Posing 101

 

Lesson Info

Basic Posing Demo

What I've learned I found it's different to see it in a Keynote and go like okay that a shot it. Versus seeing it, even if it's the exact same results, when you see someone do it you're like okay I see the distance, I see the exact height their at. You kind of see those things. So we are going to bring out Jen. She's our lovely model. Ooh that was good. (laughing) She was doing the robot before and I was like oh I guess we could do that for posing. (laughing) Trying to figure out how to work with it. Perfect. Okay, so yeah. This is going to be just super basic lighting. That's not what we're focused on. But for all the tech people out there that want to know, I have a small octobox, two lights on the background, and it's white seamless. So it's just white with some soft light on her face. I'm shooting my 24 to 105 here. And I have on a spider holster so that I don't have to put it on the ground every time I want to move something. So it's going to make it pretty easy. Awesome. Okay. So...

what I'm going to start off with first is I'm just going to have you stand there, look lovely, and I'm going to test. No you can't, you can't real pose. She's like oh, oh I know this. (laughing) She's like I was listening. (laughing) Okay. (camera shutter) Perfect. Okay. So, let's see how our tether works. That was our fun test shot (laughing) Yes, it is, thank you. That's good, now anything I do now is going to look awesome. One thing you'll notice right away can you tell that she's leaning back? Okay so one of the things I said is you want to put your weight back which is different from leaning back because leaning back is chest away weight back is hips away. So that's something I see right away. So I'm going to have you stand flat-footed first. Perfect. Just like that. I'm going to shoot from this height. Great. (camera shutter) Now can you put one leg behind the other? Good. And now can you put your weight back? And lean your chest towards me just a little bit. Okay so when you look at these you'll be able to see that negative space on the side of her arm in a second is gonna pop out even more because she brought her hip back. So I haven't even had her pose with her hands on her hips. She hasn't really done anything like that and already it gives you that negative space. So if I'm doing a standing shot I usually just start like that. Almost always I have girls put their legs together in some way. Unless you're doing a really bold fashion shot. I would say nine times out of ten, I have knees together in some way because it gives me that narrowing point. So it might be knees turned in or it might be the one leg behind the other but again the knees are lined up. So there's not usually an empty space between the legs. So I need anybody that watches the whole, what is it, the space between the thighs, that whole thing online that was a big deal? That's not true in posing. Whatever. If you don't know what I'm talking about it's like a Victoria Secret's thing. I don't know. Okay. (laughing) It'll make sense. Okay perfect. Okay perfect. Something else that I want you to do is I want you to put your hand real soft on your hip. Okay. So she does this nicely already. Okay. And noticing where she's put it.. A lot of people will grip a little bit too tightly. So again she's just kind of softly placing it. For somebody that is rail thin, like skinny, straight-line no curve or no anything what I will do and look at me let me see look at me straight on. Okay you've got a little curve but let's say I really wanted to accentuate it. Instead of her when she turns, instead of putting her hand on her hip, I might actually put it on the waist. Because what that'll do is it'll make it look kind of like we have a waist. And then when she pops the hip out, now the difference look even more exaggerated. That's for somebody that just doesn't have much shape and you're really trying to give them some curves. Versus putting the hand on the hip that doesn't emphasize the curve quite as much. Thank you. Okay so I'm going to take a couple shots like that. The next thing I'm going to do is just talk a little bit about posture. Okay then we're gonna watch her shoulders turning. We're gonna take a look at some force shortening. So I can do that in one sec. So what I'm gonna have you do is just like that put your weight back. One more time. Good lean towards me. Perfect. (camera shutter) Watch what you'll see. Okay now take a look. What's wrong with this pose? Hold on it's going to pop up in a second. What's wrong? You see it? You see her hand? She's nervous. But honestly, I saw her do it right before I snapped the, right as I was snapping the photo. As soon as I did she relaxed. But that's the kind of things I look for for body language. You can tell when someone's nervous. She's playing with her fingernails. So that's why if I take a shot like that and I look or I notice it. I'll say okay just relax your hand real soft try one more. A little softer. Excellent. Good and lean towards me a little more. Good, okay, and that's a fake smile. Alright let me see a real smile. Okay perfect. Excellent. Alright great. Alright so that would be like really basic. If I want to give her a little bit more curve. Can I have you kick your hip out just a little bit to that side? Great! Perfect. And lean towards me a little bit more. Great. And so this is an example when it would okay to have space between her legs. And I'm going to make it even more extreme is if I'm trying to give her shape. So if I want your eye to kind of follow through. So what I'm going to have you do I'm going to have you do that same thing but make the space even wider. Good. Kick your hip way, way out. Good. Okay so what my eye will do is kid of the s-curve. Because I've given it someplace to go. If somebody has very little curve. A very straight up and down. If you have everything merged together, there's no curve. So you kinda gotta introduce it a little bit, give your eye someplace to follow. So that's kind of what I'm doing here. Perfect. Chest towards me a little more. Good. Great. So she will look even more curvy here given her hip. And so now my eye kind of goes throughout the photo. And then what I would do is then maybe pose her hand. Can you put your hand just like real soft up here? Good. Perfect. And let's do the bad example. Okay. Okay I'm gonna teach you. But everyone laughs, I see that nonstop. Nonstop, elbows at camera. Or like here. So it's down or to the side. You're cute. Okay. (laughing) You're cute. Okay. Can I have that stool real quick? So I'm going to do the different angles now. Real quick. So you can take a look at that. And then also lens compression. Alright perfect. I'm just going to lower this. Just a second. Okay. So what I'm going to do is take a look at angle. I'm just going to have you face straight