Dynamic posing

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Jan 26, 2005
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San Jose, CA
I try to get dynamic poses, rather than shots of people standing still and trying to smile. It's like golf... a waggle before the swing usually improves the result. I invite my subjects to become a partner in the venture of getting a good portrait, and then get them to play games that result in dynamic poses.

For example, I had a rough time getting a teenaged subject give me a convincing smile. I told him to look at this dad for a minute, and not to turn back to the camera until my command. I left him eyeball to eyeball with his dad for about 30 seconds, until I saw him starting to crack...

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... and as he turned back to the camera, he gave up a 100 megawatt smile.

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Note: sometimes my subjects have such cute profiles that I don't bother making them turn back ;-).

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I do the "look at each other" trick with groups, too. Here's a client family in a static pose...

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and here they are after the posing trick.

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I'll give you one guess which version is hanging on their living room wall :).

And, as others have suggested, touching is very meaningful in family photos.

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Better yet, have them touch, and then ask them to lean into each other to get a dynamic result.

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Wow, some awesome advice that I can't wait to try. Thank you sir! :smile:
 
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Excellent work Frank as always. Enjoyed the couples pose in the third from the bottom.
Thanks, Catz. Actually, that was a candid. I'm pleased that they were relaxed enough to relate that way while I was setting up.

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When the flash went off, they turned towards the camera, and gave me their dynamic pose.

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R

Removed User 3

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Thanks for the tips Frank.

When you bringing out your Portraits e-Book ?

Chalk me down for one of the frist copies.
 
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Thank you Mr. Miyagi!!! :biggrin: You are truly the Master!!! I feel like Daniel Laruso (I think that was his name) from the Karate Kid, learning your secrets to being a better photographer.
 
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Thanks, Keith, but that's a heavy load to put on a pilgrim's back. I'm no guru... just a enthusiastic student, learning and sharing as I go. I appreciate the offer, but I'll have to decline the promotion.
 
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Cut it out Frank!! Wasn't it you that told me that I need to give myself more credit for my work?? Why don't you cut the crap and just put "Mr. Miyagi" in your sig below your name?? :biggrin:
 
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I missed this the first time round, but saw it referenced in someone else's thread. Wonderful advice and amazing results. I just can't get over the difference!!

I do have a question. In the first two (father/son), you were shooting at f/2.5 using the 85mm. How do you pre-focus with that shallow a DOF? Do you try for an ear, and then hope that they just turn and don't really move too much in the plane? Or are you shooting AF-C?
 
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cuss2much

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wow...
I will try this the next time I do portraits...

thank you...
 

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