Reflections : Mistakes + Previsualization

took a break this morning from packing for our upcoming trip to Texas and I've been thinking quite a bit lately about posing. Having respite from intensive weeks of shooting allows me to think of poses and creating situations for my clients to be comfortable and have fun. Most of the time I'm not thinking of poses, necessarily, but actions that will lead to a picture that was, yes, posed, but natural in its formation. My clients aren't models, so in our short time together on an engagement session, I have to--essentially--teach them how to move into poses without the Stand-in-front-of-this-brick-wall-and-kiss directive. Because, really, the posed kissing shot is just never fun.

If I see an advertisement or photo I like, I ask myself how the photographer might have directed the models into such a position. No, like, really I make the conversation in my I can later use it if I'm put in a similar scenario. It's not enough to simply like a picture and then assume I'll be able to do the same thing. It's called practice because I'm practicing.

Often times, if I think of a pose I want to create, I try it with JD. At home. Yes, it's totally weird...but I'd rather be weird in the confines of my home than make my clients feel awkward at a shoot in the future. I previsualize because I want to move confidently at a photoshoot and explain with precision the vision in my mind and it comes easier if I've done it before. Now, that's not to say all my idea are awesome. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Just last month--when our friends visited and we ventured to the beach--I asked Amy to snap a photo of me and JD while I did a pose I've been working on for a while in my mind. I explained to her what I wanted, but she stood with a big question mark above her head. I shrugged my shoulders and just told her to shoot away.

Well, the pose didn't really work. At all. In fact, nobody understood what I wanted to do and it ended up being a communication disaster. Clearly, this was NOT the photo I had in my mind:

Oh well. It didn't work. I'm still trying to refine my directives to see if I can bring my idea to life at a engagement session in the near future, but until then, I'll keep thinking of ideas and having conversations in my head.

I might sound crazy, but I promise I'm totally normal. Seriously.
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Manya Keseloff - I LOVE this photo!   06.09.11 - 1:24pm
Sandra - thanks so much for this post! for someone just starting out, it's really encouraging to hear how engagement session strategies develop over time.   04.05.11 - 10:18am
Jenna Danelle - Rotflmao! The expression on your faces say it all! Thanks for sharing Jasmine - you're amazing!  01.30.11 - 10:32pm
nicole Blumberg Photography - OMG this is the cutes ever!!   01.27.11 - 7:55pm
Timothy - Would have been better if you removed the foot in the back. Would have looked like she was popping out of the picture. Interesting shot though.  01.27.11 - 12:01am
Paul - Really glad that you mentioned looking at the ad from the photographer's perspective. I often look at magazine ads for inspiration, but I'm always looking at the models and what they're doing or the angle that the photographer shot from. I don't think often enough about the direction that the photograpehr may have given. Great insight-thanks for that.  01.26.11 - 9:54pm
Diana Lupu - You two make even your "photo flops" look cute!!  01.26.11 - 3:26pm
Bobbie Brown - Love this post, love this picture! And I know whatever you are working out in your head will probably be awesome!   01.26.11 - 1:49pm
Odalys Mendez - Jasmine, you crack me up! This shot is priceless. I can't begin to imagine what exactly you were set out to accomplish with that, it looks like JD is launching you towards the camera. But the shot is so REAL! and so much FUN!  01.26.11 - 8:52am
michelle gunton - Even though this was not the picture you had intended, after reading the story and then a scroll down to see the picture, it made me giggle out loud. This post was perfectly written. Thank you.  01.26.11 - 8:04am
amanda thiessen - i love this photo. it's so....real :) and i totally have the pre-converstation in my head too! haha  01.25.11 - 10:18pm
angel - this is exactly why i want to get my grubs on Jesh de Rox's book! i wanna see how he explains getting people into those "poses" naturally. but private schooling for the kids prevails for now.... ;-)  01.25.11 - 8:55pm
Kelsey Anderson - Great post and seriously hilarious photo!   01.25.11 - 6:56pm
Josephine - I JUST LOVE IT when it feels like you're that voice inside my head! Totally can resonate with you!!! - Love the hilarity of this post....!!!!  01.25.11 - 4:38pm
Emily Dobson - I've never even considered practice poses with my husband...LoL He's gonna LOVE this idea!  01.25.11 - 2:05pm
Laura Murray - Haha- I practice poses with my husband at home in front of the mirror too!! :) But, have to say that they don't quite look like that!!! ;) ;) Can't wait to see what you come up w for it in future engagement sessions.  01.25.11 - 9:49am
