Posts Tagged ‘posing’

This post has been created and written by attendees of the 10 day JarvieDigital Bootcamp 2011 – (Interns for summer 2011)
Each post that we will release in the coming days will be about what they learned on that day.

Photo of a girl with an umbrella in an orchard.

(Photos by Laurel Scott)

INTERN 1

Day 3  – “Know when to hold them… know when to fold them.”


This morning we worked on practicing workflow – rejecting images that are blurry, timing each other, and helping each other learn. It is important to help each other because Scott doesn’t have all the time in the world (obviously), and if someone catches onto something faster than others, they can help everyone else learn and catch up.

The teaching experience is a very powerful one. Sometimes when teaching someone else, I end up learning more about what I’m teaching about in the process. To have to explain something to someone else means that I have to be able to put it into words that make sense… which is much harder than simply “knowing” something. Putting the knowledge into words helps reinforce it.

In the orchard:

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(Photos by Laurel Scott)

It was wet and rainy and my shoes got soaked through with cold water – and my pants were wet up to my knees – so that was not so fun, but the day itself was. We took photos of the girls from the Renaissance Hair Academy who had done all their own hair and makeup for our shoot. We took them out to an orchard and practiced assisting each other, using flash, using props, and working with the weather. It rained on and off during the day and it was chilly – so we had to be careful with the equipment and our models.

The most beneficial thing of the day was learning to work with lots of different kinds of people. Giving the models directions and interacting with them was great experience. Watching how they reacted to different approaches. Some responded well to humor, others to serious directions only, and some didn’t seem to respond to much at all, which just means that maybe I needed to try something else with them.

(Photos by Laurel Scott)

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(Photos by Britney Brent)

INTERN 2

Don’t judge me, I’ll flash you if I want!

WOW! What a difference using a flash when taking portraits makes! I’ve been a “natural light” type of photographer. I loved that there were less shadows, and a really soft look to the pictures. But after looking at pictures from our photo shoot with 30 beautiful Renaissance Hair School students, I saw that using a flash can bring their true beauty to life in a picture.

(Photo by Britney Brent)

Our eyes are attracted to what is lightest in the picture: when you add a flash you help bring the onlooking eye toward what is important; their beautiful faces. When you add a flash the contrast in the picture becomes much higher and the crispness rises. Their eyes literally come to life more.

(Photos by Britney Brent)

I am in LOVE with using a flash now. LOVE IT!!!

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(Photo by Angela Terry)

INTERN 3

Posey Pose

  • Today was a super fun day! We were able to photograph the girls from the Renaissance Hair Academy in Provo, Utah in an orchard. They were bubbly and had lots of energy, which made it fun to photograph.
  • Today, in the orchard, I worked on assisting, lighting and working on flashes but I want to focus on what I learned about posing.
  • Working off the client’s energy and personality.
  • Letting them find a natural pose and making small adjustments. Having them look to the light, then away from the light.
  • Just moving the eyes to look at me but keeping their head in the same position.
  • Mixing up the natural poses.
  • Playing little games with them like, making a different pose every 3 seconds, having them switch from a serious look to a funny look and then back to a serious look then a funny look. It really loosens them up and makes it fun.

(Photos by Angela Terry)

  • When posing a group it is good just to give general directions. Most people have been photographed in a group and know the tall people go in the back and shorter in the front. Also if you tell the group to have the front row knee down, you will find out, by who kneels down, who will be willing to kneel on the front row. Again, you will want to just do minor adjustments, or then the people will just hold still and wait for you to pose them, which takes time to do. Pick your battles in posing.

(Photos by Angela Terry)
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(Photos by Jeff Bushaw)

INTERN 4

Today we did an awesome photoshoot with the Renaissance Hair Academy of Provo. Scott has arranged for a huge group of cosmetology students to get all dressed up, hair done by each other and ready for a photoshoot in the middle of an orchard.

The best part of this photoshoot aside from the learning is that these girls are all in wonderful bubbly moods and ready to have fun. We first start out with Scott teaching us some methods of getting group shots. He taught something that should be obvious but we as photographer will usually try to control, and this is the fact that these are adults and in general, adults know how to arrange themselves in order of height to get into a group for a photo. After the general grouping is established, we as the photographer can then make adjustments to fill in space. Scott showed us how if we as the photographer were to intervene too quickly, all of the adults will automatically stop forming and sit and wait for us to place each and every one of them. Scott then taught about lighting large groups with a sort of cross lighting. For example, an assistant or a light stand will be placed on the right side of the group and aimed towards the left side of the group to avoid super bright lighting on the side the light is on. This is then done from the other side as well to create… cross light.

