Welcome to our third installment of Posing Techniques! Bend at the Joints! This technique is used for both men and women and is an important part of posing. What if everyone stood straight? What if your subject's legs just stood tall without any bend of the knee, or ankle?
Men and women both have curves. They have curves in their muscles, and in the entire body outline from head to toe. Why would we want to have an image of our subject then standing perfectly straight? Show off the body as it is meant to be with all the curves, lines, and bends. Not only does it appear more authentic, but it creates a strong and beautiful image.
One of the best poses for women is the "hand on hip" pose. Not only does it create a lovely space between the body and arm, but it creates shape. The wrist joint is bent, the elbow joint is bent, and even the shoulder area is slightly bent.
One of the best poses for men, is having them stand with one foot resting on an apple box or any object that brings their knee high enough for them to lean on. Have them bend their arms, which in turn bends their wrists, elbows and knee for a strong image.
The above images are good examples of how an image can look when you remember to bend at the joints. The first two images are not mine. Which of the two bridal images do you prefer? The bride or the bridesmaids?
The bride has good separation of her arms from her body with her left arm, wrist, elbow and shoulder bent. The right arm is bent, although, it is a little close to the body. Still, it works.
The two bridesmaids are standing straight with no curve or separation. To me, it looks rather bland and does not create a good image.
The bottom image is one I took in the studio. The young man is sitting on one apple box with his feet propped up with another. He was able to pose his hands over his knees, and bend his elbows for a great effect. What if he had just sat there with his hands at his sides? Would that make for a good image?
The above image showcases bent joints at the elbows and a little at the wrists. Even though there is no separation between their bodies and their arms, there are curves and the image still looks good.
When you are creating an image, think about what you want to show. What message do you want your viewer to see?
For me, I wanted the parents to see their children loving each other and this was a great way to do it. What if they had been standing next to each other with their arms at their sides? How would that have looked? Their expression might have been wonderful, and the parents still might have liked it, but the image would not have looked like a portrait. Most anyone can take a snapshot with two people standing next to each other. So, go the extra mile and pose your subjects in a way that is flattering and in a way that will create a strong, beautiful image.
These last three blog posts have been about some very basic rules of posing.
First-give your subjects hands something to do.
Second-shift your weight away from the camera.
Third-Bend at the Joints.
There is so much that goes into posing, that perhaps we will discuss it at a later time. For now, though, you have some basic rules that will help you create much more appealing and strong portraits!
To re read the first two posts, check them out below!
And, if you are ready to update your family's or children portraits, contact us below! Summer is a great time to do this and we have locations we recommend in Naperville, IL, Aurora, IL, Plainfield, IL and Oswego, IL!