Posing Female High School Seniors: Floor & Wall Poses
So you've been wonderful so far. Are you ready for some floor poses?
Okay cool. Thank you. It's cool. I will move right over here. Awesome. Okay great. So, first thing I'm going to have you do, I do mirroring. Okay, so I did my sitting poses with hands. Okay. Usually I don't do standing with hands as much. I don't know, it just because then people's weight, the way that they're shifting their weight makes a difference. When people are sitting, they're more comfortable. They're not worried about what this looks like so they know, okay it's clearly here and then they're not stressed out as much. So for sitting, I can do a couple things. So I told you often my default is to say, "just take a seat, just be comfortable". That's my first default one. Let's take a look. I've not seen what she's done yet. Okay, so I take a look and, are you a dancer?
No? That, I didn't know like bend that way. (audience laughs) I mean it's cute. Okay, so I have a dress on so we're just going ...
to try. I actually when I do a high school senior portrait session, I just pose. Like I don't try to explain it. I just do it with them personally. So what I'm going to have, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to have you just put your knees together and then lean out on this arm and put that hand kind of soft on your leg here. Perfect. So it would be kind of a first pose that I would do. Just soft. YOu're going to tilt your head either way and then can you cross your left hand over in front? Perfect. And what the one thing that I see is you have a little bit too much weight on your hand, just soft. Like just like barely, like don't put any weight on it. Just barely touch it on the floor. And lean out just a little bit more. Okay, so that's like the basic, you know, she's out on the park, get that basic photo. Okay. So I'm not going to count that towards one of our poses just because I want to do some more interesting ones. We're not going to do that one. Okay, the next one is I'm going to have you lean out on your elbow. Okay. And I'm going to have her, so what I'm going to do so far is that looks good. Her torso looks good because right now she doesn't have too much weight on her arm. She doesn't look like her neck is straining. This arm that's brought over, it's a big circle so I've kind of held the neck pose there. But I'm looking at her legs. And because of fort shortening, her knees are kind of coming at the camera and it looks like she has short legs. So I'm gonna have you kind of extend your legs out a little bit, something like that. And I'll make them uneven. If you wanted to have a girl have more curve, you would tuck the top knee over. If that's not what you're going for, you would do the opposite and you would kind of pull that leg extended out. So I'm going to have you extend your top leg out, okay. To something like that versus if I curve it over, now her hip pops out. So it just kind of just depends on what's the style you're going for. What's the look you're going for there. So I would get that nice shot. I'm going to go grab a photo of that okay? And I'm trying to be aware of the camera over here as I'm running around. Okay. Perfect. Great. (camera clicks) And one thing I see she's not too bad but I see a little bit of tension in her hands. Not too much but they're a little ball. Just wiggle your fingers real fast and then put them back together. Good. So I think she looks more comfortable versus when her hands are in a ball, it looks a little more stressed. Okay, cool. (camera clicks) Notice as well, I'm down on the floor with her. If I shoot at a higher angle, I lose the negative space of her arms. So if I come up kind of this way, notice it's not bad but that negative space from the top arm disappears. Let's see in a second. And I know this kind of from shooting a lot. It's not terrible maybe if she doesn't have matching colored sleeves so, you know, it doesn't look like it all blends in but when she's wearing black, it's not as flattering as the alternative. Okay. So now I want to get a little cuter, okay, so I'm going to have your just scoot this way just a little bit and I'm going to actually have you lay out with your hand in your hair. Like lay, lay out. Perfect. Okay, so like pretty naturally, teenage girls kind of just flop and pose, you know. It looked pretty good. I will have you pull your left knee over real quick. Yep and just flip it on the ground. I want to see how it works. If, so if I am not getting a full length pose, and I just want there to be just a little curve, that works. For full length, it looks kind of sprawled so I'd have you tuck it back. Just like that, you can put it even behind, you can kind of whatever's comfortable. So I'm going to do a pose like that and you can even sprawl out even more. You can actually lay on the ground. Okay, that's fine. And then put that hand real soft just there. So that would be another pose that I would do. And her hand is great. What I would watch for, turn that hand this way. I'd watch for that if somebody's balancing because then you have foreshortened fingers. It's at the camera. So just turn it side, turn it in. Good, a little bit more, a little more, right there. And then I hit wiggle fingers. If people have their hand flat on the ground, you can tell they're stressed. I want them to look super comfortable, super natural. So I just say, "wiggle your fingers". Perfect. She's super cute. Can I rub your hair?
