I love that today is Friday. I have a good feeling about today. So I thought I would start things off with a little FAQ post. I’ve said it before and it won’t hurt to say it again…these FAQ posts don’t mean I think I’ve got it all together. Haha certainly that’s not me, but I love that I’m in a position where I can pass down knowledge that has been passed down to me, to those who are just picking up their camera…
Lindsay asked the following question:
Can you give some info about learning to pose clients and walking them into giving different facial expressions, etc?
When I first read her question, I thought ooh that’s a good one…but me? I don’t do anything special! What kind of advice can I give here? However, I remembered back when I first started delving into portrait photography, back when posing and directing people intimidated me! I ate up any tips I could find on this subject. Over the years and with the help of many shoots, confidence has replaced the intimidation and with that has come the ability to direct. So, even though I don’t have some magic formula, I’ll tell you what I do. And then anyone else out there is more than welcome to comment below and throw in their tips and tricks too!
Typically before a photo session, I’ll take some quiet time to pre-visualize. I brainstorm different poses and ways to move into them in a natural way, but I can never anticipate exactly how a session will go. I like to be prepared and try something new when the moment presents itself, otherwise the session unfolds (mostly) on its own and ideas just flow.
I always begin a session by letting my clients know that I will give them some direction (so they don’t feel like they’re on their own), but also that I encourage their natural interactions, and for them to ease into what feels comfortable for them. The last thing we want is for them to actually look posed ;) But if it does look that way, ask your clients to drop the pose and pick it up again, creating movement. Anything to create movement throughout the shoot! We’ll begin with something fairly straight forward and then as we get warmed up, have a little more fun with it. Giving pointers like, put your hands here or tilt your head like this is extremely helpful and welcomed. I know that from being in front of the camera as well – now there is a great lesson in posing/directing, putting yourself in your clients’ shoes!
As for facial expressions…for starters, I rarely take the camera away from my face. It’s often those in between moments where a genuine laugh or a look between he and she occurs, and you’ve got to be ready for it. And sometimes while I will go into silent mode (it means keep doing what you’re doing, this looks perfect!), it’s always great to chat and laugh and joke and ALWAYS tell them how wonderful they’re doing! Because really, my clients are always quite wonderful and deserve to be told that, plus it goes a long ways towards making them comfortable in front of your camera.
Now that I’ve written a novel on the subject, I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ll leave you with just one more thing…a sneak peek of an engagement session from last night…yes, this couple is posed but I think they look pretty comfortable, and the look is truly genuine.
Any questions for a future post? Can I explain anything in this post further? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.