Shoot: Same Sex Couple Poses
We're going to talk about same-sex couples. (audience cheers) I get this question all the time and I have several answers for everybody. Okay, how do you photograph a same-sex couple, different or the same or what do you do? All right, so here's my five guidelines. First of all, see couples posing, it's the same. I mean, the guidelines are the same but really what it comes down to is if there's clearly a couple's dynamic, analyze it. So for example, if the couple is really touchy-feely then do really touchy-feely poses. if they don't look so touchy-feely, start off with less touchy-feely poses, and then you can get a little bit more romantic. Okay, so the big question that I get is what happens if there isn't clear gender roles? And so specifically today like there's not someone that you look at and say oh, I know how to pose them. So really just don't go for the really, like you would with a couple, don't go for like hand on hip, hand on shoulder. Okay, go for the poses where there's ...
not clearly feminine masculine movement. So what I would say if you're struggling to determine the dynamics, pose kind of like friends but have more points of contact. Always have the heads tilted together. I mean, so if you don't quite know what to do just pose less romantically, put hands together, and then until you feel comfortable and you start seeing how they interact with each other, then just keep building. I personally have like no issues. I'm comfortable immediately but if it's something for you that you're like okay, I've never done this before, I don't want to do. Start simple and then just say okay, I'm gonna go a little more romantic. See if they were comfortable. That's totally fine. So there's my first three. Follow the couples posing guidelines, analyze the couple's dynamics. Pose kind of together like friends and then get more romantic. Vary eye contact. The same thing as before. Tilting heads, closing eyes, looking at camera, looking down at one subject, the other person's eyes closed, eyes open. Do that whole thing around in a circle and then of course, still avoid the flat feet. So that doesn't mean that I'm saying of course, you know, if somebody's got to be... I don't mean feet like that, I just mean again, two people side by side doing this. There's no dynamic to it. So keep that in mind as well. So who do I have first? Yeah, hi guys. How are you? Nice to meet you, what's your name?
Hi, Scott and Steven. All right guys, you ready?
I heard that you guys are super cute and gonna be really easy to pose. Okay, awesome. (audience laughs) Yeah, I can tell. Okay, awesome. All right, so I'm gonna move you guys this way just a little bit and now turn your hips towards each other. Perfect. Yeah, that's great. And I'm gonna have you put your hand right here on him and your hand on his shoulder. Great and now put your back shoulders together. Yeah and then just turn in little bit more and heads together. Okay, now your hand looks a little stressed out there. Yeah, perfect, okay. So for example, to put this blatantly. Perhaps if you're going for really feminine, you'd be like, you know, soft here. Or like like real soft. Okay, so just hand on shoulder if you don't know what to do. It's not saying anything in particular. Okay and it's not like hand on hip. It's like hand on waist. Okay, sorry. Do you mind me like oh, do you mind if I touch you? Sorry. I've been having, posing people all week. Yeah, I was gonna say that but I thought I'd maybe censor the touching people all week. And then of course, heads tilted together. Great, perfect. Notice, they do have their weight on each foot but they're not really flat foot. They do have a little bit of movement, like they're not even weight on each hip. They do have kind of weight forward or backwards so it's okay. I'm gonna raise this a little bit more. Perfect. Try not to trip here. And can I have a posing stool ready or the back, I'm gonna need a tall stool and a chair, both. Okay, great. Perfect. Good. All right and so I'm gonna have you just put your foot forward just a little bit. Your left foot forward just a tiny bit, good. Just the way he was standing was a little bit opened and I just want body language just a little bit more together. Okay and this hand still looks like a little unhappy. Yeah, just like right there.
