Posing Difficult Subjects


Posing, Composition and Natural Light


Lesson Info

Posing Difficult Subjects

So let's get into posing difficult subjects. Tell me, anybody here run into a problem where they had subjects that were difficult to pose? Raise your hand. Okay, everybody. Well, if you didn't raise your hand, your lying because we all run into this. Okay, so what do I do? What are some of the things to get natural posing? And I talked about a little bit, but the first thing you can do is to get your subjects to learn or sit or have them supported because, believe it or not, just to do this pose right here is hard. The average person can't do it. I mean, I've been doing it for 15 years, so that's why I look amazing doing it. I mean, you know, it's nothing for me. But a typical person can't do that. It's really hard! So what do you do? You have them lean or sit on something to help like if there's a wall, they can just hold on to... Oh, here, here's a chair. Right, so I'm doing the pose. I can just hold this chair. This is a huge help, just like the back of a chair. Just have them hold ...

it and do it. You'll be surprised, this way. Without that chair and their inexperience, you're gonna pose like this. But if you had the chair, now I can go like this. What does that do, break the spine even more. That's what you want, and so that support, whether it's a wall or a chair, is gonna greatly help you get what you want. Now, if you're using props, subjects can be supported by that, and also, it helps relax your subjects because they're not straining to hold it. (simulates groaning) To hold it is like, aaah, relaxed. That helps a lot in the expression. Another reason why you have to be a master at this because I want you at home, in the privacy of your own room, I want you po... Guy and gals, I want you to pose this, and I want you to hold it for 30 seconds. That's like freaking yoga, man, I, ah! And so, if you don't have your act together, and you're posing your subject, and they're standing for you there for two minutes, that is pure agony. How do you think that subject's gonna feel about you as a photographer? Like you're making me go through these difficult, aw, man, this is hard, ah! Then you start looking like that. That's why you gotta get your act together. You gotta practice this every single week 'cause you could keep it fast, and your subjects are gonna love you, okay? All right, also, when you're leaning on something or sitting on something, you can get a variety of poses like this, right? You're using your props. Oh, okay, I told this guy to lean on here, and then I told him to get into the chair. And so, now, when you have different things that they can lean and stand on, it's gonna create a variety of shots for you also. So, let's keep moving. Okay, here it is, right? I saw this beautiful industrial part, had this kind of ladder type thing here. I got her climbing on that, and this is a great thing to do when you have an extremely long dress, and it looks so natural when that dress is hanging, right? That looks a heck of a lot better than doing that pose on the ground, and you don't know whether to make it perfect or to make it not perfect, and it just looks weird. And sometimes, when it's too perfect, it goes, it doesn't look natural, and then sometimes, when it look all wrinkled and everything, that doesn't look good enough, right? But if you have a long dress, try to find some height and let it hang, and it will always be beautiful because it's natural at that point. All right. Sitting down, nose towards the... Right, okay? Oh, now, you can get people laying on the ground and how I do this is I have that front leg rolled over. So why I can create somewhat a booty, right? And so, when I have that leg rolled over when they're sitting down, boom, booty's gonna come out, and she's gonna look amazing. And so that's why it's important to have that leg rolled over when they're either sitting or whether they're laying down, that's a key element to have that. I'm just gonna mention really quickly. In your last workshop here at CreativeLive, We shot a demo of that, which is on YouTube, so... It was like me and you. Yeah. (the group laughs) Were you posing? Yeah. Yeah, okay, I get it, you gotta watch that! You pull that out! (laughs) You look really sexy, Jim. Okay, so I talked about spine, and so here, she's leaning forward, so she's breaking that perpendicular feel to it. She's got something to lean on against the doorway here. Right, and that person's leaning back. And so, when you have somebody leaning back, you gotta get their booty out. You just can't have them lean back against the post because you're gonna have that two sticks feeling. So, therefore, you gotta move out so you could get a triangle going, and when you get the triangle, you get a diagonal, and you're looking across the entire frame because you're creating a triangle at that point, okay? This is a very simple thing to do for a guy. Get a chair, have them lean forward, and it's easy because, guys, we're lazy. We just like to lean stuff, sit on stuff. We're just lazy. And you get them in their natural habitat. Leaning, sitting on something is gonna be great for you. And here a wall, right, ying yang boom kind of thing. You got a wall, she's leaning on it, very easy. Guys, I do that a lot, and what's great, maybe if your guy has a little bit of this right here, putting your arms over covers all that and just lean a little bit forward. They're gonna look 10, 20, 15 pounds lighter, they're gonna love you. So that's a great technique for a guy. Okay, if you don't have anything at all, a great technique is to have them get on the ground because, now, everything is supported by the ground, and it's a lot easier. So, if you're feeling something tense or whatever, just have them kneel down and do a pose and shoot down on them, and that will look very natural to them. Sitting, I talked about that, rolling over. You never want a crutch shot and sitting down, right, so you gotta fold them, position the legs away a little bit, you don't wanna, bam, there it is, you know, that's a different type of photography. (laughs) Sit on the edge of the chair, okay? Get them moving forward and roll that weight to one side of their hip, and then you're gonna have a great shot. Keep the arms away from the waist, and so you could see the waist, and when she's bending forward, you could see her hip being accentuated. That's what you want, okay? Here they are posing. They are kind of a difficult couple because they are not used to posing. So what did I do? They need some help, I just gonna get them leaning against this wall here. And look how natural and beautiful that is right there. She's putting her hip against it, she has support, she's lifting her leg. He's just leaning over there crossing his legs, looks beautiful, no brainer.

Class Description

There is no excuse to not take an amazing photograph. Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim in this exclusive course shows how composition, posing and light must work together to create WOW and impact. He'll also discuss how using film and vintage polaroids can enhance images using natural light. 


Leah Hinds

Love this course! It's a quick and fast paced run down on some basic poses that you can carry over into any situation. I love Scott Robert Lim, he is energetic, funny and doesn't mind a joke at his own expense. I love everything about him! I learn the most from him because I remember his own attempt at posing it or his jokes. I find it hard to remember stuff at the time during a shoot but this info will stick. Thanks so much, more please.


This class is amazing, I learned much more in the 90 minutes of this class, than I ever thought I would (as far as composition and simple posing). Scott is FANTASTIC!!! I love his knowledge and energy!!!

Scott Joy

Scott is awesome and incorporates passion, energy and fun into his teaching!