This type of posing is effective for both men and women. Clothing also plays an important role in the appearance of the hips and thighs. The baggy clothing that has been popular for the past few years, and dress slacks for both men and women that are much less than form fitting, can sometimes make the thighs appear to be connected. More can be done to hide or minimize the hips and thighs in a seated position than in a standing pose, but there are still precautions that need to be taken to avoid unflattering poses.
If you sit a client down flat on their bottom, their rear end will mushroom out and make their hips and thighs look even larger. If, on the other hand, you have the client roll over onto the hip that is closest to the camera, their bottom will be behind them and most of one thigh and hip will hidden. Although this is an excellent rule, it is one that you may think I am breaking throughout this book. I do, in fact, have young ladies sit flat, but only when their knees are raised to make the body weight come down on the tailbone rather than the fleshy part of the body, or when the legs will hide the bottom from view.
Just rotate the subject and have her rest her weight on her hip bone. The resulting look will be much more pleasing. The thighs must be separated, if possible. Instead, simply have her move her lower leg back and bring her upper leg over the top of the lower one. If pants are worn in this same pose, the back foot can be over the front leg and the foot can be brought back toward the body, causing the knee to raise, again achieving a separation between the legs. In the aforementioned pose, you may find this problem occurring when the subject is wearing baggy jeans.
The problem also occurs when you have a guy seated with his legs apart, then have him lean forward and rest his arms on his knees. The pose works well because this is the way guys sit—and it sells well because it looks comfortable. The problem is that the crotch area is directly at the camera. In this situation, you can use the camera angle and the arms to hide or soften the problem area. ABOVE—When the knees are raised, you can have the subject sit flat on her bottom, as this area will be concealed by the legs.
You can also shift the weight onto one hip. LEGS To a woman, the appearance of her legs is just as important as that of her bustline. The standard of beauty dictates to women that their legs must be long and lean. This area is not a problem for most guys, but it can be a real issue for many women.
This affliction is best handled by suggesting pants, looking for tall grass to camouflage the area, or taking the photographs from the waist up. Legs appear toned when the muscles that run along the outside of the thigh and calf are flexed and visible. These muscles usually become more readily apparent when the heels are raised, as they are in high-heeled shoes or when the client is posed with her heels elevated.
Let me make this clear: When posing the legs, there is one simple rule that will help demystify the whole process: The accent leg is separated from the support leg and adds interest to the portrait. This accent leg visually lengthens the legs and gives the appearance of muscle tone. There are numerous ways the accent leg can be posed, as you can see in the photos on the facing page. In this stance, the weight is put on one leg and the accent leg is crossed over with the toe pointing down facing page, bottom right.
Turning the accent leg to the side rather than having the toes pointing at the camera will make the pose look even more interesting and further flatter the legs. Instead, one leg should support the body while the other leg acts as the accent leg. It should be separate from the support leg. The role of the accent leg is to show the shape and tone of the legs and to create interest in the portrait.
While this is cute for little kids, a pose that is not grounded looks odd for an adult. Or, have both feet brought up into the chair; this grounds the pose by using the chair as the base. There are literally hundreds of ways to make the legs covered in pants or showing in a dress look good. Again, it is easier to isolate what not to do, then move on to learning what to do. The deadly sins of posing the legs are: In a standing pose, never put both feet flat on the ground in a symmetrical perspective to the body. Never do the same thing with each leg with a few exceptions, like when both knees are raised side by side.
Never have both feet dangling; one must be grounded. Never bring the accent leg so high that it touches the abdomen. There is no one pose that will always work. This is the golden rule of posing: This is a relatively new area of concern about attractiveness in our. Also to be avoided are funky colors of toenail polish, long toenails especially on the guys , or if possible poses where the bottoms of the feet show. If the bottoms of the feet are to show, make sure they are clean. Minimizing the Apparent Size. Bare feet can be made to look smaller by pushing up the heels of the foot.
Similarly, if the feet are showing with open-style shoes, the higher the heel, the smaller the foot appears. Lifting the heels not only makes the feet look better, but also flexes the muscles in the calves of the legs, making them look more shapely. Muscle tone in the legs is determined by the muscle that runs down the outside of the upper and lower leg. Flex that muscle and the legs appear to be toned. If a person is nervous, their toes will either stick up or curl under. Neither one is exactly attractive. Just like the fingers, toes photograph better when they are resting on a surface. If the client is in an elegant dress, then high heels should be worn.
