February 21, 2019
/ by Kim Garrison
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
In portrait photography, there is a constant struggle between posed and unposed approaches to shooting.
Posed is telling your subjects exactly how you want them positioned, whereas the unposed technique uses activities and prompts to get the look you’re going for.
One word you hear over and over in the portrait industry is “authentic,” which lends itself to the unposed way of working, but how do you also ensure that your images maintain an artistic look?
If you focus on strict posing, you may end up with repetitive images and no unique qualities for each new client.
As with many things, the best is usually somewhere in between and using the different methods for different situations. To help highlight when and where to implement these practices, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of each.
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Here are the pros to going with posed pictures:
And some of the cons with posed pictures:
Here are the pros to going with unposed shots:
And some of the cons:
There's no right or wrong answer. All that ultimately matters is whether you -- and your subjects -- are happy with the finished product.
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