One Quick Tip for Natural Posing For Photographers

This tip is going to sound minimal and silly to some…but it has completely changed the way I handle posing at senior sessions (and with couples!). One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is “how do your clients always look so natural in your photos?” While there are quite a few things that contribute to my clients looking comfortable in front of the camera, I believe the little tip I’m sharing today will make a huge difference in your images!

When I am working with my clients, there are a few things that happen at the beginning of each session that I want to fix:

1. They feel nervous and uncomfortable because they’ve never been in front of the camera

2. Asking them to stand and stare directly into my camera right off the bat always results in stiff, uncomfortable looking poses

3. Clients eyes start to become squinty/watery if they are open and looking into the camera too long (especially on bright or windy days!)

So, how do I fix this? With a little trick called the “Drop and Pop” (which, now that I’m typing it, sounds like the bend and snap from Legally Blonde. I promise this is going to make sense in a second).

When I put my clients into a new pose or move into a new lighting situation, I am typically have to play with my camera settings for just a second to adjust. During this time, my client may feel uncomfortable staring into the camera or staring at me while I get my settings in place. So, I ask them to drop their eyes down to their shoulder. Then, when I am ready to take the photo (or my settings are in place), I ask them to pop their eyes to me. This does 4 things:

  1. Gives them a distraction and makes them feel less awkward, especially while I am changing camera settings.
  2. Makes them relax and not focus on being in front of a camera
  3. Results in brighter, wide open eyes (which is always more beautiful!)
  4. Puts their head in the most flattering position for photos. (When I ask a client to drop their eyes to their shoulder, it puts their chin and head in the perfect, flattering position. So, asking them to “pop” their eyes means they only move their eyes and nothing else. The angle is alway more flattering!)
  5. This one is a bonus: If you are working with a makeup artist, you get gorgeous photos of their work to share with them!

So, here’s what this looks like at a session:

I’m saying something along the lines of: “I’m going to have you drop your eyes down to your shoulder. Perfect…now pop those eyes here to me!”

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Look at those big, beautiful blue eyes!

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I’m typically shooting my senior portrait sessions with a 50mm 1.2 lens. Want my full portrait session gear checklist? Grab it for free HERE!

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POSTED

January 19, 2017

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hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!

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