Yeah, exactly, shake it out. There you go, perfect, perfect, perfect. Good, perfect. Great, now all the same things apply so if you want to go kind of romantic. You ready to go romantic? Okay, all right, now I want you to do is can you grab the side of his face? Perfect and you look right at me, good. And I'm gonna both of you close your eyes. Now wiggle your fingers. You have stressed fingers. Okay, good, good, Good, just like that, perfect. All right, close your eyes. Great. Okay, so now other poses that you can do, would you face straight forward. Great, okay you're gonna put your hand in your pocket. Front pocket, thumb out. Perfect. What you're gonna do is you're gonna wrap your arm around his arm, perfect, and put your hand on his hand. This hand on is that hand, perfect. Okay, great. Tilt your heads together. Right, it's all the same right? Looks good, looks comfortable, you guys look great. Perfect. And if you think that maybe they look a little separated, can you kick your right leg out a little bit and kick your left leg forward? Towards him, good. Okay, so now I'm just overlapping them a little bit more. Can you put your weight back towards him and your weight forward towards him? Okay so just a little bit more. Okay, interaction. Good, great. Perfect, all right so let's try with a prop. Would you, can I have the tall chair first? Great. Okay, let me just grab something over here. All right, perfect. Okay, so I'm gonna have that face backwards for me. Oh, actually I lied, the other way, sorry. I always do that. All right, so both of you lean on that. One on each side. Perfect. Okay, great. And so I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you grab on to his arm. Perfect and I'm gonna have you have you put your other hand up. Good, all right. All right, so you make yourself a little shorter. I know it's not super tough. Just spread your legs like that, that's fine. Okay. And so whatever is comfortable. Can you put your hand this way perhaps or you know what I mean? Like I kind of move it around. Something like that. Can you put, let's do too many stacked hands. Yeah that would be fine. And can you put your hand like holding hands there, perfect. I mean like so I'm just kind of like all right. Let's move around. Let's do both of you with hands like this, okay? Just like that first, okay. And now put your hand here. Good and now tilt your heads together. Okay, something like that and I'm going to have you put your back arm behind him because multiple points of contact. They're both doing this, I want to show that they're together. And now, can you move your hips that way just a little bit. Okay, so just watch for your body language that they're not like, you know. Get nice and close, perfect, that looks great. And I'm gonna have you hide that hand so I can't see it. Good, perfect. Great and can you put your hand a little bit higher on his arm? Good. You guys look really cute. Awesome. Oh, my light's a little dark. Can we take one more picture? And chin's out and down just a little bit. Good. Great. Okay. Perfect, we're going through these fast so just wanna see if you have any questions. Is all making sense? It's all the same. I mean, I don't mean to mock anybody that doesn't really know how just you don't have to have super defined intervals. Just multiple points of contact, make sure the body language is showing that they like each other, heads tilted together, things like that. So what I'm gonna do is--
One quick note from the chatroom that was it was kind of funny about your comment about analyzing body language and seeing kind of the relationship based on the actions. It was really funny and I hate to say I forget your names but the gentleman on the left, when you told him to snuggle up, kind of put his hand a little bit on the butt. (audience laughs) And that was kind of a really good cue for some of the people in the chatroom. They were like okay so that's a cue to how the relationship works and that's awesome to see.
And it's also like if you have, like immediately if you tell somebody to pose romantically and you can tell they're doing what you said, they're putting the hand on the face, they're putting hands on chest, but they're leaning away, you know that they're uncomfortable. So maybe just back off and you wait for that a little bit. You know, maybe you just do... And this is for any couple though. I've photographed tons of couples where I say okay, I want you to grab his chin and kind of pull him in for a kiss and go just before the kiss. And they're like hmm, we don't need that. So okay, no problem. (audience laughs)
And the thing that again I would point out is that it goes back to what you said, like the same analysis of the relationship applies to anyone. Like you know, there are going to be same gender, different gender couples, any relationship, where people are more or less comfortable kissing or being romantic on different levels. So it's all about just analyzing the relationship regardless of the subject.
And Lindsay you would approach this the same way as any other couple where you would talk to them about the posing beforehand as well.
Yeah and and so this is why I said it's kind of a balance. You got to figure out what you're comfortable with. I've discussed this with a lot of photographers afraid of encouraging their subjects to look at Pinterest because then they expect certain things but honestly they all look at Pinterest. I mean if someone's getting married in particular, they're looking at Pinterest. I don't, you know. So I would just say if there's any particular poses or shots that you've seen that you love. My take on it is show me. Just so I have an idea of what you're going for. Oh, you want sprawled out with me shooting on a ladder straight down. I mean, I still always do what I want but it gives me an idea of the direction to go. So okay, I actually want a tall stool. Can I kind of like steal one... No, like where they can put their feet. Can I steal one of those? Yeah, Russ, sorry. Okay. Excuse me, I'll take this for a second. And perfect. So all the rules apply about still, how do you pose guys? All right so I'm gonna have... You, I was judging by height. I'm gonna have you sit. Put one leg up on, yeah, you have a thing over there. And put your front leg, your left leg, up on that. It's not on that side, there's only one rung on that side. Good, put it up higher, higher rung. Good, okay, perfect. And so I'm gonna have you come over here. So I'm gonna pose him like a guy, remember like uneven feet. I'm gonna have you lean out on one elbow. Alright, whatever, what would you comfortably do? Like arm down, just kind of lean out on it?
