The Foundation Posing Framework Primer | Part 1 | Transcription

The foundation posing framework is a system for posing that we have developed over the course of our studio. The reason for that is simple. We found that photographers, in general, those that are coming in the studio as new photographers that are training and even ourselves found the most anxiety around a shoot, the most stressful part of a shoot, came from posing and from not truly understanding and having an idea of all the different poses and things that we could be doing. We kind of looked back and we created a framework for posing that we could basically use to not only help us in getting to any pose that we wanted to, but it helped us to get there effectively. We could create natural looking poses and it would help us to communicate our ideas and our visions with the client.

Because here’s the thing, I’m sure you’ve been out on shoots where you’re like, “No, stand next to him and then I want you guys to like hold hands. Hold hands here and then do this.” Granted you can do a lot of things like you can help them visualize by demonstrating things yourself but the communication side is difficult. It’s difficult to describe things in a way that makes sense for them. We developed the framework to come up with several different kind of keywords and to give them a basic understanding of posing within the first 15 minutes of a shoot that we could reference throughout the engagement session, through future couple session, throughout the wedding day, throughout session afterwards, and so forth.

This is that foundation posing framework primer. We’re going to give to you a little glimpse into that. Now, we’re going to show you a big piece so you guys can understand how it works during a shoot. If you want more information, you can see an entire shoot with the Natural Light Couples Photography DVD. We also have posing and directing coming out soon with Caroline Tran. We’re going to have another full foundation posing framework entire course coming out as well in the future. We’re going to dive into it in complete detail.

Here are the basics. Most poses are essentially derivative of just several different positions and it’s not really that many either. It’s feet positions. We found that for the most part, there’s about four to five maybe six different typical feet positions that will guide you into each of these poses.

One is the V Up where basically the feet on both the clients are basically facing in towards each other. They’re kind of standing like this, the other person is standing like this, their shoulders are making a V, they’re holding each other. This is the most typical pose that we’re going to start with. The shoulders touch, the couple’s face slightly in, and we tell the couple to treat the shoulders like the hinge on a door.

If I asked you to open up a little bit, what does that mean? Almost every single time, I don’t even have to explain anything beyond that. If I say open, they naturally do that. If I say show me what it would mean to close, they naturally do that. If I say, “Okay, tell me what an open pose would look like?” They naturally stand open to the camera and I say, “Great. Hold hands in the center.” Naturally they do the open pose where they’re both facing the camera. If I say, “Show me the closed pose.” They naturally would just close against each other and pull each other in and boom. They understand just from that simple 30 second explanation.

Then we go into the stack pose. There’s a couple other advanced poses which when we get into that full foundation posing course we will discuss. Most poses are derivative of these. Then we can simply move hands around. We can kind of move the face around. Guide the faces and everything into different positions. Looking at the camera, looking away, and so forth to get to our different shots. What’s beautiful about it is that I can simply call out something. I can say from 30 feet away, “Guys, go into a closed pose. Beautiful. Now, Tom or Dane or whoever my groom is, I want you to just dip her back a little bit. Stay looking at each other. Fantastic. Done. Guys, go into an open pose. Beautiful. Now instead of holding hands in the middle, I want you to just hug onto his arm and walk toward me. Fantastic.”

It’s a simple structure and a simple framework and incredibly easy to remember vocabulary. That’s going to give your clients keywords and directions on how to follow the poses throughout the rest of the shoot. You’ll find that spending 15 minutes on this at the beginning of a shoot is going to speed up and not only speed up but also make your photos far better during the duration of the shoot. You’re going to get more variety, you’re going to get better poses, and you’re going to have clients that think you’re an absolute genius simply because they actually understand what you’re saying.

Also, in the foundation posing framework, we talk about minding certain details. We talk about posture and straightening the spine. We talk about kicking the hips for the girls. We talk about hand placement. We talk about hair flyaways and having them kind of be advocates. We talk about several different things. Let’s go ahead and go into a shoot and actually show you what an entire 15 minute framework primer looks like. The primer that we would give to our clients just before starting our shoot.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


Let SLR Lounge guide you in your photography journey with the best photography education and resources. Browse our complete, comprehensive solutions and take the next step in your photography.