Dynamic Posing

Dynamic Posing and Lighting for High School Seniors

Dynamic Posing and Lighting for High School Seniors with David Beckham

So much is going on in senior photography. It seems like there are as many senior photographers as there are seniors. Fewer and fewer seniors are getting formal portraits during their senior year. Sixteen-, seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds who want professional photos expect more. These young people are exciting, on the move, self-aware, involved and more socially driven than ever. The 2023 Seniors are dynamic.

As professional photographers, we need to be dynamic also. We need to be able to change and flow with what teens are doing like we do with our industry’s technology. We need to understand that if you are staying the same, you are falling behind. We are going to look at nine lighting and posing setups that will help you become more dynamic with your posing and lighting. Four of these will include quick videos—because we are so good at keeping up with technology. 😉

dynamic adjective – characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.

Dynamic posing means it looks like or it is moving. To get that, we need to really change our point of view (POV) and use a variety of lenses: 24mm, 35mm and 50mm. These aren’t typical portrait lenses, but we aren’t shooting typical seniors. I met Thomas Nguyen a few years ago and we did a shoot-out together and I completely changed my perspective on shooting!  

Posing Elements

These are things you can do to build poses for yourself with any body type, so you don’t have to remember “poses,” but you will actually learn how to pose.

  • Using arms to reveal or conceal
  • Longest distance between knees and toes and fingers and elbows
  • Eyes centered in her face with her nose pointing in the same direction as she is looking
  • All your weight on your front foot to appear taller
  • Twist hips away to flex abs, accent curves and thin waist
  • Elbows behind spine for great posture
  • Edge of hands, not back of hands or palms
  • Whatever is closest to the camera will appear larger (for good and bad)
  • Parallel lines, triangles and leading lines with arms, legs and body
  • POV affects height and length
  • Arms and legs that are perpendicular to the lens will be the longest
  • Keeping neck and spine in line when lying on back
  • Bending knees when lying down flexes abs, thins waist and accents curves
Dynamic Posing

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the April 2022 magazine.