How to remember good poses for portraits

Oliver Pohlmann gives an easy tip on how you can remember good poses for your subject on a shoot. Often beginner photographers experience difficulties posing people and it may really ruin your image even if your settings were chosen right and you had an excellent composition. Just bringing an album of poses will look unprofessional and you do not want to do that. However there is a simple solution. Before you go on a shoot search on Google Images or Pinterest photographs of people in a similar shooting conditions, select 10 to 20 images and make photos of them from your computer screen. Your memory card in the camera should be formatted before you do that. So when you are on location, just view some of the images from Google Images or Pinterest on your camera screen as if you are adjusting its settings or reviewing previously done photos. The reason why you need to format your card first is that you can then move forward from the last taken photo to view those poses. It is really handy. Over the time the number of images with poses that you need will decrease and you may only need 3 or 5 poses to refer to, until you feel confidence and need to such help at all.

How to shoot corporate portraits

First you need to understand what the background will be on location. Ask your client and you may suggest some options and show some examples.

In this shoot, it was agreed to use gray background in a conference room.

Then you need a schedule of the shoot: plan every aspect of it including time for preparation and also lunch.

Mark the spot where your subject will be standing with a tape on the floor.

The main key light will come from a softbox with a grid, since the room is quite small, all the light must come to the subject and not to be wasted on walls.

Another softbox (octo shaped) will be used as a rim light. It will light the subject from behind and left. The background will be lit with a a grid light, you need to separate your subject from the background.

Since shadows are still a bit harsh on subjects' faces, it is a good idea to place an umbrella behind the camera so that it acts as a fill light.

This setup works well with people wearing dark suits. For subjects who have bright shirts, use a back flag to block the light from your main light source coming to the white shirt.

The background light is also adjusted depending on the person's hair color. Dial it down if the hair color is bright.

Ask your subjects to bring 2-3 outfits so that there are some options. Bring a hand held mirror that you can give to people and thus avoid having them leaving the room if they think they need to check their hair.

Sometimes a person has no tie but feels he should be photographed with it, so bring a nice blue tie to lend in such cases.