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| p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · There are an infinite number of ways to pose people |
Why is it that I can never remember that when I'm actually shooting?
The rules of photography...but posing, especially. Today I am reviewing some of my photos. I prefer engagements over weddings by far, because I like the absence of time restrictions and one-time-only events. Looking back at shoots I did a while ago, from the perspective I have today, I realize that I have lapsed on my habits of making backgrounds less busy and avoiding distractions...but, overall, I am shooting much the same way as I have been for years. In some cases, this means the style; however, I am also noticing that the things I thought I had been doing better at - posing, especially - I actually never did well.
I continue to find that my deficits impede my performance, especially with posing. I have great difficulty describing poses I mentally generate, and often the more I try to detail things out the more unnatural it gets. However, I know this is not the case for everyone, and in fact my having a bunch of people lately who don't really know how to pose themselves is not an excuse for me to give them poorly posed photos...but a reflection on the limits of my professional knowledge. I know people out there can pose masterfully (or at least with variety and without displeasing results) and make excellent use of environment, because I have seen it. Many people on here do that.
For posing communication...I usually tell people simple commands, then I try to clear up details I see as flaws in the overall effect. However, I could be wrong about those flaws and sometimes I am. Sometimes my corrections are worse than the original. Sometimes I can't articulate my ideas correctly and get tongue-tied. Alternately, I've tried to describe scenarios to people, but sometimes that ends up with them being as confused as when I get tongue-tied with my descriptions.
I need to remember to use those leading lines, to put myself on a certain perspective relative to particular lines and objects so I can use lines/etc. to draw the eye. I need to remember how to isolate the subject better. I need to learn how to pose people...because it's part of my style and expected, and I want to learn how to do it well. I need to learn how to use the arms and legs. Sometimes my leg and arm posing is absolutely dismal or I have physically impossible ideas (without joint displacement). And I need to learn how to see things others don't see. So far, I have relied on having different lighting and lots of background blur as my gimmicks...but I don't want that to be all I can do.
I have noticed that I have improved in two things lately: Capturing moments quickly (I'm not chimping as much) and attempting to get the whole scene with context in getting ready photos. I have also bee doing some newer (new to me) shots where the focus in on hands or something else with the couples' faces out-of-focus in a corner or on the edge of the frame - and this effect seems nice. In contrast, I have noticed (coincidentally beginning around the same time as when I got my Nikon D800) that my framing of subjects within a scene has gotten worse...perhaps it is a consequence of my own desire to change things up. I am often finding myself wanting to do something different from what I am used to, but not being able to think of a way to accomplish that. Since I don't do drugs, I can't take the psychadelic route and attempt to access my inner creativity that way...
I have also noticed that 35mm doesn't seem as "right" to me as it used to, for some reason. I don't get it. 24mm still doesn't really seem right to me as a mainstay (too much distortion), and 50mm is still very tough for me to get used to. 85mm is starting to feel too long...it's weird that my focal length preferences would be changing like this, since I became a very devoted 35/85 user after forcing myself away from the 24-70. I like the look of 85mm, it's very nice...but it is limiting in tight spaces and only can be used from a few angles on ground level. Wider is better for variety of angles. I'm also feeling short lately, lots of very tall clients there is no way for me to shoot from above without them sitting.
So, I think constantly with each shoot about...Fat arms or making arms look fat...making heads look fat...watching out for double chins...avoiding things sticking out of their heads...avoiding awkward or distracting arms or hands...pull back her hair so I can see her eye...watch for stray hairs...I want to see both faces...
And then I fall right into the standard "her hand on hip, his hand in pocket, her hand grabbing him behind the neck, put most of your weight on your back foot, wrap her arms around his neck, lean against his chest and look at me, put foreheads/noses together, touch cheek with nose, wrap arms around him/her, etc..." and it feels so stuffy.
I actually am finding myself gradually becoming more interested in photos that show "hints" rather than the full subject - like part of a face, or a hand, or something else - which I suspect is actually a good thing in a way. However, I still need to learn how to do good, effective poses for everyone...
BTW, how do you possibly pose a bride who has this humongous bouquet with a stem cluster larger in diameter than your fist? There was just no comfortable way for her to manage that thing that I could see...