Posing 101: Women


Posing 101: Women


Lesson Info

Female Fashion Posing

So what you'll notice, there's negative space built in. (audience laughs) You know, I don't even need to really worry about that right off the bat. Long lines, very tall. When I photograph a full length shot, if I were actually in my studio in New York, I wouldn't have her that close to the background. I have tall ceilings so I would have my background up, I don't know Iris, what? Like another three feet taller than that probably? Okay, don't get me wrong, I didn't start like that. I had, you know, 17 feet deep by 8 feet wide. You know, when I first started. But what I would do is I would have her some place out here and I would back way far up and put my lens on the ground when I'm shooting. If I'm going for a standing graphic pose because it makes her look ten times taller. If I did the same thing here and shot at a low angle. So I'm just gonna demo that for just a little bit. Okay, great. And can you just give me something with long legs. Perfect. Great. Pop your elbow back just a l...

ittle bit. And then put your hands off to your face here. Okay. So let's say I wanted her to look really tall here. Okay, she looks really tall but notice it's kind of going off the background and I am shooting at kind of higher angle. What I would do is probably back up to the other side of the audience, get down low, and use a long lens. On a model, that whole thing, and I'm talking about a sample size model. So sample size would be, to be honest, like a two, four. Sample size is two, four. Sample height, usually professional models are 5'8 and taller. Like I said I'm not getting into space, I'm just telling you this is what the standard is in the fashion industry. I don't really need to worry about a lot of those same things that were a huge concern for portraits because a huge concern would be, okay, if I'm too close and too low, I'm gonna made her thighs and her mid section look big. (audience laughs) It's not as much of a problem. So instead, even if I can't get back that far when I shoot low, it makes you look hugely tall and nothing really looks big. The only thing that would be bigger because I was closer than I would normally be, are her feet. So that's why I wouldn't be quite that close. I might be maybe another six feet back. Then her feet won't look as large because they aren't really proportionally that much closer to the camera than anything else. So I know this isn't quite posing but it is because it's how does your camera angle affect things. So when your photographing professional models, it's not as much of a concern if you want to make them tall by getting down low and shooting a high angle. Yeah. So I have a question that's for people who don't have a 17 foot high ceiling or whatnot. How can you compensate that so that you're not, you know, the top of the backdrop is not going through her head? So actually is camera angle and lens choice. So one thing that would be is I would back her up towards the background a little bit. So when I pull her out perspective wise and you can see this if you do this in your own studio space. When I pull her out perspective wise, Now she's over the top of the background to my eye. If I back her up, she starts fitting more and fitting more and fitting more. Keep going. And so now I have that much more space. So okay. For the lighting that you're doing. Move your subject as far back as you feel comfortable to still get that lighting. The next thing is that you have a little depth. Really back up as far as you can and zoom in. How it works is with the wider angle lens, let's say you had to shoot a little wider because you don't have that much depth. When you shoot a wider angle lens, it exaggerates all these distances and so I start seeing the top of the background because it has a wider field of view. Like it sees all of that. If I back up, the way the lens work with compression, if you guys go back to the first day. How those two people looked closer. Even though she's not closer to the background, she looks closer to the background and what happened when she got closer to the background? It looked like it got taller so it has that same effect. So if you can back up as far as possible and use the longest lens that you can in that space, moving the subject back as far as you feel comfortable with the light, that's how you compensate to not have them chop off the top of the ceiling. When my first studio that I had in New York. I had 6'3 professional woman's athletes in three foot heels. I mean, I did a ton of Photoshopping all the time because I couldn't back up far enough. I didn't have long enough lens. So in that case, you would just have to watch your angles. Get as low as you can, being back as far as you can with the longest lens, right until it goes to crop off their head and that's kind of all you can do