Photographing High School Senior Portraits
Illustration by

Posing and photographing female subjects


Photographing High School Senior Portraits

with Derrick Story

Video: Posing and photographing female subjects

So, I was happy to see Katherine and Zach both come together. >> Also kind of bright.
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  1. 3m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Understanding the art and business of portraiture
      1m 58s
  2. 14m 15s
    1. Understanding the general guidelines for senior portraits
      1m 44s
    2. Exploring the light in various shoot locations
      3m 24s
    3. Understanding the business of senior portraits
      3m 36s
    4. Pricing for portrait shoots
      2m 55s
    5. Setting up a portable studio
      2m 36s
  3. 28m 34s
    1. Understanding the minimum space requirements for a studio shoot
      2m 25s
    2. Working with portable stands and backdrops
      2m 44s
    3. Posing and photographing female subjects
      7m 21s
    4. Discussing the interior shoot expectations with a student
      4m 35s
    5. Posing and photographing a male subject
      8m 36s
    6. Working with continuous lights vs. strobes
      2m 53s
  4. 31m 18s
    1. Reviewing the gear for the outdoor portrait shoot
      5m 35s
    2. Reviewing additional accessories for the outdoor portrait shoot
      3m 52s
    3. Working with family members during a portrait shoot
      5m 49s
    4. Discussing the expectations for the yearbook portrait
      4m 55s
    5. Shooting a portrait, starting with natural light
      7m 5s
    6. Taking advantage of the golden hour for outdoor portraits
      4m 2s
  5. 39m 36s
    1. Sorting through the portrait shoot session
      7m 17s
    2. Picking the set to share with the client
      6m 54s
    3. Sharing the image set with the client
      5m 42s
    4. Working with a client in person to review images
      9m 26s
    5. Touching up and post work on the client favorites
      5m 6s
    6. Reviewing the final selects picked by the photographer
      5m 11s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photographing High School Senior Portraits
1h 56m Intermediate Jun 02, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The senior portrait is a traditional rite of passage for a high school student. But senior portraits aren't what they used to be: staid, format portraits shot in front of a mottled gray background. These days, an effective senior portrait conveys the personality of its subject, and is often shot on-location or outdoors.

In this course, photographer and educator Derrick Story details the art and the process of modern senior portraiture, from working with the subject and his or her parents to plan a shot list, to shooting indoors and out, to delivering the final shots. Along the way, he examines gear and workflow considerations, including lighting, sharing proofs, and post-processing.

And because senior portraiture is a potentially lucrative business, the course concludes with a discussion of various business angles, including developing a pricing strategy, connecting with local high schools, marketing through social media outlets, and more.

Derrick Story

Posing and photographing female subjects

So, I was happy to see Katherine and Zach both come together. Wow. Right on time, that's cool. That's good. I think it does a couple things. One, is I have an extra set of hands. That's fun. But, also, I think it's keeps the atmosphere a little bit looser. I like to work quickly. I think keeping things moving really keeps the energy up on the whole shoot. So, I made some decisions, before Katherine got here in terms of setting up the backdrop stands, and the lighting and all that based on what I thought we were going to do.

Then when she came in and she let me know that she was, she didn't have a whole lot of time. So, I knew then, the pace was important for her, too. Aw so cute, I like it. >> And then, I also brought a skirt. >> Okay. >> Also kind of bright. >> It is kind of bright. But, you can pull it off because of your skin tones, right? I don't know if my camera can hang with that. My camera, you know. >> But, that's what I'm wearing. >> I know, I like that a lot. >> Okay. >> Yeah, how do you feel about like a dark backdrop for this? >> Yeah.

>> So, I looked at her, her outfits and I did a quick match on the backdrop. And I think then that allowed us to get to talking to posing a lot faster, which led to us shooting quicker. And I think that pace is really good, if you can keep it moving, I think her energy stays up and I'm pretty engaged to. So, let's start with, here there are two basic poses. One is the three quarters twist. And the other is the Wonder Woman. Now, the three quarters twist we actually angle your body a bit.

