Poses with Poise

When it comes to portrait photography, no one wants to “look posed”. In fact, I’ve had clients tell me, “I don’t want to be posed in my pictures”. At the same time, everyone wants to look good in their portraits. And, if that is going to happen, just “being yourself” or “acting natural” in front of the camera won’t cut it. In fact, that approach usually leaves people looking heavy, tired, or awkward in their pictures. So, I direct people in ways to stand, where to place their hands, and, most of all, how to connect with one another to show their bond of love. As I direct them, though, I keep things playful, encouraging them to breathe and to have fun. As I do this, I enjoy myself too, and the results show in the portraits! The above portrait is a pleasing example of this: the family and I had a great time together during the entire session, and once we came to the point of taking this portrait of the whole family, they were relaxed and responsive to my direction, confident that I was on their side and was leading them into looking their absolute best. Do they “look posed”  in the portrait? (That is, do they look awkward and unnatural?) Not at all! But were they posed? Well, yes they were, but in an artful way that makes them look like they were just being themselves. Which, of course, is the point with all posing!

Tom Launius