Posing Uneven Height Couples


Posing 101: Couples, Weddings and Families


Lesson Info

Posing Uneven Height Couples

We're going to talk about photographing uneven subjects. The most important thing about photographing uneven subjects is remembering our rule. Whatever's closest to the camera is biggest. Whatever is furthest from the camera is smallest. So for example, one of the things that I get asked all the time is, okay, what if somebody is much larger in a couple. What you would do is, that person goes behind. Now it actually gets more complicated than that, because usually I also involve lighting. That person's more in shadow, and things like that. But what we're going to do right now is uneven height. Cause that one is.. All the time. Alright, so we're going to photograph an uneven height couple. Here are my tips for photographing uneven couples. Tip number one. You don't need to eliminate the height difference. So, don't.. You don't need to try to. You're just trying to even it out a little bit. Like, you don't need to have them lined up and look the exact same height. So, don't stress about ...

that. Tip number two, is you really want to maintain good posture and not strain. So, actually I have a good example of this. A lot of people, when the height is uneven, the girl's on her tiptoes, right? And she's reaching up to try and put her arms around, which isn't necessary. Or, he wants to get a lot shorter. And so he hunches over and has bad posture. None of that is necessary. So maintain good posture the whole time. So you have a couple.. And I have three main ways of evening out height differences. Three main ways. Way number one is sitting. So you can sit your subjects. When you sit your subjects, people can sit on a foot, one can stand behind the other. You can equalize that way. Cause the height difference isn't going to be as noticeable, because it's not all about standing. So, sitting is your number one way you can do this. The next would be the Step and Lean. We're gonna see that, I'm gonna illustrate it for you. And then the last one would be walking. So whatever's closest to the camera looks biggest. So, what you can do in this case is, have the shorter person in the foreground, leading. Holding the hand of the taller person behind them. They, to the camera, will look larger. And the taller person in the background will look shorter. I would not do this in the studio. We are going to shoot it in the studio, because that's what we have here. But, this is probably.. When I'm shooting weddings, that would be my go-to pose. Is I have, you know, whoever's shorter in the foreground, leading, looking back. And then they look about even height. That ones a nice, easy candid one. So, we have a couple slides to illustrate. Just so you can see. Slide number one. Would be a don't and a do. I see this all the time. Really tall people, by default, hunch over to be equal size. And they do it all the time. Instead, you don't wanna hunch. You wanna lean. And so the way you would do this.. Do you mind if I.. Do you mind if I borrow you for a sec? (group laughing) Okay. I'm gonna take pictures. (group clapping and cheering) So I'm not gonna take a picture yet. I'm just gonna show.. These guys are adorable, I love them. Would you stand in the center for me? Absolutely. Alright, so most people do this. Okay, to even out, to be the same height. What instead you wanna do.. Is would you step behind him? I will. And step further behind him. And what she's gonna do is, instead of.. Slouching. She's gonna step forward, weight back, and lean. Versus, bending over. There's a difference. So, you're actually.. If you watch her height. So, watch her height here. Watch the difference in height. Take a big step forward. And now put your weight back. Just a little bit. Okay, so, ready? Hold on. Okay, now stand up really straight. So, it's like, you know, five inches or something? It's a good six inches. Okay. And then, on top of that, if she leans her chest forward, it gets five, six inches. Of difference. So that is what we're going to do here. If you are not photographing full length, you actually can do that. Okay? It doesn't really matter. If it's a situation like this, you want someone to be shorter, they can just spread their legs. Doesn't work for full length. At all. It looks like.. Yeah, it looks like that. So, instead, that's why the Step and Lean works better. Because if you line up these legs, you can't tell as much. And not only that, if you crop at the knees, you can't tell at all. It's kinda the bottom part. So, if you wanna crop tighter.. I mean, do whatever you gotta do. But, if you want a fuller length shot, it's a step, hips back, lean. And I get.. Even I get shorter. (laughing) A lot shorter. Okay, so. Let me see. One other thing, before I demo with you guys. Alright, so I see this a lot. Is, whoever's shorter giving the other person a hug. I mean, straining to become the same size as your reached shoulders. Don't do poses where you're trying to reach for the shoulders or the neck. Instead, pick a pose that is going to be less straining. Alright, so we are going to take a nice, close look at a couple poses we can do. Alright, so. Thank you guys. Alright, so first of all, I'm gonna have you just stand side by side. Okay. So I can see. And I'm gonna have you.. Actually, I lied. Will you stand right behind him? Yes. Perfect. Alright, so. (camera clicking) Okay. So, you will see a bit of a height difference. Okay. (laughing) And I know you can't bend too much, but can you just a little bit? Bend forward? Yeah, just a little. (camera clicking) Okay, she bends forward a little bit. She's kinda leaning and sticking her butt up. It made it a little bit shorter, but let's do the Step and Lean. Okay. So. You're going to take your big step. (foot stomping) And you're gonna lean in. Good. And you can lean back towards her, just a little bit. Great. And everybody, chins out and down. And I