FAQ : Posing + Choosing Favorites


I’m sitting in my hotel room in Seattle listening to the soothing sounds of morning traffic and JD getting out of bed. He always starts his day by swinging both his legs over the side of the bed. I’m a one-leg-at-a-time kind of girl. Left, then right. Anyway, for those who have offered support for the creativeLIVE course, thank you. And then thank you a thousand times more. I appreciate it more than I can express.

Today’s FAQ post will deal with something that might be hard for me to fully explain over the web, but I’ll try. Like always, these posts are just MY opinion and I’m definitely not authoritative on the matter. Everyone has their own way of posing, selecting, and labeling as favorite…but let’s get a little more into it…

Earlier this week, I posted Marie+Charlie’s Los Angeles engagement session. An average engagement session yields around 60-65 photos for the couple. About 10 images will be blogged, and about 40 will be used for the slideshow (my 10 favorites are included in the 40 for the slideshow). Obviously, the photos I post on my blog are my favorites and help define my style for future clients. But how do I choose my favorites? What helps me prefer one photo over the other? Essentially, it’s a matter of preference.

I’m a photographer…but I’m also a purveyor of style. My style. I will choose online portfolio pieces that fall in line with my personal business trajectory. In any given location, I will likely shoot more than one photo, most of them being quite similar. How then do I choose what I want to feature? Here’s an example (and Marie granted approval for me to use her and Charlie as my example)…

This is how I first started the pose. There happened to be two folding chairs on the street (hey, it’s LA…randomness is everywhere!), so I placed them against this colorful wall. I instructed Charlie on how I wanted him to sit, as well as Marie. I stood on the street and snapped the following photo (all photos I used the 50mm, 1.2):

While I liked the bike racks in the first photo, I suspected they might have been a distraction for someone who’d like a more traditional photo, so I moved from the street onto the sidewalk for the following photo:

Marie looks adorable in the photo above. I love it. But I also realized that I was not accentuating her body, her form. By instructing her to lean forward, I–essentially–removed her torso and shortened her legs. But I still like the photo. It’s cute and I really like the way Charlie is looking at her.

The photo below is an image I blogged. For me, it felt like 100% my style. Charlie looks confident, handsome, and strong (in body formation). By simply changing the position of Marie’s legs and asking her to lean against Charlie, I brought back her torso and elongated her legs. In order to make the pose more natural, I asked her to tilt her head against Charlie’s shoulder. Once that happened, the photo took on a new life and became one of my favorites from this section of their engagement session.

I know this is a lot of info and I don’t know if I was able to explain myself in the best manner, but I hope it helps a little bit! I’ll be talking more about posing and my shooting style today on creativeLIVE, so feel free to join the conversation from 11am-5pm PST!

Happy Thursday!