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Small Changes, Big Results

Lesson 2 of 5

Working the Spine in Posing

Roberto Valenzuela

Small Changes, Big Results

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

2. Working the Spine in Posing

Lesson Info

Working the Spine in Posing

This part of the eye school this claire which is the white part of the eye and of course the other part of the ice called around you know, like the part that has color when if I was shooting katia this way there's way too much white on one side I'm not not any white on the other side in fact let me take a picture of quick can you stay there for a second? Small small you can't see how this small changes just makes such a big difference is so funny to me. Okay, yeah let's actually turned this not turn it on yeah let's play her up inside. Mom yeah, les can we move the light to this side gonna block you for a moment? I think this is actually a fascinating subject because it takes it takes a lot of practice to get good at this level changes, but if you just breathe, relax at a photo shoot and you think you can actually achieve those changes without all the years off, but you know you can achieve them faster. The problem is a lot of times were wearing so much pressure. We're like ok, ok, thi...

s is a business with that lister this destroy that and then your brain is not even thinking you just kind of throwing things you're throwing, you're not in control islamic sense all right, let me try this. Can you lower the power to the lowest power police? John, can you remember this post let's start with your post flat again and I get towards me let's begin like this. Let me do a quick one here, let's see? And this is on your a channel seventeen that's a serious channel. John this's channel seventeen no fire can you turn the power up to power let's go six okay, let's, go to aa for score four to two. Hot. Okay, let me see here just when I get a normal exposure. Okay, that's, let me try one more let's not do this one yet. Let me try one more. Okay, let's, do that one. Do you think her eyes are closed? Okay, we start this way. This guy say looks flat nothing right? Nothing at all. Now go ahead and put part of your weight on that ottoman so you're kind of very gently during gent that's it just touched you don't even after that's it what I just did. There is a small change, but that made her body weight go from standing one hundred percent on her feet toe a little bit going on on her on her hips that little change as a little bit of curvature to the to the body the spine is very sensitive any little shift off weight changes entire spine the way looks so by me having her rest her body on something makes the photo look more relaxed if she was standing can you just stand normal even if she was take take a foot forward towards me if she was just standing there that takes more effort to hold your body like that right but if she was go ahead and go back to the ornament and just kind of chill for a minute if she just does that she looks more relaxed now we fix her back so the lumbar let's go and bring that lumber back again good shoulders are going to go back, bring one shoulder and lower it to the other perfect look at the way that looks pretty amazing right now I'll take a quick photo and you'll see how it gets better okay let's try that you know what john can we have a reflector to the other side? You're so I don't know doesn't have such polite lighting or you know what even better we can also uh oh you guys were gonna get blocked that's the problem we like from the other side uh could we like from the other side and just ever uh let's leave it let's just bring the reflector on this same yeah camera's okay yeah let's try this let's bring they're really close john really close to her that's good a little less close right there okay let's try that that's better I'm just trying to get some more lighting the other side of her face okay now now she's standing here now I'm going to move myself small change so I'm gonna go from here to a cliff is someone I go from here now can tell you're still talking to this guy now bring your martini glass up see here we have a martini glass way don't have um attending let's just yeah you come this way she's still talking to john I mean she's still talking to well yeah john's right there so john now when I bring her ice towards me okay now let's see here bound take a look at that look at that everything straight on on just adding angles to your photographs now wanting this very important guys on this this this is crucial that gap between her elbow on her waist has to be there it only has to be there on one arm it doesn't have to be there with both arms um c here but could you come this way so you can we can show everyone go ahead and grab your elbows and touch your hips actually put blocks close so there's no gap okay can you show them hunting no this way this way you see how that's totally closed all you need is one gap so you grab this expand it and then drop your drop your weight a little bit that's it okay shift await the gap gets introduced and now you have this look at the way this looks guys it looks like she was at a cocktail party and he looks like she was minding her own business but she happens to look glorious on then you took a photo and you you're you're in this perspective and she took a photo a peek a peek atyou on that peak looks like this cliff does this look like a nice casual natural thing or does that look like those dramatic poses that people when people by their cameras they're like okay let's try a dramatic postcards there let's try let's do a funny one let's see here let's get let's let's change it up a little bit. All right girlfriend yeah there's no more crazy yeah let's just add more yeah, I mean, sometimes we don't need to go back way don't need to go bananas I see this happening in front of trees like when you go to parks I see them in turn entries on the best one is in front of cars that the car was going to put your legs like this and then go like this in front of the car yeah, and then they do that you don't have to take a picture okay guys, small changes can we go back to the photo before this one, please? John begin how beautiful is that so beautiful that's all we need to do so thank you want let's? Move this life back over here. John I'm gonna go until you with tino here? No. Does that help you guys? Do you realize that when you have a person in front of you, you start out with nothing? You get the spine up and running nice and stiff. Now remember this, if you're watching at home or you're here, the body should always be relaxed. The spine should never be relaxed. The spine should always be very much stiff. It should be so stiff that it's hard for the model or for your subject to keep that up