By Dexter Yarbrough
Styles of Posing
This hub will specifically address how to take better pictures of people by posing them. The trick is to make the people and the poses look natural. Basically there are four posing styles to work with: casual posing, journalistic posing, glamorous posing and traditional posing. To learn posing, you need to be able to distinguish between the various types of poses and know the type of situation best applicable for each.
Casual posing is a style of posing in which the body is positioned as it would be when we are relaxing. The best method to use for learning casual posing is to observe people as they are talking on the phone, watching TV or enjoying a conversation. By doing so, you will see the most natural and best casual poses.
Casual poses are resting poses. The arms rest on the legs, the chin rests on the hands. The back is generally posed at an angle. Also, it is common to use the ground to pose on, laying on the side or even on the stomach. The objective is to capture people as they truly are. Casual poses are most often used when the portrait is to be given to friends and family.
Journalistic posing is recording people as they interact with their environment. Therefore, it really isn't posing at all! It is capturing the individual as they are thoroughly engaged in an activity so that they forget you are recording their image. Journalistic posing is a specific type of portrait that is becoming more popular. In the past, most people were used to more traditional styles of posing and did not understand the artistic flair of this type of posing.
Glamorous Posing is sensual or sexy; its purpose is to make the subject look as appealing and attractive as possible. Glamorous posing is not boudoir or nude photography where the purpose is to achieve a form of beauty achieved by the individual wearing little or no clothing. A fully clothed person can be posed in certain ways that make them look extremely appealing. If you complete the pose with the right expression, often with the lips parted, the romantic interest of the person being posed will be very happy. As human beings, we all want to appear attractive.
Traditional posing is used for portraits for business, yearbooks and people of distinction. This style of posing reflects power and to some degree wealth, respect and a classic elegance. Whether these portraits are taken in a head-and-shoulders or full-length style, the posing is more linear, with slight changes in the angles of the body. Traditional posing needs to be subtle. Most of the time the individual will feel more comfortable in a standing rather than a seated position because of the clothes they are wearing. Expressions should be subtle; laughing smiles are not appropriate. However, serious expressions need to be relaxed. Most people taking traditional portraits aren't comfortable doing so. Make them as comfortable as possible!
Focus on Eyes
Now that you have an understanding of the different types of posing, one thing is always important. Focus on the subject's eyes because they are the first things the viewer will notice in a portrait. With much practice and trial and error, you will be ready to pose your subjects better. Have fun!