How to Shoot Through a Pose

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

As Douglas Adams says at the beginning of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “This never happens…” A subject meets a photographer in the studio who then tells them “stand over there,” clicks the shutter and the resultant pose is perfect.

Actually that’s not entirely true. Sometimes it does happen except for that pesky “perfect” part. If you can get it in one shot, it’s the photographic equivalent of a golfer’s hole in one, so if that happens to you be sure to stock up on lottery tickets because you’re really lucky.

I always advise portrait and glamour photographers to shoot through a pose. By that I mean that after working on refining a pose by trial and error until you and the subject jointly arrive at a pose that looks good and is comfortable for them and then, and only then, can you make a final, salable photograph.

But don’t stop there. Keep shooting variations of that pose and maybe tweak the camera angle and even change lenses (or focal length with zooms) until you arrive at something you and hopefully your subject will like even better. But don’t stop there either. Continue shooting through the pose until you don’t like what you see. Only then you can stop having shot through the pose.

The above image of my muse Erin Valakari was shot in my home-based studio using a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Lumix G Vario 14-45/F3.5-5.6 lens (at 45mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 200. Background was Savage’s Weathered Brick Printed Background Paper (53″ x 18′.)



The preferred title for my book Posing for Portrait and Glamour Photography was The ABC’s of Portrait Posing. If you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy from with new copies for $29.95 and used copies selling for $22.43 as I write this. Kindle versions are $20.99. If you’re interested in learning how to shoot better portraits and would like some hands-on training, check out my one-on-one workshops.