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Shoot: Single Child Poses

Lesson 29 from: Posing 101

Lindsay Adler

Shoot: Single Child Poses

Lesson 29 from: Posing 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

29. Shoot: Single Child Poses

Get posing ideas for one child, including allowing the pose to reflect the child’s personality, letting the child interact with their environment, and being sure to follow their lead.

Lesson Info

Shoot: Single Child Poses

I am going to photograph a very eager model who says she's meant to model, right? You're a little model, see, she's like uh-huh. Okay, so let's talk about children's poses with just one kid, okay, so the things that I'm thinking of. The first thing is pose to reflect personality. If they're a ham, let them be a ham. If they're quiet, do soft, quiet poses, like don't force anything, so if, for example, I have inspiration where I really want, like, a sassy kids photo and they're a quiet little kid, I'm not gonna do that. So try to read off of the kid's personality, and then the second thing is, this we don't really have anything to work with here, but I find with kids, if you can give them something to interact with, it makes things so much easier because I would say, go hang on to that fence and lean back at me, and I can get them laughing, or, you know, go sit on that bench or go lean against that tree, or something to interact with because it's just kind of standing in front of a stro...

be, like I mean if they're a class clown, they're just gonna go crazy. If they're shy, they're just gonna clam up, so if there's something to interact with, it's more believable, so believable actions tended to work out better for me. That's why personally, I try to do family photos on location, because I felt that kids were very, very aware of studio strobe, I'm getting my photo taken. So it is either flail you arms and be the over-the-top clown, or it's I really don't want a picture taken, I'm scared. It's a confined environment and a flashing strobe, so that's, if you've never tried photographing families before, I actually think you're better off starting out on location, for sure. Then of course I do recommend having an assistant, and when I say an assistant, it could be a friend of the family, it could be someone that just wants to learn photography, something like that, so that if you, for example, if you have your feet in place, you know that that's the angle, and you're gonna wanna cut and crop the head, if I need to go move this kid, and I've gotta move, and I might mess it up, but it's easier to just say can you help me out, and so it gives you an extra hand. Okay, so number three is it depends on the age, but I like to say okay, you know, go lean up against that wall and give me sass, because if you just say like, lean up against the wall, put your elbow back, that's too much. So I try to do what I do a lot for poses, is I say okay, give me this type of pose with this type of feel, and they kinda act it out, and then I can tweak it from there, versus giving too much direction, it'll just go kinda right over their head. So same thing, I'll say okay, lay in the ground and look really cute at me, and see what they do, and sometimes it's perfect. Like when I told, in the last section, when I had Zoe posing with her dad, so go stand around that side with dad, she put her arm up, grabbed his hand. Reach your hand over and grab his hand, like she already did it naturally, so if I can do that, awesome, because they're gonna do what's most comfortable, but what I thought was interesting, and I was actually talking to their dad, is that you see the varieties of personalities. One's more reserved, one's going to be more class clown, and one's just little, you know, and so it's the same chameleon thing. You gotta figure out what to give this kid and that kid, and that kid, and so when I'm on my sets for fashion shoots, I'm a chameleon, but not in the kids way, it's like okay, I know what makes this person happy and this person happy and that person happy. I realized long ago, I'm a little better doing that with adults, but it's really the same skill set, you're reading people, and I think success in photography is sincerely more about your ability to interact with people than it is with your photographic skills, but still watch this class and learn posing and all of that, but it's true, being able to read people. So follow their lead, feel free to involve them in the process, because then it's not like oh it's another adult telling me what to do, it's like okay, let's make this fun, I want you to go run over there and run back at me and flail your arms. Okay, and then it looks fun, it's probably a terrible photo, but then you can say okay, take a seat, and then take their picture. At least they felt like they got to get involved. I usually find sitting and laying poses are more natural. Standing poses, either they're uncomfortable or they start running around, and then I'm chasing in my frame, and this is something else to take a look at. Make sure when you're photographing kids that you pay attention to what your focus points are, and your shooting modes. That's not really what this class is about, but you might not, for example, want one shot set on your camera, and you might not want spot focus, because if they move, they miss it and it's out of focus so that's more of a technical thing to be aware of. Number five would be varying angle. One of my favorite shots of kids is when they're sitting on the ground looking straight up, because whatever's closest to the camera is largest, so some