What is flow posing:
- Flow posing is the process of getting a series of poses in a matter of minutes. For example getting 20 plus poses in about 5 minutes.
- This involves giving your clients rapid instructions and possibly forcing them physically into the pose.
- Professional models have a great ability to pull off flow posing effortlessly because the understand their body, facial expressions and have years of experience.
- As photographers, we love working with experienced models because we don't have to do very much with posing.
- However when you are working with an inexperienced subject, well there's some work to do.
What are some benefits to flow posing?
- You get a quick series of images/poses in a very short period of time.
- You look like a superstar commanding the seen with a series of orders.
- But you can also look like a crazy person if you are not organized and you don't know what you want.
- Time is money -- Knowing exactly what you want allows the shoot to go quickly. So flow posing would be great for photographers who shoot a lot of subjects on a daily basis and need to get them in and out quickly.
What are some issues with flow posing?
- Depending on the subject you are working with if they don't take instruction well then it will be a disaster.
- If you as the photographer who can't provide proper instructions it will be a disaster.
- If your subjects don't like to be touched it will be a disaster.
- Getting great poses but no real expressions.
So how do I use flow posing without these shortcomings?
- If I can't verbally give the proper instructions or the subject cannot follow my instructions I get them to mirror what I am doing.
- For subjects that just don't understand my directions and I need to physically get them positioned...I first asked for permission to touch and then I position them accordingly.
- Getting great expressions is key to this process because without expression the pose is stiff.
- Sometimes providing vague instructions can help and here's what I mean.
- Get the client posed exactly how you want them and say something like I want you to connect with the wind. Feel the warmth of the sun.
- Look, I have no idea what that meant and they probably don't either, so they will interpret that into whatever they think it meant. First I will get maybe a confused expression and then something real.
- If you are confident in what you are saying they will think it's normal photography jargon.
- The expression is key, I can't say it enough...get that right and your pose will be complete.
Quick tips to flow posing:
- Slow down - I know it's counter-intuitive but it is the most effective way.
- Yes, I know you will not get 20 images in 5 mins but you will get better images and a happier client.
- Go with the flow - As it implies, have a flow, transition your subjects from one pose to the next with small movements. Don't attempt big posing changes as your subjects will get very frustrated. For example:
- Asking your subject to move their hands from their hips and to cross it, this would be considered a small movement.
- Having them gently taking their gaze from the camera to their shoulders is a small movement.
- A large movement would be asking your subject to quickly move from a standing pose to a sitting pose and expect everything to fall into place.
- Asking your subject to break their foundation is a large movement.
- These big movements break up the flow and create frustration not only for you but for your client.
- For example, having their feet apart and then asking them to cross it, is a big move.
- In conclusion, having to think about small movements and not large movements can save and give you so many options that it will allow you to easily go with the flow.
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