am going to have you hide that hand. Yeah, perfect. And soft fingers, perfect. Heads tilted together. (camera clicking) Alright, so now. Let's take a look at those.. You can relax for a sec. So, let's take a look between those three. If you don't mind putting them all up on the screen. (group laughing) That was kinda cute. Okay. So, she's nearly a full head taller. And then she's just about even. And she's not.. Slouching. Let me just show you what it looks like full length. So you can kinda see, if you did wanna photograph it full length. Or how you would crop that. First, can you do the legs apart one? I gotta get this shot. Yeah, this is gonna be a good photo here. Okay, perfect. (camera clicking) Alright, this is a nice photo. I like this. Oh, except for I can't see.. The light on your face is a little hidden. I like that. (laughing) Okay, so. Can't take any full length photos. We take one more of this? And lean your chin forward just a little bit. Head back, just a tiny bit. Just a little bit.. Okay. So, now, what I'm going to have you do instead, is the step.. Step forward? Step forward and lean. (foot stomping) Okay. And then lean right in, and hands back on again. Good. And all I want you to do, is put this foot over, just a little bit. So I'm having her line up her feet. So I can't see this. I see one leg. So, now watch. Good, and if I crop in.. (camera clicking) Alright, tell me in the second shot if you can tell at all. First shot. You can kind tell. That was the second shot. So I think in the second shot, she just looks curvy. You have no idea. (group murmuring) So, that would be my recommendation to you. The Step and Lean. But line up her legs. If her legs are apart you can tell. That difference. And I think you just look crazy curvy. So that looks pretty good. I approve of that. Okay, so that would be number one. Step and Lean. You guys are very cute. Okay, so I would like those little benches please. And we're going to do, yeah we're going to do siting. So, you guys can step out while they situate that. You can do this on a bench, on a couch. We didn't really have the exact perfect thing, so I have little tables. I think. I don't really know. Okay, perfect. And you're gonna put one kinda behind the other here. Yeah, right there. Alright, perfect. So, would you come take a seat? So, I'm going to put the taller person sitting in the front. Which sounds opposite of what you wanna do. But it's going to allow the shorter person, in the back, to hide if they're on their knee, or have to push up, or to even out. So I'm actually just hiding the tricks that I'm doing. Just like the one leg in front of the other. And I think that's the key. Is hiding those tricks. So, would you go ahead and kneel there? And I put the pillow there because it's the hard surface, and I want him to be comfortable. Perfect. So, lean forward towards her. And, okay. No slouching. Yeah, you can turn your hips that way. This way? Yes, perfect. Great, yep. A little less, like a little less. And now scoot together, just a little bit more. You lean back, you lean forward. Okay, so now it looks perfectly even. I can line things up. Alright, great. And I am gonna get a cute shot right here. (camera clicking) And I'm gonna move your hair a little bit. (laughing) It's a little bit fluffy. It's nice fluffy.. (group laughing) Okay, trust me. Perfect. (camera clicking) And what I would do photographing.. And just chin out, a little bit more. Good. (camera clicking) And so, what I would do, is I would shoot this just like I instructed in the first couple section. Moving around. So, if I get a shot from over here, for example. I'm gonna have you look at me and lean. And have you look at her. Okay, so this is gonna get all romantic. And you're gonna put your hand on her shoulder. Okay, a little bit higher. Good. And so, I don't have narrow depth of field, we've talked about this. I mean, I do, but you have to change lighting. So now, I can make this kinda all about her. And you'll see.. (humming) It'll be all about her. And then I can switch, and flip the other way. So, now can you look your eyes down, and kinda just smile. And now you look at her. Oh, Nico. (group laughing) Perfect. (camera clicking) So that's what I would do. I would kinda work around the angles. And I would come over here, and shoot from that side. But, those would be my number one and number two. Aw, you guys look all romantical. I like it. Okay, so the last one. The last go-to pose for evening out height. You guys can stand up. I mean, like trust me, you can work this around. He could sit in front, she could.. You know? It's the same thing, it's just giving myself a little more flexibility. Can we take those away, please? Lindsey.. Yeah? A quick question from Diego D, would the Step and Lean trick work if the taller subject was the man? In that.. Oh yeah. Do you think it would be just as fine? That tends to be, usually, what it is. And that's what I usually shoot. So, yes. Do you have any way to do that Step and Lean that doesn't accentuate the curves, in that case then? Yeah, so what you'd wanna do, instead of putting the weight on your back hip. It's just more lean, than weight back. But, since she's a girl, I can use that to actually make more curve. But, yeah, definitely. It works completely fine with guys. Love it, thank you. Okay, so. Here's the last one. The last one is my walking pose. I'm gonna tell you, it's not gonna look good in here. Because this would be outdoors. But, what the pose would look like. Whoever is shorter in the front. So, would you, step in the front. And I'm gonna have you closer to the light. Perfect. And I'm gonna have you reach your hand back, towards her. Okay, just like that. If I get to a lower angle in the front, they're going to look almost identical in height. Alright, so. And, turn your.. Remember posing from the feet up? He's doing this. Okay. So, it looks really awkward. So I'm gonna have it look like