Perfect Portrait Posing

posted in: Photography, The Tools | 1

So, as promised, or threatened, this month I’ve got nothing but photography posts for  you on Friday.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned how I wanted to do more portrait work and gave you a link to a portrait cropping guide.
Well, I have to admit, one of the reasons I want to do more portrait work is because I find people a little challenging sometimes.  Believe it or not, I’m actually really shy, and have been most of my life.  One of the ways I sought to over come some of that in the past several years is with photography.  I can still be a little hesitant in my street shooting, but I got more comfortable using the camera as an ice-breaking tool.  Not only does it give me something to talk about with any potential portrait subjects, but it gives me an excuse to interact with them at all.

ALifeInTheCarnival-2In the case of the woman with the eyes tattooed on the back of her neck on the left, it was really the first time I’d worked up the courage to talk to a subject of my street photography, as opposed to just being a photographic sniper of sorts.  She was really nice, actually, and, I think, a little flattered that I was taking her photo.  I did get a shot of her face, too, but only after I’d gotten the shot of her tattoos.
About a year later, I captured that fella to the right, working his booth at a traveling carnival.  I talked with him more, drawing him out, trying to get him to trust me a little more so I could get a better shot of him.  I don’t think he really quite got to trust me, but I think I did the best with what I could get from him and with my fledgling skills as a candid portrait photographer.  I really wanted to get a shot of his eyes, which were an intense, icy blue, but he was too shy to look into the camera.

And, as much as I love doing these kinds of shots, I would really like to do something more formal.  Mostly because it would be something different than I’ve already done, but also because, let’s face it, I’m more likely to make a little money that way!  So, clearly, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  This week, I thought it would be good to focus on posing a better portrait.  So, here’s a link to  Tips for Perfect Portrait Posing from the Photo Argus, folks who know a lot more about great photography than I do.
If you have ever had any thought of doing portrait work, go read this.  It’s a relatively short article, but it goes way beyond the old saws of  “always focus on the eyes”, though it does include that pretty important tip.