You may just be muttering to yourself, “Good grief Meir, it’s a standing pose. They stand. What else is there?”
And you’d be right. We don’t need to go into a lengthy diatribe about the hows and whys of standing poses. But if you’ve read any of the articles or watched the videos for standing poses of senior girls I want you to be aware of three significant differences.
In the article, In-Studio Standing Poses for Girls you’ll read the following; “Without question, this is the single most important tip that can make all the difference in your standing poses. Always, always, ALWAYS have your subject put more weight on one leg than the other. Except when you don’t – on the rare occasion.”
That advice being more applicable to girls than guys. High school senior girls – for the most part – want to look feminine. Having them put all their weight on one foot causes their hip to stick out which accentuates their feminine curves.
Guys don’t want to stick their hip out and guys don’t give a crap about their curves. High school senior guys want to look masculine, tough and athletic. Look at these two poses.
The guy with the white shirt has his weight even on both feet and his hands jammed in his front pockets. He has his head turned to one side with kind of a defiant squinty expression.
The guy in the zip up pullover has his weight on his right foot, his left knee bent a little bit. It’s a more casual look. He has his hands in his back pockets the same way the white shirt guy has his hands in his front pockets. But the back pockets add to the relaxed open look of the image.
Now, look at these two images – guy and a girl. Both have their hands in their front pockets and both have their weight evenly distributed on both feet. But the girl is pushing her left hip out – away from the camera. Her pose definitely looks feminine – and his more masculine.
Yes, you will find standing images of senior girls with their weight on both feet and their hips even. But you won’t find images of senior guys with their weight even and one hip sticking out.
Are their exceptions to both rules? Of course.
Straight into the Camera – Or Not?
Ninety-nine percent of the time your female subjects will look better if their shoulders are angled to the camera – not straight into the camera. Senior guys – fifty-fifty.
Consider these three images.
The guy in the gray sweater and the guy in the black shirt and tie are both straight into the camera. It’s a confrontational pose. It’s like, “Hey, you want a piece of me?” Even with the slight smile.
The girl has a serious expression but she’s turned to the camera and has her head tilted just a bit. To me, her expression says, “Oh yeah, you and whose army?” I think it has a more feminine attitude, as opposed to the plain masculine toughness of the two guys.
And finally one more thought on the crossed arms. Guys typically want to look bigger and broader and girls – by and large – want to look slimmer. Having their shoulders angled to the camera is a naturally more slimming pose than straight into the lens.
Leaning Or Not?
Leaning adds movement to an image. Movement adds interest. Having your senior guy standing straight up and down with his hands in his pockets can be a pretty boring pose.
In the senior girl’s section, you’ll read that I almost always ask the senior girl to lean a little bit. I place my own hand on the small of my own back – on one side or the other – so they can see what I’m doing. I’ll push in with my hand and say, “Lean right here just a little bit,” and I’ll over exaggerate the lean. They get it.
Senior guys are not as inclined to lean and in my opinion, they don’t look good doing it. There’s one image in the senior guys standing in-studio gallery where the guy is leaning to one side at the small of his back. See if you can find it. (I’ll give you a hint – he has his arms crossed.)
So if senior guys don’t look good leaning, but leaning adds movement and movement adds interest – what are you supposed to do? How about just tilting the camera? Check out these three images – plus many more in the gallery. Yes, it looks like the guy is leaning. But look at the background. I just tilted the camera.
That’s a Wrap
Will you have senior clients – typically the parents – who want the kid standing straight, facing the camera, with his head straight? Yep. Most often they’re engineers who view the world through a darkened tunnel completely devoid of creative thought. (I speak from experience – being related to a couple of engineers.;-)
Those same people are typically the ones who can’t understand why you cut off the top of their son’s head in a close-up image. Honest to goodness, I’ve had people point to those images, laugh and say, “Oops.”
Not everyone is artistic like you and I. Don’t let it bug you. You can explain ‘til you’re blue in the face and it won’t make any difference. Keep doing it your way, you’ll have plenty of clients who do get it, and appreciate your creativity.