Skip to main content

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 11 of 33

Posing

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 11 of 33

Posing

 

Lesson Info

Posing

let's move forward and talk about something that I know a lot of people struggle with. There is no doubt, and that is quite simply posing. Posing is one of those things that our fear of posing again keeps us from advancing. Because we know you can have a great image. Great lighting, great subject matter. But you can completely wreck it with a terrible pose. Right? You can terrible. You can just pick, you know, tear it up a zoo. Matter of fact, let's take She was our lovely model for an example. Here. This guy over here, out of the way a little bit. That's open things up where we can see what's going on here again. We appreciate you guys bearing with us year and, most importantly, appreciate our lovely model bearing with us to she's like, man, who is this guy like? Are you sure he's done this before? Because so far, I'm not really impressed. Stand up for me, sweetie. Let's talk through posing. Now, I'm gonna screw this up a little bit. Now, look, I'm gonna put you I'm gonna make an exam...

ple out of you, young lady. All right? What? I watched I want you to stand behind this chair. Now, I want you to give me, like, a really edgy pose. You see what just happened, right? She's like, Okay, it really got uncomfortable. And I don't like this at all. Why would we do that to our clients while we do that are subject to say, OK, sweetie, discover there and just give me something really cool And she goes over and she's like Like, I don't want to do so. Don't ever do that to your clients. Know what? You won't? So you can instruct them on what you want, So lead, lead, lead by example. Look at this guy right here. Do you think I'm afraid to show somebody how I wanna pose? No, I'm not afraid to put myself out there because by me showing and leading by example, I get what I want every single time. Where do you come up with posing? Where do you find poses that you like? Blair? Where do you come up with these poses? I look for inspiration. I look around for high school seniors. This is going to sound really, really weird. But trust me, I got a Victoria secret looked through their catalogues that my wife kids, I understand they're in lingerie or whatever, but they have regular outfits too. For all you people that are like, Oh my gosh, it's weird. Look at there. Look at the way they move their body the way they stand, the way they put their hands Pay attention to all of those things. They don't do that by accident. They do that because there are model and they've been trained for years and years and years. And I look at h and M. Look at American Eagle to stay in touch with young people, See what's going on. Look at express these images right here. Like those air fund. To me, those are edgy. I love that love, these types of images. I mean, the one of her sitting down. I probably saw that somewhere, and I was like, You know what? I'm gonna take that, but I'm gonna change everything about it and make it my own. So get you a base of poses to start with, and then you can start making them your own and creating off of those. So going back to her like that was very offered for her. I pretend as though I am a young female. And I say I want something edgy and all. I have to work with us. This chair with this awesome blanket right here, By the way, I'll tell you what. If you're having a cover up with that buddy, you are gonna itch like crazy tonight. But I can say stand her, do something edgy, or I can put myself here and pretend as though I'm a girl and I say what I want to do, and I say, All right, this is what I want to do. Sweetie, I want you to stand here and put your hands right here and let this hip go. Bam! Just like that. Like, really just wham! Get that out. I call it knocking it out of gear instead of here. It's here. So I say here, here. Knocked out a gear looking where my feet are just like this. Right here. Okay. And see where my feet are. Put your feet right here. Remind or you're gonna take my spot. Okay, So go right there. And there they go there, and they don't even come up one more time and demonstrated while she's doing so. Hands on the side and then really get that. I want you to really, like, get that hip out there and watch my arm here. It's close to my hip like that right there. And then I know when I turn around, I'm getting I'm getting somewhere and I'm not afraid to put my hands on my clients. And when I say that, I mean it in a very delicate way. I'm not afraid to go up and fix her hair. I'm not afraid to physically grab her face. It's my style. When I say grab her face, what do you think is easier? Okay, turn your face a little bit to the right. The other, right? Your left they go chin down this little bit Now tilt your head a little bit that way. Turn out a little bit more. No, the other way. The opposite. The way. I was just That's crazy. Or you could just say, Look what I want you to do, sweetie. Turn your face this way. Right here. She indelible right there to fix your hair a little bit. Just like this. Right here. A little bit more. Now hold still Hold still. Don't move! Don't move! Don't move! Don't move! Don't move. No move. I was right here. Bam! So don't be afraid to touch your clients. Not in that way, We reiterate here, but don't be afraid to tweak it like her arm right here. I could tweak this little bit. Just say, Hey, you're double jointed. Just a little bit then. Your arm. That's very common in high