so there's sharp right there shooting through projections always a little tough for me because it's just critical and I'm shooting what it have four five, six now turn your nose to the rim left a little bit amanda good now shawn's chin down sean tip your head to the right and look at her lips look down on her lips right there now she's going to turn her nose to me a little bit right there beautiful and she's going to tip the top of her head to the right and when I turned her to me I really need to pull the light over just a little more I mean that's how critical it was two inches and we got the picture she's going to turn your face to me a dash and we got it wherever you're looking amanda look a little higher sean just a hint of a smile here's the final refinement look at his right ear I want you to turn your noes to the right sean turn your nose to the right a little more sean straighten your back a little bit not too much chin down a little her chin up a little right here that's it real slow lips together a man to turn your nose to me and your chin down a little bit one more time let me just see if I can go to black and white my menu what is going on it's a different one to this big one portrait one on here that I I guess I have to I know what I have to dio one of the usual you push it and it gives you all these choices one for black and white do you see it in there? Yes saturation portrait portrait is stuck their default alright don't worry about it looks gorgeous and color doesn't let's take must move this box and take the picture and let's review his chin up a little bit. Sean, turn your nose to the right her chin down a little bit tipped atop your head to me a man a little bit good right there, shawn, straighten your back a little bit. Good right there. How about this real quick? Bart, get chairs out now! Go behind him! Good. I'm gonna go hand held now I'm going to go. I s o how about if I go to a v? All right, so we'll pick her up piggyback just pick her up. Ready? One, two, three. Yep no, put your cheeks together, move that way a little bit. Back up a little. Lean forward a little bit. Good. Now lay your head over over him a little bit right there I should've stayed on the track fied, squeezer, squeezer come on, both arms now a man to jump on the other side of him put him on the shoulder through on the other shoulder right there that's it right there well what happened and I just stay right there now I want you to slowly look at each other right there don't go away now let me tell you I'm laughing laughing shawn shawn you got it made laughing I'm at my studio one more time one more time I'm going to be doing like thirty of these shots like that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that yes alright way did it alright let's count him up all right thank you guys that was good you need to scan you were great good have a seat I'm gonna review them can I go from the top here we go real quick now listen when I go out on the beach with a couple I can pick this siri's up at six seven eight I can go eight seven six I can go ten nine eight seven I know these pictures that good so here's one I could add her to this but I didn't there's two three four five six note six yeah that was the hand up six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen love fifteen sixteen seventeen eight eighteen nineteen twenty twenty one twenty two I think we did twenty to begin on cem piggy back and we could call it how about we call it twenty five in ten minutes? All right, I've done. I can't do anymore. Thank you. That was fun.

Class Description

Join Clay Blackmore for a three-day immersion into the art of photography. Drawing on decades of experience, Clay will cover the essential posing, lighting, and composition skills that are key to creating jaw-dropping images with any camera.

You’ll explore working with both natural and in-studio light. Learn about the essentials of portrait posing, including strategies for working with individuals, couples, and groups. Clay will also share his fail-proof tips for making on-the-fly adjustments so you're able to work seamlessly with any subject, in any environment and source of light. You'll also master the art of capturing the picture-perfect wedding story quickly, reliably, and completely with stunning results.

Whether you’ve been taking photographs for years or are just starting out, this course will give you the knowledge and inspiration to take your work to the next level.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Clay Blackmore Top 10.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

Clay Blackmore is the real deal in portrait photography. The guy is a bundle of creative energy and technical mastery. I took portraiture with Monte Zucker, and am glad to have Clay now as his successor. This concepts in this course are the rudiments. They'll never change, regardless of trends and fads. Clay is also very likable and fun to watch work. Keep your ears peeled for every word. When Clay points out those many little details, they all count. Love the course, and have a ton of respect for Clay. He's a portrait master, and a great guy. What else could any portrait student hope for?


This a wonderful class. Clay has worked w/Montey and brings a supreme knowledge to photographers who want to learn more. His skills are creative and insightful with a modest personality. This is an amazing class that comes with a great price.

Tom Lokos

Of all the courses I have purchased without exception this is the best. Clay is an excellent teacher. When he speaks he is saying something and not just talking. He explains his lighting techniques in great detail while demonstrating them . He is clear, concise and fun to listen to. You will learn how to pose individuals all the way to large groups, while learning the correct way to light them. All this while being entertained by one of America's great portrait photographers.