Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Senior portrait posing doesn't have to be that hard

One thing that I have noticed that other portrait photographers do, is go way overboard with their posing. They set up the subject and then take a shot, move the subject and take another shot and then repeat this over and over. They are working way too hard. Don't over do it with your poses. Work the poses and make your life easier.

If you look at this first shot, it's a really nice shot, so why go and move the subject again until you get the most out of the pose. You already have her in position, so why not just zoom in and take advantage of the nice pose.

All I did with this shot was zoom in to 200 mm wide open at f2.8 and look at how pretty that same pose is. Without even moving the subject, I have 2 sellable shots, and isn't that what we are after.

When I was shooting her, I noticed a nice red background behind her. All I had to do was get lower and shoot up at her. This did two things, it made the background red and I think this angle worked the best for her face. Shooting slightly up at someone makes them look a little more powerful, as in this shot. So without the subject even moving, I now have 3 shots that would not only sell, but I could group them together and sell them as a grouping! I just made more potential money in less time!

I do this a lot with my studio. First off, the clients aren't natural posers most of the time, and it is the hardest part of the job. Trying to find a pose that makes the person feel comfortable as well as looks good in the shot. Once you find a good pose, work your angles and your focal lengths and get as many useable shots as possible out of it.

If you look at the shots posted here in groups, they are all similar in the way I shot them. I start out long and then move in for a head shot. After that, I start walking around and let the subject stay put. The less they have to move the better. This technique saves you a ton of time and in the senior portrait business time is money. The more time you save, the more seniors you can shoot!

The next time you are ready to re-pose your subject ask yourself if you have worked the shot to it's full potential.

Kevin Focht
PPSOP Instructor

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