of the things that we love in kids are big, innocent eyes, just big, glowing, innocent eyes, so if you go ahead and have a kid sit on the ground and look up at you, then in that case, it really emphasizes those eyes, that's what the attention is drawn to. Otherwise, my opinion is shoot really, really high, or really, really low. If you shoot at a really low angle, then you're at their perspective, and you can kinda see and feel what it's like to be them, and you're connecting, versus this is just the overhead adorable view. We have a willing model, Iris, will you help me get the light out here? Okay, go for it, are you ready for your modeling, yeah? Okay cool, you wanna come over here? Alright so I like to let them lead first, just so that they feel like they have a say in everything. Okay, move this way, this way, keep going. Okay, I can tell you're ready. Alright, so what is your, I mean you're a professional model, I've been told this, so what is your favorite modeling pose, do you have a favorite pose, no? Wanna put your hand on your hip for me. Okay, cross your legs, yeah, good I like it. Just like this, good, and let me see a giggle. Good. (laughter) Good, perfect, and now I'm gonna have you take a seat on the floor, okay, perfect, so I'm gonna have you just do whatever I do, okay? Alright so I'm gonna have you do this. Perfect, but I'm gonna have you move way up, scoot scoot scoot, toward me, right there, perfect, and go this way, scoot scoot scoot scoot, keep going, like this, like this, perfect, okay good. Perfect, just like that, okay. Alright, good, that is perfect, alright let me get a cute picture. Alright let me hear a giggle, let me see a big giggle. Good, let's take a look, oh you look so cute, look watch, it's gonna pop up in a second. Okay, what do you wanna change? You like it, how's that one, that's a good laugh, right? Yeah, I like that one, okay cool. Alright look back at me again right there, good, alright. Okay, I'm gonna have you flip your hair around okay, and now look at me and a laugh, let me hear a giggle, good. Okay, now I'm gonna have you be super super cute and girly, so I'm gonna have you lay on your stomach okay? There you go see, show your nose, and with a fist, go like this, good, perfect, okay. Looks good and look your head at me a little more, good, perfect. That looks pretty cute. Now let me see you smile, there okay. Now I'm gonna have you put this hand over here, put it down here, so it's just like this, perfect. Perfect, look right at me, alright let me see a real smile. Where's my monster, I asked for a monster, do we have a monster, okay we're getting a monster then, good. Will you come flip my hair or something, I want to see. She's gonna come, okay you need to protect me from her, will you tell me if she's gonna do something mean, okay. Ah! (laughter) Good, that's a perfect smile. (laughter) Goodness, that's cute, oh adorable, that was a nice one, that's a really good one. Let's see, oh that one, you like that one, yeah you look like a professional, good I like it. Okay ready, next one, I'm gonna have you go like this. Put your hand on your knee, whoa, whoa, that was good, that was really good, okay and then put that arm here, let me see, alright, okay so this is easier than normal, that's pretty good, that's really good, you are awesome. Okay, you gotta protect me from her though, okay? (laughter) Good, and now put, yeah right there, put it in your hair, good, and now bring your other hand up, alright. I will totally take this, okay, I will totally take this, you look professional. I can hear that, ow oh my god, I didn't know you actually had scissors. (laughter) That's awesome, that was awesome. Good, you look really cute I think. (laughter) Awesome, okay, so now I want you to lay on your back, good, and then I'm gonna have you rotate this way, put your head over here, keep going, good, good, good, okay and now push. Come at me, yep there you go, good, perfect. That was good, excellent, alright. See I knew she'd be good at that. Okay here we go, I am going to stand above you. I'm gonna fluff out your hair okay? We're gonna give you big, fluffy hair. Okay relax your shoulders, you look really stressed, go like this, okay perfect, ready? Let me see a giggle. (laughter) Will you cross your arms, good. Am I in the way of my light, let me see, nope you're good. Good and okay so that's not a real smile, that's a fake one. There we go, that's good, good. Okay now ready for your next one? I'm gonna stand you up, let's get model-y, really model-y, yeah and now lean this way, good, perfect. Okay we're gonna go really model-y, okay cool, super, duper model-y. Everyone thinks you look great Zoe. That is perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect, here we go, great. Good, okay now be serious, be a serious model, oh that was really serious, and now huge laugh, good. (laughter) Good, perfect, good, okay can I have that little bench, the little stool for me, yeah that one, perfect, okay. Perfect, can you put that out in front, and you're gonna sit behind it, just on the ground okay, and let's see what she does naturally, that's really cute. Iris will you be my hair-fixer for her since she has such beautiful hair, I want it to be perfect. Good, perfect, I like your hair, it's really pretty. Do you know what I did when I was little? I cut all my hair off with scissors, for real. I was five years old, how old are you? Eight. Okay, I was five. I took scissors and I just cut all my hair off. Yeah, yeah that was not funny, it's totally true, so bad. Can you put one hand up, good and sit up a little straighter, and