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The Photographer's Guide to Posing, 1st Edition

Book Description

When photographing people, you can have a great composition, perfect light, and the right camera settings, but if your subject doesn’t look right—if the pose is off—the shot will not be a keeper. Posing is truly a crucial skill that photographers need to have in order to create great photographs. If you’re looking to improve your ability to pose your subjects—whether they’re men, women, couples, or groups—best-selling author and photographer Lindsay Adler’s The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone is the perfect resource for you.

In the first half of The Photographer’s Guide to Posing, Lindsay discusses how the camera sees, and thus how camera angle, lens choice, and perspective all affect the appearance of your subject. Lindsay then covers the five most important things that ruin a pose—such as placement of the hands, and your subject’s expression and posture. If you can look out for and avoid these five things, your skills (and your images) will quickly improve. Next, Lindsay dives into “posing essentials,” outlining her approach to start with a “base pose,” then build on that to create endless posing opportunities. She also discusses posing the face—with specific sections dedicated to the chin, jaw, eyes, and forehead—as well as posing hands.

In the second half of the book, Lindsay dedicates entire chapters to posing specific subject matter: women, men, couples, curvy women, families and small groups, and large groups. In each chapter, Lindsay addresses that subject matter’s specific challenges, provides five “go-to poses” you can always use, and covers how to train the eye to determine the best pose for your subject(s). In the final chapter of the book, Lindsay brings it all together as she teaches you how to analyze a pose so that you can create endless posing opportunities and continuously improve your work