Okay. Yeah, teenagers, don't touch them without asking, slash, if you can avoid it, just have them do it themselves. But I'm just going to flip your hair real quick for you. Perfect, great. All right. So let me get a photo of how super cute you look here. And can you bring your hand up even further? Right there, great. (camera clicks) Good. And do one serious. It's cute, but I think I like this serious a little bit. Looks cute. Nice angles. You look nice. Very cute. That would be kind of, I got my basics of standing. I got my basics of her hand in her hair. I got the basics of laying down, so now I can go a little cuter. I'm gonna have you lay on your stomach with your head towards me. (laughs) Okay so she's a ham. (audience laughter) So when I see that, this pose for me, because of how her hands are, are younger than she even is. So she's 14. This pose I would see probably more for like a kid six, seven, eight, something like that, with the two hands. So if you want her to look a little more mature. I'm gonna have you drop your left arm. Good and then soft hand on that side. She did it pretty perfect. So I would zoom in and I know I'd get a tight shot right away, right off the bat. I'm gonna move my light just a little. Perfect and let's get a close-up shot here. (camera clicks) Great. And now if I wanted a full length shot, I'd have her cross her legs. Perfect and I would shoot from here. Whatever's closest to the camera looks biggest. It looks cute, you look adorable. When I shoot the boudoir shoots later, I would shoot a little more from the side, have the girl arch her back, put a little weight on her knees. Make a little more curve, I'd have her pull her hands in tighter. These really are all the same poses, you're just kinda tweaking for what your subject matter is. Awesome. So you look super cute. I'm gonna have you sit on your bottom real quick. Awesome and I'm going to break a huge rule. I'm gonna have you curl up in a ball and put your hand on your knee and then cross this hand over. Perfect. This is bad pose. Everything's kind of tight together. I'm going to tweak it to make it better. I'm gonna have you tuck your outside hand underneath, even further back, good. And put your knees down just a little bit. So now lean out on your knees. I'm trying to make her a little less bunched up. I'm elongating a little bit. I see her hand is in front of her chin. I don't want it to be in front of her chin. Can you put it back just a little bit? Great, so much better angle. Looks much more flattering to her. I would floof out her hair. For girls, floofing hair is important (laughs). Can you just flick it out a little bit? Good, perfect. See how much more of a natural flow it has there? I would not shoot this pose like this. Okay, you see? I wouldn't shoot it like this. I would come over here. Good and look right up at me. (camera clicks) Good. Good. I would shoot closer. I would probably shoot this on location or something. I'd shoot it horizontally so her eyes are in focus, I can see a kind of green grass behind her, something like that. Just know that a bad pose isn't necessarily bad when you can crop in. Let's do even funkier. Let's bring inspiration. Let's bring an inspiration out here. So we're gonna try one. What I want you to do is I'm gonna have you do this. Something like that? So let's just say you guys don't know what it is. I'll do that, I'm like what do you think about this pose and they'll be like, oh okay, sure. I can actually get their feedback. They'll tell you right away if they don't like that one. This is kind of the pose I was directing here. If she didn't have solid colors on, it'd maybe be a little better with this hand. Let me explain. So what I'm looking at here is I like the negative space that she has, but because she's