The Right Moves

Dancer and choreographer Asia Dickens poses for a portrait at Marquette Beach in Gary, Indiana. The ability to make your subject laugh is often helpful in capturing honest, relaxed moments.

It’s been a while since I shared one of those career-suicide morsels of truth with you all, and with summer slowly melting into fall, I figured now was as good a time as any to boost the confidence of you new-comers to the photography world. So, here goes: Posing people for portraits was, and sometimes is, a very awkward thing for me to deal with on a shoot.

I like to think of myself as a documentary-style photographer. I enjoy capturing moments as they happen in front of my lens, witnessing life from the perspective of the most-handsome fly on the wall. I love the moment when people I’ve just met finally forget that I’m standing there with a 17mm in their personal space (sometimes, this takes a while) and begin interacting with their environment as if I never arrived.

Shooting a portrait, unfortunately, is the complete opposite of the above scenario. The very reason the subject is standing before my camera is for the photo itself. The subject is relying on me to make them look their best, which includes (on top of lighting, location, lens choices, etc.) posing them in a flattering way.

I don’t have as much of a problem with posing as I used to. A few years of experience under my belt has allowed me to accumulate some techniques to allow people to relax and look their best. Assisting other photographers who specialize in portraits has also given me a first-hand look at how to handle making people comfortable while on set, and what to look out for when people begin posing themselves.

Most established photographers I know are vehemently opposed to assisting others because of pride issues – not me. Any opportunity for me to get an hands-on look at how someone does something (especially when that person might be better than me) is welcomed with open arms, and the fact that you’re getting paid to be there is the icing on the cake! But, I digress

Posted in Photography, Portraits by Guy Rhodes on September 15th, 2010.

One Response to “The Right Moves”

  1. Jahaira says:

    Love the blog, love the photos!