Learning how to photograph a single individual might be a simple undertaking. However, when two or more models are in play, the task can become exponentially more challenging. Luckily, wedding photographers Sara Byrne and Phil Chester know a thing or two about how to pose couples:
The following are just a few of the pair’s fool-proof tricks for getting any portrait to look just a bit more natural.
1. Shift to the side
When you’re working with people who aren’t used to being in front of a camera, it’s not unusual for them to stiffen up and lock their knees. One of the easiest ways to fix this issue is to simply instruct your subjectsto shift their weight to one leg. It’s a versatile move that works in just about any situation, and it instantly makes the people you’re photographing look at ease.
2. Seat subjects carefully
As any experienced portrait photographer can attest, not all poses are created equally. While having your subject sit may seem like a way to get your models feeling more comfortable, it’s important to pay attention to detail to get the most organic end result possible. Something as small as the direction a model’s feet are pointed can make a big difference in the quality of a pose. It’s also important to give directions to avoid unflattering angles that may arise from being in a seated position.
3. No pockets allowed
The more limbs that are in play within a photograph, the more opportunities a photographer has to create an intimate connection. Don’t have your models shove their hands into a pocket—it usually won’t look quite right. Instead, ask them to place their hands in a comfortable position that brings them closer to their partner.
4. Avoid chokeholds
Having one model hold another can be very sweet, but it’s easy to get into territory where the models smother one another. A few small movements can take this pose a long way. Instead of positioning both people one after the other, have one of them step to the side. If one opts to wrap their hands around the other, have them move their arms down and away from the neck. Almost instantly, you’ll see some major improvements.
5. Stay away from the prom pose
You don’t want awkward gaps between your models. Have participants use their bodies to fill in empty spaces and, ultimately, create a more dynamic pose. For instance, having one model put a leg between the legs of their partner can completely transform the look and feel of a photograph.
Getting the best out of your subjects isn’t hard—it just takes a little bit of practice. Use these tips as a basis to bring your own photographs to life. Aside from impressing clients, it may just provide the spark of confidence and creativity needed to make brilliant, show-stopping portraits of your own.
“One of the things we get asked about most often is posing. And while we don’t necessarily like to ‘pose’ our couples, it is really important to be able to make spot corrections that make it feel more comfortable.”
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