If the client is in a business suit, shoes should be worn that reflect the professional look of the clothing. As the clothing gets more casual, tennis shoes or bare feet are the best choices. Most of the time, shoe fashion really only matters with women. Women, however, have unlimited choices in the styles of their shoes, and usually own numerous pairs of shoes in any given style. As we continue through the chapters, we will expand on each area as it pertains to the other elements in the portrait. If you apply just these few ideas into your posing, however, your clients will look better and you will sell more portraits simply because the clients will actually like the way they look.
With women, shoes with a very high heel are extremely flattering. In this case, we know that our pose will have a relaxed look. Therefore, the clothing and setting should have a casual feel. When the subject is on her side, the weight of the body is carried by the hip bone, eliminating the mushrooming effect. Usually, the client will be barefoot. When it comes to the background, a park scene or garden is ideal. Please note that, in these guidelines, I am speaking in general terms for those photographers with a modest amount of experience in posing.
There are some cases where contrasting formal clothing with a casual pose or background can be effective. This hardness causes any fleshy area of the body to spread out, making the subject look larger. Alternately, I may have the subject laying flat on their stomach, because many people with less-than-flat stomachs want full length poses taken—and, as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind! When creating a pose on the ground, I also look for natural obstructions to hide the problem areas that paying clients have.
Tall grass, bushes, logs, wagon wheels, columns and the lower limbs of trees are amazing at making the ordinary client look extraordinary. Any of these elements can hide or soften a large bottom or hips, a not-so-flat tummy, or large arms. In this type of pose, the arms rest on the ground or the knees, and the head or chin rests on the hands or arms.
In addition to looking very natural, resting poses give you a great opportunity to hide the flaws and problem areas that many clients have. When the chin rests on the hands or arms, it hides any double chin or saggy skin in this area. When the arms rest on the knees, it hides the tummy area from the view of the camera. With the body resting on one arm, the other arm can be posed to hide a problem area such as the waist. ABOVE—Posing in areas where the grass is a little taller will help to conceal some of the body, creating a slimming effect. RIGHT—Finding a rock, log, or other posing aid in the scene can help you to create a more appealing image.
Outdoors, you need to look for a log, rock, or other natural element to use as a posing aid. With groups, you usually need to bring some posing aids with you—or at least relocate logs and small rocks to the scene where they are needed. This allows the ground in front of the subject to fall out of focus.
When I light a pose on the ground, I make sure that no additive light source will brighten the ground in front of the subject. This often happens when using a soft box outdoors. Therefore, if I use a soft box, I angle it upward so the client is the first area illuminated by the flash. I prefer to have the adults get down into the world of the child. When people are posed together on the ground, there is a feeling of playfulness and fun. Posing a small or large group is no different than posing a single person; the poses used are the same or similar. What makes it more challenging is that each person must look good as an individual and the group must be well composed as a whole.
Also, you have to keep the faces on the same plane to ensure they all remain in focus. Many group portraits have some of people softer than others, because the faces did not fall within the allotted depth of field.
When posing a group of people that include Mom and Dad, always place the parents in the back and children up front. As you look for a scene in which to pose people for a group portrait, look for uneven areas, slopes, or even stairs. This will make posing the faces at different heights a much easier task. We will discuss group portraits further in chapter 8. ABOVE—Getting the kids and adults down to the same level adds an instant sense of fun and closeness to a family portrait. The trashbags can be used to provide a dry seat when posing on the ground. Dark brown or green ones are the easiest to hide.
Next, think carefully about camera height before you shoot. Many photographers choose a camera height based on their comfort, rather than what is best for the composition. If the client is on the ground and the photographer positions the camera at standing height, the ground becomes the background. While I do this on occasion, it typically provides a background with little depth.