school girls. It's very, very common. Um, What? You can stand back up. So giving her a personality again to I was talking about earlier. That's where you could give her a personality to get into some of these other poses here. These are a product of me sitting in a chair saying Okay. And I know I'm gonna catch a lot of flak from this hope. None of my friends are watching, but when I sit there, I have to feel the pose. I have to make it look candid. I can't just vision it in my mind and say, All right, just do remember that thing that Did you see something on TV? I want to do that pose doesn't work that way. So I had to sit there and physically say all right, Feels good here, but it's not like that. I'm fooling them as I'm going along. Even though I may not know what I'm doing, I'll say, All right, I want you to sit right here all your way. This here and then I may just get an idea and say, Look, I want this storm all the way down over here and then tilt your head a little bit this way. I know that as a young woman, I feel edging. So I go with it and I showed her exactly how to get there. Now, not only do they have to look candid, but a way that you can remember your poses is by naming them all right. When you put a name association with oppose, you can replicate it. So just say that during my average session I want to offer 20 different poses. Well, if I can remember that hand, if I could remember hand on hip, that's one pose, and that's just simply where she stands and do it with me here. We're gonna put her hand on this hip, and we're just gonna knock it out of gear. and then we're gonna tilt your head a little bit this way. That's hand on him. Now, once I remember hand on hip and that's my number one pose that I'm gonna go to number 123 hand on hip I could do hand on hip looking straight hand on help looking this way I can bend down this way Look, up here. There's three or four that I could do off of the same pose so that I got that go to I can concentrate own being being very creative and not worry about posing anymore As we mentioned earlier, we're gonna give the posing God Teoh anyone that that should want the one by the class. We're gonna give that and also these that they are available. You know, should anybody want, um, we have a coupon code. If you want to go to that website and register going to give that away as well and moving forward, no one is going to do it as good as you want them to do it. Unless you leave by that example. Like I just said, if you're not leading by example, you're confusing the heck out of the client. They're not gonna enjoy it like this. It would really be terrible if we got in that situation. We were in a second and I said, All right, just give me something really edgy. If the whole session was that way, that we very, very awkward, wouldn't but by me showing you kind of want to do it starts to loosen it up a little bit. I mean, if all she has to concentrate on is one thing that's standing here with your hip out, she could do that and then I could tweak it. So one of the biggest things that ever, ever, ever help me. I was putting that name, association with everything. I mean, I couldn't imagine going back and doing all my posing standing around weddings. You know, I have poses that I do from our weddings that I know by name. I don't do it by number, but I put a name association with it. It's the same way that I try to remember people's names is you know, I'm trying to remember the name by putting a word with it that helps me associate with so at there's maybe we go to the Internet for a second and see if any of you guys have any questions own posing because that can be one of the most difficult things above lighting. It can be one of most difficult things, depending upon your age. You know your size, your demographic, whatever. If you're comfortable being in front of people, it really can hold you back. Well, the Internet is never short of questions for you There 1st 1 in on posing is from ill Lara and wondering if you do flow posing, Yeah, blow posing. You know, that's basically my, um that's my rendition Outflow posing. You know, I've got all of my poses named, and I just kind of roll. I just picked one out of my head, depending upon the situation, because, you know, hand on him. It may not work very well in this particular area. So if I have flow posing like I do pose 123456789 10. Well, number one it may not work in this area as well, So that's why the name association thing that is my flow posing so to speak, So flow posing. It's gonna allow you a base to build from. It's going to allow you those core posters to go to. That's going to allow you to worry about being creative versus walking around like OK, now let's some see here. Let's go. Um, let's see, Uh, that's not a good look. So if you know where you're going to go, you know, poses you just concentrate on being consistent with. Now. Earlier you said on one CF card, you should have about 60 images that you should with Well, that was years ago. One gig. Now I'm gonna shoot two big cards on average session. My goal is to deliver. You know, 60 images may shoot about 80. So may shoot about 80 images, which is which is theoretically 22 minutes. Right? Okay. Cool. And then from all those images about how many poses do you typically use for a senior shoot? Yeah, I would say if I'm delivering 60 images, we're going, Teoh probably pose. I would say 30 different looks or so 30 different posing poses, and we're gonna eventually end up with an album that holds 40 to 50 images. Okay. And then, um, you've been showing