09.22.08 Photography

FAQ : Posing

ometimes it feels like a marathon. And I’m not talking about a 5K. I’m referring to a legit-loooooong-shaky legs-sweaty pits-scrunched brows-achy knees marathon. The summer wedding season can sometimes feel like a marathon for a photographer. And the month of September is like the final stretch to the proverbial finish line.

There are moments when I wonder, honestly, if I’m as fresh and electrified as when I first started my season in May. Whenever I find myself doubting, I actively search for inspiration. On the streets. On billboards. In art. In architecture. In fashion magazines. I cut and save pieces of inspiration and file them away, only to unearth them before a wedding or shoot.

When I find a picture I like, or a pose I’d love to get my clients to do, I rip out the image and I study it. I study the lighting, the pose, and the formation of each body, so when my chance comes, I ready to pull a little from that one W Magazine cover, a tad from the Banana Republic ad, and flavor it with a little sauce from a photoshoot in Blender magazine. I’m constantly trying to learn how to be better…because I know I can. And should. Be better, that is.

I had to wipe the drool from my keyboard when I saw Banana Republic’s recent ad campaign. It’s as simple as they come: A boy, a girl, in hot clothes. Much like a wedding, right? I ripped out the photos from my magazine and studied it. If I could have branded it to my forehead, I would have. And somehow explained later to my husband that, yes, I happen to LIKE THE BLACK IMAGE SEARED TO MY SKIN!

Here’s the Banana Republic ad:

And though I have yet to make this pose my own, I mix things up to see if I could emulate a similar feel. Obviously, the lighting—and the couple—in the above photo are professionally synthetic, but I tried creating a similar feel with this image.

Here’s a recent cover of W Magazine:

The following picture is vastly different than the one above…however, the W picture made my brain think in a different way, so I tried using that difference to capture the following image:

To read more of this article and see poses I find inspirational, be sure to visit PRO PHOTO RESOURCE for this month's publication.

