How to Take Better Formal Pictures of People
So I was invited to take some ring dance formals. I had never honestly been asked to take high school dance photos at other people's houses before. But I knew a lot about working with people, finding good light and most importantly, how to pose people!
Posing people was the key for my photos. You can have the best camera, the best light and the best equipment, but if you don't know how to work with people and bring out a good side of them that is fun and positive, than you just wasted your time.
With prom season coming up, I thought it would fun to have a blog post about doing better formal photos with your DSLR.
1. DON'T FORGET THE LITTLE DETAILS.
I took pictures of the guy getting his jacket on. I got shots of the girl putting her flower bracelet thingy on...
Getting details tells a part of the story that makes your photos different.
2. NATURAL LIGHT WORKS BEST
I did have my external flash on (think God for extra emergency batteries). But most of the time, I shot in natural light from the window. It really makes your subject clean and airy.
Using the same blank wall, I took several pictures here. If the lighting is good- use it!
Make sure your aren't cutting off anyone's toes!
3. FOR GROUP PORTRAITS, GOOD POSING IS SO IMPORTANT TO A GOOD PHOTO.
It's the worst when you can't see someone's face! Steps or chairs are great for this problem! Make your subjects have fun with casual and fun poses as well to "loosen" them up and "break the ice."
4. BODY LANGUAGE IS SO IMPORTANT
You don't want their body language to say "Awkward." They are already nervous enough by being in fancy clothes, make them feel comfortable by giving them good poses that they can use their hands.
I always make girls bend their elbows and cock their hip a little, very flattering!
this is a good pose that I always use for guys- very masculine.
5. FOR OUTDOOR PHOTOS- FIND AN INTERESTING BACKGROUND AND SHADE
I purposely didn't put my subject flat against a brick wall- how boring- I slanted him against a really cool textured fence that made you lead up to his eyes with the leading lines!
This time of day is always a great time to get some good headshots in- while the light is nice.
I posed Erica here with my traditional female pose- with hands on hips and hip cocked- to bring out her neckline and her eyes.
I say all sorts of things to make people laugh. I think I made a farting joke here- haha!
Here are some of my favorite moments from this short time we had together:
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