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(Photos by Jeff Bushaw)

As we go through taking individual shots and small groups, we learned to have fun with our models in order to bring out their personalities. This will get us photos with a true look for each person vs. looking like they were “over posed.”

(Photos by Jeff Bushaw)

I have re-written this post now about 5 times. Because I wanted to cover some topics I considered important.

It’s important because I want to explain to present and future clients what I do and why I do it.

On this attempt I will do it in question and answer style

TOPICS: My Style, Posing, Good Clients, Soap Box

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(Above) In this picture can you see the personalities of some of the subjects? If so it was successful.

QUESTIONS

What is my style of photography? – “Documentive”

What do you document? People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.

Are you passive or an active participant in the moment? Yes

How would you describe your approach? The subject and feeling first… done in the Jarvie style. NOT the art of Jarvie with happenstance visitors and models.

What’s the best compliment? A friend or family member telling a client that the picture is “SO YOU (Them)”

What the client doesn’t get? Directed poses from your favorite modeling magazine. (If your purpose is to look past the person at a product then perhaps those are proper.)

How much do you pose? In the comparative world I apparently pose almost none (so I’m told)… But I feel like I take control of the pose a lot more than people perceive. (Create the situation)

Why do you think you pose people a lot? Because I put them into the proper locations, and facing the right directions and having put them into the right situations the scenes usually just create themselves.

What are 5 important things in the interaction between the shooter and the person being shot?

  1. That they like my work. (and therefore have trust.)
  2. That they know I have their back and will tell them when they’re doing something that will look like crap. (Again… Trust)
  3. That they don’t feel confined or limited in their personality or creativity.
  4. That I don’t feel limited in what I am able to do.
  5. They are able to act naturally around me.

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Best way of posing? Take what someone does and enhance it. For example (above right) take how they sit and take it to the next level. Or make adjustments so nothing looks bad.

(Above Left) This was how they posed themselves. You can tell the little girl has a lot of character by the way she chose to stand. The best part is she did this herself with no coaxing from anyone.

One person’s fun and fancy pose is another person’s nightmare and stupidest thing ever.

Idea of a perfect client? Someone with lots of personality that feels ownership in being part of creating the perfect pictures.

Idea of a client you would rather not have? No passion for the result… but high expectations.

What you’d like to say to a client? This is a team process for us. I want you to want the best and work with me to create the best.

What you want to say to clients but won’t usually say? I want to tell them to be themselves… but I don’t, because there’s no need… they are already themselves and will act that way. I just need to put them in situations where they are comfortable and motivated to do so.

Would you rather (For a photoshoot) … Beautiful Appearance or Sparkling Personality? Sparkling Personality.

What you hate to hear during a shoot? Competent people being needy. (We both need to work together to strike doubt and worries from the photoshoot. So I claim part ownership in that problem)

What would help your clients prior to a photoshoot? To love my work and trust my abilities. That every shoot i do works out just fine so what is there to worry about?? When they can understand that they’ll just have fun and enjoy the moments and start focusing that energy with me towards the creative process.

Most common comment by grandmothers at weddings? You must really enjoy doing what you do… because you’re always smiling?

Funnest comment at weddings? You did such a great job (They haven’t seen a picture) I ask how do they know? “Because you handled yourself so well and made it enjoyable”

Do you like the very posed type of photography? Yes, I appreciate what those photographers and models do… but don’t feel the industry needs yet another photographer like that. I’ll try to stick with my strengths.

Who wouldn’t be the best candidates to shoot with me? Though I joke, it’s only a partial joke to say that: if you’re not comfortable with who you are then my style of bringing out who you are might not be your favorite. But on second glance we are often hard on ourselves and my objective is to bring out the BEST in others.

When does it call to break from this form? In some cases companies are trying to sell a product so they actually might want very little personality to show from models. This is understood.

See or create? I’m much more of a see the potential kind of dude. I don’t often go out with an specific idea in mind. (Although I appreciate that style) But based on lighting and the emotions and feelings I’ll look around and come up with the best scenario. I can bring out the best in any scenario I’ve learned to not wait for the most fortunate circumstances to take pictures.

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(Above) I knew I was going to get on top of my car at some point in the shoot… when I saw the clouds and the lighting and understood the need for a couple more group shot options. When I saw how they interacted and the feeling of the group. This is when I decided to do a shoot like this. I didn’t have this shot in mind until about 1 minute before I pressed the button. (BTW I wouldn’t have minded if that cloud were a few dozen miles closer and bigger.)

A Motto? Don’t wait for the best situation make whatever situation you’re in the best you can.

