Studio Tuesday: Posing on Seamless Paper
Jun03

Studio Tuesday: Posing on Seamless Paper

Posing a portrait subject against a seamless paper background is the ultimate tests of your ability to make something from nothing; you’re shooting without a net—naked, even if your subject is wearing clothes. All that stands between you and a good portrait is your imagination. Because there’s nothing for your subject to interact with, your posing directions are going to have to be more precise than normal and you better cross your...

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Portrait Tip: Best Face Forward
May02

Portrait Tip: Best Face Forward

Faces are not symmetrical and really do have a “good” and “bad” side that photographs better or worse than the other side. Experienced models know this and will only give you what they think is their best side but they can be wrong. That’s why it’s a good idea to shoot a few test shots and determine which side of their face looks best. Keep in mind any pose is lighting dependent, so what looks great under directional lighting may look...

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On Location Glamour Posing
Dec03

On Location Glamour Posing

Nowadays, I have an in-home studio but in the not-so-distant past, I made all of my portraits on location in my home working with window light in the kitchen, dining room, and a loft area outside my home office. When working on location, don’t get fussy about posing subjects Watch what they does naturally and try to have them interact with the background in some way that’s physically comfortable. To show them how I want her to stand,...

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Portrait Posing Basics
Jul30

Portrait Posing Basics

When I was younger, I attended a workshop on portrait posing and it went something like this: The well-respected speaker, who was known for his classic portraits, demonstrated how to pose a subject. It was basically pose A, then pose B, then Pose C. After a few minutes he asked me to show the group how to pose the model we had been working with and I didn’t remember a darn thing. It was too much detail for my brain to handle, so I...

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A Pre-Shoot Portrait  Checklist
Jul23

A Pre-Shoot Portrait Checklist

Communications is the most important aspect of portraiture. It starts with initial client contact and then moves onto communication during the session but to make the best possible image, you need to start before a subject arrives. Here’s a few simple tips that will make your subjects look better during future sessions which in turn translates into better portraits and happier clients. Feel free to copy and even improve these...

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Photographing People is Not Just About Equipment…
May23

Photographing People is Not Just About Equipment…

…it’s about interaction with your subjects and getting them to trust you and relax. A portrait shoot is a team effort so discuss what you would like to accomplish during a shoot. So many times I’ve seen photographers shooting models and expecting them to do all the work. Sometimes that works, sometime it doesn’t because there are two types of photo subjects: Inner-directed people are the Energizer bunnies of photo subjects. You...

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Posing Tips: Expressions & Hats
May14

Posing Tips: Expressions & Hats

There is an old photographer’s expression—ESP—Expression Sells Portraits. The expression on a subject’s face tells the story of who they are. If they only have one look on their face, their portfolio will look monotonous. Be sure to look at both sides of a subject’s face. Most people—even supermodels—have one side of their face that photographs better than the other side but don’t let that stop you from posing them one way or...

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