Brian Davis - Some great advice in this post. I'm always trying to find a way to put couples at ease and get those natural beautiful moments on camera. By the way, this shot may not be what you were hoping for, but it sure is hilarious. That look on your face is priceless!  01.25.11 - 6:19am
MichelleSibley - Was this the let's do the superman only without the green screen? Too funny! My favorite part is theat one little foot that shows up in the backgound. Also, the total silly 'well, this is awkward' laughter is great too.   01.24.11 - 11:25pm
Lydia - Awesome tip, Jasmine! So now I have a good reason to have little conversations with myself... :-D  01.24.11 - 11:08pm
Kira - I'm thinkin... 30x40 CANVAS WRAP!! :)  01.24.11 - 10:52pm
stephanie - hahahahaah. seriously. i LOL at your posts. so awesome. hahaha.   01.24.11 - 10:49pm
Simone Anne - I do this ALL THE TIME. I swear, talking to yourself is awesome. And so educational. ha ha. No but really.  01.24.11 - 9:57pm
Matt - "Okay you hold her like a roll of carpet. That's it, just like that. And you, lady with the scarf. You pretend like you're learning to swim. That's it, that's it. Hold it. (click) Got it. That totally works."  01.24.11 - 7:09pm
Ryann - Ha! I love it!!! :)   01.24.11 - 6:49pm
David - Raleigh Photographer - Great point! We work so hard not tell a couple to kiss or grab his new wife and hold her tight. Some photographers might direct the picture, and make a perfect picture for their portfolio, but every time that couple sees that picture in their album they may think "Man, I never thought we would get it right!" instead of thinking about what an amazing moment they had and how for a few seconds they were the only ones existing. Great post, and something we can all strive to perfect!  01.24.11 - 6:10pm
natalie - Didn't work? This is a fantabulous moment captured. You look truly joyful and like your having fun!  01.24.11 - 5:40pm
Thallen Alves - Jasmine, thank you so much for helping me! Saying these things i feel so confortable to try new things! I'm a babe in the photography world and you are my reference! I hope to work hard to achieve my goals! God bless you ever!  01.24.11 - 4:13pm
damara - hahaha! I totally NEED to do this! I always come up with random things and right while they are trying to figure it out...I realize it is NOT going to work and either have to just go with it to fake confidence or laugh and say that it is NOT working how I thought! We need pre-planning sessions with friends to lead them through our ideas!  01.24.11 - 4:07pm
Amy Arrington - Always enjoy your posts! Your humor, tips and ideas!   01.24.11 - 3:22pm
Kevin Wrenn Photography - Very true Jasmine. Pre-visualization is very helpful for me too! And Seattle weddings can be rainy as well, so having more shots that one can pull off in-doors is good. Sometimes being outside just lends to more shot scenarios, but when inside its important to have a good posing repertoire to use with the couple. Thanks for the post! Great pic of you guys.  01.24.11 - 2:21pm
Marissa Nicole - I am really interestd to see what this pose is supposed to look like when you get your directions down...because I am just not seeing it.   01.24.11 - 2:06pm
Yuliya - This was so much fun to read! Thank you for sharing yourself on the web, you really push me to keep it real ;)  01.24.11 - 2:04pm
Natalie - I like how you said that you don't think of poses you think of actions. Great piece of advice!   01.24.11 - 12:52pm
Michelle Carrillo - This post had perfect timing. I had a shoot yesterday, for myself, to practice my skills and test out some ideas... and I fumbled at some points. I realized that I can't get through ALL my ideas in a short amount of time. I realized what I need to do more to get those less-posey-poses. And I realized that, no matter HOW I see things in my head... sometimes the body just doesn't BEND that way. Ha! It was great to practice like this in front of non-clients so I didn't feel like a fool. Thanks for the inspiration, as always. And for making me feel like LESS of a fool. ; )  01.24.11 - 12:24pm
Stephanie Stewart - Great post! And I totally understand about practicing poses at home...especially in front of a can make for quite an amusing afternoon! Love your photo here, it may not be what you had envisioned, but it is so fun!!!  01.24.11 - 12:18pm
felicia gwen - Such an cute pic though!!!!   01.24.11 - 12:05pm
Mindy Metivier - Hi Jaz!!! Thank you for this post, because it's very comforting to know that you walk in the same shoes that other photogs do!!! You are AMAZING at what you do and I'm very grateful that you are so open and willing to share your tip, tricks and advice with the world!!! Good luck in Texas!!! Hugs!!!  01.24.11 - 11:17am
Shane - That is so insightful and helpful. I am fairly new to photography and posing is an issue. I understand the technical side of an image but still working on that also. But posing is another issue all together. But what you have said makes a ton of sense. Its not just stand over there and kiss... its giving the couple a directive or an action that they can understand... then snapping the moment when it is just right.. Thats got to be it.   01.24.11 - 11:07am
