The Pose Knows

Raw unprocessed image from high-key photo session.  Notice how different the subject looks with slight pose change.
Raw unprocessed image from high-key photo session. Notice how different the subject looks with slight pose change.

So back when I was shooting these pictures, I asked my models to also relax their faces for a few pictures and even look stern or intense in some.  That is for another project I’ll be showing you examples of later.

For now, I wanted to show you why your photographer takes so many pictures of you when you sit for a portrait.  The slightest changes in posture and expression make a world of difference.  I’ve heard it said that a good portrait is almost entirely lighting and posing.  I think this helps prove the point.  Notice in the picture above how much more pleasing the image on the right is.  The differences are subtle enough that I didn’t even notice them while shooting.  If you know this person, you’d also say that the image on the right just looks more like her.

It also proves the “rule” that women only like pictures of themselves with nice smiles on their faces.  When the subject saw them, her comment was “It still looks like a mugshot.”  To me the picture on the left makes her look sad, but the one on the right is much more ambiguous and interesting.  I look at it and think “I wonder what this person is thinking and feeling right now.”

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