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Old May 1st, 2014, 08:45 PM   #1
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How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

Random thought of the day: maybe people stress about this too much. After a certain point, does it really matter whether her hand is on his cheek or his chest or the back of his head? Whether he's kissing her on lips, neck or forehead?

Sure, you can put them in a dramatic pose, and that looks great. But for most shots I'm beginning to think that natural reactions and pure technical qualities of the image, like composition, matter much more in terms of viewer impact and client satisfaction than subtleties of pose.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 12:02 AM   #2
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

Video is moving pictures so I cannot really see any point in shooting a posed shot on video. Photos on the other hand look decidedly scrappy unless they are posed. Even with stuff like pre-dinner drinks and guest tables we always pose the group and get them to at least smile ..makes for better pro shots. The random shots of guests and tables and such are best left to the happy snappers and their iPhones!!

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Old May 2nd, 2014, 03:00 AM   #3
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

Photos yes. Video no.

That one photo will be studied and revered by the couple.

For video they aren't actors and when people are posed it's often obvious they've been posed and they behave in a awkward manner. Let them be natural and they will give their best and most believable performance.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 04:26 AM   #4
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I agree with Danny, the presumption seems to be that the subject doesn't look like they are posing when they are. IMO, many posed pictures provoke wooden posture and cheesy expressions whereas casual shots frequently give natural portraits that reveal what others see in real life.*

*Unless of course that subject has a problem with their natural appearance and wants photography to show them as some visual figment of their imagination.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:17 AM   #5
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I've watched a couple of photographer workshops, including on posing, and I'll say, it matters. It's one element in the different between a nice photo and a great one.

For instance, check out the photo I've attached.

hands 1b | RNB Weddings

Of course, applying this to video is a whole other thing. I've experimented with a few portrait video shots, lasting 5 seconds or so, that make nice moving DVD screens, but otherwise, haven't found a way that this kind of attention to detail applies.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:30 AM   #6
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

For us, what works best on video is capturing those moments in-between shots. So while the tog is changing cards, lenses or scratching his balls the couple will often start to interact with each other. their shoulders relax and they become themselves. This is when I'm sniping my shots.

We used to stage shots years ago but you would end up with the couple chatting away or after 2 seconds asking 'is that it, are we done?'. I had one bride who would close one eye when she smiled for the camera.

Now, we often just let the tog get his posed shots. After all, why do the need us to show what their photos are showing? Our time would be better spent where they are not.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:58 AM   #7
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I take it this is related to the 'can I be a jack of all trades' thread. I've sold wedding coverage (still photography) for over a thousand weddings and as a consequence reviewed the results with most of the same customers. The studio provided less formal coverage but the posed shots were always given careful attention. The inexperienced can't see the finer points like the way the bride's dress falls and it's very obvious when looking at images when they were shot by a rookie. Regardless of the current trend to photograph someone standing square to the camera with the deadpan expression of an imbecile, your customers aren't going to call it art. In still photography you need to be careful with the compositional elements, backgrounds (don't want the antlers from the moose at the Moose Lodge sticking out of the bride's head), clothing (shirts tucked in, ties straight, dress arranged) etc. All that's harder to do with motion of course, but why shouldn't composition be equally important in video?
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
For us, what works best on video is capturing those moments in-between shots. So while the tog is changing cards, lenses or scratching his balls the couple will often start to interact with each other. their shoulders relax and they become themselves. This is when I'm sniping my shots.
Same here!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I agree composition is extremely important but composition and posing aren't always the same thing. I too was a still photog for years and did a lot of fashion type work along with weddings. Fashion work gave me the eye I needed for weddings but back in the 70s and early 80s when I was doing wedding stills, EVERYTHING was posed. After the ceremony we'd have about an hour to do formal portraits and we posed everything and everyone. There were no photogs back then that I knew who were doing "journalistic candids" as they like to call them today. Of course the wedding dresses were different then as well. Everything has changed.

Jim you're right about the details. the way the dress falls when the bride is posed on the altar, the sweep of the hem...some photogs see it, some don't but to get to the OPs question, in video I posed virtually nothing. I had 1 shot I did pose and that was it and even with that there was motion to it.

Remember video is 30 pictures a second. Motion and movement!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I agree it matters for photography, but typically can't pull it off in video, nor does it work. If a couple is cooperative, and there's time it's possible to pull off a nice staged posed shot with a slider or steadicam gear, but I usually don't encounter that opportunity nor try. I'm pretty passive, and let the photog do the staging etc. I sometimes zoom in for reaction shots (laughing, talking, smiling) to change it up a bit from the photographs. Then edit it up with posed shots I got that the photog assembled.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I tend to think there is an equivalent to still photography posing in video, but it has more to do with the relationship of people and objects in 3D space over the time of the shot. The first that come to mind are focus transitions - for instance from flowers in the foreground to the B&G in the background. Posing is nothing more that positioning your subjects in a pleasing relationship within context of the other elements in the image. With video you have two additional degrees of freedom (time and the depth dimension) to work with. You can't really separate composition from posing.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:49 PM   #12
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

I've certainly seen a good few 'poseurs' with very expensive cameras at weddings, so some people must think it matters.
:-)

Last edited by Colin McDonald; May 3rd, 2014 at 05:17 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 09:56 PM   #13
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Re: How much does posing matter (for video or for photos)?

Photographers "pose" for best composition of each shot... at least for "formals" or "traditional style" photography.

Videographers position themselves and camera, and frame (or at least try to!) for the best series/sequence of "shots"....

Journalistic or candid style is somewhere in between, and often includes a "formal" session of some sort.

Think about it... then once again consider that in the near future we'll likely be shooting 4K, and pulling stills! There are multiple threads nibbling at this question, so hopefully the above observation will help clarify the differences.
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