Okay and give me like a half fist. Okay, perfect. All right so for example, I pose him nice, the suave guy pose, right? Cuteish? Okay. Just make sure that if it's height wise that he's not slouching. He's okay, just always elongate the back a little bit. That might just mean leaning forward a little. He was fine so don't worry. Wasn't critiquing. So then okay. Well, where can you involve another person? I could for example, stand somebody here. Makes sense, you know? Something like that. I could stand over on this side, which I'm gonna do. I'm gonna have you stand on that side, perfect. Put your hand in your front pocket. Great. I'm gonna have you, actually I'm lying. Multiple points of contact, right? Put your hand on his arm. Great, spread your legs a little bit more so you're a little shorter and tilt your head to his head. Good and you can put your arm around, that's perfect. Something like that. And I'm gonna have you put your arm around just even more, just a little bit more. Okay, so multiple points of contact. Posing like guys except for heads together, multiple points of contact, same thing. So I'm only gonna do one more and then we'll switch it up. And can you sit up just a little straighter? Like a little bit better postures, good. Great and you'll have to tilt your head all the way down. Doesn't actually have to touch, just whatever is comfortable. And then right here, good. Okay, perfect. Ooh, that is out of focus. Hold on. I have my lens on manual. Okay, good. And one more. Okay, so I'm gonna do one more pose to show you guys but all make sense? Okay, can I have you guys stand up? All right and so I would do the same thing. I could also do the, we talked about in couples. Everybody go watch the couple section. The making the rounds. I could do that same thing real quick. So can you stand with your hand in your pocket? Good and so I could have him, will you stand in front here with your backs towards him? Perfect and now lean back, you lean forward. Okay, now turn around and face him. Perfect and now look back over at me but turn your shoulders towards that, were good. Something like that, all right. Now, stand a little bit more on the side just perfect like that. Heads together. Okay great, put your hand up to the side of his face. Good, okay now stand behind. (audience laughs) Okay and lean forward just a little, okay, right. Hand here, all good. I'm gonna take one more picture because they look cute. come this way a little bit, scoot this way a little bit. All right, good. And notice proportion, you don't want him completely hiding behind. I mean they're equal parts, you don't him to be hidden. So let's do this. Great. All right, perfect, okay so what I really was gonna do besides saying that was posing on the ground. So step out for just a second. I want you to plop on the floor comfortably. Sit how if you're watching TV. Okay, perfect. That's pretty good pose, right? Not so bad. So what's wrong with it so far?
Straight to the camera.
All right, straight to the camera so can you rotate to your right. (audience laughs)
Good job guys.
I wasn't like criticizing you. All right, cool and just scoot your whole body this way. All right, great so now I'd say okay. Well, where can I pose another person? And how can I pose another person? So I can pose somebody on this side for example. I could pose somebody like this. I could pose somebody like this. I could pose somebody the other side. So I posed one person and I build around. So I'm just gonna say for now, do what's comfortable. Just go snuzzle. Perfect, okay. So that would be totally fine but what I would say instead is maybe put your hand on his leg. Okay, multiple points of contact but now you look a little bit, yeah that's fine. And so you look a little slouchy, yeah. And can you put your knee that way just a tiny bit. Good, great. Perfect. And don't with so much weight on your back arm, it makes your arm look muscular but it already is so it's okay. And tilt your heads towards each other just a little bit. And right now I'm gonna have you turn, can actually put, is it possible for you to put your forearm on his leg and his knee? Good, perfect. Great. Okay. So you get the idea. One more shot, can you put your hand on your leg meeting his hand? Great. Yeah right there, that's perfect. Okay, so I am going to photograph two women unless any of you have questions.