wearing all black, this is going to blend in. It's too much merge. So I could have her put her hand kind of on her hip. So now I have nice triangles, and that's cute. If I wanted her to have a little more length, instead of sitting, I could have her extend up, so you try something like that. And you can lean out and tilt head. Or sit back down. So this is another starting point that I could kind of work with here. I'm gonna take one more photo there. Perfect, and will you sit up a little straighter? Good. (camera clicks) And will you pop your elbow out back? Yeah, there you go, good. (camera clicks) Perfect. All right. That would be another one. I'm only gonna do two more things. Last thing, well last thing right here. Would you just lie on your back? And put your head over this way. So for me, this is not a studio shot. This would be outdoors. Lying in the grass, something like that. So I would do is have her floof her hair out. So I'd come over and I'd make it all floofy and pretty, girls if they have long hair, love the floofy pretty shots. Okay you can put your head back down. All right, floof your hair out all cute, perfect. And I'm gonna have you put your hands above your head. (laughs) I like that, Superman. So what I want to do, I know I wanna photograph shooting a downward angle. Guys (mumbles) like love that. I don't know, I would always shoot this. So I'm gonna have you put your hands in, something like a little bit more above your head. Good, all right so now she's symmetrical. So I need to make it asymmetrical. So I'm gonna have you put one hand higher than the other. Just like that, perfect. What she did, she shifted one arm up, the other arm down, but I'm seeing a lot of palms. So I come in and I would just say, "can you just "tweak your hand like that, perfect, "and tweak your hand like that, great." Just like that and I'm gonna actually put this hand much lower, maybe just around your head. And make it asymmetrical. Let's take a shot like that. You're gonna turn your head towards me just a little, and I would stand on a step ladder. I don't know if we have a little step stool or an apple box is good. Apple boxes are my favorite (laughs). I need them all the time. Perfect. Great, perfect. And so what I was looking for was asymmetry. My hand kind of follows around. If I wanna do a full length shot as well, if I wanted to get maybe mid length, I'll show what I would change. Get one quick shot here. (camera clicks) Oh, did not fire. Let's try it one more time, good. Um, okay hold on. Let's try it, let me give this a try again. Yeah that one worked, okay good. We'll see, yeah you can already see it kinda. Okay so shooting from a higher angle, so if I wanted to do fuller length, I'd take that one arm and put it across your stomach. So now what I have is I have an S-curve, 'cause what you'll see, can you bring that hand a little closer to your head? Perfect. So now what you'll see, and lean towards me just a little bit, good. (camera clicks) Perfect. When you watch her arms, you'll see that it starts near her head and does a little curve down her body so your eyes kind of follow her pose. This one was also very popular. But notice, negative space on that back arm. So it's not very tight up against her, she's nice and relaxed. On that hand, I do see the back of her hand. It's okay because it wouldn't actually really work to do pinky unless I had her put her hand on her hip which I want it just relaxed. I do see pinky side on the top hand. And so my eye just kind of curves like that. So the very last one I'm going to do for high school senior girls, these are kind of my go to poses, is I am going to take her over to that wall there. So, Iris would you help me with that? And I'm gonna go have you lean up against the wall however you want.
