Its important to realize that every photo tells a story…even if you the story is “This photographer posed them very awkwardly”- there is still a story. If you are conscious of this, you can choose what story you are telling by how you direct your clients. My goal is obviously not to tell that story, but to tell my couple’s story, in full. I don’t want to just the happy moments, but to capture a range of emotions from when they met to when they fell in love, and eventually, their commitment to be together forever.
For those of you photographers reading this who may be interested in learning more about how I pose clients, I’m going to take you through a portion of my engagement shoot with Rosaleigh and Andrew. I want to show you how one pose can lead to 7 very different sets of photos and how taking your time with posing can lead you to finding “The One.” No, I’m not talking about Neo from the Matrix; “The One” meaning that uber-special, jump-up-and-down, killer photo that you can’t wait to get home and Pinterest, Facebook and blog because it’s the photo that defines your session, fits your brand, and stands out among the rest. That doesn’t mean that the others aren’t great and your client won’t love them, but there will usually be one or two favorite images from a session that you end up using in your portfolio. This is a little story about how I got to that shot during this shoot.
I’ll start with location. We were in the meatpacking district and I noticed this black warehouse turned cafe (like everything in the meatpacking district is). But I especially liked the old textured glass and the black walls and the bright building across the street was making a nice natural reflector in this dark covered area. I started with a pose I really like to showcase a cool architectural backdrop: The couple standing at a distance from each other making eye contact. It tells a story like the first time their eyes met across a room. Their bodies are pointing away from each other, but their eyes are locked. They are strangers whose paths once went different ways and have now become tied to each others’ fate.
I wanted a close up of Andrew’s face to capture his love for Rosaleigh as he gazed at her, so I leaned him sideways against the wall with her back to it giving the impression that he has approached her. He is enamored with her but we don’t see her reaction.
And there you go! Seven very different sets of photos, and you’ll notice that I barely had the client move their feet! The nice thing about not moving them for awhile is they got comfortable there. As the photos progress, they look more natural and comfortable which helped me to capture real intimacy in the last few photos.
Now I’m not saying I’m always able to find the story and that I never just plop clients in front of somewhere pretty…in fact you can see here how the story developed and itself! Everyone poses differently and I by no means am claiming my way is the best, but hopefully this helped inspire someone out there who wants their photos to tell more of a story! :)