Loving Our Selfies – The Perils of Posing


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Oh boy, this girl is out of shape! Shooting shape that is. For some of you out there, this is your busy season. For this Michigander, that blows my mind how you southerners are still busy with the class of 2014. It’s awesome, and I gotta be honest, I’m a little jealous (except, of course, that it’s a lot of last minute work and graduation is right around the corner).

I’ve done two shoots since October. Thaaaaat’s it. I should tell you that I might have fallen down my stairs December 22, severely dislocating my shoulder, (klluuuuuutz! I’m blaming it on the baby gate I was climbing over) which put me in a sling and resulted in a wicked surgery in January. I’m just starting to get my mobility back but my strength is pure crap. The reason I put this in here is because it has led to my staleness. And doofesness. Yea, that’s a word, even if I just made it up.

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I shot Sunday with two STUNNING girls who modeled clothes for the amazing Wanderlust Boutique (check her out on Facebook and Instagram, her clothes are to DIE for). After sitting around most of the winter besides the one snow shoot I did in January, one-handed, in a sling, with one of my former students holding half of my camera for me, I felt a little awkward. Wait, not a little awkward, A LOT awkward. I hate that. Posing is something I’ve never felt I’ve excelled at, and after too much time off, my confidence was lower then the goose poo I stepped on and stuck to my shoe.

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Instead of freaking out and rushing like I would have done in the past, I channeled my inner Amanda Holloway, took a breathe and decided to rock that s**t! After the first look on each girl, I looked on my phone for a little inspiration. I checked out some of you talented people out there looking for some guidance. Not to copy, mind you, but to give my flat lined creativity a little juice. It didn’t take much browsing to feel like, “Ok, yea, I got this!”

Another thing that helped me was the fact that my amazing makeup artist, Lindsey of Lindsey Marie Beauty, and the boutique owner, Ally, were extremely supportive. As I was working, I kept hearing, “LOOOOVE!” and, “I’m obsessed!” behind me. I’m not sure about you, but having a cheering section as you shoot is a fantastic way to bring your confidence up. I may just bring them along to every shoot from now on…I’m sure they won’t mind. Really, if you have someone that can go with you to cheer you on, bring her or him along. Sometimes bouncing ideas off of someone is a great way to get what you’re really looking for. Just be careful the person you ask doesn’t act like the creative director; that could get a little sticky!

Whenever your confidence is waning on your posing, just slow down for a second. If you don’t like what you see in front of you, don’t shoot it; change it! If a hand looks awkward, move it. If it looks like a tree is growing out of your client’s head, scoot them over. Take your time and really make sure you like what you’re getting. I honestly look at the back of my camera like crazy. One, it helps me ensure I’m getting nothing but gold, and two, I love showing my clients how amazing they look. The other day, my model Meijie couldn’t believe what she saw on the back of the camera. I love that; when a girl can see her true beauty. Her “Wow!” said it all. That not only boosts HER confidence, but MINE as well. That helps keep moving me forward and working to create some more photography magic. I think I’m sounding a little conceited right now…I don’t claim to be the best by any means, but you know what, I’m pretty damn good and I am constantly working on how I can be better.

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Of course, it’s always important to not only make your client look good, but feel good as well. It’s a must to pay attention to their body shape. One wrong angle and you can make someone look like they have triple the junk in the trunk, and if they aren’t Beyonce who’s got insurance on that booty, I’m not sure that’s a look you should go for. Be sure to compliment their features. Even ask what side is their “good” side, because don’t lie, you know you say you have one! I always have been self-conscious of my arms, they’re muscular and not what I feel like is “feminine”, and my wedding photographer knew that so he was sensitive to that when he posed us. That doesn’t mean to ask your client, “So, what do you hate most about your body?” Just pay attention and use your photographer intuition about what your client feels less than confident about and then work with it. Highlight their best features as much as possible by showcasing them when you’re posing.

You can find a lot of inspiration out there. Check out what your peers are doing, just don’t blatantly copy them. Stand in front of the mirror posing yourself and see what looks good. It sounds stupid, but hey, I do it. I’m a complete goofball, but whatever. And if you’re ever feeling stale in your offseason, just grab some models, even if it’s your best friend or significant other and practice. “I’m talkin’ bout practice!” Allen Iverson? Anyone remember that? No? Ok, there I go proving I’m a weirdo again…

Good luck to all of you wrapping up your 2014 seniors. And for those of you who live in states like Michigan and are just getting ready to go, kick some butt and pose the crap out of your seniors.

Until next time, stay classy, photogs.

<3 tara