Posing is probably the most difficult part of shooting portraits for most photographers. The technical side can be learned relatively easily. Your style just develops over time based on what you like. But posing, directing a subject, getting the expressions that you want. Is art in itself.

And if you’re working with the general public and not models, it can be a difficult one to master. In this video I tried to break it down as much as possible to simplify the process for you and your models.

It all starts with a set of go-to poses. Poses that will work well on 90% of people. They may not all work for your current subject, but you can pretty much guarantee that some of them will. They’re the stock pose “templates” you often see floating around various forums and Facebook groups. Then, it’s just a case of building on those poses to suit the person stood in front of your camera.

Let’s begin with a standard “hand on the hip” pose.

If you start tweaking it, you can quickly get a range of images based upon it.

It seems kind of obvious when it’s spelled out for you, really. But a lot of photographers get focused on creating one specific pose, and seem to forget that there are other options. And there’s certainly a lot more of them!

As you get more experience, you’ll get better directing your subjects. You’ll be able to quickly figure out what’s going to work best for your model. It’ll get easier. But when you’re just starting out, you really can’t beat variations on a set of standard go-to poses.

If nothing else, it’ll help you to understand why some poses work for certain people and others do not. It’s a lot easier to learn from the mistakes than the successes! Just keep that in mind! ; )


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