Just a couple more days of our Month of Photo Fun and today brings you another tip, one that I've been using a lot myself lately. When you are posing your subjects, SHOW them how.
Often, when we are photographing people, we have an idea in our head as to how we'd like them to pose- especially when we've been paying attention to posing ideas and tips and want to implement them to create better portraits (hint, hint)! But we are reluctant to step out from behind our cameras, and so we try to tell our subjects how to sit, stand, move that right elbow, and so on. It's too hard for them to hear what you are saying, decipher whether you mean their right or your right, and try to follow your instructions, all while trying to look their best. So lower your camera, step over to where they are, and physically show them what you mean.
This is most especially helpful for young kids who might be nervous about "doing it wrong". In the shot below, I actually sat behind dad and leaned in to show Chase exactly what I wanted (the step was at an awkward height for her and she was having trouble). I didn't hug dad though- I think he was a little nervous himself!
Take time to show your subject what you want them to do, even if it makes you look silly. When I want my guy subjects to look masculine, I often have to show them what I mean. This means sitting down, spreading my legs, and hanging over them, which makes me look like a fool. It works though. This was exactly how I wanted Brandon sitting and his masculine pose makes the shot!
And then there's hand position. Trying to tell Fayth here how to position her hands so her chin wasn't resting completely on them (thus squishing her chin) would have taken so much time, so I simply showed her. It takes just a second and is so easy and makes all the difference.
So take a moment and show them what you want. We are often visual learners and it helps so much when your subjects can see exactly what you want them to do. And it makes a wonderful difference in your images!