I’m better behind the camera than I am in front of one! When I pose, I usually just stand there like a lump with my arms at my side and attempt a passable smile. Pathetic!
Pictures are more fun to share and more interesting to look at if your subject tries to put a little something into the poses. But failing that, you can use a few tricks to spice up the end shot.
I’d like to share 8 types of poses with you now:
I N T E R A C T I O N
Posing in front of something isn’t very interesting, but if you can interact with the object by touching it for example, it creates a connection that can evoke a story. This topiary dinosaur outside The Universe of Energy in Epcot seems to appreciate Karen’s attention!
R E F E R E N C E
A lamppost. A person swinging around it. Does this pose remind you of anything? The iconic moment in Singing in the Rain when Gene Kelly is dancing, er… in the rain! It only takes a nod to some famous scene or photograph to evoke an emotional response on the part of a viewer.
B O L D
Sometimes the background (here, the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot) is so strong that you need to match it for power and presence. In the picture above, I tried to show strength and confidence. Also, by centering me (as the subject) it furthers the theme by making the image symmetrical and thus rigid.
S U R R O U N D I N G S
Sometimes the background does most of the work for you. Here, Karen is perfectly nestled in the space. The picture has many different textures and directions that all serve to lead to and frame the human subject.
E N E R G E T I C
This billboard for The Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was very busy and dynamic. So Karen decided to try to match the level of energy in her pose by miming the positioning of a race car driver as she grips an imaginary steering wheel. The facial expression was a bonus!
C A N D I D
Capturing a subject in an unguarded moment can yield some of the best portrait shots. But you have to be careful not to catch the face at an awkward angle thus portraying them in an unfavorable light. Especially if the subject is your spouse. And you wish that association to continue.
P L A Y F U L
People enjoy looking at pictures that are fun! Seeing a friend in a huge colorful hat (here, from the Mexican Pavilion in Epcot) can be entertaining and lead to the story as to how the subject found and then came to wear said hat. It is also a way to remember an object you liked but wouldn’t normally buy, let alone be caught dead wearing under normal circumstances!
Closely related to a playful pose is:
S I L L Y
Again, some settings just lend themselves to good photography setups. At The Pop Century Resort in Walt Disney World there are dozens of oversized ‘props’ for use in creating silly situations and poses.
Friends love to see and make fun of other friends doing silly or outright stupid things! Otherwise, how would America’s Funniest Home Videos still be on the air? If you have a subject willing to ham it up (as I am above) then more people might be willing to sit through your photo album revues!
And there you have it. 8 posing styles to explore the next time you visit The Vacation Kingdom, another Disney park, or any other interesting destination you think you will need to record on film.
Remember: Friends don’t subject friends to bad pictures!