be serious. Alright what I want you to do is go (sigh). Good, and turn your head this way a little, I lied, the other way, go the other way, and now real smile, and let me hear a giggle, go he he. Good, good, perfect. Cute very cute, oh you look really cute, okay can you do one more? One more like this, just like that, perfect, just like that, yeah, cute, and now be serious, and now huge laugh, I want to hear like really loud, there you go, good. Okay, now would you pretend you're sleeping? Uh oh, can you put your hand here? Good, oh wow, alright, professional model here. Oh my god, good. I don't actually know what you're doing, oh that's cute. It's a baby. Yeah. Put your hand right here again, good, back a little further, right there, perfect. (laughter) Good, okay now here's what I want you to do. Okay so first of all I just want to say, does anyone have any questions? Okay so I'll just tell you how my mind works when I photograph one kid, and she's good, I'm not worried about her getting bored, which is why I was actually just trying to shoot a lot right away to make sure I got everything so she didn't get bored. Alright, so what I usually do is I have my order of I usually try a shot standing, but they're usually uncomfortable right away, like they're gonna be all clammed up so that never works for me. So I have them sit first, and my order goes sitting down, laying down, leaning against a stool and then standing up, and then if there's a wall I lean them on that, but I usually do whatever's most comfortable first, which is sitting and laying, and them something with hands, because at first they're stressed out so you can see it in their hands, so I don't pose with hands at first. I'll have them put their arm on their knee or lean out so they're not worried about hands, because you can see it. Yeah, so that's kind of the order that I would do it in, and now I'm gonna try serious shots. You can tell from a kid right away if some of them just, it's hard to get them to smile, and others it's hard to get them to be serious, so I start off with whatever they're comfortable with first, and then after they're used to me I switch it up, so I'm gonna try, now with her that I've photographed all those things, some serious shots, and we'll see how that goes, okay. I'm gonna have you look like a sleeping angel. Okay that's a sleeping angel, that's her sleeping angel. Except for all this hair, oh dear, you have a lot of hair. Ready, tell me if I'm pulling it. Okay good, and can you do me a favor, can you put your cheek out here? She's squishing, hiding her face, there you go, perfect, and Iris can you move the light this way, that's good. Okay sleeping angel, okay will you open your eyes and look at me, sleeping angel? There you go, perfect, can you lower the light a little bit? Good, turn your head that way a little. Sleeping angel again, sleeping angel. Do your mom and dad say you're an angel, or do they say you're a devil, they think you're an angel? I though so, I was pretty sure, okay. Okay, eyes at me, look right at me. Good, and go back to sleeping, and now you're gonna wake up and laugh at me, ready, go. (laughter) Good, perfect. (laughter) Put your hand back down. (laughter) Good, alright I'm gonna have you go like this, put your hands together like you're clapping, put it over here, and now close your eyes, go to sleep, okay but don't fall all the way down, go like this and sleep. Perfect, let me just fix little sleeping angel, oh dear, sleepy angel, okay right there, good. Now look at me, perfect, so I'm shooting at a higher angle to make her eyes look bigger. Turn your chin towards me just a little. Chin this way, chin to your left, right there, good. Good, okay so now, if you compare from the beginning, could you tell how her serious shots were? She was really stressed in her lips, so I waited, and now she has kind of very natural looking serious shots, but I mean, she's definitely a smiley kid for sure, so those would be the shots I want, but sometimes parents like both, like to have both shots. Alright, so besides that I would just get one or two more standing shots, and then I would go ahead and add a sibling. So do we have a sibling that is perhaps interested in posing right now? While we're looking for that sibling, Cosmo B has a question, says the poses with the single girl looked like adult poses, are there specific poses that you use for kids but not adults? Yeah, so if she were even younger, because I mean she's got a lot of attitude that she can give me. If she were younger, some of the bigger ones are definitely I don't do two hands on the face for adults. I wouldn't probably do like a completely laying out with hands like this. I don't lay adults heads on their arms, that doesn't work for me, and this doesn't work for me, but it is cute for kids, and then also I'm gonna do, I'm gonna try one later, where they're telling each other secrets, and so that would be kinda leaning over, I wouldn't do that stuff, so I'm gonna try to get those now.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Bridal Couples
Bridal Parties
Couples - Different Height.
Female Seniors
Folding - HowTo
Male Seniors
Mature Couples
Mature Men
Mature Women
Parents Children
Plus Size
Same Sex-Female
Same Sex-Male
Women Posing

Ratings and 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!

Ruth Ganev

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!

Maya Tleubergen

I really love it! Thank you, thank you, Lindsay! Beautiful girl with a huge talent to teach! I absolutely love it! Worth every penny!

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