When you work as a photographer, you're often dealing with subjects who aren't professional models. This puts more responsibility on you to coax good poses out of the subject. Today, I'd like to give you some useful tips for doing this when your subject is a man, or someone who wants to portray a masculine image.
Before I jump into the meaty topic of in-studio posing, I want to begin with a premise from which all of my tips in this article emanate. I believe all posing can be broken down to the same fundamental goal: honour who the subject is that’s standing in front of your camera and make them look damn good
So many elements and considerations go into the physical aspects of posing, from facial expression to the point of the toe. It’s all important, but that’s not what I am going to cover in this article. I won’t bore you with the usual posing tricks and principles taught in most basic photography blogs or tutorial videos on the internet.
Posing is one of the most beautiful ways we can speak for our clients, and it’s all done through body language. I can’t wait to see what your portraits will say!
If you want clients of all shapes and sizes to feel confident working with you, they need to first see that you have an active interest in welcoming them into your studio. It is very intimidating for a plus-size client to reach out to a photographer, no matter how beautiful their work is, if the photographer’s entire portfolio consists of only one body type again and again. What’s more, working with models will help you to become more adept at working with larger bodies before offering your skills to paying clients. When a photographer isn’t comfortable working with people of size, believe me, it really shows, and the results can range from awkward to devastating.
Over the years that I've spent in the wedding photography business, I've found that one of the biggest obstacles we photographers come up against is time—or rather, the lack of it. Sometimes it's hard to get the bride, groom, and wedding party on the same page in the little amount of time we have for each specific stage of the shoot. One thing really helps me to work around this issue: I make use of a workflow that allows me to quickly position the bride and groom in various poses and get the shots I need in just a few minutes. I can get a ton of great pictures, and at the same time catch up if I'm running behind for any reason, or if I just have a really tight time frame to work with.
Storytelling is what we do as humans. It’s in the movies we see, the books we read, the music we listen to—it’s even in that commercial for your laundry detergent or favorite soft drink. Now more than ever, creating a narrative is the key to engaging an audience that is constantly bombarded by content—and more and more photographers are being hired to fabricate these stories for brands.
Unless you are in a different business than I am, most of your bridal photography clients aren't going to be supermodels. They won't have years of experience giving the camera what it wants. However, every single one of them wants to look like the best version of herself on her wedding day and in all those gorgeous photos you are taking of her.
We’ve all seen countless portraits or headshots where the subject is obviously uncomfortable. They’ve got a disconnected look in their eyes, or they are just not present, or they are trying too hard not to try too hard. What went wrong? Just as a film director would speak with an actor on set, we are responsible for the performance of our subject. We must maintain awareness of how our clients feel if we want to direct them to be more present.
We've all seen that one pose from wedding photography: the typical bride and groom looking at each other with some natural or architectural backdrop. There’s nothing wrong with that photograph—honestly, it is usually super popular with the couple themselves—but it gets kinda boring for you and your clients. Show off your abilities as a photographer and get the best shots possible—here are some options for how to offer something more, something different to your customers, switching it up.