The Portrait Photographer: Adding Props to Senior Portraits
In many outdoor locations, this eliminates the possibility of showing much of the surroundings. The decision to get the client up off the ground may be one based on making use of a particular background, foreground, or. Sitting poses appear relaxed, but not as casual as poses on the ground. In group portraits, they also lack the close feeling of poses on the ground. Seated poses may, however, be used in combination with ground poses in group portraits. This can help bridge the gap between standing members and those on the ground.
Finding something to pose client on can be difficult in certain locations. Some locations have very little that is at the appropriate height; other locations have. Once you find a seating area, there are two important rules that you must always remember. Before I tell you, though, I want to. I want you to put this book down. If you are sitting, stand up. If you are being honest, your legs and hips will grow in width anywhere between 25 and 60 percent depending on your muscle tone. While you are still seated, roll over onto your hip—the one that would be closer to the camera.
Notice how much slimmer your legs appear? One last thing, look at your waistline. The only cure for this problem is to hide the area from view. If that is impossible, have the client sit. Never have a client sit without being able to touch the ground. A foot must be grounded. In this pose, we had the young lady do the splits to lower herself to the level of the cut off stump. You can cross the leg over the grounded leg, you can bring the leg back and push up the heel of the foot, whatever you want to do, but always have one foot on the ground and the accent leg in a position that adds interest to the pose and subject.
Posing for Portrait Photography
Unless you are pulling the legs in close to the body to rest the arms on top of them, the knees should never be pointing directly back at the camera. Looking at outdoor portraits taken by other photographers, I often notice that they have the subject reclining back into a chair or sitting straight up on a rock or log. In contrast, I prefer to have the subject leaning forward to rest on their knees; this automatically covers the waistline, which becomes such a problem in seated poses.
I also think it looks much more natural. If you have ever sat on a rock or log, you know that you tend to make yourself more comfortable by leaning forward on your knees. In group portraits, having the seated subjects lean forward onto their knees also lowers their faces to get them closer to any subjects who might be posed on the ground. Here, both subjects are seated, but at different levels. Still, the subject on the taller seat leans forward to bring her face closer to the face of the subject who is posed on the lower seat.
We have the man lean onto his one knee and then angle the woman slightly toward the other knee so the faces are closer to side by side, instead of one over the other. ARMS When you start to refine the pose, make sure the arms are not resting heavily on the body but separated from it to define the shape of both the arms and the body. This can be done by placing one hand on prop or posing aid, or simply by extending one arm to rest the hand on the knee and letting the.
Again, remember that the hands and arms can also be used to conceal any problem areas your client might have. You can go from head-andshoulders images, to waist-up shots, three-quarter-length portraits, and then full-length images without ever having to re-pose the client. As you can imagine, this helps speed up the session—and the faster you work, the more profit potential each session has. Why were the hands and arms placed where they were? Look at the foliage, grass, and tree limbs.
Why are they there? Are they hiding something or just adding to the appearance of the image? Getting into the habit of asking these questions when you look at images will help you to ask them of yourself when you are photographing your clients. In many seated poses, you can create a variety of looks without having to adjust the subject. This head-and-shoulders portrait was created with the client posed for a fulllength seated image. As we will see, though, there are a number of potential problems.
There are exceptions, of course. Sometimes, a client wants to include a car, house, the ocean, or another larger. In this case, a standing full-length composition is likely the best way to accomplish their goal. In a situation like this, your objective. The standing, full-length pose has two major problems. First, there is no way to hide the major problems that most clients have weight issues, etc. Second, this type of pose greatly reduces the facial size, and that can result in fewer sales. This allows us to achieve a full-length image while keeping our options open when it comes to managing problem areas.
If weight is at all a concern, gently explain to your client the other styles of posing would be more flattering. This is one time when it is particularly hard for many male photographers to understand why female clients want to do poses and select clothing they obviously should not. If you are a man over forty, think back to the first photo you had taken after the aging process started working against you. Some situations dictate a full-length image. Here, the subject is slim, the background is beautiful, the dress has a unique hemline that looks best when standing, and the subject is wearing high heels.
All the ingredients are in place for a successful standing full-length pose! They had convinced themselves that those three strands of hair twirled around their head really had everything covered! This is why we must try to understand it when a young lady with heavy arms, a less-than-flat stomach, and thick ankles wants to wear a short, sleeveless dress with flat shoes. As a professional, you have to recognize that there is no way this woman would be happy with her appearance given these circumstances.
