My photo
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Photographer. Writer. 45yo Indo-Fijian Australian. Glam Feminist. Coconuts.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Commit Factor

So, here's another tip; when you're posing... commit to the pose.  Really commit. 
  • If you're going to laugh, then laugh out loud because a fake laugh doesn't spread joy through the face and to your eyes.  THAT's how a laugh is photographed.  Through eyes.  
  • If you're going to jump, reach for the stars not for the kitchen cupboards.
  • If you're going to pose with attitude then bring it sister.  No half-hearted giggly shit. Don't be afraid to be dramatic.  And don't be shy! You already have a blog dedicated to your personal style.  Your vanity is already out there. ;-) Now put your stamp on it.
  • If you're going to do 'The Manero'... thrust that hip and commit.

I get a lot of comments about my poses/posing 'talent' but if I have to blow my own trumpet (I'd say orchestra but...that sounds all kinds of wrong...), I'm more chuffed about my self-pic-clicking skills.  Now say that really fast.

I did say I'd share 'posing-for-your-blog-photo-tips' rather than photographic tips because, although I know my way around a camera, I'm not too sure where to start giving tips about photography. 

Posing however...well... that's just second nature.  Plus I modelled back in the dark ages.  So I know my angles.  And when I don't, 'delete' is always an option.


I play around a lot with exposure and ISO settings (keeping both low when theres lots of good strong natural light, increasing when I'm indoors but not the ISO so much because that's when photos get grainy.  ISO doesn't actually stand for anything refering to a camera!)
...and also shutter speed and aperture (this is how I sometimes capture my 'action' shots, my flaring skirts, etc).  Obviously I also use self-timer & continuous frames (point & shoot cam) or remote (DSLR)

It's a bit, um, presumptuous of me sharing posing tips because
a) I'm not making squillions from my 'talent' and
b) way more popular bloggers seem to be doing just fine without my 'expert' help.

Not everyone wants to pose pose or see posed poses.
...many are not comfortable posing and really, we all pose according to what our personalities want to do so... you know... do what you want and what makes you happy but whatever you do.... COMMIT to it.  Don't just stand there like a limp biscuit in a sauna.  And be aware of what you're doing.  I don't believe in non photogenic people. People are just 'disconnected' from their physical selves.

When I pose... I am always aware of what every part of me is doing.  eg. when I'm doing a jump shot... I think about keeping my toes pointed, my body arched, my arms stretched, my neck elongated and my face relaxed but not floppy and not in tight-mouthed "trying to focus" mode! 
It sounds extreme but for me, it is seriously second nature!

To stop 'tight-mouth syndrome', I touch the tip of my tongue to my palate.  This also makes my mouth open slightly which makes my jawline more prominent and balances my face because... [deep breath. divulge fault time]... I have a small jaw. 
I have my reasons why I counter-balance but I'm not telling you.  J

But okay let's take a simple, hand on hip, straight to the camera shot.  You can stand as is or you can spice it up by simply contorting the body a little.  Think of your body as two separate components, hinged at the waist then...swivel!
Hmmm... I may need to demonstrate via images because there's lots of variations to this simple pose.  Without looking like a beauty pageant entrant.

Also... there is no need to freeze up in front of the camera.  It's a camera, not a soul-sucker.  And the camera only picks up your "faults" if you let it.  Feel free to ask me questions

Having said that... sometimes the best poses are not the most comfortable.  Like the image in the 2nd link in this post ("laugh out loud").  My weight is being carried by my legs.  Not saying you need to do stuff like that! 

I am dramatic in manner (NOT in mood) but I'm also trained in certain techniques like ninjitsu, levitation and how to distribute my body weight. 

Guess which two may be figments of my imagination and could get me committed if I tried to do them? 

vintage shag vest * black things * 'Shakti' * turquoise eyes and ears * COCO LIBERACE ring & bead bracelets


Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Useful photography tips as usual.
The last image of you is such a delight for my senses today. Your eye-makeup is especially lovely and that smile - Irresistible!

Meher said...