on to me. Okay so go back to where you were a second ago, kind of relaxed. Notice here, I'm going to take a shot, I'm going to show you the differences between a length of her neck with posture. So this is how she was kind of sitting before. Let's take one quick shot. (camera shutter) Okay now sit up real straight and pull your shoulders down. (camera shutter) And what you'll see is watch her shoulders, neck get a little longer. In the next shot. See how her neck got a little longer? And if I wanted to get even longer I'd change my angle. And I'd get a little lower. And lean towards me. And lean a little more. (camera shutter) So if I have her, let's say it's a chair that she's sitting back in. Can you pretend your sitting back in a chair? This is what, if you watch me, ready if I am sitting forward in a chair, someone sits back, can you see what my neck does? Sitting forward. So you always want someone to sit on the edge of their chair. So I'm going to have you sit forward just a little bit. Now she doesn't have a back to her chair so it doesn't really matter. But by default, when someone's on the edge of their chair they don't lean back regardless. Because they are trying to have their center of balance they lean forward a little bit. So that something is, you don't ever really want someone lounging. It doesn't really work. So I'm going to try you leaning back. Real quick. Lean way back. (camera shutter) And now lean way forward. And good, chin down a little. (camera shutter) And you're gonna see. (laughing) Well. Well I don't really know what to say to you. Okay. Perfect demonstration. Well it's always funny when you see the before after shots that people do for makeovers where the person looks like their dead in the before and really happy in the after. Yeah that was good, that was good. Alright let's take a look. Okay so what we talked about so far is putting your weight back, not leaning back there's a big difference there. Also you never want to sit back in a chair, you always want to kinda lean forward. You want good posture pulling out through the top of your head. The next thing that I'm going to have you do is I'm gonna have you turn your shoulders to your right. Good. And notice when you do that, even sitting, see how it's a little awkward because it wasn't feet first or hips first? So she is actually kind of straining and fighting against herself. So even sitting that's why I say you start from the feet up, regardless. So I want to turn your feet to the right. Good. And her hips. So now it's much more comfortable and it's not strange to fight that. Okay perfect. So notice, I don't know if you guys can tell this. Even where she's sitting now she is sitting back a little. It's not just a standing thing. She is kind of sitting back. So even when someone's sitting, I have them lean out towards me. Again it's going to minimize everything down here, emphasize everything up here. Perfect so lean towards me just a little bit. Great. (camera shutter) Good. Alright so what I'm going to do is, I just wanted to get a shot here, I'm going to take a shot playing with angles and perspective. Alright so just so you can see. If I do a mid-length shot. (laughing) I was seasoning her, did you see it? She was finger fiddling. I actually when I first started teaching I used to bite my nails whenever it was a break or on stage and then I realized that I was biting my nails in front of people which tells everyone I'm nervous. So now I only do it when you can't see me. (laughing) It's true. Okay, so sit up straight, lean towards me. Okay. So let's take a look at angles. Remember that invisible plane. The invisible plane kind of deal. Sit up actually totally straight. Just like that. Okay. So if I shoot from above. (camera shutter) Her head is closer. Okay. And her knees and her bottom part of her body will look a little bit smaller. If I want her to look a little more engaged with the camera, I'll have you lean way out towards me. Lean, lean, good. (camera shutter) Perfect. But when I do so it does something for shortening. See how her torso got shorter? So if you want to work with that, you just gotta get a little lower and that perspective elongates her torso. So these are the kind of things I'm thinking about. I'm like okay. So I'm sittin' there alright I want a little more engagement with her face so I'll have her lean forward. Okay when she does that maybe her torso, because I'm at a higher angle it looks a little short. Maybe I get a little lower. It's just tweaks like that. But when I'm shooting I'm like click, click, click, good, okay click, click, click. Okay lean towards me. I just shoot a whole bunch. So one more lower. Good lean towards me. Excellent. (camera shutter) Alright so now we are going to play with perspective. I just want you to see my 24 to 105. The difference between 50 and 85. Will you look right at me. Okay so this is 50. (camera shutter) Okay and this is 85. (camera shutter) And I tried to line it up. So can you see, I thought I did it pretty good. There's a pretty huge difference between the two. So remember, I recommend minimal focal length of about 70 millimeters on a full-frame camera for a close up of about that. However, let's say that I want to shoot a 50 millimeter lens I'm just gonna show you where I'm comfortable shooting. If I'm at 50, I'm comfortable shooting maybe about this distance. So it's actually pretty far back. It's about as close as I would get a 50. The only other examples when that's not necessarily true is let's say I'm doing a boudoir shot. She's laying on a bed, her chest is towards me. I want her eyes and her chest look huge. Then I could maybe get a little bit closer shot with a cause it would be huge eyes and huge chest and everything else gets smaller. So that's kind of how I would use the lens for something like that. Okay. Alright so there's only one other thing I wanted to show. And I'm gonna, let's see where lower is. Height looks good. Okay one other thing I was gonna show was that head turn. And then we'll just move onto other parts. So face me, perfect. Alright, great. So if I tell her to turn her head to her right. (laughing) Okay I don't usually have that problem. I don't usually have that problem. (laughing) Okay let me try that again. Would you turn your head to your right? (laughing) Okay good. (camera shutter) And now turn your shoulders to your right and your hips as well. Good. (camera shutter) And now tilt your head back towards me just a little, tilt it that way, yeah good. (camera shutter) So all those things I was doing was elongating her neck. To the side made it shorter. Her hips and her shoulders to the side made it a little longer. Head tilted back towards me elongated it even more. So I'm looking to make for a head shot kind of elongating her neck and I would probably shoot a little longer focal length than that.