Then, you have to come up with a plan for achieving the look she wants—while saving her ego from having to look at the harsh reality. A great location, a beautiful dress, and a slim client all contribute to the success of these full-length poses. Softening the background helped keep the emphasis on the subject. You may also be able to create a waist-up shot and a head-andshoulders portrait in the same pose.
If the young lady is in a jean skirt at a park location, you would use a different pose than if she was in a glamorous gown at a location with beautiful architecture. More relaxed clothing and a casual scene would suggest a more relaxed pose. A relaxed look in a standing pose is typically achieved by having the subject rest on or lean against something. This can be a tree, column, building, bridge, wagon wheel, log or anything else that is at the appropriate height and substantial enough not to shift with the subject leaning against it.
More dressy clothing and a refined scene would suggest a more formal pose. A formal look in a standing pose is typified by grace and elegance. No part of the body is bent excessively. The support leg is straight and the accent leg is less dramatically posed than it might be in other styles.
First, make sure that it fits properly. Conversely, too-tight clothing will show every bulge and line. This is a major factor in posing when the subject is standing, and especially in full-length portraits. Ideally, you want the areas of the body that show weightrelated issues to blend into the background while important areas, such as the face, legs, and cleavage if showing , contrast with the background.
This will draw the eye to only these places. The client has a fair complexion wants a full-length portrait that focuses on her long legs. What would you do? Ideally, you would put the client in darker tones, but have her wear a short skirt with high heels. If you did this, the eye of the viewer would be drawn to every area of skin. With a longsleeved top, the only areas of skin visible would be the face and her long legs.
Now, this is in a perfect world where a client listens to what you say. Realistically, the client will show up with one outfit—a white top, a black skirt, and flat shoes. To deal with the contrasting clothing, you would simply look for or create a scene with a lighter tone behind the lighter areas of clothing and darker tones behind the darker tones of clothing. Do you remember when we talked about creating images that have a sense of style?
Very few times are you actually going to find a scene that has lighter and darker areas in the correct places. Therefore, you must add light to the areas you want to make lighter or use the camera elevation and angle to put to proper tones of backgrounds with the coordinating tones of clothing. When the body rests on an element in the scene, one shoulder is typically lower than the other. This gives a relaxed appearance and is best suited for more casual portraits and settings. When you want to use elements of a more elegant scene as posing aids, you should prevent the body from leaning or resting on them.
Instead, the hands or arms should gracefully and gently touch the column, tree, etc. Having the subject do something with the arms other than letting them hang at her side can also make the image a lot more interesting, as shown in the examples below. While the basic structure of the standing pose from the waist up varies depending on the location and the clothing style, the rest of the posing is very similar in design.
We begin by turning the subject toward the shadow side of the frame. There are lots of options for posing the arms in a standing pose. Note that, in this example, the portraits have been posed as standing, full-length images, but are composed much more tightly. The accent leg is bent and often shown from the side to reveal its shape. The thighs are not directly next to each other or posed identically and one leg supports the body while the second leg is the accent leg. The feet are in high heels, or at least the accent leg has the heel pushed up to flex the leg muscles and make the feet appear smaller.
The accent leg could be crossed over the support leg, extended out, or placed to form what I call a stepping pose. The pose is just what the name implies: This gives the body a forward angle, creating a diagonal through the frame. Stepping poses look very natural because they provide a good base for the upper body.
As many as seventy percent of all portraits ordered. The hype about full-length poses is the strongest in the senior market, where many photographers look at full-length poses as the way to separate themselves from the contracted studios, which mostly take boring head-andshoulders poses. The problem is that they focus so much attention on. In this image and the one on the facing page , the scene and posing were chosen to conceal or soften the areas that I know any woman would worry about.
We have each senior select their poses from over five hundred samples we have collected into small albums. Usually, the senior selects nothing but fulllength portraits and extreme close ups; these are the images that are most like what they see in the media and in magazine ads. To solve this issue, we photograph in the full-length pose they have selected, then we take a head-and-shoulders pose using the same background and pose. This way the senior has her full length that shows her shoes and outfit and the mom has the images that the majority of sales come from.
