Simple ideas for posing models at an outdoor photoshoot 4.08/5 (12)

November 16, 2016 Portrait photography 1 Comment

Some of the best photo poses come from the simplest ideas. During a recent photoshoot it dawned on me that modeling poses are all about how comfortable they are. Now you’re going to say of course you need to make them comfortable in order to capture a great photo. I’m thinking of how comfortable are they at posing? If you’re a Toronto photographer testing out ideas with models in your area you need to think of skill level (yours and theirs), location and style of the photo.

As a fashion photographer you do expect a certain amount of skill from your model but what happens if you’re out of alignment with what your model can actually do. Great fashion photography poses are those that look natural and effortless. These are the ones that the model is most comfortable with doing. Likely these are the ones they’ve practiced over and over in front of the mirror. Now what do you do when they haven’t practised and don’t know what to do. For models with no experience or very little it’s a combination of two things, leading them and following them. You need to help move them along and at the same time pick up on their limitations. It’s that intersection that creates the best possible photo with the most natural pose. They’re most comfortable and so are you.

UPDATE: Read my post on how to take prom pictures for some simple outdoor portrait tips to ensure you don’t miss a shot!

How posing positions affect your camera settings

One of the most common questions is what camera settings do you use for outdoor portraits. The answer is one of those it all depends ones and it truly does. Each of us have a different style and look we’re going for. The look to me is what dictates the camera settings more than anything. Combine this with the location and your model’s ability to pose in any given situation and you’re left with some tough choice in camera settings. At a recent shoot I was working with a model who had just started and was new to the business. The weather was less than ideal with harsh sun and high winds. I started working with her on typical female model poses and became obvious that there was some more work for her to do in this area. Things could have gone from good to bad quickly had I started to try and teach her to pose right there. What I decided to do was lean on my creative skills and push ahead with new and different camera settings. IN the end I knew I’d get at least 4 or 5 good shots and that was all we were looking for. With the harsh sunlight I decided to play around with it creating photos that were over exposed, back lite and using a fill in flash. All of these styles minimized the need to pose her properly and instead worked with creative camera settings to make the pose and photo look good. This is also the same type of issue you’ll face when shooting engagement photos. Coming up with creative engagement photo ideas can be tough when you’re working with people who don’t like to pose.

Simple posing tips to consider when posing models outdoors

Rather than re-invent the wheel I’ve put together a collection of YouTube videos from other photographers that I found helpful for posing models outdoors. I suggest that if you’re starting out you try a few simple portrait poses to warm yourself and the model up. It’s a good way to break the ice test things out and lighten the mood. This is very similar to my best photo tip for any photographer.

And one more posing tutorial for amateur models.

I’d be interested in knowing what your go to ideas are for posing a model, especially one who has less experience.

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