unless you wanna Photoshop. Good question. That was a good one. Okay, great, awesome. All right. So I'm going to just talk about a couple posing types and I definitely do this, for example. All right. So I would bring something like this, for example, on a shoot. These are all photos that I took but I said to her I want poses like this maybe. And she said okay. So very angular. Even if she wouldn't see it in the way necessarily we would as a photographer. But if you look, you know, there's negative space, long lines, negative space, triangles, and so I can kind of give someone an idea. First is if I send all poses with lots and lots of curves then I communicate something different. So I do this. I don't necessarily do this even just to say do this pose. I say this is the look we're going for. I don't want to copy the pose. This is already in my portfolio so I don't want the exact same pose. Otherwise I have to put it in like totally different sections so that nobody notices that I'm repeating poses. Anyway, so let's take a couple shots. I'll tell you a couple things I would look for and I probably will be right up against you guys. So you don't have to move I'm just gonna, I'll be bumping into you. Hope you don't mind too much. Okay. Excellent, how are you doing over there? Okay, excellent. So first and foremost, the variations from the female poses we did before, everything actually does still apply. I don't usually do the weight on the back foot that much unless I'm trying to make them look curvy but I don't need to. All those things apply. So I'm going to have you come a little closer. Cross your legs over. Good, great. And I'm going to have you do something like this. Okay. So I mean, I'm not posing that well and I can direct and it looks good because I actually don't pose for how I would pose. I mirror for them how I know it'll look good on them and that is practice. So I actually have like at this point in my career maybe 10, 15 poses that I can start people with that I know on a model always look good. So that's why I do stupid things from like okay, later I want something were you like go like this. Okay? Looks totally stupid on me but then every time there's a tall skinny model it looks great. So I can give that as a starting point. So just like that is great. Perfect, yeah right there. So all right, what I'm looking at. Nice soft hand, I still have a curve but it's not like curved emphasizing body parts. Negative space, that's good. Her hand is not stressed. It's negative space without it being palm. So it looks great, it's nice. Take a quick shot. Wonderful. And cropping would make a difference because watch what happens if I crop here. I'll have two shots to show you. The closer crop is better because it kind of leads out a ending point. This one is back to that cropping of, it's kind of at a joint. It's like just above the feet so you kind of want to see it. So I pick, like if I were going to use this. I'd crop maybe just above the knee but right here it's like ah, but you're like so close to the feet, it's kind of a little bit awkward. So that looks great. So there's triangles and negative space. All right, let's do... Yeah, yeah, we we're talking so okay. All right, perfect. So I'm going to have her do, you can put your hands up like this. Yeah, okay. So what did I say before about symmetry and elbows towards camera? Okay. It's called foreshortening and it's not as dynamic. When anything is exactly the same, it's static. So if I have her lean, now it's more dynamic. Here it's up and down and rigid. When she kind of kicks out one hip, leans one way, now, one more time. Now I have a leading line to follow versus this or this. I mean this is no negative space, this is negative space but there's no dynamic to it. This is more dynamic. So I'm gonna have you do that. Can you straight out, straight at me. Perfect. And you guys will be able to see. What's always funny is like... even bad poses sometimes look fine (laughs) but we're learning good poses. Okay and actually just do that with your arms just out. Without leaning, yeah. And now lean. Perfect. And also the head tilt gives you another bit of movement. So you'll see, let's see the others. Does it work? Okay, that looks like she's showing off her armpits. And then now it's like a little bit more of a curve and you could go even more dramatic. And I'm not quite, I'm like close to seeing the palm on that side but not quite far enough. That's okay, plus it's in shadow. Perfect. Let's do... Want to do like a little bit of movement? Okay. I also am aware and I asked the person okay, how stable do you feel in those heels? Those are good. And I'll ask somebody that. Just this leg is bad. Okay well you do. This one is the strong leg. Okay, you do on a strong leg, perfect. So I ask people because sometimes at my wardrobe sells, will have huge tall like skinny heels and I