Yeah just a really quick question before you move on. Explorediscovershare, I believe was the username, would you still rotate one subject around the other? You usually do kind of establish one person and then rotate around, do you still do that with same gender couples?
Yeah but I might do both ways. Rotate one around the other and the other. It doesn't really matter.
It's like a little dosey-doe.
Right and and I usually can tell who's maybe a little bit more comfortable posing. So maybe one person looks better cupping the other person's face just because he's more comfortable with that. Or maybe he just wants to be a little bit more into it. It's like with any couple. Like I've had plenty of times where like the guy in a wedding is like okay, no, I want to go do a pose over here. And she's like oh, my feet hurt, you know, and it's super cute. So I just figure out kind of who's more into the posing and pose them more.
Cool, hey Lindsay, real quick. Cale asked about the gentleman here with the 90 degree hand to arm, the wrists.
So I didn't include it in the shot so it was okay because I cropped it out.
If I included it, I would have had him put less weight on his hand.
Yep I just figured it was kind of a a wider shot and I didn't need it.
And it's a nice support, great.
I just want to say thank you to our models. (audience applauds) And I think were good to move on to our next.
Okay, great, okay. I know these people. (audience laughs) Hey. Okay, you come out here for me.
And because people always ask, our last couple were a real life couple. And these folks are wonderful employees of CreativeLive who are not an actual real live couple.
I told them I wouldn't do making out shots for them but then they don't know that I don't ever do making out shots. I mean I have-- You know that? You don't know that.
Don't I though?
I don't take making out photos. Usually. People don't make out pretty, I'm just saying. They usually don't. Okay, so now that I made you come out here, you can still stand there but I still gotta go through my little intro. So what we're going to cover now is how to photograph same-sex couples, female. Okay there's not really like a difference. Oh, that went forward too far. Actually, just go back. Go back to the same-sex couple again. Okay, so my whole point was is gonna have two slides. The whole point was same thing! (audience laughs) Like it's supposed to be identical. So there you go, same thing. So and not and just to say, it's not like you're looking at those two. Most people go like, so is there clear gender roles? No, okay, oh well. No big deal, you don't have to pose somebody super feminine, someone super masculine. And so I'm just gonna run through, we saw a bunch of poses already that would work the same. Great, okay so now I'm gonna tease Heather. Okay no, you're okay. I'm gonna tease her because she's doing this, okay. So first of all, what I say that you never want to happen? Okay and the other thing is it shows that you're stressed. I'm tormenting you, I love you. I love her, she's like makes a great deal of this possible. So yeah. So she's actually not just like someone who works up in the office that I don't know like I rely on her for this, for real. Anyway, okay, so I can do a lot of things. You can absolutely pose just like they did by themselves. The only thing I would do is I might have your hand just like a little tiny bit. This hand is awesome. That is a like amazing pose hand. Have you modeled?
No, I just love Heather.
Aww, okay cool. Will you tilt your head towards each other just a little bit. And Heather, you're a little bit flat-footed. Just comfortably put your weight one way or the other. Like yeah, that's fine. Just so it's not flat footing. Perfect. Let me take one photo here. Great. And I'm gonna have you turn your head towards each other and you can just close your eyes. And now look at me and be happy. Good. That was a good happy. All right, awesome so we can do... making the rounds. Okay, so I'm going to have you stand behind just a little bit and you are going to put your back right up against her. Perfect just like that, great. You're gonna put your hand soft on your hip. Just like that, you're gonna put your hand just a little bit further over. Perfect, heads together, just like that. Okay, you can do that. And hide your back hand for me. Oh sorry, that was Heather. Heather, could you hide your left hand for me? Great. Well, I'm looking here and I don't have too many multiple points of contact so let me try, can you put your hand up to her hand? Okay and just soft. Good, just like that. Okay, I can do that. And I'm gonna have you put your hand just a little bit lower, perfect, good. And turn your head just a little bit this way. And you are slouching a little. So spread your legs a little bit comfortably, perfect. And can you stick your butt back just a little bit? Good because she's just doing a little bit of this 'cause they don't know each other so it's not natural to like you know, shake around. So she's like oh, it's so natural for me. I can tell this, good. And one