What you want people to know about the photography industry?

  • Anyone can take the best lighting, the best models, tons of time, great equipment and turn them into great pictures. But in our not-made up world with lower budgets and limited time. Learning to make the very best of any situation is true skill.
  • Sometimes photographers can become well known for taking pictures at fancy, perfectly planned weddings or for taking portraits of beautiful superstars. This should neither be a reason for or against them. But be careful they rest on these things alone. (See what’s inside)
  • Look for consistency. Just because there are 25 great pictures in their portfolio doesn’t mean your pictures are automatically going to look awesome.
  • The experience is on par with the product. A misanthrope will tarnish your pictures forever with ugly memories.
  • You don’t always get what you pay for… but you usually do. You need to be smart and informed.  Look for a good return on the investment. Most expensive is not the best, neither is least.

Most encouraging comment from a potential client when on the phone (or email)? We loved your work, but it was the personality we see in your work and in your writing that really sealed the deal.

What do you preach from your soap box?

  • Deception in Marketing = Bad and Sad!
  • Photographers who show their work in chronological galleries ONLY
  • Symbolism. This deserves a post unto itself. If it were a couple I would encourage and work with them to internalize their feelings for eachother and things that are special to eachother. To include into the theme of the pictures. Nothing so big that it takes away from them or takes away from good solid photography.

There is a point an attraction becomes so overwhelming it turns into a distraction.

What is your stance on editing? While I can make any picture many times better with a few quick edits. My editing is about bringing attention to what is most important. I stick with bright, clean and simple… If someone views a picture and fixates on a series of edits I have made the picture about my editing and forgotten that it is about “People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.” I can edit as much or as little as needed as long as it has an end and an objective.

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Will you pose? Well yeah of course, I’m not opposed to it. I posed this one (Above)… but it’s not my favorite shot because it doesn’t really match the personality I got from this girl. But then again I didn’t tell her the facial expression to have, so there’s plenty of her in it. But mainly I’ll do things that will put them in the way of the best lighting.

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OK so coming off of a blog post in which I kinda poked at the studio crowd a little.
(All in good fun right?)

Now my thoughts on Model or Senior portrait only photographers.

Cheating?
Last time I think I used the word “Cheating” for studio types 😉
I think i’ll use it again… haha
But this time it’s the cheating that I really really like.
It’s all said in good fun… or is it 😉 Mwahaha

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More people More harder
I think we can all admit that the more people you add to a photoshoot typically the harder it gets.
So that being said… shooting one individual is the easiest number.

When they’re the Model types it gets even easier.
I suppose it becomes more about your skills in setting up shots and being creative, than it is about how to interact with the people. (Obviously those elements are still there to a degree)

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Case in point: Angela

I did her wedding last year in California.
You may remember her beach bridals

She’s getting into photography so we did a little trip looking for places, training on photography and taking pictures. Full Gallery

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Another case
Even more fulfilling was taking pictures for Nichole.
She wasn’t very into it and you’d think she’d be since she’s an actress.
Heck she has the lead role in a play right now.
But she was a bit shy and didn’t quite know what to do.
I kinda had to coerce her into even doing the shoot.
Very different from Angela… and yet the pictures of Nichole were great. They captured her very well.
Who she was and so forth. I’m very happy with it. Full Gallery

Thanks for the fun days to both of you! Enjoy your pictures and show them off!

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The point?
So the point of this all is to say:
Dang!!! Individual portrait sessions are so much easier, specially when they are the fun types, the outgoing and the posers…
I’m not hating on Portrait only photographers… I would do it ALL the time if there were a better market for it all.

Supply and Demand
And there probably is a decent market. But see the thing is every person photography wants to do it, but not everyone wants to do weddings.
The need for individual shoots isn’t very high and the price is pretty low.
It’s understandable… it’s supply and demand.
Meaning not as much demand and yet the supply is huge.
Sure we can focus on it until our quality leads to higher prices.
But i guess I just am too lazy… either that or I do love weddings. The concept and the challenge.

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There are difficulties
There are some things that make individual portraits hard.
For instance if they aren’t good at posing they have no one there to interact with to make them more comfortable. So it’s more sink or swim. Hit or miss.
I can usually tell a couple to interact with eachother… when it’s one person… I can’t do that can I?

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Not everyone should nor can do poses like these

In the end

I’m more or less saying I would LOVE to do more of these types of shoots.
So come on down good looking people wanting pictures.
Where are you at? Don’t you just want some fun pictures to put on your blog or facebook?
Get some good pictures for those dating sites… invest in your future, invest in yourself. haha 😉

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So now that i just explained in the previous post how I don’t fiddle around with lighting because i jump from location to location so frequently.
And not only that but I hate braking the interaction with the subjects to figure out some more complex lighting. like reflectors or flash.

