Posing women is one of those things every professional boudoir photographer should know how to do. Yet, posing women is one of those things good photographers don’t show in photographs. In fact a photo is great when the subject does not look like she is posing. How can these two things can go together well? How can posing women is a vital part of our job, yet we do not have to show it?
Moreover, and almost more importantly, why posing women is a vital part of making our subjects look more confident? Nobody want to look like they are posing, yet they need directions to feel and look good?
This is where the real great photographer shines: she knows how to make sure that her skills in posing women create the right environment, while her skills in capturing the right moment do the rest. Care to understand more about how posing women can make or break you?
We all want to capture our photos without posing women
Hey, we have all been there, saying that we want to photograph women beautifully without posing them. In an ideal world this will allow us to explore the best light and the best angle and wait for that decisive moment. Alas, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Photographing women without posing women is an oxymoron. When you have the luck to photograph a good model who don’t need your directions, we will discuss differently. As long as you focus on boudoir, where your clients are women who are not used to be in front of the camera, posing them is a requirement.
We all want to capture beauty without posing women. We all want to recount a story; unfortunately this is not feasible in the real world. If you are thinking that you can make a woman look good without posing her, I am talking of something different. I am talking about the fact that if you leave a woman in front of your camera without direction, she will lose confidence.
Directing our subjects make them feel at ease
What you need to understand is that posing women is only partially related to how she looks. Posing women is a psychological game you need to learn to master. It will inject in your subject a confidence that will be worth more than anything else.
A person that is not told what to do in front of a camera, will automatically think the worst. She will think she is being ridiculous, that is making the fool out of herself. These things don’t translate well in photographs, believe me; however, having positive reinforcement and clear direction will make her feel like she is in safe hands. She will trust you more, and she will allow herself to… be herself. In posing women you achieve what you think posing women doesn’t achieve: capturing her in a natural way
How can you make sure that your photographs look natural?
Posing women should stop just before you click. This is the small secret you now know, and a skill you need to master. It takes two second to understand that between the actual pose and the moment you take the photo you need to stop and wait. Alas, making sure you can actually wait the right amount of time while eliciting the right emotion is a skill. Like every other skills, this one needs to be mastered through constant repetition and countless failures.
The pose is not the arrival of your journey in photographing your subject; it is the beginning. Once you place your subject with the right posture, when everything looks good, it is time to make your subject shine. Stop thinking about the pose and start looking at your subject. If you know her enough, and with some pre-production you should, you can see if what you have created works for her or not. Look at her, make sure that you use the pose she is in as starting point to develop who she really is. Make her laugh, or make her gaze look fierce. Bring her sexiness out or just make her shy away, but whatever you do, make sure to stop clicking as soon as she is in that pose.
Fake it until you make it
The first time I photographed a naked subject, I froze. I had my camera in my hands in a big studio with a woman who was looking at us for directions. I totally failed, and I just captured a couple of terrible shots. Luckily Faby was there to save the day, to step up and direct our beautiful model as I was not doing.
If you think my little story is something that is never going to happen to you, think back. As long as photography is not second nature for you, there will be a moment in which you will switch off. You will stand in front of your subject and your mind will go completely blank. That is the case in which I say “Fake it till you make it!”
You need to look confident in front of your subjects, even if you are trembling inside. Even if you have no idea what you are doing, make sure you know how do fake it! I am not telling you to lie, I am telling you to improvise. There is nothing worse than passing your lack of confidence down to the person you are photographing. Look at the bright side though: if you look confident, she will take courage and her confidence will skyrocket!