Everybody handles their portrait sessions differently. Some just jump right into it while others take a little time to warm up. Typically, I’m of the latter variety, especially as most of my subjects aren’t models who are used to being in front of the camera. They’re regular people, they need to get comfortable, and I want to see how their face and body react to the light.
And that’s what this video from Michael Zelbel at Good Light is all about. These are 8 warm-up poses he goes through with his subjects to get them comfortable in front of the camera, see how the pose affects their body, and how it responds to the light.
With the assistance of model, Dominika, Michael shows the 8 poses he goes through with each of his subjects at the beginning of a session. You’ll see in the video, too, that the lights are moved for each pose to get a better idea of just how the light hits them at different angles to best bring out their shape and facial features.
Here are the 8 poses…
You can see that each of the poses Michael uses also offer some variation. Sometimes those warm-up poses just work well and you want to experiment with them a little.
While I don’t use the same poses as Michael, I find this time invaluable in a session to ultimately produce better images. Even if these aren’t the best poses for your subject, you’ll pick up a lot on what angles and light will work well for your subject. And just going through the motions will get them more used to having their photo shot, and get them feeling more comfortable.