Mioara Dragan - "I'm totally normal. Seriously." I laughed so hard at that last line Jasmine! You're hilarious!  01.24.11 - 10:58am
Katelyn James - Love this! JD... oh the things you do for her:)   01.24.11 - 10:58am
EBPitcher - Love it! Even if it didn't work for you. Can you write a post or do a Shooting Star on the basic poses you use all the time to set up what you want to get? I know that kinda lets loose your ideas, but I'm having trouble getting an idea about how you'd do this. Thanks!  01.24.11 - 10:47am
Adriana H.G. - You guys totally rock! Great photo :) and Jasmine, thank you for your very useful advice. I usually DO tell people to stand in front od¡f the wall and kiss :( gotta learn how to be more dinamic! thanks again! xoxo  01.24.11 - 10:47am
Sarah Austin - Still a great photo! Whatcha coming to Texas for? I'm in Houston. Anywhere near here?  01.24.11 - 10:40am
Lorrie Prothero - funny - I think it does work because it's real - it's the reactions to feeling awkward and "weird" that make for the best photos - I tell my clients to EMBRACE the emotions they're really having, so if they feel embarrassed, shy, awkward, etc let it show - it lets them know that it's OKAY to feel weird.  01.24.11 - 10:39am
Brianna - I think this is great advice! I always wondered how you worked your clients into completely natural "posed" positions.. :)   01.24.11 - 10:38am
Liz Kausteklis - LOL, you two are so cute! I always see poses that I like, but never really 'think' of how that pose was achieved...and then I always end of forgeting what I wanted to I just need to remember to practice, practice, practice!   01.24.11 - 10:37am
Salwa - I don't think there's anything wrong with talking to yourself. Or is there? I don't know, I'll ask myself later ;) But really, I like the idea of seeing a pose you like in an image, and thinking from the perspective of what the photographer might have said to make that happen. I will definitely have to try that!  01.24.11 - 10:36am
traci - hahaha! love it. and love how you are so free to talk about how we all need to practice, it doesn't just happen all the time. not even for jasmine star. ;) but you do create magin. however you get there, you definitely do!  01.24.11 - 10:36am
Dawney - LOL! This is a great picture of the two of you! It just shows your personalities off so well! :) Glad you had a fun time at the beach! :)   01.24.11 - 10:35am
feuza - I so struggle with this, I feel I say the same things over and over and when I do give a direction, they give me the deer in the headlights look and I try and remember poses I have liked and seen and they all go away when I shoot but I like the idea of thinking how another photographer got that pose, thanks  01.24.11 - 10:35am
Maggie Fortson - This is freaking adorable!  01.24.11 - 10:35am
Derrick - It's always great to think outside the box. Thanks for you action-filled inspiration!  01.24.11 - 10:34am
leilani - Oh Jasmine... that shot is too funny! Thanks for sharing!  01.24.11 - 10:33am
Becky Lew - Oh my goodness this picture just makes me LAUGH out LOUD!! I LOVE IT & I love that we have pictures in our head that we are trying to create, which no one else might be able to see, but when it does work, it feels like angels singing :) xoxoxo thanks for the inspiration!  01.24.11 - 10:31am
Adrienne - Thanks so much for the tip! I've been taking photos for awhile, but I'm just now building a more professional photography portfolio, and posing has proved to be quite challenging for me.  01.24.11 - 10:31am
Erin Davenport - Perfect advice, I loved watching you direct Laura and Billy that way on CreativeLIVE :) Cute pic, anyway! lol  01.24.11 - 10:30am
Jessica Frey - That photo really is fabulous for an out loud belly laugh! Awesomeness :) I just got back from Texas, enjoy your trip and keep having a blast!  01.24.11 - 10:29am
Ashli Elizabeth - LOL Jasmine.. JASMINE. I make this mistake so often, and that's usually my clients in that position.   01.24.11 - 9:41am
kristin brown - this was just what i needed to read today! i did two engagement shoots this weekend and decided i want to be better at directing and posing and have been brainstorming ways to do that. this really helps! thanks! have fun in texas!  01.24.11 - 9:33am
Lyn Ismael-Bennett - Failed posing or not, you and JD still looks cute together!  01.24.11 - 9:31am
kayla :) - that's awesome. thanks for the laugh! I'm glad I'm not the only one who does what you do!! =) thanks for sharing, as always!  01.24.11 - 9:30am
brittani - love it. haha.   01.24.11 - 9:25am
Neha - You're coming to TX? Where? For what?  01.24.11 - 9:05am
Stark - Great insight. The photo of you and JD is priceless. You look very comfortable in this naturally derived pose! hee hee! Bummed I won't be at your workshop. The company my husband works for is headquartered in College Station. I was really hoping he needed to go there on business so that I could tag along with him, and attend your workshop. No such luck. Have a good trip!   01.24.11 - 9:05am