you're actually stepping. So, put your right foot forward. And the reason right, is cause if he puts left.. That's awkward. So, it's whatever he's opening up towards. So, perfect. Great. And loose hands. And you can flip the other way. You can step that foot forward. Perfect. Lean your weight on your back hip. Great. Back hip, perfect. Just like that. The back one. There you go, good. And now look back at her. (camera clicking) Okay, so imagine this out on location. With good light.. All that stuff. So you can't tell the height there. And so you do all the posing, and then he can look back at the camera. Can we look at the camera here? And then will you look at him? Okay, and then chin towards this way, just a little bit. (camera clicking) Great. And now, actually, take one step that way, just a tiny bit. There you go. Little more negative space. And a little looser with the arm. Just a little bit.. Good. (camera clicking) Hold on. Okay, good. And I have one final tip on this. Alright, the other thing is, if you're shooting with a wide angle lens, sometimes you can tell how far away they are. And it becomes a little more apparent. If I back up and use that compression of my lens, I get to about, eye level with him. Use a longer lens, they look closer, but the height difference still evens out. So those are your three go-to ways to even out a drastically different height couple. And, of course, I mean, if you're in a studio you've got Apple Boxes. So you can literally have someone stand on it. I usually tend to wait a little further in the session, instead of saying, hey you're really short, let me put you on an Apple Box. (group laughing) I would try to work around that first. But, if someone's comfortable with it, then it doesn't really matter and I'll bring it out right away. Okay, so that is uneven sized couples. Thanks guys. Alright, thank you. (group clapping) Love you guys. Thank you, Kenna and Nico for doing that. Everyone thinks you are adorable. Awesome. They are adorable. Cool. Do we have any questions on that, or would you like me to continue? I think we are good to keep going at the moment. We did have some questions, maybe if you can talk to it, I don't know that we have anyone here to actually demonstrate with. But, of different.. Like, a curvier and a thinner couple. Like, a couple where their weight difference is substantially different. Okay. So with weight difference, substantially different, it's whoever's larger goes behind. So, it would actually be the same thing in that hand holding example. The person behind, and the hips back and leaning, you can't tell as much. It's kinda the same situation. Or, if it's the step. So, that person is shorter, and hips back. Or, just.. When you're doing the proportions, do have the smaller person cover a little more than usual. It's not like equal proportions, have the smaller person obscuring a little bit more. I do think, that does come down to, also, kinda lighting. Which isn't for this course, but in general. Let's say the light is on this side. Whoever's larger, you put them on the opposite. Cause then they'll be more in shadow. And your eye also goes to whatever is brightest, whatever's brightest also looks largest. So, the smaller person closer to the light and closer to the camera. Bigger person, further from the light, further from the camera. And maybe just one quick question, that's sort of unrelated. But, do you ever tell your clients.. Just a thought. It says, do you ever tell your clients the rules? Like, no showing back of the hands, nothing like that. Or so that they can help you with that. Or do you just do it yourself and not let them think about it? I actually will tell them the rules. But, if it's because they're breaking that rule over and over and over again. I don't really wanna sound annoying, so I might as well just tell them. So, if I'm seeing their palm, I'm like, okay.. What I'm going to look for, for all these poses.. If you can try and keep that pinky, okay. And I'll move their hand. You feel that, kinda feel that.. Okay, let's try that. Or the hips back thing. So, it's not a annoying broken record. Otherwise, I don't wanna complicate it. So I don't tell them until it's a repeated problem. Gotcha. And I love those pictures that we've got. We've got that compilation of pictures shown. That's adorable. That was really cute. I like the snuzzly one of them. (group laughing) Totally. It's really good.

Class Description

Need to pose a group of people quickly and effectively? Join fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler for a hands-on introduction to posing couples, wedding and families.

Using live shoots and a 5 guideline approach, Lindsay will give you a posing foundation and essentials poses for working with more than one subject. You’ll learn how to pose mature, uneven height, maternity and same sex couples. Lindsay will teach you how to navigate the chaos of a wedding day and pose with brides, grooms and weddings parties. Additionally, she will show you how to pose families, kids, and parents in a variety of scenarios.

Taking the reigns and posing a large group can seem daunting. This course will show you quick, easy steps you can follow to pose groups of 2 or more people and have everyone looking their best.


Santosh Mareddy

Lindsay Adler's Posing That little Queens looks Like Awesome,... Loved it


Lindsay Adler is a Creative Live treasure! Her teaching style is consistent, relaxed, easy to listen to, and to the point. Several times now I've intently watched her various classes "live" only to later purchase the class so I can review it again and again...I've never been disappointed. Thank You Lindsay!

Ginny Koppenhol

Lindsay Adler's Posing class gave me tons of confidence going into my first wedding shoot. Posing was one of the aspects I didn't have a lot of experience in, but this class is so clear and helpful that I managed some great creatively posed shots on the day!