Guest Blog: How to Strike a Perfect Pose by Georgia Selih

How to Strike a Perfect Pose

The art of photography brings us magnificent works every day, whether we’re talking about magazine covers, commercial shooting for various brands, or a photo session for someone’s art exhibition. In order to make the photo truly unique and attractive, both photographers and models have to put in a lot of work and cooperate well, but there’s also a myriad of other factors that will affect the final result and make the photo amazing. From knowing how to work the camera to striking a perfect pose, having your photos taken is anything but a piece of cake.

Practice in front of the mirror

The best way to tell apart your good side from your bad side is to spend hours in front of the mirror. Learning how your body shapes will help you perfect the posture and look your best in front of the camera whether you’re posing for a professional photo shoot or just want an amazing photo for your Instagram profile. The more you inspect yourself in the mirror, the better you’ll be able to understand how the camera sees you. For example, if you get your foot too close to the camera, it’ll be the biggest part of your body in the picture. Also, watch your limbs and you’ll notice that you should always keep your limbs separated from your body if you don’t want your arms to look fat and squashed because they’re pressed too tight to your waist or torso.

Work on your body

Sometimes, photographers like to push the boundaries of art and instead of having professional models in front of the camera, they decide to trust their fellow artists with the job. Supermodels work hard and exercise two or even three times a day at their home gym to keep their body tight, so if you’d like to tone your body at home, try this exercise equipment and you’ll get that supermodel body in no time. The artists can become very dedicated to the job as well, almost as any other supermodel, which is why they often take weeks and even months to prepare for the job. Regular and strenuous workouts, a strict diet and a healthy lifestyle are just some of the prerequisites for staying in shape, and they will gladly sacrifice their previous lifestyle habits to prepare for the shoots.

Let the light compliment you

Knowing at which angle the light will represent your figure best is another crucial part of looking amazing on a photo. If your face should be in focus, then you need to keep it away from the shadows that your arm might create if you raise it to the light. That’s why you should know your key light and always work towards it, to get your good side out.

Stay confident

Even if you don’t perfect your poses and your posture isn’t the best, a good photographer will direct you in the right way letting you stand, sit or lay down in the most flattering way. However, if you lack confidence and you start showing how insecure you are, even the world’s greatest photographer won’t be able to make the photos look good. That’s why it’s important to remember that all the beauty comes from within you. Only if you feel good in your own skin will you spread positive vibes and look radiant both in the photos and behind the camera. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional model or a fellow artist who is willing to step in front of the camera for the first time, only if you feel confident enough will you be able to strike a perfect pose.

Final thoughts

Photography is a wonderful form of art that can capture some of the most beautiful, rare and even vulnerable moments of our lives. While spontaneous photos always turn out better than any practised photo shoot, you can still learn a few tricks to make it look like you weren’t even trying to look as good as you actually did, so make sure you brush up on your posing knowledge and you can walk side by side with any supermodel.

Thomas and Coi Engagement Session in Midland, Michigan

I had a great time photographing Thomas and Coi’s engagement session at one of my favorite local locations: Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan. These two were super easy to work with and the nice overcast day helped make for tons of beautiful images. 

Headshot Day October 12th from 6-8pm at The Energize Workspace in Midland, Michigan

“Can you count the pixels of your current facebook photo on one hand? Are you in need of a new headshot for your startup or business profile? Does your whole staff need business headshots to update your look? We got you covered!

We are thrilled to be hosting one of Michigan’s best portrait photographers to provide a fun day of headshots for the Midland community. Ryan Watkins Photography will be setting up his studio equipment at Energize for the afternoon, all you need to do is bring yourself and that famous smile! 

He is offering his regular, studio-quality headshots at a reduced price of $25. Headshots are complete with professional retouching and digital files should be sent out within a week of the shoot.

This is great for individuals needing a new headshot or businesses wanting to get headshots of the entire team for the new year. No reservations needed, stop in whenever you’re free and Ryan will take care of you.”