Now i’ll show how sometimes that can be a lot of fun.
Specially when it’s like modeling or something that’s not so interaction and emotion and the feeling of the day oriented.

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How is this something different?

For those who follow my work… I don’t often stay in one place… like i did for all these pictures.
The exact same spot for like 30 minutes.
And also… I used off camera flash to do a more creative lighting technique.

THESE SHOTS?

It did take a few minutes and a bunch of tries to get these shots down.
It took 4 people.
A model
2 people holding lighting sources (flash and reflector)
Me taking the picture.

In the end the recipe that worked was f/20 at 1/250 or 1/320

At first we actually tried a reflector… later we moved to another flash

Another Flash

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but at the end we toop out a second flash… which would actually be a third flash if you count the on camera flash that was triggering the others

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I did have a specific style i was looking for and then it’s about directing the models to act in a way that compliments the style.
Meaning something that looks cool.

The thing about these kinds of shots

It’s a lot like studio photography… which many people feel is kind of like cheating.
Once you have the exposure figured out. Once you’ve done all this prelim work… well then you don’t have to think about too much anymore.

And to be fair that’s not completely true. So don’t hate me too much.

There is a lot of pre-figuring out that goes on with studio and creative lighting set ups.
I myself am drawn to outdoor shoots. Not sticking in one place. The struggle to always be looking for that correct exposure is fun.
Blurred out backgrounds are appealing.
Studio has a certain appeal. But to me when i think about how I could set up lighting and set the camera and then give the camera to someone and they could go for days on those settings and be snapping some great pictures… it looses some appeal. Makes me think that i’m less special.
Maybe faulty logic… but it’s how i feel. I guess i’m in the camp that thinks sometimes studio stuff is kinda like cheating.

But don’t throw stones yet… i know there are some pretty creative things you can do. And a lot of the time I totally respect what studio people do.

The cool thing

The cool thing is when the camera is all set up and the lighting is set.
It’s on manual settings and then you can even jump into the pictures yourself and get some hot pictures.

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And you can let amazing photographers like Suzanne take awesomely framed pictures.

You should check out her post about this event

EDgy-ITING
(I just made up that word… haha)

It seems like you can get away with more edginess when doing these setups

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I know other photographers do things way different… I know and respect and understand… let me explain my way for a moment or two

My goal is often to mix great art, making someone look good and showing off who someone is.

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This of all the pics is Kambria’s smile to me. The real one.

I can be lazy i know this… and most others know this.
OK so I’m a tad lazy sometimes and that’s what leads to a lot of this style.
I know how to do a bunch of things with lighting… but i don’t often do it.
I stick to easy lighting situations and simple techniques.

But there’s a reason…
thing is my style doesn’t really allow for some of this fancy stuff.
It’s a whole experience being around me… I usually want happy faces and good experiences.
Or for them to feel like they can be creative.

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I set up the shot… i picked the background… i got the camera set. But she did the moves.
I told her “look here”… or “look to your right” – she picked the rest… and i thought she did good. And since she did it herself… it’s much more likely to be something that is who she is.

My style??
Well I’d like to think that what I offer is a very fluid interaction and that people so often feel very very comfortable around me.
Even those that aren’t into pictures… they become into it. Or at least have a non-painful time.

My style is bringing out their style…. facilitating their ability to come up with ideas and make them their own.

This leads to more pictures.
Sure i could pose them and put their head and hands right in the perfect spot… but each time i do that we just lost 10 more pictures… at least.

Sure I personally have a distinct way of shooting and a look to my pictures… and I have poses that i fall back on. But each time they get to put a flare on those… as i get to put my own flare on concepts I’ve done before.

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Quantity
So, i suppose i go for the quantity approach.
People love that i take lots of pictures in so many styles and views.
They certainly get their bang for their buck when they walk away with 100+ good pictures of themselves.
And it also increases the odds of ones they absolutely love.
See the thing is we might have an idea in our mind and work super hard to make that spot and that lighting perfect. But it doesn’t always assure that is what the client loves the most.
So often they love the moment. They love their expression, they love the memories associated with that moment. Or perhaps they just like another spot a bit more. They might prefer a picture of a lesser quality than the one you made look imaculate. And it just takes exploring and playing around to find that spot.

It’s so interesting to see what someone likes in the end and finding out why they like it.

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This girl loved these little piglets… she’s going to love these series of pictures.

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