Yesterday, I posted a picture from a photoshoot I worked on with a model called Tereza. Melanie from Grab the Lapels left a thought-provoking comment about the tendency towards uncomfortable poses in fashion photography, particularly for women.
Thinking of poses that work – and are interesting – is one of the things I tend to find most challenging about portrait photography and it’s something I’ve been working to improve on. Often, I get so distracted by the technical side of the camera: Is the focus absolutely on the eye? Is this the best aperture setting? How is the light looking? Is this the best composition for this particular shot?
For quite a long time, I used to find concentrating on the technical details as well as talking to the model AND giving them clear direction at the same time was all a bit too much for my brain to cope with! It’s one of the reasons I try and attend portrait workshops and training courses, such as the recent one-to-one training I had on natural light and off-camera flash portrait work. I’m always trying to learn and improve my photographic and creative abilities.
But Melanie’s comment prompted me to think more deeply about poses. Why would I ask someone to pose in a certain way? What am I trying to convey? What does it say about the person I’m photographing? What does it add? Does it take anything away from them? It made me realise the importance of going into a shoot with a very clear idea in my head of what I want to try and achieve.
I thought it would be interesting to post the photo from yesterday again, along with a few more photos from the same session with Tereza.
What do you think? Are there poses that you prefer? Are there any you dislike?
If you had to choose one word to describe the way you feel Tereza is portrayed in each image, which four words would you choose?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.