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How to Get Your Friends to Pose Like Models

If you are just starting out in photography and looking to build your portfolio, models may not be jumping at the chance to shoot with you to help you build your portfolio, so you may ask friends to help you out and be your models. Whether you're working with friends or as a portrait photographer shooting non-models every day, getting your subjects to be comfortable in front of a camera and to nail some killer poses isn’t going to happen naturally for most.

Sheldon Evans shares several tips to help you better pose your friends or non-models to nail better portraits. One of Evans’ pieces of advice (which I am also working on for myself) is to communicate and be vocal during the shoot. Usually, I am pretty quiet when shooting, so being vocal and positive during the shoot is one tip that I know can change the flow on set with those that are not as familiar with posing and how it’s coming through in camera.

Also, it’s not a good idea to give negative feedback. Always try to give feedback in a positive manner, as it will be much harder to get someone to produce stellar results after hearing negative feedback.

These tips are helpful and can make it a lot easier to get your subject with little to no model experience into better poses. Which was your favorite tip from this video? What other tips do you use?

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Dave Landfield's picture

Criminy! Speaking of what to do with your hands - Sheldon Evans, trust that your words are sufficient to convey your point. For the love of Mike, stop 'talking with your hands', constantly waving them around like you're swatting flies. It is a profound distraction.

Tom Freda's picture

Take a chill pill dude. There's nothing wrong with the guy using hand gestures. Perhaps you should be asking yourself why you have an issue with it rather than critiquing others.

"A study analyzing TED Talks last year found that the most popular, viral speakers used an average of about 465 hand gestures, which is nearly twice as many as the least popular speakers used. Other research has found that people who "talk" with their hands tend to be viewed as warm, agreeable and energetic, while those who are less animated are seen as logical, cold and analytical."

Dave Landfield's picture

How did his repetitive motions supplement the narrative? What additional information was gleaned from the movements? There is a qualitative difference between specific points being re-enforced with hand gestures that are harmonious to said point, versus the chaos of flailing arms whipping about throughout a presentation, the latter detracts from the speaker's message by distracting the viewer/listener from focusing on the message. When hand gestures are used to *complement* narrative, as a secondary feature that helps emphasize points, that is beneficial. When hand gestures are continuous, uninterrupted, and random they act a hindrance, not as a facilitator of more efficient understanding and communication.