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Suggestions for posing people.

Jim Murphy , Dec 08, 2011; 08:04 p.m.

I Am interested in finding a book of how to pose people. I know their are tips for if they have a large face. Long face, heavy, etc. I thought it would be interesting reading. I know their are many books and new ones coming out and thought I would ask for suggestions.

Thanks for the assistance.

Responses

Michael Axel , Dec 08, 2011; 11:31 p.m.

Jim, I've known some people who use flash cards that show various poses. If you're looking for a tool, perhaps you might include these in your search.

Jeff Spirer , Dec 08, 2011; 11:32 p.m.

I'd recommend Vogue magazine.

Paul K , Dec 09, 2011; 08:35 a.m.

Getting a book telling you how to tell people how to pose is IMO probably the worst idea you can have.

Not only will it kill all spontaniety with the models, as you will tell them how to 'pose' based on what the book tells you, but obviously all those poses will have also been reproduced, or attempted to reproduce, by all the other picture snappers who also bought the book to seek 'wisdom', so out the window goes originality and creativeness.

Jeff suggested getting Vogue, and although I find poses in Vogue are sometimes a bit too extreme for beginning models. people who pose, and the photographers trying to take a picture, my idea is along similar lines.

Buy magazines and tear out the pictures with the poses (and pictures) you like. Then categorise them ( closeup, portrait, three quarter, full out). And when you have a shoot, bring out your little archive to use as suggestions for the models or wannabee models, and for you to get inspiration for the kind of picture you want to take or hope to imitate more or less.

And rather then spending your money on books to tell people how to pose, buy books with tips on the technique, be it camera and lenses, or light set ups etc.

Jim Murphy , Dec 09, 2011; 10:49 a.m.

For Clarification, I know there are recomendations for how to accentuate or not certain characteristics. Thats more of what I was thinking.

Len Marriott , Dec 09, 2011; 11:04 a.m.

Jim, http://blog.kitfphoto.com/Zeltsman/index.html You can learn posing from this master. His fashions are 50 years out of date but his posing is classic. Download this for free before it disappears from the net forever. Best, LM.

Jim Murphy , Dec 09, 2011; 11:40 a.m.

THank you very much Len, that also lead me to some other references as well.

Craig Shearman , Dec 09, 2011; 11:45 a.m.

Zeltsman is one of the all-time masters of portrait photography so definitely use the link above. If you're looking for a book, look for the Handbook of Portrat Photography by Monte Zucker, who is largely regarded as Zeltsman's successor to the title. Zucker studied under Zeltsman and carried on Zeltsman's style after Joe passed away. Sadly Monte is gone now also. Monte also addresses in his book those who claim you don't need to pose people. Rather than argue that point myself I will defer to the master.

Fred G. , Dec 09, 2011; 11:46 a.m.

Getting a book telling you how to tell people how to pose is IMO probably the worst idea you can have.

Good books really aren't so bad if you know how to use them. Most books aren't bibles! That's a good thing. People learn not in order to mimic unthinkingly but to increase their knowledge and exposure, to help themselves evolve, and even to critically reject what some others have to offer in books.

Good luck, Jim. Posing is an art and craft and has untold possibilities.

Louis Meluso , Dec 10, 2011; 12:37 a.m.

So nice to see Joe Zeltsman referenced. You had to learn Joe's style at Brooks in Basic Portraiture. Yes dated looking, but his techniques of keeping the body lines graceful, and using the light and camera angle to control emphasis is still useful foundation knowledge. You don't copy the poses, you absorb the ideas expressed in the poses and adapt them to your style, the sitter's personality and the surroundings.

Also, look at master paintings and drawings. Rubens, Rembrandt, Ingres, Cassatt, Gainsborough, Sargent, and many others, all knew how to pose figures gracefully in beautiful light and balanced compositions. Many classic photography portrait poses stem from these sources.

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