Nic Von Scheinder – Energize Workspace

Headshot Day

Headshots $25  

Friday October 12th 2-8pm 

Energize Workspace

206 W Wackerly St, Midland, MI 48640

Please RSVP Here 

FAQ: What if My Print or Product Gets Damaged or Broken?

 

I will replace any print or product ordered thru Ryan Watkins Photography that gets damaged free of charge . Because the print labs I use update their products periodically I can’t guarantee that some specialty products will be exactly the same. For example the backing on the metal prints I offer has changed over time. These updates have actually made hanging the prints easier. If a client had ordered one of these prints from me in 2013 and then ordered a replacement in 2018 there would be slight changes made to the backing. So far none of my clients have had their prints get damaged or broken and had to order reprints.

 

Chase Engel and The Night Shift in Merrill, Michigan

I had great time getting work with Chase Engel and The Night Shift again in mid August. During this shoot I got to photograph their newest member Noah as well as doing a variety of group shots of the entire band. I can’t wait to see where their music career takes them. 

My Faith

 

This is another personal post where you get to know more about the man behind the camera.

I’m a Christian. This means that I believe that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, and are deserving of God’s punishment. God did not leave us in despair though. He was merciful. God has sent his only begotten son into the world, who lived a perfect holy life, was crucified on the cross, died, buried, rose again, and will come again to judge the quick and the dead. I believe that all who take hold of the righteousness of Christ by faith alone will be saved. I encourage those who read this who are not Christians to repent of their sins and to believe in Christ alone as their savior. I also adhere to the ecumenical creeds of the Christian church. More specifically I adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith which I believe to be the best summation of what scripture teaches. I am a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. This post (arguably being my most personal thus far) recounts how I have came to where I am now faith wise.

When I was in elementary school I attended saint Cecilia Catholic School. At this time I had a vague understanding of God but was not yet saved. My grandparents took me to a country gospel revival festival the summer between my fifth and six grade years of school. Between the musical performances there was a gospel presentation and I believe this is where I got saved. A few months later I asked my mom if we could go to church with grandma and grandpa. She was on board. Her and I started going to the Church of Daniel’s Band (a non-denominational church with its roots in Methodism) where my grandparents attended. My dad would later start attending the church with us and both my parents would eventually become regenerate thru the preaching of the word their. The Church of Daniel’s Band reminds me much of the church Charles Spurgeon was saved at (that he recounts in his Autobiography). Its roots were in the Methodist tradition (with emphasis on Arminian soteriology and human perfectionism) but over time other influences also gained a strong hold as well. Various teachings familiar to those in independent fundamental baptist circles such as dispensationalism, King James Onlyism, and teetotaling were also evident there. The preaching was topical and usually revolved around a handful of specific topics. I attended the church throughout middle and high school and am thankful for the Godly people God had providentially put in my life at that time.

After High School I moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts to study at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. During the first month of living in Massachusetts I visited a variety of churches. I admitabley at this time was not very familiar with much doctrine outside the very basic tenants of the Christian faith. I eventually ended up at the Faith Baptist Church in Greenfield, Massachusetts and attended their the time I was at Hallmark. Sitting under the preaching at this church was life changing for me. This was the first time I was ever under expositional preaching (where the preacher preaches through scripture instead of just picking various topics). This was also were I first learned of the doctrines of grace or reformed soteriology (commonly referred to as “Calvinism” which is a term I’m not very fond of). This church also introduced me to some of the great theologians and preachers of the past such as Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon.