To overcome this problem, I changed the way in which I pose my head-and-shoulders portraits. I used to put the subject under a tree with the limbs or other close-by foliage as the background. This gave me a portraits that I could easily re-create in the studio with green screen and an old stump. Now, I look for areas that offer foreground elements branches, grasses, etc. This also helps provide the sense of depth that clients want to see in their outdoor portraits. In stead, pose them in the background. Most photographers place their client in a clearing with a background that features numerous elements at many levels and distances from the subject.
To create a foreground, you simply put the subject in the middle of what was to be the background. You still have the same depth, because you are using elements in front of the subject as well as behind, however you now have the ability to hide portions of the client from view. To others, however, this is less obvious. Fathers often bring this to my attention if I take a tight head-and-shoulders pose in a strapless dress that just shows the bare shoulders and no clothing below.
It makes me glad I have sons! In a head-and-shoulders pose, the shoulders should never go straight through the frame, with the left shoulder being at the same height as the right one. Body and Face at an Angle. Equally, you should never have the body squared off to the camera. The background is a big concern in outdoor portraits. By carefully choosing the position of your subject and camera, you can often improve your results. In the top image, the background has both very light and very dark areas. Moving to the right middle did not produce an acceptable background either.
In the final image bottom repositioning the camera so that the background was filled with dark foliage produced a better image. In a head-and-shoulders portrait, the arms should be used to frame the face and create a base for the composition. The size of the face in a head-and-shoulders pose is larger than in other images, so the position of the eyes is very important, and this will typically make the eyes appear larger.
This not only adds interest, it also helps hide problem areas like double chins. Additionally, it provides a base to the composition. A good place to start is with the traditional head-and-shoulders pose, with the arms brought up by placing the hands on the hips. This provides a very classic look, as long as the shoulders are at an angle.
Next, have the client cross their arms. While there is very little difference in the pose, the look and feel is completely different. Like most photographers, I thought of a head-and-shoulders pose as a standing pose with the arms folded or leaning on a tree. Then, I realized that I could also create a head-and-shoulders image by posing the subject laying down on their stomach with their face closer to the camera and their body behind them at an angle.
We sell lots of these poses, because they have the larger facial size the parents like and show most if not all of the body, which the senior likes. They also allow us to show more of the scene, which works really well for outdoor sessions. I like to have the subject lay on their stomach with their faces closer to the camera. The body is placed diagonally behind the head so the side of the hips and legs shows as the body extends into the background. Combine this style of posing with scenes that have a greater depth and you will create portraits that show the beautiful surroundings while satisfying both the older and younger buyers.
With the larger facial size, you should always have the client look at you as you direct them through the expressions you want them to. When using a posing aid in your head-andshoulders portraits, you should never let any weight rest on the fleshy parts of the forearms or biceps. A subject looking at someone rather than something will have much more life in their eyes. When I was younger, I used to think this was a little silly, but then I started comparing poses that were taken while I used a tripod and had the client look at me against those I create while handholding the camera and having the subject look into the lens.
To my surprise, there was a huge difference in the eyes. In head-and-shoulders portraits, the eyes are critical, so enlivening them in this way is particularly vital. This is true for every portrait from a head-and-shoulders to an image composed from the waist up. Many young photographers have issues with trying to find the point at which to crop the image at the bottom of the frame. This fills the bottom of the frame and gives a complete base for the composition.
The eyes must have beautiful catchlights, and the mask of the face must be perfectly lit. This requires you to be able to see and control the light in the scene. If you have read any of my other books, you know that I only will use flash for full-length. No matter how good at lighting you are, you can never really see the exact effect of the studio lighting until you print it out or magnify the image on a computer monitor.
This lets me see the exact effect I am producing. The challenge, of course, is that you must apply all of the techniques used to pose a single person—but on multiple subjects. Additionally, you must ensure that the assembled group, as a whole, looks both cohesive and appealing. A final consideration is that the portrait must reflect the relationship between the subjects—whether they are business partners, members of a family, or school friends. The first question to ask when photographing a group session is who will be in the portrait.