us poses for our wonderful model. And how about what poses would you use for a man for man? Men are a little different. Obviously we're a different animal. Were definitely different animal, You know, you can't do as many of this with a guy, just not in my area. And it was just not gonna work out as well. So with a guy with a guy, I tend to do more. It's more about the scenery and with a guy. I want to make sure that the guy feels really cool, really tough with a guy. He's probably not going to get quite a Zeman opposes the girl just because it is tougher, obviously, but I was sound average. They're probably going to get 20 different poses and a lot of opposed to do with guys they're standing up. I doom or fulling more 3/4 and I'll still always make sure that incorporate several of those like really tight, tight head shots, head and shoulders from different angles. But let me tell you the headshots, believe it or not, the ones were you coming really, really close. Those that we saw a lot of those the parents really, really love the Hang those on the wall. But the students and the seniors love the more scenic little people. Big sky. They love that. So 20 probably on average. But guys are tougher. Guys are a lot tougher to photograph than the females. And and as a result of that, you know, I don't I'm not so glad that I'm probably not. Not so. I don't have such a hard feeling that we photographed mainly girls, because guys are tougher, so don't get frustrated with that. All right? Now, how do you approach different body styles and different body types in the institution on location shoots? How do you do with posing in different manners? Let me tell you one of the things definitely not to do. Don't put yourself in an environment where it's uncomfortable. I said it all day. If you're unsure about it, don't do it. Don't make the mistake of doing this. Same people do this time and time again. All right. Don't do that. Deal where you got this right here. And it's like, Wait a minute. You're a big girl. Okay. All right. Tell you what, sweetie. I want you to come right over here, and I want you just poke your head out like this, right? There you go. That's gonna look good. And then we'll get really creative on our next one. I'm a pookie head out of this side of the wall that's gonna look really good. And then I might do one like this. We're down here like it was a girl. You have to embrace every situation for what it is. You know, if you're working with a client, you know, she has a perfect body type and other people maybe a little bit more heavy, you know? And it's not always something that we can control. You know, I was born ugly. I can't fix that. Um, but through your posing, if you have someone that is a larger female or male, don't call attention to it. Don't say. Well, look, sweetie, I'm gonna try and make you look thin here because you know, you've got some issues we gotta work on. Don't ever say anything like that. That's the one way to kill it. Never. Subconsciously bring that up. Never tell her I'm gonna pose you this way to make you look better. Simple things you can do. Look at my hips here. I'm a small frame guy. My hips are here. If you simply turn your hips this way, my has become smaller. Obviously so Never photographed people looking straight at the camera with their body. Always turned them certain a certain way. And then this back hip I hardly ever bring it towards the camera, Always tilting it back. Another thing that helps was someone of different body tightening a little bit heavier is never looking straight into the camera. I will always turn the body as well as the face. So not only do I just turn the face, watch this right here. I go from here, toe here. So pretend as though let's just say I'm Let's just say I'm a guy. I am a guy. Ah, guy. I'm working with a guy. He wants to look cool, but he's a large frame guy. I'm not gonna have him look like this. I'm gonna turn him and then watch what I can do. Instead, I'm looking straight at the camera. Watch how much cooler this image goes. It goes from here, toe. So here. So just let him relax. So biggest thing is turning the body away from the camera one way or another, shortened up the hips and don't shoot every single image like this. Even catch on to you. And she'll eventually say, just cause I'm a big girl. You shooting every one of my pictures from the top of the ladder. So don't make them a stick of every single image being allowed Occasionally. Look up here. I'm trying to thin you have a little bit look right up here. Big people have feelings, too. They can't always control it, you know? So try your best, even though it puts you in a compromising situation. Make them feel beautiful. Whatever you have to do. If it means you have to work 30 extra minutes, do it. They would do the same for you. We have a great response. I just want to check in with the in studio audience to make sure you guys don't have any questions there. Question for you when you got couples. See your Frank is your chief editor or done, girl. How would you? Yeah, um, less years. She and offer as an example. We just met recently, But we're best friends now, throughout this whole thing. We've known each other for a long time. It's gonna be really awkward. All right, We're gonna We're gonna pose together. I'm not. I'm not on any kind of a list or anything like that. I'm a nice guy. I promise. This is not how I would pose a a friend with I wouldn't do this right here and have her bring her hands up to my like, bring your hands up to my That looks like boyfriend