have them do a pose and then it's a topple. I mean, they're really trying to for me and it's tiny little bit of heel. So I ask, which is why I had her, we're a little more stable. Just in case people couldn't hear like one leg is a little under something and so the other leg is is stronger. Yes, so I just asked. Just talk to your subjects. So you don't want to... your shoots over if they get hurt. All right. I'll tell you, I'm going to have her do her own movement and then I'll tell you what I would tweak. We didn't talk about this so I don't know what she's going to do yet. You do something and I will tweak it. Okay, cool. So it's gonna pop up on screen. So let's say that maybe I said kick your leg out. Okay so here's the thing. In fashion, what I would see is I could absolutely use this pose if it's a double-page spread and the title's on the left hand side. So it goes white all the way across and she's actually kicking into the title. So like these things are different in fashion. I have a ton of poses that are like in no way shape or form what you would say is a normal pose. Okay but let's say that it's not a double-page spread kicking into something. Okay, so what I want to do is I don't want it to be so angular and leading me out. So when you do that instead of kicking it out, can you kick it up in a triangle. Perfect, okay, nice right. All right. Looking at that, hands pretty good but will you put this elbow back even further. Like this? No, so the elbow back. So see how here it's on your hip. Oh! Got it. Just like that, just a little bit more. Pull it forward? Right there. Back, that way. Oh, pulled back more, got it. Perfect. And then with your hand on your head, can you maybe do, let's see. Hide the hand? Yeah, just hide it behind your head. Let's see if that improves it. So I'm like these are, kind of looking for, let's see. All right, let me get down low. And whenever you're ready. Okay, now. So that one for me except and you'll see in a second. Back arm. Yep. And so she can see it but I mean, she usually can't see it. So oh, and bring her your hand a little bit more on your waist. Yeah, just like that, perfect, Okay, so the same thing. And pop out that back elbow, go for it. And you'll see, we talked about essentials, as I said before, about posing is one of the things that I always want is elongating. So that's pretty close. So instead of head down so much, why don't you, exactly. So she rolled her head back. See how much longer her neck got? Well, it's endlessly long when she does that, it's amazing. So exact same thing, perfect. Whenever you ready. And pop your back elbow out just a little bit towards me. Right there, yeah. Nope, your right elbow, pop it up. Good. Perfect. And lean back when you do this. And whenever. Perfect and one last one and just like kind of give it more of a lean. A little bit more dramatic. Good. So that would be maybe close to what I would do for something like that. Okay. I had her where as form-fitting clothes as possible but all of this changes based on what the person is wearing. So it makes a little bit of a difference. Maybe I would have her kick her foot in for one and do something like this, like that. I've done that pose tons of times. Let's do... let's do like this one's a little... a little funky. Can you just do like. I do this a lot where I'll go oh, so can you, can you? And then it looks good when they do it. Okay. Whenever you're ready. Okay and one more time. Good. And I'm going to have you bend your arm just a little bit more, soft hands. Just right, actually back in was good, right like that and turn your hips away from me a little bit. Just a little bit, yep. So do that same exact thing. Perfect, okay so this is my like, I do fashion graphic stuff. Okay but let's say that instead, how about can we do something a little softer? So let's do something with soft hand on your face. Good, okay. So see, like this is how I would direct. You know, they will kind get that language but what I said is I want something softer. So instead of this. Everything I've been doing so far has been graphic and hard lines. I said something like this. Okay, it's more curved, it's more soft, and most models don't just put their hand up. A lot of them kind of move into it. Models all have different styles. Some just don't stop moving and that's their thing. Generally people or models are taught or told when they're shooting in a shoot, they shouldn't hold the pose more than three seconds. So like they either have to switch it or like relax because you start saying the tension as you hold it. It depends, depends on what the shoot is. Everybody's different. So let's do that again. And do this. Yeah, just like that, perfect. Good. So she's already kind of feeling with those. So that looks nice. And just a little bit that way, perfect. And I'm going to have soft hand in the front. Good, right