Better Posing Requires More Than Being Inspired…

by | Mar 8, 2017 | Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

What a great FEW Conference it was last weekend in North Carolina! Can you guess what my main responsibility was?

Peachtree church

Photography, of course!

What else would it be?!

I’ve been doing FEW family portraits for a few years now, so I’m starting to actually get a little comfortable with it. I actually know how to prepare, and didn’t feel like I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off 5 minutes before the first family arrived. Imagine that!

So, I always have a hard time posing groups of 4 people. I wanted to work on this. I wanted to actually take a family portrait of 4 that I actually liked.

So here’s what I did.

Since I was all set up and had some extra time before the first families started to arrive, I whipped out my phone and Googled “family studio portraits”. I saw one really nice pose that posed 4 people. I thought, “I can do that!” and figured out what seats I would use to get the approximate heights right.

Not too long after a family of 4 walked in. And you know what I did?

I freaked out (on the inside, mind you) and posed them just like I would a group of 4 in previous years! That’s what I was comfortable with. It’s what I was used to. It was the easy way out and I just didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone! No, it’s not a bad shot at all, but I knew I could have done better.

170303-JAS-4281_Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church, North Carolina, USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II 40 mm 1-100 sec at f - 4.0 ISO 200

That’s when it dawned on me. Learning to pose people better is so much more than just being inspired. You actually have to do it! The inspiration was great. It inspired me, and gave me confidence that I could do it. But when the true test came, I didn’t do it. Inspiration is only as good as it is coupled with action.

So the next time a group of 4 came through, I made myself do it!

170303-JAS-4307_Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church, North Carolina, USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II 40 mm 1-100 sec at f - 4.0 ISO 200

Almost better. There’s still much to be desired…the son in the back is out of focus, he looks proportionally small, and the daughters’ hand is placed in such a way that it gets awkwardly confused with the Dad’s hand.

But, I had done it!

I tried the same pose a few more times. I was amazed how the same idea behind the “pose” looked different with different people! It all depended on the height of the people and the height of the seats on which I had them sit.

170303-JAS-4444_Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church, North Carolina, USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II 40 mm 1-100 sec at f - 4.0 ISO 200

Whether I actually achieved any “good pictures”, I will let the photographed families judge that. But for me, I knew I was really learning a lot about actually doing the change I wanted to see in my photos. At least it’s a start.

And it was a start on a few other poses too! Looking forward to talking more about what I learned about posing people during the webinar on Saturday!

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