Ready to expand your posing skills? Join fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler for a hands-on introduction to the fundamental posing techniques every photographer needs to know.

During live photo shoots, Lindsay will cover how to work with different body types, including how to tailor movement and body angles, using a wide variety of models as examples. You’ll learn how to delight your clients by ensuring flattering results, every time. You’ll also learn about how your camera and lens choices affect posing choices, and how to select the gear that meets your needs. Lindsay will also teach you strategies for posing in more challenging situations — including creatively posing brides and grooms, connecting with shy subjects, and working with subjects who aren’t classically “beautiful.”

Whether you’re a novice photographer beginning to move from candid shots to posed ones or an old pro looking for some new posing tricks, this course will give you the skills you need to make every shoot a success.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I would highly recommend this class! I have been shooting for some time now and I've been pretty satisfied with my pictures from each session. A few weeks ago, I happened upon this class and thought it would be nice to get some new ideas. I then took the ideas from this class and applied them to a maternity shoot. I must say it took my pictures from good to amazing!!!! My clients bought them all😊 Thank you Creative Live for offering such amazing classes to help any level of photographer learn and grow!
  • Lindsay is such a great teacher. She doesn't overcomplicate things - so that you can really learn. She also reviews things again and again - only in different contexts - that make total sense. I have learned so much from watching this course of lessons. I went to a natural lighting portrait workshop a couple of weekends ago - and was able to put into action what I have learned. The models loved my photos, too. She keeps things moving, is clear and to the point. I highly recommend this class to anyone wanting to become better at posing. It is so rewarding to look back at my previous photos and understand what doesn't work and why, and also to see things improving. She is a natural teacher - the course is not boring - you will learn tons!
  • I really love it! Thank you, thank you, Lindsay! Beautiful girl with a huge talent to teach! I absolutely love it! Worth every penny!