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Now that we’ve gone through lighting and location decisions, we can get to the fun stuff – posing! This is the first in a blog series about some of my favorite photography poses and let me tell you, we are starting with a good one. Walking! Now, it may not sound super exciting or fun, but, trust me. This is one of my go-to poses that produces great photos, without fail.
In my experience, I’ve consistently found that the first ten/fifteen minutes of a shoot are always a little stiff and awkward. Even with folks that I’ve worked with before! Like anything else, it always takes a minute for a session to find its groove. Both the photographer and the subject need to loosen up, get comfortable, and fall in step together – that’s when the magic will happen.
Walking shots tend to be a good way to jump start the session because there are enough instructions to distract the subject, but not so many that they feel overwhelmed. have the subject walk towards the camera, slowly. I’m serious when I say slow. I always say I want the subject to walk slower than they ever would and then even slower than that. They should alternate between looking at the ground and looking at the camera. It sounds like a really simple, but really odd set of directions, but, I swear, it works.
A few tips on this pose. Unless they want very serious photos, I would have the subject smile the entire time. It doesn’t need to be a full on smile, unless that is what they are comfortable with, but some form of a smile. You can tell from the first photo below that Olivia is very giggly in her walking photo. That is very natural for her personality. In the second photo of Matt and Dean, they are still smiling, but look adorable with smaller, more natural smiles.
You should also always give hands a job. Otherwise they end up doing odd things – I know this from experience. If they have pockets, that’s always a good option. If they have flowing clothing on, you can have them hold on to it. See Olivia in the below photo.
If you have a couple, they can hold hands or walk arm in arm. Having one member of the couple put their hand on the upper arm of the other partner helps to both give their hand something to do and keep them nice and close. (See in the photo below, Dean is holding hands with Matt and then also has his hand on Matt’s upper arm.)
Walking is the perfect pose to have in you back pocket, whether you are working with a professional photographer, a partner/friend acting as photographer, or a tripod. Walking is active enough to help everyone loosen up, but simple enough that the photos will come out great.