Learn Posing From a Pro Model

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

Whether it’s for a portrait, fashion or wedding shoot, posing someone who’s not used to doing it takes a lot of skill from the photographer, which takes time and practise to learn.

A great way to learn posing techniques is to invest in a professional model to teach you. I know that sounds a little odd because surely it’s the photographer who should be in charge of a shoot?

How to position hands and feet so they look elegant instead of clumsy, how to stand, position shoulders, tilt of head and a lot more besides goes into creating a pose which works for the sitter. And whilst figuring that out, you’ve got to deal with exposure, composition, light, focal length, depth of field etc. You still have to think like a photographer as well and unless you’re very experienced, this is a lot to take on.

To pose someone appropriately a photographer has to not only have a creative eye, they need to understand shape and form of the human anatomy or they can end up making their sitter look weird, lumpen and misshaped, which isn’t flattering and certainly won’t improve sales if you looking to earn money.

When you hire a professional model you’re not just hiring a pretty face or great physique, you are hiring years of skill and acting ability. An experienced professional model will know how to stand, create interesting body shapes and angles which look great on camera because they’ve been doing it for years.

A good professional model will also understand and be on the look out for lighting issues. Don’t forget they have spent years working with professional photographers using both natural and studio lighting, reflectors, backlight, hair lights and they can usually help you with these as well as the pose. Ask them…

Tell the model before you hire them you are learning. Ask if they’d be prepared to help you by teaching you some poses, body shapes, show you what works and what doesn’t. The key is to be totally authentic, tell them exactly where you are with your photography and let them know you truly want to learn from their experience.

When I say a professional model ­ I mean a professional. You need someone who has earned a full time living working on professional shoots for at least three years. Buying some beers for a pretty girls or boy in your street won’t help you because they won’t know what they’re doing.

View this as an investment and don’t be cheap. Many photographers will happily spend £300 or more on a lens they often don’t need and certainly won’t improve their skills. Why not invest that money in a day of learning new skills, which will stay with you forever.


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3 Landscape Tips

vietnam-txt-streamLandscape photography is one of those areas where patience, thinking it through and taking your time pays dividends.  We have all seen a scene we want to capture but sadly we’re in a hurry, so we leap out the car and just grab a shot without giving it too much thought.

This may or may not result in a great shot. But have you thought to ask yourself if there’s more to be had from a location than the obvious? You have to build upon an initial idea. Explore possibilities.

I was in Vietnam driving through the mountains when we came upon this amazing view of rice terraces. We stopped so the film crew could shoot some aerial shots with their drone so Simon and I took the opportunity to look around and shoot this video.

As we drove up the hill I’d noticed one of the little paths that wind their way through the paddies so we went for a walk to see what it would yield.

Almost straight away we came upon some greenery we could use as foreground, which can frame a scene and give it more depth. In some cases just finding a bit of foreground can make or break an image.

But don’t forget to look around you. It’s all to easy to miss a beautiful detail of the landscape that’s right next to you because you’re absorbed by what’s in front.

You have to concentrate and really look at a scene. In the first shot of the last scenario there’s a stick poking up on the left. I didn’t really notice it to begin with. It wasn’t until I checked the shot in the LCD it became apparent.

So how do we remove it? Well obviously there’s Photoshop but I’m lazy. A few steps to the side will change the geometry of the image. It makes things align differently so you can lose unwanted clutter from the composition.

So besides making sure the light is appropriate for the scene, here are 3 landscape photography tips to consider.

  1. Take time – think of other possibilities for the location
  2. Find some foreground. It could make a world of difference
  3. Look to the side as well as in front. You might have missed something

These things are not functions of your camera. They are functions of you thinking like a photographer.


3 Landscape Tips

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