Being able to pose someone is absolutely key to creating great portraits. But what if you’re not comfortable directing someone, or you’re looking for something that little bit more natural? In this workshop we explored the subtle art of posing people without, well, posing people. It’s simple really!
It’s good to be back at the Societies Of Photographers Convention in London! That’s the thing about annual events: they only happen once a year but you do get to look forward to them!
This year, amongst judging and running a Masterclass on the portrait photographer’s workflow, we ran a Superclass on ‘Posing Without Posing’ aka, how to get people to look their best, quickly and naturally.
Here’s the thing about posing people for portraits: unless you’re working with models, most people don’t know how to stand or sit but, should be tempted to get too prescriptive and start manipulating them, you’ll quickly trade clumsy poses for uncomfortable expressions – basically switching one problem for another.
But there is another way: pose people naturally.
Most of the skill in this has less to do with posing people than it has to do with interacting with your subject. That and being able to read the light and location.
So, come 9am in West London, we gathered to go create some images. Of course, this being a Superclass, I get to load the cards in my favour a little: we had Mina and Nick as models (coincidentally – and fortuitously – the same models we used last year for the Superclass on using light and location in your portraiture.) Admittedly not all of our day-to-day clients are models but, fortunately, the principles still stand – it’s still all about interaction and body language.
I had intended to head straight out into the joys that are the surroundings of Hammersmith however, it was simply freezing so we stalled for as long as possible inside the hotel before braving the arctic chill of January in London!
Hammersmith is not, as you might have guessed, the most photogenic of places but we stuck it out for a few hours, looking for patches of light to create images.
I loved this workshop in spite of the frost bite! We had a lovely crowd of delegates, two amazing models and enough enthusiasm between us not to slow down for the four hours of the class.
Photography Workshops At Our Studio
Incidentally, if you fancy a one-to-one workshop in portrait photography then we can help. We run photography masterclasses here at our studio with its beautiful garden (and out and about in the village if you prefer to learn on location). Details of what we can do can be found here.
Enjoy a few images from the class!