Let's talk posing. Like most other matters, it depends on the style we are shooting. Couples, family, professional headshots, and many more styles require different poses.
Let's start with my favorite, couples portraits. I primarily make sure the couples hands are placed somewhere like their pocket or on the others shoulder. No one likes dangling arms. Next I look at their attire, is it lined up, is the necklace in a good place. Then I try to evoke emotion. I ask the couple to whisper to one another, or I ask them to say something sentimental. Sometimes I have the couple get super close but no puckering or kissing. It makes for a very intimate shot. Adding movement enhances the natural activity of the couple as well. Once I asked a couple to be themselves and don't worry about me and instantly they started playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. The moment was very genuine and it produced true happiness.
For professional head shot I like to ask my model to do the work they do to create the feel for their real life career situation. Otherwise it's all about the hands. Have the hands in a pocket, fixing a shirt, held gently together, or laying on their opposite forearm. I usually look for a sincere smile and sometime straight face. The trick to these photographs is making sure the model is comfortable with me as the photographer because not many people truly like their photograph taken. I always start by asking the clients thoughts and expectations for the photographs. If I know the purpose I can compose a better story and specify their body language in the images in an appropriate manner.
Posing entire families is a big challenge especially with kids under fifteen years old. This is when I call in Kim to help me make sure everyone is comfortable and looking good. Typically Kim and I do a wide variety of shots. We do some with just parents, some with just the kids, and some with both. Adding movement helps a lot and allowing kids to play and be silly can help get some genuine shots as well.
We start by putting the individuals in spots next to each other and make sure I can see everyone's faces clearly with the camera. Again we start with hands being in a comfortable or casual place. Then Kim comes in and fixes shirts, lose hairs, and wonky necklaces. Kim is also the best at getting kids to smile or laugh. Sometimes she throws things in the air, sometimes she makes a silly face or silly noise. It works.
Each style of photography comes with it's own poses. If you're trying to be a better model yourself, remember to do something with your hands, take off the sunglasses, check your necklace, check your hair, and smile like you mean it! Then remind others of the same things.
Thank you for reading!