girlfriend, you know, But what I might do is I might have the guy I might have him do something here. He's kind of tough looking. And then you come right here on this side and facing me, and then you come in, Just put your put your left hand upon my show or right hand upon yourself on my shoulder. Put your left hand on your hip and let your hip kind of go that way. Just kind of knock it out of gear a little bit like that and then here and then always keep their bodies kind of close together somewhat, you know? So rules of thumb don't make him look like a couple, then another thing is keeping their bodies really close together. So instead of having a division there, say, hey, split her in half, which is gonna make her look even more thin, which we don't need cause you're perfect. And then lean, lean their torsos together a little bit, keeping their heads together. You know, another one that we could dio she were. Let's do this. All right, on this is where don't get comfortable. And don't say I we got enough force yourself like I just move the chair cause I'm gonna lay her on the ground. I'm no clue what I'm gonna do, but I want to make myself get into a situation. Was like, Okay, you got to produce something that's gonna look good, and I have no clue. But what I'm gonna do with her is I'm gonna say all right. But I want you to do step right over here. You're gonna layer I here. All right. You're gonna lean back, put your feet up in the chair and just lean straight back and you got it from there just like that. And she's like, Why? You do what? Do what? It's not a good pose. If you have an address now? Yep. Hair. Lift your head back down. Turn your face to the right. Yeah, so we'll do something like this straight in here. And then that being said, you know, I might do something where she'll put this up onto upon to me. Here I lean way in there with her looking here. We might look up in the air, I'm getting him close. Or I could even have him turn your face even more. That way I could have him down in here and, like sniper position, his arms, air here, their heads together. I don't know. It's just playing around with it until you get enough in your image bank that you feel like you know what did a good job here, So there's no right or wrong way. What I would encourage you to do if you struggle with posing, is follow someone that's got a good core pose. A good core group opposing, take one through 10 and then create 10 of your own as a spin. All of 10 of theirs not copying but create 10 of your own is a spin off from there, so help you up. See you. What else do we have any other questions from way have all been in the situation where you know, our client comes in and Mom is tagging along or even best friends tagging along and spirits are high, they're totally into it. And maybe Mom is like, No, don't don't Don't hold yourself like that. Are you know, they're trying to direct the posing? How do you steer that back and gain control of the theater? This microphone fall off. I do another one of those kicks way that you handle. That is you keep Mom involved, but you keep Mom involved from a distance. What you do what I do The very first posed that I do even her. Her hair is perfect. There's no need to touch her hair at all. But what I will do to ensure mom that's sitting over there. That every shot she's not gonna jump up like Wait, let me fix this. Let me fix that. This is what I do. I say. Okay. So you took down this way? Just a little bit. The hair is absolutely perfect. I shouldn't even mess with it. But I'm gonna put my camera down and say Hold on just one second. Mom, listen, I'm a stickler for hair. Like the hair has to be right there. Shirt messed. I gotta fix everything. So I'm a stickler. So look, this one. You've got the right guy here. You can just kind of sit back, relax and chill out. Just let me handle this, because listen, quite frankly, she's gonna do a lot better with me fixing her hair and Mia Justin it. Then she will with you. So just I got you a promise. Just sitting there and calm down. Just chill out, and then I'll fix her hair, You know, however, I see that it's fit. Don't be afraid to say that to Mom. Say, Look, she's gonna She's gonna work a lot better with me, and she will with you. You know what I'm saying? So just sit down over there and just shut him out. No, but say it in a nice way. You say no, but you wrap it up with a little bow on it, so you have to get your point across. But then you have to say I was getting but no for real. So there's ways to do that. I have no problems with Mom's knowing. Never. Well. And I also like when you said earlier when we were going over your videos, you actually throw them the video camera. Yeah, and like, Hey, give him a job. You can also give them what's called a mother buffer. Mother buffer. Alright, Mother Buffer. And that is just simply a four foot by six foot reflector that stands up and you can say right now it gets really bad. And she's not listening. Teoh, anything you're saying And she is really making your senior mad at the point where she's, like mom shop, giving my nerves. Hey, you! That can happen. You can get him on the mother buffer and say, Mom, look, what I need you to do is hold this just like this. Now hold a right turn it. Just turn it just a little bit. Here, Hold that for me. She she's a mom right now. Holding up. Where can they go? Hold it. Just like that, sweetie. Perfect. Now I just turn it here, right? It's a little bit and then I'll make fun. I'm like Teoh down just a little bit more, Little bit more. They go up a little