Posing The Family of Four
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Old 11-05-2007   #1
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Default Posing The Family of Four

Several fellow Camels have asked for a tutorial on how I pose the casual family. The poses below can be used indoors or outdoors.

First some psychology on posing. The closer the family is physically posed together the closer the viewer feels the family is in reality. Posing them with large spaces between them indicates they are not that close in reality. Heads tipped away from one another indicates an uneasyness with their neighbour. Hands placed on one another indicates closeness. All expressions should be similiar, and everyone should be looking in the same direction in order to give the image some continuity.

For outdoor imaging I always arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the family to check out the scene. If you can use the same general area each time you shoot and you photograph at approximately the same time of day each time, you will quickly learn where the best lighting can be found and where the best background is, which will prevent surprises and lost sales. Don't use sunshine as your main light, step into the shade, under some large trees which will block the overhead light and prevent "raccoon eyes."

In the images below we were about 20 feet back under the canopy of a forest. The branches were about 15 feet above our heads which allows lots of light under the tree. I posed them at a 45 degree angle to the main light which was a large open area at camera right.

I took a small (12 inch high) stool (like the ones children sit on) and placed it where I intended to seat Dad, then I stepped back and focused on the stool, moved the camera to the left and checked out what my background was going to be. Other than there were some leafless spots in the background I liked the background, and I knew I could easily add some additional leaves in Photoshop so I settled on this spot for the group shot and took several meter readings. I made sure the readings from highlight side to shadow side were within the ability of digital to capture the scene. If it had been too great a difference I would have added either a flash unit or a large silver reflector at camera left to get some additional light into the shadow side of the image. In my case it was about a 1 stop difference between the highlight side and the shadows side so I knew I was OK. I set the camera and aperture at the highlight reading making absolutely sure I had sufficient DOF to get all faces in focus. If I got too much DOF and the background was sharp I knew I could quickly and easily soften in Photoshop. I also know OOF faces are lots more difficult to fix.

Then I began posing them. The first image shows how I posed Dad. His buns are on the stool. Seating him like this takes the pressure off of the knee that is on the ground.

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Old 11-05-2007   #2
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

Then I added his wife.
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Old 11-05-2007   #3
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Then I added his daughter. Note she is seated on a 4 inch thick piece of a log which raises her up so she isn't the same height as either Mom or her brother. All three are the same height when seated.
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Old 11-05-2007   #4
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

and then his son. Note the shirts and blouses are the same color, everyone is in blue jeans and dark shoes. This Mom took my suggestions!
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Old 11-05-2007   #5
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

Then we rearranged the kids so we could have another pose.
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Old 11-05-2007   #6
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

And then we rearranged them again for yet another pose.
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Old 11-05-2007   #7
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

Great to see another tutorial, Benji. These are wonderful examples.
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Old 11-05-2007   #8
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

Note the sunshine skimming across the boy at camera left in the above image. This gives you and idea of where the sun was in relation to the group.

We also photographed Mom and Dad alone, each child alone and the two kids together.

Benji
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Old 11-05-2007   #9
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The kids.
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Old 11-05-2007   #10
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Default Re: Posing The Family of Four

Meg alone.


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