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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 10

WOW! How fast did that go huh!?

Well here it is, our last Thoughtful tip for making great Holiday (or anytime) portraits. I decided to end with a popular one... and oddly enough the one no-one ever seems to mention or ask about! Posing.

What do you do with all those arms, legs and funny family faces!?

First, I am going to give you some basic posing composition techniques. This will help you create a basic pattern in your image, making it more pleasing to the eye. These are CORE poses: meaning many other poses are off-shoots from these, and you can add or subtract people, or combine them in order to create your unique portrait.

 1. The Stair: Place subjects so that they are stagger eyes to chin. This basic pose can continue in a line for as many subjects as you want. It is the most popular for groups of 2 or 3, but I have done up larger groups (laying on a floor and stair stacking them up).

2. The Triangle: If you add a 3rd person to the stair and instead of continuing to go up, you go down... you create a triangle.  Adding in other people, and creating more triangles.. Like the drawing shows, they are all each group of 3 makes a triangle.

3. The Line: This pose can be done with some variation, but works great for walking, laying down or vertical lines for stacking small groups to show size. Yes, there is some variation in the head heights, that's ok, it simply isn't as dramatic as the triangle, creating a less "posed" image.

By working with these 3 core pose compositions, you can combine them to be able to fit your needs.

Combine a Triangle with a Stair!

Now that you know some core poses, here are a few final posing tips to a great portrait!

1. Be aware of your surroundings, especially outside. No one wants a tree or light pole coming out of their head!

2. Always do SOMETHING with hands. Fold them, hold them, tuck them in pockets. If you don't give your subjects something to do with hands, they WILL go over someones shoulder, or around a back... yes, even on Grandma's bottom occasionally. Give those hands a place, and you wont see wondering "the things" hanging out on shoulders (because you can't tell WHO's hand it is) or have those other embarrassing moments captured.

3. Remind your subjects to sit up straight. Yes straight back, good posture, and shoulders slightly back does make a huge difference!

4. Tip tops of heads closer to each other (just slightly) so it doesn't seem as posed!

Now, if you haven't been loyal and read each of the 10 tips, be sure to go back and review the ones you missed! With these top 10 Thoughtful Portrait tips, you are sure to have a great holiday portrait! I know I can't wait to share mine! I will be doing a reveal hopefully early next week of our card!

Perhaps I can come up with a prize for the best (non-professional) holiday photo as well! Hmmm keep your eye out for that contest!


  1. Wow, these are awesome tips. Thanks! I will be trying these. :)

  2. Awesome tips!
    And just found your blog off of Digger's post!
    New follower and I love how you post about photography cause that's what I like reading about!


  3. Such great tips for portraits! Can't wait to test them out with my new camera!

    1. Thanks! Be sure to stop back Friday for a special something you can do with those practice shots!