This post is part of a series of posts I will write as I reflect on the iHeartFaces Photography Conference for women which I attended the first weekend of October, 2013. To see the all posts, click here.
Amandalynn Jones taught a class about posing women at the iHeartFaces Conference.
What was great about this class was having some hands-on practice. We had two live models to photograph. One model was full-figured and the other was of average size. I’m so pumped that Amandalynn gave us so many tips!
As I look back to this class, I think it has already been invaluable to my practice. (I mean, pretty dang soon you’ll see a post of a fabulous girl who I posed using information I learned at this class.)
First, Amandalynn taught us to always pose from the bottom up. When you move a subject’s feet or center of gravity, the rest of their body changes, too.
We learned foot positions for standing. Amandalynn covered the basic foot positions:
- Toes pointed at 10 and 2 or so.
- Bend one knee from 10 and 2 to pop the hip a little bit.
- Cross the calves/ankles with one foot in front of the foot all the weight is resting on.
- Cross the calves/ankles with one foot behind the foot all the weight is resting on.
- Rest the weight on one leg and spread the stance just beyond shoulder width apart; this makes the legs straight, which may not be desired.
- One foot pointed at the toe beside the other foot. At this position, the heel can be turned to give a different feel depending on the look desired.
We also talked about forced perspective as important for creating a flattering pose. As most of us already practice, shooting down on a subject makes the eyes open more. On top of that, if a women leans forward a bit, the head is much closer to the lens than the rest of the body; this makes the body appear smaller, flattering the subject.
What I had never thought about was what Amandalynn called “club” hands. This is where a hand disappears behind another subject’s arms or something, leaving only the arm. This gives the appearance that the subject doesn’t have a hand. Amandalynn showed us ways to be sure that hands are shown, relaxed, and not awkwardly placed.
One thing I’ve already used during at least two shoots is the method to relax stressed hands. If subjects touch their thumb to their middle finger and then release, their hands will relax. Magic!
I love putting my subjects in front of an interesting door or other backdrop; often, I have them lean on the surface. If I have a subject leaning on one shoulder, Amandalynn taught us that we can have the subject roll a little forward on the shoulder, which will pull some of the upper arm fat back, giving the appearance of a smaller arm–very flattering to a subject.
Also, having the subject rest their bottom on the vertical surface and lean forward will allow for the forced perspective which makes a body look smaller.
So far, these are the lessons I recall most. I can’t wait to really practice and master these skills.
Thanks so much, Amandalynn, for sharing your expertise! You packed SO MUCH into just a short amount of time.