They could be an older couple, folks who might have a hard time getting into poses on location. It would also be different than if you were photographing a mother and baby. The individuals in the portrait and their relationship will determine how you pose them and at what height or position standing, sitting, or on the ground. It is possible to create an appealing portrait with two people wearing contrasting tones or colors, but it is impossible to do this with a group of ten or twelve people. It is best to talk with the principal female in the group and explain how important color and tone coordination is.
Typically, they will help make sure everyone dresses similarly, and often buy matching clothing for the group. While color and tone are important, so is the style of the clothing. The style needs to be similar and should be coordinated to the style of scene, pairing casual styles of clothing with typical outdoor scenes and dressier clothing with more formal locations.
The one time that contrasting clothing is appropriate is when very small children or babies are to be photographed with full-grown people. Clothing selection is important. In this image, all but one subject wore green.
The mismatched shirt had to be retouched to create the image seen here. Remember to advise your clients that ignoring your advice about clothing suggestions may result in additional retouching fees. The young ladies had to be re-posed in order to bring their heads closer together. Will it be a waist-up shot? In a portrait of a single person you can easily go from a head-andshoulders to a full-length image without changing the pose; you just change the focal length of the lens.
Choose a Basic Structure. I see many group photos that look more like a mob of people waiting for tickets to go on sale than a close, loving family. To combat this, you need to start with some kind of structure while build-. You can then modify the structure once the basic composition has been achieved. This is much better than having no composition at all. A basic pyramid composition, with the tallest person in the center and the heads gently sloping down to either side, is a simple starting place for groups.
To modify that basic structure and achieve a more interesting look, break the straight line of the downward angles by posing some of the heads below or above the distinct downward lines of the pyramid. If I am going for structure with a linear composition, I actually like using diagonal compositions more than pyramids. In these compositions, the heads. Mom and Dad are in the center, flanked by their sons. From left to right, the pose has three faces in a downward-sloping diagonal line. The last face, however, is brought back up almost to the level of the face on the far left.
This creates a mirrored effect that is very engaging. This is very effective in small groups like sisters, brothers, or small families. I like to see groups with at least some of the members on or near the ground. I want to break up the straight line with people in seated poses to lower their heads.
My favorite way to arrange a group is to start out on the ground and build the composition up person by person. Head Height and Proximity. The correct facial height and proximity depends on the number of people in the group and how large of an area you want to use for a background. When posing a couple or small group, if I decide to compose the portrait closer up showing from the waist up for each member of the group , I position the eyes of one person at about the mouth level of the next person as I am building the composition.
With larger groups, it is often impossible to put each face at a different level. Instead, you will simply create some basic posing structures lines, pyramids, etc. In a typical portrait of a couple or group, the subjects are touching—usually with their bodies overlapping a bit. If, however, a family group wants to show their home, horses, cars, tractor, or the ocean in the background, you may need to have several feet between each family member to create an effective composition. Whether the individuals are closely packed or spread out, however, the key is that they should all be approximately the same distance from each other.
Another difference between single subjects and groups is the resolution at which they must be photographed to achieve the same perceived clarity. Getting at least one member of the family down to ground level helps make the image look more relaxed. A group of ten people requires a camera with a higher resolution to achieve a similar clarity and perceived detail.
As the facial size reduces within the frame, less detail can be seen and the high resolution is needed to produce a salable image. With the smaller facial size also comes the issue of sharpness. I always use a very heavy tripod and a fast shutter speed. Typically, I use a studio flash as my main light and the ambient light as the fill. This does away with any movement in the group, which is especially important when photographing families that include small children.
It also helps balance the light to avoid color casts. In the final chapter we will discuss some other factors that affect posing, because posing is impacted by every other decision made in the planning Consistent spacing between the subjects makes the group look cohesive. Having control over your posing really does no good if you have no control over all the other factors in the portrait you are creating.
In this e-mail, I was reminded that many photogra-. She was shocked and told me that price is the most important factor to her clients. She could never leave out the prices from her website. Trying to explain, I told her that most of the time, photographers worry much more about prices than clients do. In this competitive market, very few studios are priced that far above other studios of a similar quality. These photographers encounter problems from the point of the first phone call, to the time they make the appointment, through to the session, the order, and finally the order pick-up.
