What is it that separates some of the most well-known photographers of our generation and everyone else? It’s not the gear because no one makes a bad camera anymore. It’s not the editing, we all have access to the same software and can learn the same techniques. Part of it is talent available to them, sure, but really what it comes down to is their skill with directing that talent, be it a VIP A-List model or a walk-in client off the street.
We are not talking about posing either. You can go out and buy a posing book and memorize it front to back and still not get the great results these photographers get, and do you want to know why? It’s because poses are static, people aren’t static. You need to be able to direct your subject into the pose, that little bit of movement, that subtle variation from shot to shot is what helps the masters capture the magic that you have come to know them for.
WeeklyImogen on Youtube has a recent video on this very topic if you are interested in some ideas and tips on this idea of directing vs posing. Have a look…
One of the tips mentioned in the video that we make use of in our own work and highly recommend is demonstration. This accomplishes several things when you are working with a client or a model. It allows you to show exactly the sort of pose/movement you are thinking in your head, allowing your subject to not only hear what you are wanting but see it as well. Additionally, this adds some comedy into the shoot because as photographers – well, let’s just say that most of us are simply NOT models. So, this likely results in a laugh or two and helps get your subject out of their own head.
So, give these tips a try next time you shoot. Skip the static posing and see what sort of magic you can make with some directing instead.