Thanks for your feedback and if you have future ideas for my PPR articles, please feel free to holla back! No, really, please leave some ideas in the comment box because I feel like I'm running out of things to say! :)
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Velia - I have been catching up on your blog and is funny that you do this. I often find myself cutting from magazines and getting inspired. I come to your blog daily for inspiration as well.   01.07.09 - 6:51am
ali - I have a funny story that you would appreciate...not too long...well, long for a comment I suppose but it's too funny. So, I volunteered to take a cross country trip from Palm Harbor,Florida to Great Falls, MT. And during the trip my sister - who La La LOVES fashion magazines - attempts to fall asleep but she can't because, you know, it's really bright. (she took the graveyard shift) So she precedes to place her magazine over her face and falls asleep. It was smeltering hot mind the sweaty back hot you speak of. A couple hours later she wakes up, props the passenger seat upright and looks at me smacking her mouth...the sleepy "I just woke up" smacking mouth thing. But here's the funny part. Paris Hilton was melted to her forehead. HAHAHA! So, if you really want that ad on your forehead, just fall asleep with it on your head in a hot car for a couple of hours....seemed to work for my sis.   10.07.08 - 6:44pm
Nataschia Wielink - Thanks for sharing this! You had mentioned something like this at the FTS tour in NYC (only about branding) and I came home and started a box...a box of images that I love! Love following your blog-keep on keepin' on! N  09.25.08 - 2:56pm
robin dini - awesome! i do that too! W is my favorite mag. I have stacks of them in our living room and I tear out of them ALL the time! Jcrew and Anthropologie catalogs are great too. Especially the newest ones!  09.25.08 - 2:51pm
jeramy - good tips. i really dig the inspiration folder idea. really cool....and useful in lots of different areas. thanks!  09.24.08 - 9:00am
Sarah M. - I commented a couple months ago, I still read love reading your blog and enjoy looking at your pictures! -your #1 fan in Fresno =D  09.24.08 - 12:43am
Paper Monkey - Maybe check out some architectural magazines and see the angles they use to showcase a really cool ceiling detail or wainscoting and that can add some cool texture behind the couple you're shooting. Or even changing around a few chairs to create a different feel.  09.23.08 - 2:44pm
PrEMA BUCK - Oh, too funny...I do the same thing for inspiration. Off to look at your article now!  09.23.08 - 1:09pm
jackie wonders - totally just went thru my elle mag and did the same exact thing! i'm making my own little look-book:)  09.23.08 - 12:11pm
Tunji Sarumi - Informative article. I myself find inspiration by paying close attention to movies and bridal magazine ads.   09.23.08 - 9:33am
Amber Paterson - I do that same thing, but funny, I usually look to you for inspiration! Thanks for sharing more of how you continue to learn. It helps us that are just beginning to know how to continue to grow.  09.23.08 - 9:07am
Joyce - Wonderful article! Thanks for the generosity in sharing! :)  09.23.08 - 9:05am
Anne - i do the same.. of course i am just starting out and so i need as much inspiration as i can get. and i love to browse through magazines as well.. just like nate from the image is found says.. garbage in garbage out, so i try to get just good stuff in to get good stuff out. This is why i love your blog!! lol!!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!! got me inspired as well to find more Banana Republic adds!!  09.23.08 - 8:19am
Christina - Awesome! As always. And somehow I can't imagine you running out of things to say! ;-) I will never be tired of your "how-to" articles. Haha...I would really love to see a photo shoot/article of you doing an engagement shoot. You know - a "Making of.." or "Behind the Scenes". And since you posted about your idea notebook a looong time ago, I've tried to keep one as well, and it has helped me immensely! Thanks for all you do!  09.23.08 - 8:02am
Ashley - Thank you so much for the tip. It is such a good idea. I am going to start doing this.  09.23.08 - 7:13am
Katie Slater - Great post and NO(!!!!) don't run out of ideas, we like reading your stuff too much!! I know that one of the things that has been a challenge for me is how to get my blog photos to look like they look on my computer...Yours come out so clear on your maybe a blog photo prep tutorial session! It's probably the dumbest idea you've heard but I would be so incredibly grateful!!!! :)  09.23.08 - 7:13am
Christa - Tell us how you choose a particular lense for a particular shot. Or your "must have" shots for your customers. Or if you always base your poses on their personality...anything reading all of your articles :)  09.23.08 - 6:38am
Dawn Beirnes - Oh, so cool! Keep the Faq's coming! Being a beginner (seriously...still practicing with my camera!), I love hearing your new ideas. Makes me feel all "positive" inside!   09.23.08 - 6:28am
Bobbie - I just LOVE your FAQ posts! Thank you! For future articles, I personally would love to hear more about the way you process a shoot. It may be very amature, but I am confused with all the different options out there... LightRoom, PhotoShop, Different kinds of actions, etc. What is one to use? What is best as far as saving time? Etc, etc. Again, thanks for always sharing with us! Love you J*!!!!  09.23.08 - 3:52am
