As soon as people are in front of the camera, they become self-conscious and awkward. How can you pose them in an authentic, natural way, without it looking all… posed? In this section, we’ll show you how to use the way people naturally hold themselves to get portraits that – with a little fine-tuning – flatter them but also look true to who they really are.

Posing People Without Posing

Sometimes, you may want to achieve a fashion-style image with a subject in a dramatic, posed position. The rest of the time, you probably just want your subject to look good and be comfortable. This section is all about the latter: flattering people, but keeping it natural and authentic, too.

Dealing With Reluctant Subjects

Pauline walked into my studio and declared, “I don’t know why I’m here”. This is how I responded, and how it led to me creating one of my b...

Generating Genuine Expressions

I love talking. My wife says that all I need is a budgie mirror and I’ll happily chatter away all day. Thankfully this characteristic is pretty h...

Working With Men

Traditionally, when posing men most photographers look to emphasise their subject’s masculinity. This can be achieved through a more defined jaw, broader-looking shoulders and a pose (and camera angle) that convey confidence. This section will give you plenty of tips, tricks and techniques for achieving all of these and more.

A Portrait With A Prop

I don’t often bring props into my portraits: they have to be there for a reason. In this case, the prop belonged to my subject, and it was the perf...

A Crouch To Suit The Composition

I invited Steve into the studio so I could create some portraits for our book, Mastering Portrait Photography. I was specifically looking to captur...

Using Your Subject’s Natural Stance

People need direction in front of the camera – otherwise they often become self-conscious and suddenly forget how they would sit or stand in a rela...

Close-Up Male Portraits

Two simple, naturally lit portraits of two lovely guys. Read on for three tips for emphasising masculinity in portraits like these, and how to pose...

Working With Women

Traditionally, when posing women most photographers look to emphasise their subject’s femininity. This can be achieved through exaggerating their curves, softening their hand position, guiding them into flattering poses and shooting from optimal camera angles.  This section will give you plenty of tips, tricks and techniques for achieving all of these and more.

High Key Office-Style Portrait

Bryony actually came into the studio for some headshots. I loved her outfit and the way she looked, so after the headshots were in the bag, I invit...

Flattering Feminine Portraits

Here’s how to combine one woman, one feminine pose and one close crop for a quick and easy, high-impact portrait – with absolutely no lighting ki...

Working With Children

Working with children is about much more than making babies smile. First, parents need to feel relaxed, so that their children relax, too. Then you’ll need to overcome the wariness of shy children and calm the energy levels of excitable ones. Lastly, you’ll need to understand their abilities and motivations, so you can connect with children of all ages and capture their latest stage of development.

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Getting Kids To Smile

Asking for smiles from young subjects doesn’t work. Instead, you need to set the right atmosphere, tune into the child’s personality and intera...

Kai With His Skateboard

Simple is often best. A patch of daylight on a simple brick wall is all I needed to create this portrait. Oh, and the coolest kid on the block as m...

Searching For Giants

Making your shoots fun for your subjects is key to getting memorable portraits. This image was the final shot of the day and the result of a playfu...

Working With Groups And Families

Just when you’ve mastered posing one person, you’re asked to capture a whole bunch of them. How do you pose multiple people to achieve a visually pleasing composition? How do you avoid the totem pole and police line-up effect of stacking people head on head or side by side? How do you make posing look natural? This section has the answers…

Movie-star posing for teen groups

Three sisters wanted a great shot of their collective pre-teen, teenage and young adult children. The kids were less than enthusiastic – how could ...

Fun portrait of a close friendship

It was the last summer before four very good friends said their goodbyes and parted ways. My commission was to capture the joy of their time togeth...

When the puppy has other ideas…

So there I was, lying on the floor one (really) cold December day, capturing portraits of this family walking along with their new puppy. All of a ...

Working With Dogs

As your camera skills develop and your reputation spreads, it won’t be long before you are tasked with capturing a beautiful dog portrait or two. Whether it’s a beloved family mutt, or a beautifully groomed show breed, the tips in this section will guide you through successfully interacting with dogs (and their owners) to capture perfect pet portraits for your clients.

Award-Winning Studio Dog Portrait

This portrait of Rufus, our studio dog, won ‘Dog Portrait of the Year’ at the 2018 Master Photographers Association Awards. Here’s how we created i...