I'm personally a fan of trying to read the person's personality. So we actually had a discussion about this yesterday. A lot of times the people that hire you, they want you to direct them more just so they know why they're paying you. Sometimes they just want to hear that you have ideas and that you're directing. High school seniors, sometimes when you ask them or tell them just to go pose against the wall, they feel more involved. They feel like they're partaking in the process, versus if it's an adult, they don't want to partake in the process (laughs). They're like, just tell me what to do. Let's make this fast. Whereas some high school seniors, they get excited about it, or teenagers. So she looks cute, she went up and posed up against the wall there. I'm actually, this might be a bit of a pain, so I'm gonna try. I'm actually not going to shoot flat onto the wall. I'm actually going to shoot down the wall a bit. So you're fine with that. I'm just gonna stand over here. Will you move it out to the front just a tiny bit? Perfect. Let me just see how this looks lighting-wise. Take a look. Can you bring it way out to the front, like way, way, way, way flat light, keep going, perfect, okay great. Let me test this. All right so I'm gonna take a pose like this, everything's kind of blended in. I know you guys can kind of see that. Okay everything's kinda blended in. I want to have a little bit more shape. I wanna have a little bit more pose to it. So what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you turn towards me just a little bit, great. I'm gonna have you put your hand on your shoulder. That one, perfect. Great and I'm gonna have you put your hand on your hip. Perfect, just like that. Okay so what I just did and I know you guys can't see this, slash any cameras can't see this. Let me articulate since I realize you can't see this. I have her leaning up against the wall. When she was leaning flat from that angle, it's flat. You can't see anything. So I had her turn sideways. So she's not totally reduced against the wall. Now she has a little more command of the frame. If she just leans flat with her arm, there's no negative space, it's squished. So I had her put her hand on her hip and she's more leaning on her elbow than anything else. Well then this arm doesn't have anything to do, so I had her just kind of put it here for negative space. Will you lay on your back, you know lean on your back again, hands down and tell me when you feel good about that camera. So what I'm gonna have you do is turn sideways, put your hand on your hip. Okay so now we got a little bit of negative space there. And now put that hand up on your shoulder. Perfect, all right let me take a look, I'm gonna shoot from over here. Great, I'm just getting right in your camera angle. And let's check a look at my light. And now will you look at that light. And now put that hand in your hair, good. Perfect. So something like that. Of course I would be not having that exact light, but that's what I'm thinking about. A lot of people when they pose somebody up and against the wall, they just have them lean. There's no shape, there's no negative space, it's really really flat. So I'm looking for ways to give it a little bit of negative space, kick some weight out in the hip, give more negative space here, occupy this hand. Same thing is when people pose high school seniors up against a wall, a lot of times they just have flat. I try to think of the same thing, can they lean back, have the hand soft, or hand on the hip, and one hand, well both hands on the hips and kind of lean on an elbow. So watch for not flat and not merger and this gives her a little opportunity to do like, personality and she can kind of lean and interact. So those would be, that was perfect, thank you. Oh and I'm gonna be super tangled, eek. Sorry I'm gonna pass this around here. Those would be, I'm gonna leave it for you. My go to high school senior poses. There were more than five there. I'll pick out my key five, but what it would be would be standing, something close up with hands, sitting, laying, leaning. My creative one would be laying out on their back if you can shoot in location. I don't really like it in the studio. It feels more natural to actually be lying out, say in the grass. So let's see if there are any questions for five high school senior girl posing tips.
Absolutely, so we have one starting out from Zantos01, he says "what poses would you do "for a girl that is not quite so confident, "someone who's a little shyer, "would you change it up at all "based on that personality?"
Sure, so one of the things I would probably stay away from right away would be just plain old standing shots. Because standing is very vulnerable, you're not holding onto anything. So I would start with sitting and just hands, like sitting in a chair. Then I would have sitting on a floor. Then I would have leaning on the wall. I wouldn't do laying out on their back. I wouldn't do posing with your hand on the hip. I would just keep everything so that they're always in contact with something because it gives you stability. It's something to basically feel like you're holding onto. So if someone's not confident, and then if by the end, they're feeling a little more confident, I test the waters and I say, "All right, let's do something different. "I've got one more funky thing I wanna try." You can read by their body language if they're up for it and you know what, this is why I start boring and then go more creative, because if I got the shots I need and the last one sucks, I go, "Okay, that looks great, and we're done." (laughs) And then we just move on.
Cool, so from Amy H., she says, "I have a problem when I shoot down "on somebody laying on the ground. "Sometimes all their flesh sort of "rushes up and gives them a very round face. "Is there a way to avoid that "and do you have any secrets to making that not happen?"