there, perfect. So the reason I'm doing this is I can do kind of soft. You can put your hand on the side this time, great. So I don't want this. This is too hard of an angle. So remember the foreshortening thing, you're not supposed to put your hand back except for in fashion if it's making it a little softer. I'm elongating it a little bit. So just do that for me perfectly. Just like that. Tuck your knee in. That one, perfect. Just like that. And pop your elbow just a tiny bit. Good. Oops, not taking, huh. Oh wait, I cut off the composition, I moved. One more time. Perfect. Okay, so I could do something like that. And I'm going to have you just pop your hip as much as humanly possible when you do it. Like kick, kick, kick, kick, good, yeah. Just like that, so yeah. That was perfect. So rest your hand again. You're just kind of resting your hand on your hip. Do you mind if I? I'm gonna just go like right here. Kick, like make it painful. Okay, that was good. Oh except for, possibly a little bit. Okay, so now I have like crazy curve, just like that. Great. Okay. So this would be general ways to direct. Trying to accomplish different things. Let me see if you guys have questions so far. I don't really have a question so much. I should stand up, sorry. That's okay. It was just funny as soon as you told her to go soft, like your eyes immediately went softer. So good for you on doing that but even just like giving them a word, like their whole body changes which is good. Yeah, which is why like I do for my mood board when I show somebody, I say okay. I say this is where, the publication that it's kind of similar to, which would be in whatever. And we're going for angular and aggressive. We're going for soft and demure. So let me do, for example, can you do something real soft like this and can you put your hand, stroking kind of down this way? Okay. See how much softer that got? Okay. So put your hand across this time. All right, this is kind of like, I would say this is more closed off and you don't see fingers and it's kind of like protective. This is like soft and elegant. When you kind of have long fingers soft down the arms. Yep, just like that. Something like that. And I don't need to include her whole body, I could just include this part. So at that point a lot is expressed by her fingers and I don't need to always have graphic. And then raise the shoulder up and tilt your head that way just a little. Good, perfect. So like soft hands. So those are the kind of things every different body movement you do means something else. I almost, this is a difference. I almost never pose models sitting on the floor. I might recline them in a chaise or have them lay up something. I don't know it's like, whatever it may be. Whether it's a a railing or something like that because sitting isn't usually elongating. I don't know, I don't get that drama. Models I'm not worried about sitting because oh, okay, I have people sit because I want them to be comfortable and that's how they feel naturally. This is, they pose for what they do. So I don't usually do sitting poses. I would say most of time when people show me fashion poses for sitting it it lacks whatever their goal was. Unless they're going for sexy and then it's laying and there's curves. But I would say fashion, I usually do more standing or reclining than just sitting. I'm going to do a chair shot, now that I said that. I meant sitting on the floor. So can I have a stool please? How often do you let your models just free pose and then capture as you see versus actually posing them as you are now? I tend to try to read the person. Can I have a little stool? I try to read the person and see if they are posing the way that I need them to. Most the time, no matter how great they are, I don't do free posing because I don't know to expect and I can't quite anticipate it. That being said, sometimes you just have people that I'll put on the beat of the music based on how much I want them to change their pose or how I want them to move. So if it's slow music, its posing something like that. Or if it's more aggressive, they're changing on the beat. So I can kind of set the mood for how much I want them to change. Even though this isn't posing, it's kind of related to this for how models read. When I had talk to models, one of one of the things they say is one of the best sounds in the world is the sound of a clicking button. When they don't see a flash or a click, they assume they're doing something wrong, and they change a pose. So if for some reason your camera is not working or if you're just recomposing. Say okay, hold it there. That looks great. Hold still, right there, because otherwise if they don't hear, they're like okay, that wasn't right, I'm gonna do something else. Like I'll see that a lot. Yeah, right? Good, okay, we haven't talked about this. So just keep that in mind, it's kind of