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Learn Posing Techniques With The Help Of A Professional Model

Hiring a professional model for a photography shoot has many benefits but have you ever thought by doing so, they could actually help teach you a thing or two you might not know about portrait photography?

| General Photography
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Learn From Professionals 

Not all of us work with professional models every day but one thing we probably all do is take people shots. Unfortunately, trying to pose people who aren't used to doing it can be tricky and it can take a lot of direction from the photographer which is a skill that doesn't always come easy and can take a long time to learn. So, how can we learn a thing or two about posing that could drastically improve even portrait shots we've captured of family members? Mike Browne's advice is to not be afraid to talk to or even hire a professional model (even if it's just one time) as you can learn so much from them.


Absorb Tips & Information 

Ask them questions, watch how they stand, position their hands etc. and really use the time to absorb information from someone who does this every day. Also, be authentic and honest with them as one: it's easy to see through a lie and two: everyone was new to something at some point and there's nothing wrong with wanting to expand your knowledge with the help of someone who really knows what they are talking about. 

Steph, who's the model in Mike's video, offers plenty of advice including the following few tips:

  • Good posture is incredibly important as it can change the whole feel and look of the shot. 
  • Sometimes just one small thing needs tweaking, such as a smile or the eye position, rather than the whole pose. 
  • Asking your model to turn, twist or stick a hip out slightly, for example, will create shape and add more interest to your shot. But at the same time, knowing when something's too exaggerated is equally important. 

Mike also offers some interesting points which include remembering to actually pay attention to the scene so if the light changes, you actually notice and do something about it then rather than getting annoyed when you're reviewing your images back at home. He also says how important it is to remember you are photographing another human so do build up a rapport with them and don't do things such as reaching out to adjust their hair without politely asking if it's ok to do so first. 


Expand Your Knowledge Further 

Enjoy the above tutorial and do take the time to subscribe to Mike Browne's YouTube channel as there's lots of tutorials well-worth a watch. Mike also offers a variety of workshops and courses which you can learn more about on his website:

Mike's also written several tutorials for ePHOTOzine, which include tips on using apertures creatively, advice on capturing motion and understanding ISO. There's also a couple of interesting features on capturing product shots at home and why it's OK to get it wrong sometimes that are well worth a read. 

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JackAllTog Plus
13 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2015 5:07PM
Much agreed, a good model is a dream to work with - just flowing through natural good shapes.
Conversely one new model i worked with could and would only do one pose.
AlexandraSD 11 773 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2015 6:23PM
Seen this video already, left a comment there as well, damn good advice there!

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