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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.
Group shots are nothing more than individual poses put together. Today we've asked Trushana and Sako to come in and demonstrate this for you. We'll start with Trushana, and show some of the basic poses for her as a woman. They are different than the poses that I'll show you for a man. We picked out a really nice black outfit for her to wear. I brought her into the studio and we got going. Natalie Fobes: So let me take a shot real quick and check my lights.
I find it really helpful to take the first shot almost immediately to kind of loosen them up a little bit and for me to check my lights, to make sure my lights and my exposure are right on. Natalie Fobes: Let's go ahead and try one where you're facing right into the light like this. Go ahead, and I want you to put your weight on your back foot. Trushana: Like this? Natalie Fobes: Yeah, just really put that weight there. By putting weight on the back foot, the woman shifts her hips and her shoulders.
That adds a very feminine feel to the photograph. Natalie Fobes: All right! And now, I'd like you to put one of your arms like so. For either a man or a woman, it works to have the arms separated from the body. This decreases the size of the body and is one of those slenderizing tools that photographers use. Natalie Fobes: Now the other hand is kind of in the way, let's just get rid of it. We'll just put it behind. Oops, that's too far behind. There you go. Now I want you to lean toward me just a wee bit.
Perfect! Now can you tilt your head a little bit this way, even a little bit more? There you go. That looks great. So go ahead and relax, shake it out. If at any time you feel too stiff let me know. No matter if you're posing a man or a woman, you always pose from the ground up, and what I mean by that is that you set their feet and have them shift their weight, so then you can start working on the torso and the arms and the face, Natalie Fobes: and really kind of lean into it a little bit.
There you go. Now I want you to come this way with me, yep, a little bit more, even more. There you go. All right! That looks great! Tilt your head this way and swing your chin a little bit more, and down. There you go. Nice! When shooting portraits, it's important to avoid a straight on shot of the face, where you see both of your ears. It's much more flattering for people and it slenderizes them a little bit if you tilt them to a two-thirds look.
I'll have them turn toward the light if I want to accent their bust. I'll have them turn with their back to the light if I want to slenderize them a little bit. Natalie Fobes: Okay. And now swing around toward the light again, and lower your chin. There you go. A sly smile this time. Nice! Okay. Go ahead and sit on that one hip again. There you go. And lean in onto here, I think, and really stretch those legs out.
There you go. And go ahead and cross at the ankles. Go ahead and turn toward the light, lower your chin. There you go. Very nice! I am just going to hide that, and let's just stretch out your fingers a little. Okay. Just going to soften it, just relax. I always look to make sure that the woman has a very soft hand, so important in a portrait.
They can be claw hands. They can be club hands. They can be balled fists. They can just ruin a portrait if they're not done right. It's one of those funny things that people just don't know what to do with their hands and so you have to guide them. Natalie Fobes: Now go ahead and let's have both feet up on the chair. Yep, exactly right! And I am going to fuss with your hair. I think I'll bring it all over on this side, just for something different.
Okay. That looks good! That looks really nice! Okay, so really strong. Go ahead and just kind of lift yourself up like you did. Okay. That's going to be the look. Okay. And lean forward just a little bit. Okay. Very good! Well I think we've got it. Thank you so much! Trushana: Thank you! Natalie Fobes: You are welcome! So I'll let you know in a couple of weeks how these turned out. There are a lot of similarities between posing men and posing women, but there are also differences, and we'll check those out coming up.
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