posing related. Okay, now that I said that, I'm sorry. I think I do need something taller other than the chair. I know, I know, I know. I forgot she's like two feet taller than my former subject. Okay, we'll do that one. Let's do chair posing. Okay. So I'm not going to say anything to her. We haven't talked about this. I'm just curious, can you sit in the chair and pose in a fashiony way? Okay, I'm not looking. Okay. All right. So if I look at her, there's a couple things you could do. If you're going for like that kind of dramatic like I don't care, I still look hot when I'm slouchy look, which you've seen it. I would kind of crop in here, like I crop in closer because right now I don't want shot straight on but for my style. Okay, here's what I'm gonna have you do. I'm gonna have you tuck your left leg back. Good. Tilt that foot to the right. Okay, notice foot forward. It's angling forward. It's not working so turning to the side, everything is getting longer. See how much longer that's getting? Okay. Now, I'm going to have you put your hand or your right elbow on your right knee. Good and then put this hand on your hip. So I can do like all these dramatic angles. That is for my graphic style. If however you are going for something sexier, you would make it more perhaps, would you like lean back on the edge of the chair. Okay, good perfect. And so then maybe you would put your hand out here because I'm elongating. Here everything was pulled back. Okay so I had, it wasn't balanced but if she puts her hand out here, now I've elongated, So it depends on what you're trying to do but I don't want anything straight towards camera. I don't want anything slouching. Everything is elongating. If I want it to be little sexier, we could put hand up something like this, you know, whatever. So let me see if there's any questions from you guys. Since this is my thing. Okay, so I'm just going to take like three more pictures so we can move on to beauty, okay? I just wanted to make a comment that every time that she moves, shoot sorry. Every time that she moves she locks in the pose and just like it's going against all the portraiture rules. That you know like I would never ever, ever, ever do to the normal person. But for her is just like she locks and she, you're doing great. Like it's just like I would snap, you know, like if it's exactly the mood, that it's exactly a right picture to take and then. Yeah, so this something a little different for me as opposed to everything else that I said. When I'm shooting fashion, I don't pose and move around because their job is to pose. What I do is I find my composition, I set my light, and then I work with them. However, with a lot of non models, I get the pose right. I'm like okay, I've got a pose that works. Let me work around it. Versus I can just keep tweaking and it doesn't exhaust the person. Like that's what we're working together for. So models, I mean, when we say creative team, we're on a creative team together. We are part of the same creative team. We're both working for the same goal. So I keep that in mind as well. So I'm just gonna have you do one more kind of lean forward. Yeah, do that one, perfect. And I'm gonna have you move your hand, just your elbow. You can do the same thing. Put this hand to your elbow on this one. Yeah, okay. So I'm going to lower my light and then we'll switch to beauty. Perfect. And I wouldn't have ideally a black chair behind her and black clothes, you guys will get the idea though. You'll see that this is a fashion pose. Right there, perfect. So imagine she's sitting on the edge of a cool chair, a cool stairway, whatever it may be. So it's kind of fashion pose. If I want it to be more graphic, I could put the hand back. If I want it to be softer, I put the hand here.

Class Description

Posing women can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially when you consider the seemingly endless looks, styles and situations you can find yourself in as a photographer. In Posing 101: Women, fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler will show you how to pose women comfortably and with style in a variety of scenarios.

Lindsay will lay down a foundation to posing and show you the essential poses for women you need to get started. Using live photo shoots and a 5 guideline approach, you’ll learn how to pose high school seniors and mature women. You’ll see boudoir poses that are graceful and comfortable for the subject yet impactful. Lindsay will teach you specific poses for plus size, bridal and maternity clients. Additionally, you’ll learn how to wow and inspire awe with stylized fashion and beauty poses.

Regardless of your style and experience, this course offers a step-by-step approach to posing women easily and quickly. Regardless if it’s a wedding, portrait or intimate boudoir shoot, you’ll be able to pose with confidence and ease.