Lorelei - After I stopped laughing and choking on my maple oatmeal, my immediate reply to that photo was, "JD, watch your back!"... yeah I know totally bad pun/joke haha... and I know it wouldn't have applied anyway since you're so tiny it was probably like picking up a feather! (I can only imagine how even more funny your directions to achieve this particular pose sounded, btw) ;)  01.24.11 - 8:57am
Claudia - It didn't work but I am sure you will enjoy that image forever!.... funny! :)  01.24.11 - 8:56am
Rich Park - still turned out to be a great picture! thanks for sharing!  01.24.11 - 8:42am
Melissa Roe - Simply hilarous!!  01.24.11 - 8:37am
Annetta - too funny!! you look like you are trying to fly!  01.24.11 - 8:31am
Hailey - LOVE it! hahaha. I have totally done the same thing. One good thing about new, crazy poses is that if they don't work out you usually end up with some great, candid, laughing shots ;) Like yours above! haha  01.24.11 - 8:30am
Alicia - It may not have been what you were going for but it's an adorable photo! I love it. Glad to know I'm not the only one who talks things through in my head before I get on a shoot! I'm going to show this post to my husband and maybe he won't think I'm so crazy after all.   01.24.11 - 8:18am
brianna - that's quite the contagious laugh. i'm chuckling myself just looking at it.  01.24.11 - 8:10am
Kathleen Frank - It is so helpful to have a glimpse into your thought process! I can directly relate my success at a shoot to how much previsualization and planning I do ahead of time. When I don't, I will still get good shots at times, but solely because of luck and the awesomeness of my clients!  01.24.11 - 7:54am
LaRiche - This was exactly what I needed to read today! Fun candid shot..even if it wasn't what you wanted :)  01.24.11 - 7:52am
Laura - I actually like it....I would print it for my wall ;) But, I am all about the laughing too and you have a great smile... :)  01.24.11 - 7:48am
Marcie Jessee - I do that too :) Especially before a senior shoot .... I shut the door to my room and stand in front of the full length mirror and practice a few poses. My daughter will come in and ask what I'm doing (like I'm a complete weirdo) but that's ok too :)  01.24.11 - 7:26am
LEOLAK - You are more than're awesome! lol This gave me a really good chuckle that I desperately needed. Thanks! Keep up the practice posing b/c clearly you have more successes than failures!   01.24.11 - 7:24am
Jim - Yeah, but did you stick the landing?  01.24.11 - 7:23am
Kate Douthwright - Okay, that might not be the pose you had in mind but that is hilarious and portrays you and JD to a T. Did the original pose include a flying superman move? If so, I need to steal it ;)  01.24.11 - 7:05am
Krystal - First, I don't think you can be normal without being a little crazy. I mean, aren't we all. Second, I love that picture. You were laughing and having some kind of great time. It's what a picture should be, a sweet memory.  01.24.11 - 6:27am
Chelsea Patricia - ROFL. I mean, seriously, I think I may fall out of my chair.  01.24.11 - 6:24am
Kare - I think it's totally normal. Totally.   01.24.11 - 6:02am
Jill Swank - Raw Emotion = Love it! J*, what are a few of your favorite poses that clients just seem to fall in love with over and over at engagement sessions or weddings? Thanks so much, have a blessed day!!!  01.24.11 - 6:01am
Carrie K - Maybe the directive for that picture could be, "Play airplane!" lol. Thanks for the laugh on a Monday morning. :)  01.24.11 - 5:57am
Sarah Danaher - lol!!! oh, I love y'all.  01.24.11 - 5:56am
Joe Anna H. - Totally funny image :) took me a few glances to understand what was happening here. Ha! Thanks for the morning giggle!  01.24.11 - 5:35am
Stephane Hachey - I'd say the pose kind of worked, you can tell you guys where having lots of fun. You could say the moment was captured, even if it wasn't the "intended" moment. Great work Jasmine, you are an inspiration to us all.  01.24.11 - 5:12am
Isabel - I wholeheartedly agree. Previsualization and practice, albeit corny and crazy at times, is sooo worth it and beneficial when it comes time to an actual shoot. Know that you're not alone in your "crazy" antics :)   01.24.11 - 5:08am
Melissa - I'd love to hear some examples of how you dialogue with clients. Posing is one of my biggest struggles!  01.24.11 - 5:05am
Life with Kaishon - I sort of like it : ) Extreme happiness.   01.24.11 - 5:05am
lentie - hehehe. That photo is so funny  01.24.11 - 4:39am
Brandi Lyon - Hilarious! Although you think the shot didn't work out for you it is a really good idea! Hope it works out for you next time. You are the best, girl!  01.24.11 - 4:38am
carlotta - Seriously, that photo is a total keeper. Love it! ;)  01.24.11 - 4:23am
Amanda - Thank you so much for this post. Posing the hardest part of a photoshoot for me!   01.24.11 - 4:14am