Posing someone?


TPF Noob!
May 17, 2007
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A friend of mine has asked me to take a bunch of photos of her for her MySpace page. The problem is that I've never really done much work photographing people and having them pose for me. I want the photos to look as good as possible, so does anyone have a guide on posing people?

These pics will be taken both indoors and out with my D50 and SB400 flash, if needed. Other than that, I don't really have any lighting equip.
1) Try some shots that aren't dead-on
2) Keep her face (or boobs I suppose if she wants them to look big) at the same distance or closer to the camera than the rest of her body. Placing limbs closer to the camera than her face will make them appear bigger (read: fat).
3) Watch out for shadows outdoors. Fill flash if you need to.
4) If you're getting a lot of forced smiles, tell her to frown as hard as she possibly can and then smile. If she doesn't break out laughing anyway from looking ridiculous while frowning like that, it'll help a lot anyway.
5) In smiling shots, pay close attention to eyes. Some people tend to squint heavily when they smile.
6) Tell her not to wear any patterns/colors that are either really bland or really outrageous.
7) Remove the lens cap.
Posing is very difficult when starting out. If you don't think it's right, be prepared to tell the subject and try to offer a new idea. Window light and a reflector can give a great effect. A 3/4 view of the face with the head leaning slightly in can be very flattering. Look at images on the web and look at the images you think are nice and try to replicate.
Make sure your friend is as comfortable as possible. If they are feeling a bit uncertain then they might not take direction very well and it will show in your photos. Make sure that the mood is fun and easy going and keep communicating that they are doing a great job!
I agree with JD that you should find posses online or in magazines that you feel would work with your subject and try to emulate or work from those posses during your shoot!
Anyone have an example of a 3/4 head shot and some good body shots?
Anyone have an example of a 3/4 head shot and some good body shots?

You want us to come over and take the pics for you too?:lol:
Im sure you have some magazines laying around, take a look in them and find some poses that you like. If you don't have any magazines then take a look online. I know you can search flickr for portraits and people so that might be a good starting point for you. All you have to do is search and you will find everything that you need.
When I first started out (and STILL do), I look through tons of magazines and rip out pages of neat poses. I study those and (this will sound weird) try them out in front of a mirror.

My first "real" photography job" was taking photos of women in the studio. A lot of these women were in lingerie or nude and I still had to know how to do the poses so that I could direct the poses. The mirror thing worked!

It's hard for us to tell you how to do this on the forum. You have to figure it out mainly for yourself. Test some things and post them. We can tell you how to improve them but it's all (for you now) trial and error. Use your eyes and LOOK at other work and try to capture it for yourself.

A couple quick tips and general no-no's are try not to interlace fingers, if you use an off camera flash; try to point the nose to the flash ('cause, where the nose goes, the face follows), watch out for things like double chins, necks and flabby arms; have then push that face forward and drop the chin a little. If they are not that "blessed in the chest" and want to be, they can use the upper arms to push the chest out a bit. Always have them drop the shoulder closest to the camera a little (or have them lean toward toward you a little. This is an unnatural feeling but it's a camera visual thing - it looks better) and have them rotate the hips a little. Rarely will you take a full on front facing full image. It'll look more "line backer" and less "cheerleader" if you do (usually).

Dude... I can type all day. Rip out some pages of mags and put them into a file folder. Grab one and show the girl and say "Do this!!!" then shoot it. YOU are going to have to do this stuff and fail miserably and learn from that.

Go get 'um! "Grrrr"!
Anyone have an example of a 3/4 head shot and some good body shots?

flickr.com ... do a search for PORTRAIT shots.... be ready to see thousands. Front size, 1/4, 3/4, 11/16ths, whatever your heart desires is there... lol

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