If you ask photographers what their challenges are when photographing people, many will tell you one of two things: Lighting and/or Posing. Posing people is not easy. Everyone has unflattering angles and are self-conscious about certain areas of their bodies. I learned how to pose people by religiously studying fashion magazines – as my brand was more fashion-oriented – and working with lots of models and dancers. I remember the first time, early in my career, where I photographed an aspiring model who had never been in front of a professional photographer’s camera before, but because she had years of extensive dance training, she knew exactly how to move her body and exuded confidence, making my job extremely easy. Through the years, I’ve learned a lot about posing, picking up bits and pieces here and there with practice, and but most of my posing knowledge came from a workshop with photographer Roberto Valenzuela.
In the following excerpt from his 101 Solutions to Common Photography Problems class on CreativeLive, Roberto gives a summary of his 21-points of posing system. The 21-points of posing is highlighted in his book, Picture Perfect Posing. The video is 40 minutes long, and he only briefly breaks down the various posing concepts (as it is a recap from a prior day). He talks about the basics – straight spine to collarbones to necks and fingers – in the first half of the video. The second half of the video are images from the day before, and Roberto is able to point out so many various teaching points and problems that he had to solve, as well as the various posing points.
Roberto’s teaching style is relatable and chock full of usable information to apply to your own photography. This video is definitely worth a watch from one of my very favorite photographers. To get more posing tips from Roberto, be sure to check out his Picture Perfect Posing book here.