After graduating from the Hallmark Institute of Photography I moved back to my home town of Clare, Michigan and started attending The Church of Daniel’s Band again. About a year later I would end up in a Bible study with friends from a variety of theological backgrounds. One of them would eventually convince me of the doctrines of grace. After this I would start studying reformed theology. I came across various facebook groups and podcasts that were helpful and helped me see the importance of holding to one of the historic reformed confessions. I also read the book Fundamentalism and American Culture by George Marsden. This book helped me see how the various doctrines I grew up believing originated quite recently in church history and how the reformed churches which were confessional stayed true to the faith throughout the modernist fundamentalist controversy. In mid 2015 I decided to step down from the various positions I held at the Church of Daniel’s Band (Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, and maintaining the church’s website) and started looking for a confessional reformed church. Through a variety of google searches I eventually found a church finder through a website called 9marks. This lead me to Christ Covenant Church in Midland, Michigan. At this point the church was part of the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America). I started attending there. From sitting under the sound preaching at this church I started to get a better understanding of what scripture taught and what the reformed tradition was all about. At this point in my life I was considering moving but after a very convicting sermon in May 2016 about the importance of church membership I decided to stay and join the church. After membership classes in November 2016 I would join the church and become a communicant member of Christ Covenant Church. In 2017 Christ Covenant Church would change denominations to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC).

My faith is one of the reasons that I don’t work on Sunday. I believe that God’s moral law (summarized in the ten commandments) is still binding for us today. The Lord’s day is intended for works of necessity and mercy as the Westminster Shorter Catechism states. I try to set aside the Lord’s Day for attending church, reading theological books, and therefore don’t work on this day.

I am incredibly thankful for the people God has put in my life that have helped shape my faith. I am also thankful for the gift of salvation He has given to his people. I am also thankful for the ordinary means of grace in which he uses to sanctify his church and that there is a church within driving distance which remains true to the reformed faith.

 

New Photos of Model Summer in Mt Pleasant, Michigan

I had great time getting work with model Summer again in Mt Pleasant, Michigan in mid August. She wanted to do an basketball themed shoot in Island Park. I used harder more dramatic lighting than I usually use for portraits to match the sports theme. I look forward to working with Summer more in the future. 

How I Got The Shot: Bryana

 

This image almost never happened. I shot this photograph while I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. I was in Phase 3 (kind of like 3rd semester) at the time. We (us students) were all stressed out with the short deadlines and high standards which needed to be met to graduate. At this point we were working on our Phase 3 Electives. These images could be anything related to our main emphasis of our final portfolio (of which mine was portraiture). I was set to work with model Bryana (a student and model attending the University of Massachusetts) an evening after my classes were done. She needed a ride so I offered to pick her up at her home. My Garmin didn’t take me anywhere near where she lived, and her home was missing any clear distinctions that it was the proper address, so it took several phone calls to finally get to her home. Once I got her back to the studio the shoot when amazingly. I had borrowed the floppy hat from another student earlier that day. I used four lights to lit Bryana. The first key (or main) light lit her face. Two others were rim lights separating her from the background and bringing out the textures in the hat. The last light was a subtle background light adding further separation between Bryana and the background. The key light and rim lights were modified with strip boxes (tall narrow softboxes). All the lights were Profoto strobes. In post I did some dodging and burning as well as turning the image black and white. I also added a slight split toning in Lightroom which makes the darks in the image have a slight brown tone. I intentionally do this on most of my work to make the images more warm and inviting. I even use a similar technique on my color images.

Shot using a Mamiya 645 AFD with Leaf Aptus 22 Digital Back and 150mm lens. Lit with four profoto strobes, three of which with strip box modifiers, one with a grid with a diffuser. ISO 50 150mm f/8 1/60 of a second shutter speed.

Find this article helpful? Buy Ryan a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/rywatkinsphotos

New Photos for the Strickler Center in Mt Pleasant Michigan

I had great time getting to work with the new Strickler Center in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. Here are some images which will be used in a editorial about the new center. 

David and Rebekah Wedding in Turner, Michigan

I had great time photographing David and Rebekah Cramer’s wedding in Turner and Gladwin, Michigan in early August. Rebekah was from Michigan and David was from Germany. They met while studying abroad in the Netherlands. David’s family from Germany was flown in for the special occasion. The ceremony took place at the River Mennonite Church in Turner, Michigan just outside of Au Gres, Michigan. After the ceremony we did several portrait images at the Standish Historical Depot and Welcome Center. The night wrapped up with a beautiful reception at Riverwalk Place in Gladwin, Michigan. David, Rebekah, and their families were some to the nicest and happiest clients I’ve gotten work with. To see more images from their wedding follow this link