more. Great, okay now, turn around and face her. Perfect. Put your hand up on her shirt, left hand right there. Yep. Look at this body language right now, okay. (audience laughing) Okay, they're literally like eh, stay away. Okay, come closer, come closer. Right, okay put your hand soft right here, hand on her hip, good. And look this way and tilt your heads together. Good, perfect. Good. And all the same like romantic would work. So what we did before, Heather was standing this way, just keep standing this way, you can do that. Around behind so have you faced forward Heather. Go behind her. Okay and can you make yourself super short for one sec? Okay, good and what I'm gonna have you do is put both of your hands real soft, just like that. Great and come around this way a little bit. Proportion, she's hidden. So come that way, great, just like that. Heads tilted together, perfect. And yep, you close your eyes and you look right at me Heather. Chin out and down. Put your hand up and touch her arm, multiple points of contact. Other hand, great, up a little bit higher. Great and then maybe just right here, yeah. No, I was figuring it out still. And right now what is she doing? She's tucking her chin in. Kate will you stick your chin out a little bit? Good, perfect, and chin out and down. Heather, just down a little bit lower. There you go, good. Yeah, you kind of doing chin up just a little. And serious, both of you. Okay Heather, close your eyes. Turn your head towards her. Good and keep back up just a little bit, good. Okay, now face each other one more time. Good and I'm just going to have you (audience laughs) I'm gonna have you put your hand on her face. Good, can you put your hand on her hip? Okay, now look like you know each other. A little bit closer. Good and a soft hand. Yeah, exactly. Soft hand, I'm gonna tuck your fingers just a little bit. And now you are gonna tilt your head to the right and just move in just a little bit. Heather, head to the right, just like that. Good, good, close your eyes. Okay, I'm gonna do one more pose because then we'll wrap up with this. All right, I'm gonna have them do a sitting pose. If I can find what I was gonna show them. Okay, perfect. So what I'm gonna have you do, would you take a seat?
On the floor?
Yep, be comfortable, whatever is comfortable. How would you normally sit? Okay, rotate. Great, okay, now do something where you're sitting forward. Like would you put your, okay good. Bend your knee maybe. Can you bend your back knee? Can you like bend it up? Yeah, some people can't, I mean that sincerely. Some people you ask them to bend their knees and they can't, perfect. Put your right hand there like comfortably, perfect. Okay, so I can do something like that and will you, so I'm like where can I fit somebody in? I could put somebody on this side. Or I could also maybe come right here. So I can kind of tilt heads in, trying to figure out where would somebody fit. So would you just kneel hereish. Whatever is kind of comfortable and whatever gets you so that your head can be close to her. So maybe lean on your hip. Maybe like that? Good but kick your feet out to the side 'cause right now she has no leg. (audience laughs) Don't worry, I'm not looking. Okay, so let me just lower this. Okay. Awesome. Perfect, okay great. And so I'm gonna have you open up your shoulders a little bit towards her just a little bit. Great and it's right now, she's leaning back so she looks reduced. So yeah just lean forward, perfect. And now, head can go that way and don't, yeah, you can do a close-up shot here if she's laying. I wouldn't do full length with her head laying. If I were doing a full length, I might have it a little bit further back because it breaks up, there's just this strange extreme angle. If it's close, it doesn't bother me. So let me do a close-up like that. You can rest your head just like that but you need to sit up a little straighter. Yeah, okay good. Great, tilt your head back just a little. And can you bring your chin up just a little bit more? Yeah, right there, good. And don't actually rest your head, yeah, right there. Heather back just a tiny, good, right there, I like that. And last one, can you take your hand and put it on her hand? Put it back where it was again. Good, just like that and actually can you... No, that's perfect. Both of you sit up a little straighter and lean towards me a little bit more, chins out down and tilt towards each other. So good and chin up just a little bit more. Perfect, one, two, and three. Okay, perfect, all right So I would do, as you can tell it's really all just the same thing. How is your body language, your heads tilted together, multiple points of contact, are the fingers stressed? You can tell Heather was more, Heather were a little more stressed. So you got a little like work comfort, you know. She was all about the posing so when I'm like okay, I need you to lean. That's how I would decide. I would figure out who I need to pose more, whoever is more willing. So not to call her out on that but I'm just saying. Okay, so great. (audience laughs)