Yeah and if you looked at that pose, I didn't actually have her look up, I had her tilt to the side. So she actually was tilted towards the camera. If a girl already has a very round face, I would do the chin out to the side. You know she's laying on her back here, instead of leaning straight up, I'd have her kind of lean and tilt and I would adjust that way. And that's true. And it's much more noticeable on older women. Everything's ppp (laughs).
It happens to all of us. Question from Renee. What do you do with a girl who's more tomboyish, a little bit more you know, masculine in her kind of attitude and dress?
Definitely and so this is why you take this class. You learn all the poses and then you put it in between. So maybe then instead of doing the soft hand in the hair, I might just do two hands together and they're leaning on a posing table, for example. Or sitting on the ground, maybe not soft laying, maybe more like the pose that I did for the guy yesterday, which would be totally fine for a high school senior girl. One knee up, hand on the knee, arm out. And that would be totally fine. And I've photographed a lot of high school seniors and it would be exactly that. You can tell by the way that they present themselves and the clothing that they chose. If they want to be twirling in a dress or if they wanna look a little tougher.
Cool, thank you. Lindsay, for us newbies out there, can you define exactly what a posing table and a posing chair are?
Yeah, perfect. Can I have that pneumatic stool first of all? The stool that, it was over here somewhere. If you have a portrait studio where you'll be shooting actually indoors, these things are really useful and I call it, it means that they're, air lift up and down so you can actually adjust it. So this would be my posing stool. Thank you. Go up and down. Let's see if I can do this. Maybe not. I don't know this one, push down. Anyway, this is not mine. This would be the posing stool. And a posing table is the one that we had over there. And the reason that if you're doing head shots or high school senior portraits. If you do family shoots, this is not something that you need, in my opinion. If you're photographing bridal shoots, you don't need these. But the reason I say that is you can see when she was higher up on that stool before, when I wanted to do that pose she kinda had to lean. You want these because they're variable heights so you can actually get it to a comfortable height, 'cause you don't want them to be stressed or trying to manipulate their body. You just want them to be comfortable. And they're really really inexpensive. I think, well I know you can get them at Denny's makes a couple of them for $100, 79, I mean it kind of depends. And I definitely use them. And I've used them for my fashion and beauty photography as well. And it's nice too for beauty photography, sometimes I'll even put the reflector on the stand, so I don't have to hold it and now I have that nice fill and it multi-purposes and then if I want them to pose, then I can use the stand.
We're getting a lot of questions about props. And while this is not a styling or prop-based workshop, do you have any thoughts on posing with props? Is there anything that you consider when you're thinking about that?
For any time I'm photographing teens, I almost almost always ask them to bring some kind of prop, something, I don't call it a prop, I say, "bring something, do you play a sport, "do you have a hobby, do you play an instrument?" Something like that. Two reasons, one it is so much easier when they have something in their hands. You can basically pose them and then work that in and you don't have to worry about hands. The hands are posing with that. So actually for a high school senior guy over here, he brought his basketball, so I'm gonna pose him the way that I would with sporting gear. Props in general, I tended to stay away from. Like blocks and things like that. Not 'cause I have a aversion to them, but I always had a small studio space with no room for props. That wasn't really something I had access to. So I would shoot on location and if I needed variable heights we'd shoot on stairs. Or if I needed variable height, I would shoot on a bench or something like that.
Cool, thank you. We do have a question regarding Mark from Chicago, posing more conservative females, even with religious implications. Do you have those types of clients?
I don't have those now (laughs). But I definitely had, I was doing a lot of high school senior photos for the local Christian Academy, and then also people that were homeschooled. In particular where I was, had a studio, they still got senior portraits done. Most of that was dress a lot of the times. Generally, I found that they were still fine posing on the floor, just not lying on their back, for example. It would just be being even more acutely aware of where your eye is being drawn to. So if the girl did have maybe a scoop neck shirt, I wouldn't shoot from a higher up angle, but I didn't really change too much besides sprawling and I might not have leg up, leaning on the wall. I might just have leg up, arms crossed. Just like a little toned down.