Natarsha N. Wright - Wow! Love your version of the photos...I do the same thing. I love looking at magazines, but most importantly your blog :) for inspiration. You are the greatest! Thanks for being soooo inspiring.  09.23.08 - 1:30am
Andi Grant - I totally use magazines for inspiration - but you, Bobbie and Mike and Jessica Claire are my biggest sources of inspiration....thank you!!  09.22.08 - 10:26pm
Cathy Crawley - I just read this on ProPhoto. I like that you take inspiration from magazines and catalogues. I still find it weird that you American photog's have a 'season'. Here in Australia we have weddings year round, which is why most of us are really bummed that WPPI is on during Valentines Day, it's a huge day for us! Not that my complaint has much to do with your wonderful post ;)   09.22.08 - 9:30pm
cassandra m - Great article! I think the photos you posted had their own unique feel, but I love that you see inspiration in art, magazines, billboards, etc. Creativity is all around us if we notice it. As for as ideas for PPR articles, maybe info on WPPI or PPA. I would like to hear a little about J* and the business aspect of her photography...wink wink. I don't know though. I think you score A+++ on all your articles so far. Very interesting stuff!  09.22.08 - 9:07pm
cassandra m - GREAT article! I love that you use ideas/mag/art & other things you see as inspiration to create your own style. all shots posted in your article had their own unique look & feel. awesome job! Also, if you are looking for ideas to write about, what about information on WPPI or PPA. just a suggestion. Ok. take care.  09.22.08 - 9:02pm
Graeme - Want to hear a funny story... I do the exact same thing, but I found somewhere better than magazines and billboards. It's here, on you blog! I always have a quick scan through a few post before leaving to shoot a wedding. So please keep doing your thang, and I (along with everyone else) will continue to visit for the latest and greatest from you. =)  09.22.08 - 8:19pm
Jackie - I kept a mailer of banana republic of those ads & scarlett recreated some shots from it at a wedding.   09.22.08 - 7:51pm
Missy - Thank you for this post!! I'm such a fan of your work and have often wondered where you come up with this stuff!! It looks like I need a subscription to some magaziness!!  09.22.08 - 7:41pm
Lydia - When I saw your FAQ post in my blog reader, I almost jumped for joy! Hmm...there's so much I want to learn from you! Do you do one on one sessions? ;-)  09.22.08 - 6:58pm
Katherine Bowman - I have to say, i was really glad to see a FAQ post! These are some of my favorite and i'm always learning from them!   09.22.08 - 6:33pm
Flor - I'm not a photgrapher but this was a great post. I loved it!   09.22.08 - 5:48pm
stephen - i feel the same way about photography/art =) thanks for sharing, the european version of vogue is awesome too =)  09.22.08 - 5:47pm
Joan Solitario - Nice! Thanks Jasmine! I haven't done magazines... I've studied mostly your photos and other photographers as well :-D Hopefully I'll get as good or even close to your level! :-D  09.22.08 - 5:41pm
Maureen - I do the same thing! I have a bulletin board in my studio that I tack all my tear offs to! Very inspirational!  09.22.08 - 5:38pm
Rachel Peters - I really hope that you always share this information, and your ideas with us! Thanks for being so open and giving. I am grateful that I have your blog to look forward to getting MY inspiration from and learning new ideas and information!  09.22.08 - 5:37pm
Lindsay Kipp Photography - Thank you! I love when you do the FAQ sections! And I have to say that in the first example your image is EXTREMELY more STUNNING then the ad!!! and I love that you share all your tid bits with us! I was hoping you could give a run down on what a typical wedding day is like for you...kind of like a time line of in what order you like to do what portraits? And maybe how long it takes to do the couple, family, and so on... I am a portrait photographer that mainly works with children and I'm trying to branch out into weddings, but am a little intimidated by the busyness of the day and trying to get all the shots I want and the client wants into a time frame, so anything you can suggest would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you for all the help you give us newbies!!!  09.22.08 - 5:31pm
Karen Kirkland - Thanks for sharing where your inspiration comes from, because you're such an inspiration to so many of us!  09.22.08 - 5:23pm
Dennis Urbiztondo - I agree, magazines are a great source for insiration. TV commercials are cutting edge, a lot of the commercials are 30 seconds of stills (killer images).   09.22.08 - 5:11pm
jacqueline fronters - I've emailed you in the past about your post-processing and you said you may blog more about it. I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you do to make your photos pop. And how your photos are always in focus. Thank you.  09.22.08 - 4:11pm
Tanya Jose - i hope you never run out of things to say, that would be a sad day (i sound like dr. seuss lol). i'm really curious about your ritual prior to meeting with a couple for a consultation. ritual meaning, what things do you take with you to your meeting? what do you go over? i feel like i'm missing something when i meet with my potential clients & i'm not sure what it is. any help with how you interact with your couples would be greatly appreciated!!  09.22.08 - 4:00pm