for more than a minute. So for example, if you just stand there cantina and you now you raise your back now bring your top of your head back when you're chained down, bring your shoulders, make your back even taller strain it doesn't feel like you're putting energy there. Good you want that energy? Because in the photo you can feel it now watch this that's another small change big result now breathing bring your neck taller, shoulders back breathing look how beautiful she that sensuality cannot comes through now watch if you don't have to breathe in watch this breathe out we just deflates now watch if you go back to this beautiful posts that you were doing before boom and boom okay stay there I'm gonna move this is the small change when wherever you are move five feet one way five feet the other way you'll see your work just go crazy better ok now come this way now right there now I'm checking that both sides of her eyeball has white it's okay that one side has more white in the other as long us there is white on either side so obviously there's a lot of white on this side but there is white left on her on the right side of her eyeball that's all I need so if I'm shooting here if I choose this angle now I lose the white no white now I'm just going to go like this until a little white shows this is my angle that's it now breathing boom take the picture it's a lot better if you forget that toe breathin not a big deal it's just won't look as good but as long as the spiny straight on the shoulders are back on one shoulder is higher than the other you're starting to get to where you want to be the point of the post is to make it look like it's not post you know when people say I don't like post photographs because they look they're they're not organic those are people who don't know howto post doesn't make sense because if you are a master opposing your poses look extremely natural looks like you never even said a word to them but they just happened to look beautiful on guy think posting I don't say that creative live very much so very proud of this boasting is not I don't think posing for a portrait photographer if you should people unless you're a photojournalist shooting wars if you are a portrait photographer both things should not be an option you should have posting skills in you and if you choose to use those posting skills used them on if you choose to say I don't want to pose anything because this non organic that's your choice but have the skills so it makes sense just have the skills because kathy could you sit down in that couch for a second if you were shooting a wedding and you tell her toe you don't want a post is not goingto did you tell her I'm going on foot go and put on your shoes just like put on your shoes is that is that what we want like is this what we want well this is organic guys this is what this is the moment no is not theirs looks like crap this is not the moment you know now watch this get them when you um can you cross that your left foot over your right foot now keep your lumbar very straight now just lean towards your shoe and keep your back straight and just very gently with one hand kind of torture shoe good go ahead and look let me see here let's do it with the other hand why did I do that? I'm just a quick question why did I do that change let me ask somebody here let me get the microphone for somebody yeah who wants to give it a quick shot guys audience is going to answer a question I was standing here and then she had this why did I say because this class is about making small changes that give you big results why would this be the wrong way to go combined ping and I tend to wrong post because you're blocking her body and then you have a flush are so when you shift that you opened her body it allows the viewer to see all the way and and you still are communicating the same motion that she's adjusting her shoot cannot quit he's going to take over the o that answer couldn't have been better said that's perfect here's what happens go ahead and bring your going to bring your other arm this way guys her flesh tone does is a contrast of her purple dress you have to think about that if she is wearing purple sleeps I just wearing a purple dress well then you can get away with this more but when you have a contrast in coloring her body than her dress it's going to be this like stick of flesh coming out of your four almost like a big line crossing the frame. So if I was doing this by the way she slouching her back so you will have to fix that you would have to adjust it again if I was to do this, I would have her face and a big diagonal line of flesh going through now switch to tow the other arm. Now I can enter her this since we're now I can see like aah! Okay, now you can well, because the other one, if he's like you're getting blocked like from entering like your visually thank you what's your name in okay, everyone's, john like jon and anne johnson, the in the control room and then we have I'm not john, but then you have john so you should this way. That arm is out of the way. It's a balance between the two flesh tones. It looks very nice. Okay, let me go back to the keynote. Thank you. Just how that one was a much better way of putting on a shoe that her just kind of sledging with with the top of her head being photographed come on, guys, I want to make photography respected again I want people to be like excited when we say, well, I don't wedding photographer and I'm very proud to be one I don't want people to be proud to be waiting for those people tried to hide that fact and it's because a lot of times we just can't continue doing the same poses over and over every wedding for our entire careers like we have our five posters we go to we always get nervous we never take our cameras out of the bags on this we have to shoot we have to improve all this, you know we have to make this better. Um okay, check out this here for a second. Here's a beautiful model. She was america's next top model she was um uh doing this shoot on just for fun. I had her sit there the way people normally just sit. This is what happens when you just cut people sit now if you didn't post her this is your fault, you know, on then you can have a very organic moment, but this is a very flattering to her. Now, check out the difference between this on adjustments on adjustments that I made she's still sitting there, I just changed quite a bit of things, okay, now she's not looking at the cover anymore, it looks like she something caught her attention she was probably sitting down like this and she was chilling crossing her legs or whatever and she was talking to someone and then she looked to see what was going on in that direction and that's it that's the post that's it small changes okay you notice her back is very straight her arms are