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Foundational Posing

Lesson 4 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

4. Foundational Posing

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor teaches the foundational posing techniques for engagement photography. He explains that there are five basic poses from which almost every pose can be derived: the V-up, closed pose, open pose, stacked pose, and reverse pose. He demonstrates each pose and explains the benefits and techniques for achieving them. The instructor emphasizes that once clients understand these five poses, they can easily create a variety of poses during a shoot without the need for extensive explanations.

Next Lesson: Posing Touch Points


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Foundational Posing

Let's go into the foundation posing. So guys, this is the piece that I have my clients understand I tell them this. There's five basic poses that literally almost every pose that you can think of come from these five positions. So let me teach you. Take notes, people. This is your money's worth right here! (participants laugh) We're getting right to it! So (chuckles) let's see. What we're gonna do, and do you guys by chance have preferred sides? I do. Yeah. Yeah, this side. Yeah okay. So we're gonna pose you on that side for all of our stuff. So for the entire shoot we'll have you pose on that side. So the V-up. This is the first one I want to show you guys is basically all you're gonna do is you're gonna stand together. And then Travis you're gonna bring your arm around over her back arm. There you go and go right onto her hip right here. Perfect! And then your hand can stay. You can put it on his back or you can also leave it relaxed, it doesn't really matter, Danielle. Then ...

with this hand you're just gonna give me a tiny bit of space, so I can see. Perfect, and then this hand can go in the pocket. And we call this the V-up because they're basically making a V shape. So what I'll have you guys do is tilt the heads slightly in towards each other. And this is, if you look at this, this is the pose that they do on everywhere, like a celebrity couple walking down a red carpet, and they pause and take a picture. This is that pose, why? Because it looks good. There's a few things that this pose does, okay. Generally the guy's gonna open up the shoulder just a little bit, so he has a nice powerful stance in the shot. He's using part of his body to conceal hers, so it's gonna slim her down. She has her curve front and center. If she has a pull on the dress you can see it. We have space between here, so we can see where her back and her arch of her back is. And we have a perfect shot of their faces. That is the shot that is gonna be used on every red carpet. So we call it a V because your shoulders make a V. Now here's the, (chuckles) the best part about this. If I say to you guys, the shoulder, where your shoulder's touching, if you pretend that that's the hinge on a door, and if I just say, Travis, open. Perfect. Travis, close. (Danielle laughs) Danielle, open. Danielle, close. Ah! Magical! (participants laughing) Can I get some booms? Boom! Boom! Thank you. Got to be a little bit louder, 'cause you don't have mics on, so. (participants laughing) Be louder, so when I say, "Can I get a boom?" It's not like (whispers) ah, like from the audience's side, you know what I mean? Okay, so. Next, I'm gonna say, guys do this. Go into a closed posed. What do you guys think that would be? Okay, perfect. Closed is your feet facing in toward each other, chests are completely closed toward each other and away from the camera. So when I say closed, it means in relation to the camera. If I say go into an open pose, what do you think that means? Perfect, now hold hands right in the center, feet facing forward. An open pose, okay. You guys haven't done this before, right? In terms of like these poses, like nobody, we didn't practice this? No. Good. You can take a couple that's never posed before, do this and they know naturally, 'cause now you're giving them context, you're giving them kind of a very simple, practical way of understanding how to pose. The next one we're gonna do is stacked. So stacked means one person's feet goes over the other. And one person's back is to one's chest. So if I say you stack in front of in front of Travis. Perfect, stacked. Okay, and then the last one is reverse. And this is a little bit more of an advanced one that we'll do like kind of later on, but it's fun because we can create really unique looks. So what that means is one person's feet is going one way and the other's going the other. So Danielle, let's have you face the audience and Travis you face the wall. Perfect, and usually with this pose, we'll do things like, Travis you're gonna look towards her. Perfect. And we're gonna get like type props and we can get like really cool like different types of shots. You can have him hug on her arm, focus on her eyes, those kinds of things, okay? Now tell me, do not almost every pose, guys go back to, go to a closed pose. Here we have a romantic closed pose right. Take a step apart from each other. Hold hands in the middle. Perfect. Lean across for a kiss. (participant laughing) You guys can actually kiss it's okay. (Travis and participant laughing) Perfect. Go into a open pose to the camera. So just open, hug onto his arm, perfect. Look towards her, great. Now hug onto his arm, Travis let your arm drop to your pocket. Perfect, now walk forward. Perfect. Like literally, almost every pose is based on these five feet positions. And they now know them and that's as long as it took, was just five minutes of explaining to get them to that point. And now what you're gonna do is, you don't want to over explain things to the clients. That's all they really need to know, at this point you start shooting, okay? As we go we give them a little bit more tips along the way. We give them a little more tips and guidance and we're watching for things now. So. Thank you guys, that was amazing. Actually I'm gonna steal, let's give them a round of applause. (participants applauding)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work