As a result, they see their clients as nothing more than troublesome penny pinchers who are out to ruin their lives. The truth is, photographers often make it hard on clients by not providing them with the proper information and by failing to define their business so the potential clients know what to expect from the studio. You have to look at each step in the average session and make the process as easy for the client as possible—and do everything in your power to accurately define your business so the only calls you get are from clients who actually want what you offer.
When clients understand your business and know how to prepare for their sessions, the results will make everyone happy. People call your business because of exposure that you have paid for advertising or exposure to the many other parts of your marketing plan word of mouth, business cards and brochures, portraits on display, etc. The images you show at your studio should be shots you can actually re-create for future clients. In both cases, the phone rings a great deal, but few callers turn into clients. Another problematic inconsistency occurs when you show work that you cannot re-create for future clients.
Two good examples of this happened to me recently. As I was finishing writing this book, we were getting ready to go on our family vacation to Spain. My son is a senior in high school and wanted to take his senior portraits in Spain. As I was finishing my last book, I contacted the people who run the Alumni House at our local university. The house, the session, and the senior girl we used all were perfect at least in the final portraits! I was so impressed with the images that I.
Then, I started thinking as a businessperson. I realized that I would be show-. The people running the Alumni House thought it was cool to let us use the house once, but they. Thinking this way is critical to controlling your business and looking like a professional in the eyes of your client. Neither do you see finer restaurants installing drive-. These businesses define their market and let those who see their advertising know what to expect. This reduces problems for the client and builds the needed respect for the business.
Well, when my staff informs our clients what they need to do to look their best, or when I explain why a client should wear a certain outfit or do a certain pose, I rarely get any argument. That is your fault, not theirs! At my studio, we go for an upscale but not intimidating feel.
The studio itself is located near the most exclusive shopping area in the city. When seniors arrive at the studio, they can select from backgrounds and sets such as a Dodge Viper, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and high-quality sets by Scenic Designs and Off The Wall. They also have an experienced professional photographer me! Additionally, I speak clearly and respectfully to my clients and my subjects. The result of this is that our clients know we are not going to be cheap.
This feeling is echoed in our marketing and in all of our contact with clients. For example, we use humor to bring a more down-toearth feeling to our company. When a potential client calls, they are greeted by a professional sounding person with a great sense of humor.
Ultimately, we are clear about who we are as a business and who they should be if they want to use our service. And speaking of phone calls, the next important step in preventing problems is educating the client. When our phone person makes each appointment, they explain everything the client needs to do.
They also discuss how to dress and point the client to our website for additional help on getting ready for their session. Finally, they ask the client to arrive fifteen minutes early for the session so they can select their background ideas. We follow up by sending them complete information about the process of taking and ordering their portraits. The information emphasizes that the people in the portraits they have seen presumably the reason they called to book their session look great because they took the time to prepare correctly for their sessions.
We use a simple scenario to explain, on the other hand, how a bad choice of clothing can ruin an otherwise beautiful portrait. Coordinating the tones of the clothing with those in the background can help keep your attention on the subject and off their clothes. This is also a good time to discuss solids as opposed to patterns; while the type of correction shown in the tight-shirt example is costly with a solid-colored shirt, with an intricate pattern it might not even be pos-.
Some photographers handle this in a personal consultation, but this is very time consuming. No matter how the makeup artist does it, the makeup they create will be different than the way the woman does her own makeup. In a portrait that is going to sell to family members not a glamour-shot style , however, you want the person to appear as they see themselves and as others see them everyday. Therefore, we tell our clients to wear their makeup the same way they would for a special We tell our clients to wear their makeup the same way they would for a special evening out.
If they apply it themselves, we rarely have a problem with them not liking it in their portraits. With just that advice, we rarely have a problem with a young lady not liking her appearance because of their makeup. The only time we venture into professional makeup is when we have a girl who never wears makeup. Then, we have an artist apply basic foundation, mascara, and some tinted lip gloss. As you can see, throughout the entire process we address the same questions and concerns that every studio in the country has to deal with, but with a difference: I am not afraid.
