A Great Book About Portrait Posing

Students in my portrait class invariably have questions about posing. While I tend to focus more on matters of lighting and interpersonal communication, posing is just as integral to the success of a portrait—if not more so. I’m always on the lookout for materials that might help students better understand the principles of successful posing—not simply what works, but why it works. So when I recently purchased Roberto Valenzuela’s book, "Picture Perfect Posing," I was blown away. Not only is this 300-page book full of useful insights and instructions on how to pose subjects in flattering positions, but it’s full of very useful information, at a fairly high level, about all of the individual pieces that make up a successful pose. For instance, Valenzuela points out that when posing a couple it’s imperative that their noses not be pointed at one another, nor that they’re parallel. Why? Because that’s a clear tipoff that the pose is inauthentic and unnatural. Instead, noses that are slightly off axis to each other tend to produce pictures that are much more natural in appearance. That’s just one little tip about couples and noses; Valenzuela addresses practically every posing possibility and every body part. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get better at photographing people, whether you’re a new student of portrait photography or a seasoned veteran. It’s built on a solid foundation of posing fundamentals, so there really is something in it for everyone. Read more, and buy the book, at http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Perfect-Posing-Practicing-Photographers/dp/0321966465

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