And a lot of times, that's, that's kind of where I start. It's very flattering. Very slimming, not that you need that, of course. And then the Wonder Woman is a little bit more saucy. See? You see that here, you know? >> Yeah. >> She's like kind of right there. Any of these really jumping out at you as something that looks kind of you? >> The twist. >> You like the twist? >> Yeah. >> The twist is, when it comes to posing, my experience has been that it's great to show people pictures. I think it just makes it easier. And you notice that I had my iPad with me.

And I have a lot of poses on there. And I actually have downloaded ebooks and posing guides that I keep on the iPad to show potential subjects. And I have some drawings that I print out. again, they're posing guides. And what happens by doing this. I think people can see oh I can see myself posing that way, or that would work for me I can do that. And I think them thinking I can do that before they stand in front of the camera gives them more confidence.

And then, and then we'll play it a little bit there but that's where we start out. Okay. >> Alright, you want to do that? >> Sounds good, yeah. >> Let's do it. Let's take some pictures. Now I get my stuff from digital photography school. You can search the web and find posing guides that might work for you and they're very handy. I just, I love having them and I always keep them with me. So, okay, so you're going to angle this way. Good right, and you're going to have your toe. See, that's where i'm going to be sitting. And you have that. There you go.

Look at that. And where's your weight right now? >> My back. Your back yeah, yeah. Now you probably don't want both arms quite the same you know. because then you have like wings right, you going to fly. So, there you go. Just one like that. A lot of times when I'm doing these shoots I like to use continuous lighting and shoot in burst mode. And the two sort of go hand in hand. Because the, the challenge with flash is, is that they have to recycle and you have to slow down a bit. Unless you have very expensive studio strobe set-ups.

Most enthusiasts don't have those. So, I like continuous lighting because then I can go in burst mode, and just go bang bang bang. And it's interesting how you can have four shots that are only a fraction of a second apart. And you get four different expressions and one of those expressions will be better. Also, I always mention to the subject, I go, hey, when you hear that shutter going fast I like what's going on. Just keep doing it.

And it becomes a cue for them in addition to anything that I may say as they start to with the shutter. They know that, that I'm happy with what's going on. They feel good about it and they do more of it. So, shooting in burst mode and working with continuous light, I think is a real advantage to these sort of shoots. Yeah, and lean in. Very good. I like that. I like that. So you know one of the classic poses in photography is where you have. What we call an s shape. You know Micelangelo's David, that's an s shape.

And it's very flattery. It always looks very good in portraiture. Alright, now go ahead and just work that a bit. As a photographer, you have to keep talking during the shoot. And this is something that I actually learned from taking pictures of models. Which is the one thing they don't like, is for you to just, to clam up. And that's easy to do as a photographer, because you're thinking about f stops, and shutter speeds, and focal lengths, and ISO. All this technical stuff. So, my advice is, there, get your technical stuff down before you do the shoot.

And then when you're at the shoot, you're free to interact with the model. With the subject. With whoever you're working with. They appreciate it, and you notice just as I was talking to her, she loosened up. And she did things and there were poses. And suddenly I'm going, my job is so much easier now because she's really doing all the work. And all I have to do is push the shutter, because I already figured out all the technical stuff. Now I'm going to take a look here. See how we look. See it. Look at this.

You just did this off pose here. And look at that. It's kind of cool huh? Yeah. Check that out. Yeah, good job. >> Yeah. Yeah. I mean, actually we can stop right, no. Alright, go back to your post. I want a little bit more angle now. I like to show subjects a photo once I think we are to the point of something that's good. And the reason why I do that is again, it's a confidence builder. You know I, I, I'm looking at the photo, I'm going my gosh that's beautiful. Well okay, that helps right there, right, and then I show it to them and they go, you know what that's not bad, you know, we're doing okay.

And it gives them confidence in me to, that I know what I'm doing. And this is part of the reason why you want to have your technical stuff down. You want to have good color balance. You want to have you, you know, good focus, good composition, so that when you show them that shot it looks good. Now, people say well, you know, I can fix all that stuff later on in post production. Well, that's too late for this particular purpose. You know, when you're showing them the picture on the back of the camera, it needs to be good then. If it is good, they feel like you know what you're doing, and they then want to do better.

So, we'll take a look at those, and see what we think, and then from there we'll go on to the next shoot, all right? Alright. Becky, you did awesome. You did wonderful.

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