Family and Group Portraiture
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Posing a couple


From:

Family and Group Portraiture

with Natalie Fobes

Video: Posing a couple

Whenever you organize group shots, you want to look for relationships between the people. And in this case, Trushana and Sako are a couple. Natalie Fobes: Now your head come on in, go ahead. You can actually kind of touch. Now I would like you to have your hand just up here, holding her, there you go. Let's actually try it over here on her shoulder this way, and down just a little bit, just kind of caressing. As a photographer you have to be aware of where your people are.

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Watch the Online Video Course Family and Group Portraiture
1h 28m Intermediate Mar 16, 2012

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In this course, Pulitzer finalist Natalie Fobes shows how to capture engaging portrait shots of couples, families, and other groups using a variety of posing and composition techniques.

The course discusses how to plan for a portrait photo shoot and how to make stylistic decisions regarding props, clothing, and makeup. Next, the course reviews the essentials of posing women and men, starting with a single subject, moving on to a couple, and then working up to large groups. The course also demonstrates how to pose and compose a group portrait in ways that highlight the relationships between group members, whether they're family members or business colleagues. Lastly, to illustrate the time constraints photographers often face, Natalie works against the clock to shoot a group of people she's never met.

The course also covers various postprocessing techniques geared specifically for portraiture, such as working with wrinkles and skin textures.

Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Natalie Fobes

Posing a couple

Whenever you organize group shots, you want to look for relationships between the people. And in this case, Trushana and Sako are a couple. Natalie Fobes: Now your head come on in, go ahead. You can actually kind of touch. Now I would like you to have your hand just up here, holding her, there you go. Let's actually try it over here on her shoulder this way, and down just a little bit, just kind of caressing. As a photographer you have to be aware of where your people are.

Notice if they're nervous, if they need to take a little break. With Trushana and Sako, after a little bit of embarrassment about being photographed, they really kind of started getting into it and started enjoying it. I wanted them to be enjoying each other while I was photographing. Natalie Fobes: And you can smile. You have got a beautiful woman on your arm. There you go. When I am putting my couples together, I use the same poses that I use when I am shooting individual shots of them.

I posed Trushana first and then I bring Sako in, posed him, and then step back, take a look, and take the shot. Then move on to the next pose, have Trushana turn her head or tilt her head, have him change his posture slightly, so it's a natural progression from an individual pose to a couple pose. Natalie Fobes: Trushana you are going to look right up at me. Okay. That's nice. Now Sako, I noticed that your arm is around there, go ahead and get rid of that, and just look at me.

Go ahead and put your head right on top of her head. And Trushana, I want to look this way, even more, chin down, there you go, eyes to me. Nice! I will work a lot with a couple looking right into the camera, but sometimes it's really nice to have them looking off, or to have one of them looking at the camera and the other one looking down. It gives it a feeling of a captured moment, something that's a little more spontaneous than the posed portrait in a photographer's studio.

And often my clients really like that approach, the more fine art approach that I bring to the photograph. Natalie Fobes: Sako go ahead and put your hand underneath her hand, just so you can actually hold it. Nice! Hands look larger than you really want them to look in the frame, so remember, turn them in profile, hide them, tuck them underneath the other's arms, anything that you can do to still get the feeling of closeness, but not a big hand.

Natalie Fobes: Close together. Nice! And we'll get rid of that hand, and we'll just have your hand in your lap. There you go. Just kind of like this. Just go ahead. There you go. And your other hand kind of make it parallel to me. There you go. Nice! Okay. Oh, this looks nice! Benches are great in any group portrait. I had Trushana sit with her back to the camera and then twist around, it accented her figure and everything was working for her.

This technique also would work for someone who is a little heavier. It also causes the neck to get a little bit longer and the skin to tighten just a little bit. It's a very flattering pose. Then when I added Sako to it, she was able to just lean back into him, and I really felt that was a comfortable place for them. Natalie Fobes: I really like what's happening here. Okay. Oh, that's nice! The light is beautiful on your face. Okay, now, look at me with your eyes Trushana, and come in a little closer.

There you go. And tilt your head. Nice! You guys were awesome! Fantastic! Well, I am really pleased. Trushana: Yeah, thank you. Sako: Thank you. Natalie Fobes: You are welcome! You are welcome!

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