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If I had to guess what the most common comment I get from potential clients is, I would feel very confident saying it is something about posing. Whether that be them vigorously explaining that they aren’t models, have never had a professional photo shoot before, won’t know what to do with their hands, etc. It always comes back to posing.
Whether or not you’ll believe it, I promise that this is true: everyone needs some sort of posing guidance. Even my most experienced clients who do multiple professional shoots a year and also take their own photos in between. There is an inherent advantage to being the one behind the camera as opposed to being in front of it. I do not expect people to come in the session knowing exactly what to do. Posing guidance is part of my job and something I am always ready to handle.
Looking for posing inspiration or guidance online can sometimes be a tricky thing. Either the instructions are too complicated or too vague or you can’t figure out how you would feasibly coach someone into whatever pose you are seeing. In an attempt to help demystify and simplify posing (especially for beginners), I rounded up my blog series on posing that went through all of my tried and true foundational options and practices. All of the posts contain descriptions, instructions, and a few examples so you can feel confident the next time you’re headed to a session – whether you are the one in front of the camera or behind it!
Walking is a great pose to start with because it is familiar, even to folks who generally do not do photoshoots. Check out the post for the additional instructions that I give clients to make sure the walking photos come out great every time.
The over the shoulder is a nice casual pose that can make the audience feel like the subject is drawing them in. It is also a really easy pose to build on the walking pose described above.
Twirling brings a bit of whimsy and fun to any shoot, but does require some specific instructions and some specific camera/phone settings in order to nail it. I’ve got both covered in the post.
I don’t know about you, but props are always a bit of a tricky subject for me. A well chosen and purposefully placed prop can really elevate a session, but the opposite is also true. Read my tips and tricks on picking and using props intentionally.
Flow posing is a technique where the subject moves from one pose to another with minimal instructions. When everything aligns with flow posing, it can make for an amazing session experience. The post describes how it works and how to troubleshoot when it isn’t working.
There are two key things that go into feeling more confidence with posing: preparation and practice. Both are equally important and will ebb and flow. But, if you stick with it, soon poses and posing instructions will start to become second nature. When I first started out, I had my closest friends and family pretend to be clients and I practiced my posing instructions on them. It helped me to see where instructions were confusing or what challenges might pop up. Although you may feel silly, you have to start practicing in order to get better!