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. About the Author
  3. Introduction: Posing with Confidence
    1. Your Posing Guide
      1. Is Pose a Four-Letter Word?
      2. Your Goals
      3. Wrong and Right, Bad and Good
      4. Rules Are Meant to Be Broken
      5. “Train Your Eye”
      6. Other Ways to Learn
  4. 1 Posing and How Your Camera Sees
    1. Posing, Lens Choice, Perspective, and How Your Camera Sees
      1. The Rule of Perspective That Changes Everything
      2. Lens Choice and Focal Length
      3. Perspective and Pose: Body Placement
      4. Perspective and Camera Angle
      5. Lens Choice to Exaggerate Camera Angle
      6. Camera Angle and Subject Height
    2. Why It All Matters
  5. 2 Posing and Directing the Face
    1. Directing
      1. Mirroring
      2. Gesture
      3. Verbal direction
      4. Your Subject’s “Better Side”
      5. Head Position
    2. Elements to Consider in a Headshot
      1. Chin and Jawline
      2. Eyes
      3. Shoulders and Neck
      4. Nose
      5. Relaxing the Features
    3. Putting It Together
  6. 3 Posing Pitfalls
    1. Poor Posture
      1. The Problem: Neck
      2. The Problem: Midsection
      3. The Problem: Reduced Height
      4. The Solution: Improve Posture
    2. Foreshortening
      1. The Problem: Arm Pointing at Camera
      2. The Solution: Adjust the Arm
      3. The Problem: Body Facing Camera
      4. The Solution: Adjust the Camera
      5. The Problem: Subject Facing Camera
      6. The Solution: Rotate the Subject
    3. Mergers
      1. The Problem: Arms to the Sides Create Mergers
      2. The Solution: Create Negative Space
      3. The Solution: In-Body Posing
      4. The Solution: Using Arms to Contour
      5. The Problem: Baggy Clothing Creates Mergers
      6. The Solution: Adjust the Clothing
      7. The Solution: Adjust Hands
    4. Poorly Posed Hands
      1. The Problem: Distracting Hands; Palm or Back of Hand Toward Camera
      2. The Solution: Place Pinky Toward Camera
      3. The Problem: Tension
      4. The Solution: Relax the Hands
      5. The Problem: Covering the Jaw
      6. The Solution: Adjust Hand Placement
      7. The Problem: Hands Pressed Against Face/Body
      8. The Solution: Gently Place Hands
    5. Bad Expression
      1. The Problem: Tense Serious Face
      2. The Solution: Relax Head and Lips
      3. The Problem: Deer-in-Headlights Look
      4. The Solution: Draw Out Emotion or Expression with Eyes
      5. Expression Tips and Tricks
    6. Train Your Eye
  7. 4 10 Steps to Posing Success and Posing Variations
    1. 10 Steps to Posing Success
      1. Step 1: Select a Base Pose
      2. Step 2: Adjust the Pose or Change Angles to Draw Attention To or Away From Body Parts
      3. Step 3: Check for Foreshortening and Mergers
      4. Step 4: Ensure Good Hand Position and Posture
      5. Step 5: Engage the Subject to Get a Good Expression
      6. Step 6: Shoot!
      7. Step 7: Vary Your Subject’s Hands, Expression, and Shoulder Placement to Create New Poses
      8. Step 8: Try Different Camera Angles, Camera Positions, Crops, Depths of Field, and Lens Choices for Variety
      9. Step 9: Repeat!
      10. Step 10: Analyze Your Images and Learn from Your Successes and Mistakes!
  8. 5 Posing Women
    1. Guidelines for Posing Women
      1. Emphasize Assets, Reduce Weaknesses
      2. Bend and Curve!
      3. Create Interest with Asymmetry and Levels
      4. Pose Your Subject to Create Mood and Drama
      5. Use Narrowing Points to Create Curves and an Hourglass Shape
      6. A Go-To Pose
    2. Movement
      1. Bounce Step
      2. Falling Through the Step
      3. The Windup
      4. The Fan
    3. Train Your Eye
    4. 5 Go-To Poses for Women
  9. 6 Posing Men
    1. Guidelines for Posing Men
      1. Structured, Stable Poses
      2. Using an Anchor or Prop
      3. Shoulders Define Broadness
      4. Hands and Feet: Direct Them!
      5. Direct and Tweak
    2. Train Your Eye
    3. 5 Go-To Pose for Men
  10. 7 Posing Couples
    1. Guidelines for Posing Couples
      1. For Romance: Create Multiple Points of Interaction
      2. Go Asymmetrical—Avoid Mirrored Poses
    2. “Making the Rounds” for New Pose Ideas
      1. The Four Bases for “Making the Rounds”
      2. Creating Variety Through Digits and Expression
      3. Changes in the Photographer’s Settings
      4. Quality and Expression Over Quantity
    3. Train Your Eye
    4. 5 Go-To Poses for Couples
  11. 8 Curves
    1. Guidelines for Posing Curves
      1. Exaggerate Pose and Perspective
      2. Choose Clothing Carefully
      3. Define the Waist
      4. Create Visual Balance
      5. Cropping and Narrowing Points Are Your Best Friends
    2. Train Your Eye
    3. 5 Go-To Poses for Curves
  12. 9 Family Portraits
    1. Guidelines for Posing Families
      1. Build with Triangles
      2. Balanced Composition
      3. “Together” Body Language
      4. Expressions
      5. Don’t Forget Perspective
    2. Train Your Eye
    3. 5 Go-To Poses for Family Portraits
  13. 10 Boudoir
    1. Guidelines for Posing Boudoir
      1. Bend, Curve, Arch!
      2. Showcase Strengths, Downplay Weaknesses
      3. Hands Caress the Body and Direct the Eye
      4. Camera Work
      5. Steps to Boudoir Variety
    2. Train Your Eye
    3. 5 Go-To Poses for Boudoir
  14. 11 Maternity
    1. Guidelines for Maternity Portraits
      1. 3/4 or Profile to Emphasize Bump
      2. Bend or Elevate the Front Leg
      3. Use Arms to Contour
      4. All Rules of Posing and Perspective Still Apply
      5. Include the Parental Partner in Supportive, Framing Poses
    2. Train Your Eye
    3. 5 Go-To Poses for Maternity
  15. 12 Bringing It All Together
    1. Posing Checklist
    2. Subject #1: Slender Young Woman
    3. Subject #2: Curvy Woman
    4. Subject #3: Family
    5. Subject #4: Couple
    6. Subject #5: Curvy Woman
    7. Conclusion