When you take pictures of people, you can have great composition, perfect lighting, and the right camera settings, but if your subject doesn't look right, if the pose isn't right, the shot won't be productive.
Posing is really a crucial skill that photographers must have to create great photos. If you want to improve your ability to pose your subjects - men, women, couples or groups - The Photographer's Guide to Posing: Techniques to Lusing Everyone by bestselling author and photographer Lindsay Adler is the perfect resource for you.
In the first half of The Photographer's Guide to Posing, Lindsay explains how she views the camera and how camera angle, lens choice, and perspective affect the appearance of the subject. Lindsay then covers the top five things that ruin a pose, such as the position of your hands and your subject's expression and posture. If you can pay attention to these five things and avoid them, your skills (and your images) will improve rapidly. Next, Lindsay dives into "the basics of the pose" and outlines her approach of starting with a "basic pose" and building on it to create endless pose possibilities. She also discusses the face pose - with specific sections dedicated to the chin, jaw, eyes and forehead - and the hand pose.
In the second half of the book, Lindsay devotes entire chapters to portraying specific topics: women, men, couples, curvy women, families, small groups and large groups. In each chapter, Lindsay addresses the specific challenges of this topic, she offers five "reference poses" that you can always use, and explains how you can train your eye to find the best pose for your subject (s) to determine. In the final chapter of the book, Lindsay brings it all together by teaching you to analyze a pose so you can create endless pose possibilities and continually improve your work.
Fashion photographer Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as a photographer and educator. Based in New York, her fashion editorials have appeared in many fashion and photography publications, including Marie Claire, InStyle, Noise Magazine, Zink Magazine, Elle, Rangefinder, Professional Photographer and many more. As a photography educator, she is one of the most sought-after speakers internationally, teaching at the largest industry platforms and at the most prestigious events, being named one of the top 10 fashion photographers in the world. Lindsay has worked with some of the leading brands in the photography and related industries such as Canon, Adobe and Microsoft.
This book was my first introduction to the pose and overall I enjoyed it a lot.
Positive: The material is great. Lindsay Adler is an amazing photographer and has a knack for explaining things clearly and visually illustrating what she's talking about, with do's / don'ts, backup shots if needed, and a few occasional diagrams above. The key to this book, compared to the static guides for various poses that I tried before, is that it doesn't give you a list of positions to twist people into, but rather a set of rationale for you to use to (a) figure out what you want someone to look like, then (b) arrange them in a position that matches the look you are looking for. And at the end of the chapter he gives you a small list of positions you can twist people into if you lack the imagination to start yourself;)
Neither pros nor cons: This book is pretty much the same size, but not quite as complete, which you will quickly see that it just couldn't be without being much bigger. However, given the amount of material, I personally found some content choices to be suboptimal. Adding an entire chapter on boudoir pose seemed like an unusual choice, while I would have expected some more common scenarios, particularly working with children and posing unknown groups, to be left out. If you shoot a lot of boudoir, of course that's great for you, so ymmv. By the end of the book, I felt this was less of a comprehensive pose guide than a lengthy introduction and promotion of the extensive educational video she has online. That I have to admit that I fell in love with; Since then I've bought three of his CreativeLive courses.
Cons: The fit in this book is very rough which prevents this review from being a five star review. There are several places in the book where the numbers of the characters he is referring to do not match the images he is talking about. for example. She will say "The problem with picture 3.19 was [x] and I solved it in picture 3.20 by doing [y]" but the two pictures she is talking about will actually be 3.17 and 3.18. Presumably in this case a removed image and outdated references in the text were added.
Worse, sometimes the text refers to an image that isn't numbered, or an image has the wrong caption just below it. This may seem like small problems, but it can be very confusing for a beginner to read something, look at the reference picture, see that the two do not match, and then take some time to figure out if the book is wrong or when you just don't understand what to look for.
An entire section of Chapter 3 (on problematic expressions) is also alluded to, but then the chapter ends abruptly without the promised section. I suppose this is because an editor deleted that part of the chapter but forgot to remove the introductory text.
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