In fact, I want to send some business away. We are not a studio for everyone. If we were, I would have set up shop in a mall. It lets us keep our focus on those clients whose tastes and goals suit our own. When it comes to clients, the root of virtually every problem is a lack of communication. I can honestly say that ninety percent of the time it is information we neglected to provide to the client that created the problem. Even if the problem. If you make it easy to work with you, your problems with clients will be reduced.
You will work with clients who want to work with you and who truly understand why you are the best studio for them. Then, I will a have client bring in their proofs from that same studio and wonder what happened. Did the janitor shoot the session? Or does the photographer subscribe to the theory that if you shoot enough arrows, sooner or later you will hit the target?
The staff has talked with them about the type of session they want, and they have been given detailed guidelines on how and how not to dress. This is the stan-. I also work out the lighting needed to photograph a subject in these scenes, so we will be ready to move quickly from one spot to the next. Finally, I look into the eyes of the client to see how well they reflect light, which is especially important outdoors. I also look for which outfits will be best for the head-and-shoulders poses.
I then write down the order of the clothing changes based on where each outfit will look best. That way, no time is wasted going back and forth from scene to scene or having the client change back into an outfit they have already worn. One of the positive comments we always get from our clients is that our images make people look relaxed and natural. Before we get started, there are few things that I will explain.
First off, I will do each pose for you and then I will help you into the pose. I will make sure you look perfect in every way. I would much rather you burst out laughing and let me take. The next thing is about the posing. I have designed poses that make a person look their best. One of the positive comments we always get from our clients is that our images make people look relaxed and natural—and how relaxed the people in the session felt while I was photographing them. In order for me to accomplish this, they have to understand why I pose them the way I do. I want the client to know I will take care of everything, fix any problems, and both show and explain everything I want them to do.
When you make posing decisions based on these two. It also means you can create a good living for you and your family. In closing, I hope that you have not only increased the number of poses that you can offer your clients, but that you also have a better understanding of when to use them to create portraits that have a sense of style.
The photographers who pose people the best are those who truly empathize with their clients, trying to deal with their shortcomings and making the best of their bad decisions. Select the best filter options for your photographic style and discover how their use will affect your images.
Learn how master photographers pose subjects to create unforgettable images. Learn to capture the unique energy and mood of each wedding and build a lifelong client relationship. Use the tools and techniques pros rely on to land corporate clients. Includes diagrams, images, and techniques for a failsafe approach for shots that sell.
Learn how to keep color consistent from device to device, ensuring greater efficiency and more accurate results. Create perfect portraits of infants, tots, kids, and teens. Includes techniques for standing, sitting, and floor poses for boys and girls, individuals, and groups.
Includes images and insights from top industry pros. Master the techniques you need to pose subjects successfully—whether you are working with men, women, children, or groups. Step-bystep techniques make it easy! Michelle Perkins Enhance your photos or add unique effects to any image. Short, easy-to-digest lessons will boost your confidence and ensure outstanding images.
Packed with tips for portraits, still lifes, and more. Learn how to attract clients and boost your sales.
Learn how to build a successful digital portrait photography business—or breathe new life into an existing studio. In fashion and glamour photography, light is the key to producing images with impact. A down-and-dirty, step-by-step course in building a professional photography workflow and creating digital images that sell! Sample forms and practical discussions help you protect yourself and your business. Learn to work with natural light, select locations, and make clients look their best. Packed with step-by-step discussions and illustrations to help you shoot like a pro!
Author Jeff Smith teaches surefire techniques for fine-tuning every aspect of the pose for the most flattering results. Learn to make every client look his or her best by using lighting and posing to conceal real or imagined flaws—from baldness, to acne, to figure flaws. This book will teach photographers how to run savvy marketing campaigns, attract clients, and provide top-notch customer service. Packed with award-winning images and helpful techniques. Billy Pegram Learn to create portfolios that will get your clients noticed—and hired! Learn how to create portraits that stand the test of time.
Master photographer Bill McIntosh discusses his best images, giving you an inside look at his timeless style. Posing can make or break an image. Now you can get the posing tips and techniques that have propelled the finest portrait photographers in the industry to the top. On location, the variety of potential settings is virtually unlimited, so posing decisions become even more complicated. In this book, Jeff Smith shows you how to rise to the challenge.
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