very soft her hands have no tension her body is facing one direction her chin is facing in the other direction do you see the white on either side of her eyeball yes white right there do you see that there's white they're on on white there so that qualifies you don't have to have white on this I will just have to have whites on both by the way you don't have to have anything this is photography on the side just rejections okay here's another example in this time I actually put her hand back and I made another very different post but I'll tell you guys from this post to this post they were very small changes okay andi I don't know if you noticed this but her shoulder here this shoulder wes way forward I had to make sure that she pulled her shoulder back on then it comes out this way so here's another one the mommies putting on the shoes off her daughter now this is a beautiful photograph a looks elegant a looks like the mom is really putting on the shoe and it looks like the daughter is really just living that moment if you didn't pose this you would have her mom like the daughter going like this and the mom helping and it doesn't look good okay now if you notice carefully her back is totally straight you see obviously a nice cup she's holding her dress with her dresses out of the way of her mom you see how she kind of lifting it up holding it her mom have her back straight I didn't forget about mom mom had to have her back straight and I say this because when you're shooting take a moment to breathe take a moment to think look around the frame and ask yourself is everything where it's supposed to be don't rush through the photos take a second to think okay there's one mistaking this bos one mistake in this pose who's got the microphone for the audience who wants to give a quick shot where is the mistaking the post it's a big one what's your name and brian ryan go avery ryan taking away my friend s so you can't see her other arm that's right the bride's other arm yeah you see little fingers just creeping out of no one you know so here's what I want to say and I said this I think no, I don't think that when you become a master opposing when posing is no longer a problem when posting does not give you butterflies in your stomach when you are in complete one hundred percent control off the post where he looks now posted all you have to accept a reasonable margin of error some make sense there has to be a margin of air because a lot of the best posters that look natural happen in motion they have while she's moving so if she's moving on something happens to go out off where you were supposed to be it's what makes a mistake happen on its okay and then you can decide is the photographer is that mistake big enough for me to change the post on restart it or is the mistake something you can forgive yourself something that it's not it's not gonna kill the post? Now let me ask you guys those disks those those little fingers killed the post completely no, you still connect to the moment and guess what there's a saying gold photoshopping if I really wanted to I couldn't remove the fingers but I didn't because I wanted to show an example ok here's, what happens if you tell somebody to sit down? This is what happens if you don't tell him to fix their lumbar totally straight hey look how does this look? Not that great right? Not sexy in a woman's body actually in a guy's body too but to a lesser extent the lumbar is what makes a woman's body look extremely sexy but only if you combine it with two things it has to be a two step process one the lumber has to be curved on to the lower should be twisted so let me explain go ahead and step for you god didn't do this thing again okay so the lot this is the hips right? That hips ran our totally straight we're gonna go to things we're going to we're going to curve her lumbar and we're going to twist her body so turn your body this way that's gonna create a twist now go ahead and prove your lumbar there's the curve of the number not grab your your this whole upper body shoulders thing keep this in this direction and just twist your body this way now you take the picture makes sense so now you have a twist and you have a curvature of the lumbar and that's that looks amazing okay if you want to take a photo of this she looks a hot dinner she's already thing but they just really thin her down so here's the other one when people say roberto, what about photographing kirby people and what have you people are the same way you u u curve the lumbar and then you twist her body on then you make sure you have gaps because the gaps they find the waistline so whether you're six hundred pounds or your like thirty pounds, you apply the same things, ok, yes, what it looks like when you curb and you twist for boudoir sessions and stuff is always is always curve twist, curve twist. The ship would do our sessions here, you know, curve twist, let let let her hips be in a different direction than the upper body like that. This hips air this way. Upper body's. This way. Do you feel the twisting your okay, relax, yeah, that's, it that's all you gotta do.

Class Description

You can make a big impact on your final images by making a few small changes while shooting. Learn how it is done in, Small Changes, Big Results with Roberto Valenzuela.

In this class, you’ll learn tricks and techniques for getting an incredible image without relying on extensive retouching. You’ll get to watch Roberto at work as he discusses what he looks for in-camera and the eye he brings to lighting, posing, and framing. He’ll demonstrate how minor adjustments to each of these elements can really make an image pop.

Get better at getting it right the first time in, Small Changes, Big Results with Roberto Valenzuela.  

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I can always depend on Roberto Valenzuela to come up with great content. This short lesson really got to the essence of making those small adjustments in posing and lighting that refine your photo. He shows what bringing creativity and not settling for the usual can make on your photography. I just watched Robert Scott Lim in Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques and he was saying something similar and showing how making small changes to refine the shadows in your photo can take your photo from ordinary to world class. Roberto is one of favorite photographers and he always get to the point and I don't get the feeling he is saying things just to fill up time, brag about himself, or mainly to sell you on buying his gear or whatever. He is true generous teacher.

a Creativelive Student

It is a short but nice course full of tips to improve my photography. Very basic info but valuable for sure

Rafael Santiago

Nice short course on not overthinking and keeping things simple.