bit. That's perfect. She's not even doing anything right now. They're adding value, but it's keeping Mom out of the way. And after a few minutes, Mom will slowly kind of get the point that you need to slow your roll and be quiet. Think about I love that I Reflektor just gained its use in our studios by becoming a mother offer. All right, so I'm gonna take it off line from posing and go back to lighting just because there's a lot of questions on leading. We We didn't get a cover in this last segment. There's so much information coming through. But the grid lighting that was one a piece of lighting that you didn't have an opportunity to talk about. Why it's so important. Yeah, and I got when I do all my sports sports lighting always, always, always used the grids. What happens is is anything you've got pointed back towards the camera, you're gonna get this wicked light flair and you're not gonna like it. So with these these air 40% grids and that just allows the light to travel. And exactly so if I'm looking, if I'm looking at a camera and the light is pointed straight towards the camera. Like at this point it straight towards the camera. Obviously, I'm gonna light flair, but if I've got a light, this pointed just off camera, but it has a degree is it's going to keep that light going that way that I could get really close to the camera and never get a life layer in there. So that's why I used the grids. It takes a light from spreading this, that this wide, and it makes it go here. It's very, very directional. So I'm a big, big fan off the grids. Big fan of the greens and the grid system. I don't even know what that is, but I just thought it sounded cool. The grid system. Anyways, what about you guys? You guys have any questions up here? Three times higher is a tree stop. Hire what they mean by three time to give me that. Let me give you this. Breaking in another analogy. Just say that our main light say from zero, you have 1/4 half 3/4 full. All right. You would have 1/4 coming from this light, okay? And you would set this 1 to 3/4 of the amount of power or even full. So it's basically I would say it's close to a 2.5 2.5 to 3 Stop difference. So if you have this one, you know this light here might be said at F 11. You know, this light here said that you know f 877.1. It's There's a difference in stops there, but ultimately this one has three times the amount of power as their main light. So that means 1.5 start eyes closer, probably closer to have stops closer to half stops. I don't really measure it like that because I don't I don't use a light year, so I use it based upon the equivalent of power that is coming from a light. Most of my lights that you look at it zero to fool. So I base it in increments of quarters and quarters. Yeah, there's several different ways to do it. I do it the most simplified way that, you know, that I've been able to find toe make work, anything else from our live audience members up here like that. We can always count on Randy. Well, you're talking about lighting earlier. The Lord screen being four feet. Yes, there the back before with the bag, you're gonna have to have them obviously out of your life. But I would say in general there, probably about eight feet. Let's just measure it. This is This is probably about where it have it. So let's just measure and see if I'm accurate. eight. And that would fall right about eight feet. So about eight feet away, it's a good, good number. Eight feet. So again, I want to thank you so much for standing up here and feeling really awkward. You have done a great job of that. And I may have to fly back out to Seattle at some point and just do you like a full on, like, senior session? Some house? Yeah. And if we maybe if we can find time while I'm here, we're gonna have toe. We'll see if we can work something out. So again, we appreciate you. How about a hand for her? This is

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.

Reviews

David - Muse 10
 

As an experienced photographer myself, this class was both helpful and inspirational…we're never too experienced to learn from someone. Blair is really a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He has a way of making things fun with his high energy and dry sense of humor. To be completely honest in my review of this class, the lighting and posing sections, while VERY good, have been done over and over again by lots of photographers and didn't offer much in the way of new ideas. The real value was in the customer service and marketing techniques presented here. Blair's use of video as a marketing and communication tool with his clients is very unique and sparked TONS of ideas I would like to implement in my studio. His simple pricing structure and the way he presents it to his clients is also unique and has helped me rethink some of my own methods. "That being said" (Blair should appreciate that phrase) this class is totally worth the price and will continue to be a good reference for me. Some photographers are excellent at their craft but are dry teachers; others are great teachers but their "real-life" work doesn't live up to their classroom presentations. Blair is the real deal and makes this class very exciting.

a Creativelive Student
 

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.

a Creativelive Student
 

This has been my favorite class on Creative Live. I loved how Blair explained exactly how he landed dance and sports contracts. This class was packed full of ideas for marketing and selling products. There was just so much great information. Thanks, Blair!