I love your poses, and mine suck, so I'm so gonna follow your tips. Thanks for sharing.

Toni said...

Dusk, my dear. I miss ya. Will you please open up a Twitter account? Pretty please?!

Leia said...

I really do appreciate your tips. I tend to not pose at ALL for my outfit photos! I have *tried* posing, but it ends up looking forced and unnatural, and I've found the best photos come out when I'm doing something I would naturally do. I'm not very good with camera settings (have played around with them but nothing seems to improve...!) and I don't try to hide faults (I let my clothing do that): the thing that never comes out well for me is my face. I always seem to be making an odd or funny or contorted face and the more I move my face (i.e. smile) the worse it looks... unless I happen to be laughing at a joke or smiling naturally! Does that make any sense? Probably not! But I've always had a fear of cameras and HATE the way I look in photographs. Blogging has helped, marginally, but I avoid outfit posts as much as I can and probably wouldn't do them at ALL if it wasn't the most popular feature on my blog. And it's fun to look back on past outfits.

Anyway... you always look incredible! So can I continue to post mediocre pictures and enjoy your phenomenal ones?? :D


Tanvi said...

I love this post [Have you noticed how much I use the word 'love' on your blog? Hmmmm Must be love ;)]

GREAT TIPS!!! With time i have become a little confident in taking pictures and letting my inner-diva out. But still need to reach your perfection ... which will probably take a lifetime.

from ©

Tanvi said...

I love this post [Have you noticed how much I use the word 'love' on your blog? Hmmmm Must be love ;)]

GREAT TIPS!!! With time i have become a little confident in taking pictures and letting my inner-diva out. But still need to reach your perfection ... which will probably take a lifetime.

from ©

Vivek Nanda said...

Wonderful as always, cheers mate :)

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Thank you Dusk. I needed this post badly. I have given it a cursory glace now. But I guess, I guess i will have to refer to this post so many more times in future.
Very Helpful.
But I did not find any jump that I could click on. Am I missing something?

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Ah Got the jump. My mistake.

bollywoodstylediaries said...

The first pic is amazing. How do you think of these poses? each one is so unique and I have been reading ur blog for a long time!

the nyanzi report said...

Ha! I'm a first time visitor here and I already love your blog. Your poses are legendary. Great outfits too.

Mitr Friend - Bhushavali said...

Lovely tips and great poses as usual!!!
The Green Dress with Ruffles for SALE

Ninjagaiden78 said...

Cool outfit and poses.

Taj Acosta said...

I've been catching up on your posts my dear! I love this look, it's so chanel-ish to me! Love the vest, I just want to pet you! lol Hoep all is well sweetie and thanks for the tips! xo -Taj

Terri said...

This is good advice...and I'm going to try it. Commit, commit, commit...

hot girl said...

Nice Blog...
Lovely Picture.

Jessie said...

Love this!! You have great poses.. I need to work on mine :)


the Citizen Rosebud said...

Beautiful poses and great advice. It reminds me of the lessons I learn when taking a art design class. We were talking about "gesture." The teacher declared it took a great big ego to be a good gesture artist- think Jackson Pollack. The follow through could be seen in the action- so a big ego would follow through no matter what- in short- commit.
-Bella Q
the Citizen Rosebud

Misfits Vintage said...

I love it - what wonderful advice and examples.

Your photographs were the inspiration for me to start trying interesting poses and feeling good in my photos (and stop the 'hands on hips, look at the ground' pose that was so depressing and kinda weird!). You are an absolute supermodel to me Dusk.

I LOVE you in this amazing jumpsuit and accessories. You look beautiful, as always.

Sarah xxx


Absolutely love this outfit! The chain piece looks incredible when set off against black...

ps: thanks for your comments on my blog about being a woman in 2011. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful and thought provoking ideas...

annie said...

Thanks for this. I will be taking your advice! For sure!

Ashley said...

One of the most difficult things in a photographers life is to get people to relax behind the camera... that`s why I stick to babies and buildings! Great tips and lovely photos, Dusk.