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Dynamic posing

Discussion in 'People' started by Uncle Frank, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. 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...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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

    View attachment 99457

    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...

    View attachment 99459

    and here they are after the posing trick.

    View attachment 99460

    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.

    View attachment 99461

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

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
  2. Good lesson. Will try it for sure. Thanks.
  3. Excellent results. You coulda been a good psychologist, Frank (I know because I'm a retired one).
  4. Thanks UF, great post. Yeah I get a little bored with the arms around the back of the other guy static pose.
  5. frede


    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    Wow, some awesome advice that I can't wait to try. Thank you sir! :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2007
  6. Excellent work Frank as always. Enjoyed the couples pose in the third from the bottom.
  7. Firelarz


    Feb 26, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    Sweet work! Thanks for posting and the tips.
  8. Thanks, Catz. Actually, that was a candid. I'm pleased that they were relaxed enough to relate that way while I was setting up.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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

    View attachment 99465
  9. Thanks for the tips Frank.

    When you bringing out your Portraits e-Book ?

    Chalk me down for one of the frist copies.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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:


    May 1, 2007
    So Cal
    Great tip. I'll try it out this weekend!!

  14. Rick727


    Jun 1, 2007
    Hamilton, NJ
    Frank, that is a great tip. Thanks for sharing.
  15. great tips Frank. Thanks
  16. plusfour

    plusfour Guest

    Great tips - thanks UF!!

    Great shots too...
  17. 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?
  18. cuss2much

    cuss2much Guest

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

    thank you...
  19. tomj


    Feb 5, 2006
    Great tip Frank. I'll surely keep it in mind for future shoots.

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