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Posing Three Point Check

Lesson 7 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

Posing Three Point Check

Lesson 7 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

7. Posing Three Point Check

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor discusses the concept of the three-point check in engagement photography, which involves focusing on the eyes, chin and nose, and collarbone and chest of the subjects. The instructor demonstrates how different poses and angles can change the mood and focus of the image. They also discuss the importance of eye lines and creating natural and comfortable moments between the couple.


  1. What is the three-point check?

    The three-point check involves focusing on the eyes, chin and nose, and collarbone and chest of the subjects in engagement photography.

  2. How can different poses and angles change the mood and focus of the image?

    By opening the chest and keeping the eyes and nose towards the camera, a portrait-like shot is created. Closing off certain points, such as the eyes, can create a more candid or fashion-focused shot.

  3. What is the significance of eye lines in engagement photography?

    Eye lines can draw attention and create a connection between the couple. It is important to create natural and comfortable moments between the subjects, rather than having them look directly into each other's eyes from a close distance.

  4. How does closing off all three points create a voyeuristic moment?

    By closing off the eyes, chin, and collarbone and chest, the subjects appear closed off and away from the camera, creating a sense of privacy and intimacy.

  5. What should be avoided when posing a couple in a closed pose?

    It is important to avoid having the couple look directly into the camera when in a closed pose, as it can create a sense of awkwardness or discomfort for the viewer.


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

Posing Three Point Check

My friend, Roberto Valenzuela said, there's a three-point check with the body. It comes with the eyes, chin and nose and collarbone, chest, okay? Basically, what this means is, you create a different focus to the image with these three points. So, for example, I'm gonna demonstrate with a couple in just a second, but let me show you real quick, so, point number one is the chest, right? Let's say that this monitor right there is the front of our camera. Me, opening the chest, keeping the eyes toward you, keeping the nose, everything toward this side. This is a three-point open shot. This is a portrait, okay? Every part of me is prepared to take this photograph, right? As soon as we close off a point, like, let's say we close off the eyes, but my chin is still facing that way, my chest is still facing that way, does not the mood of the shot change dramatically? Like, as soon as the eyes go down, now it's a candid kind of portrait, right? I'm not giving the eyes, the attention to the came...

ra. The focus now becomes, what? If you were to guess. Chest. So, what would that be great for, if I take the eyes away and I want the focus to come toward the chest, what kind of a pose would this be great for? Maybe, fashion, right? Because in fashion you're just trying to show off the clothing. So, in fashion, they'll often remove two points, they'll take the eyes and the chin away and then the chest is open to the camera, okay? That has another sense, if you're doing it with a couple, it has a sense of being aware of a camera presence. So, if they're doing the same thing, where they're open, let's actually demonstrate with our couple now. So, come in guys, stand straight up and go open to the audience and then why don't you hug on to his arm, but stay open to them. Perfect. If you guys were to look toward each other, okay, and I want you to look down and toward this side, actually and then you can look toward her, Travis. What this does it's still somewhat of a portrait, but it's open to their chest, we get a really great sense of their fashion, their clothing and their attire, while we sort of get this candid kind of view of their expressions and so forth. As soon as they look on to the camera, both look straight on to the camera, perfect. As soon as she looks toward him, now who's the focus? Him, right, as soon as he looks toward her, you look on to the camera, perfect. So, it's super easy to change the visual weight of the photograph, by changing these three points. Now, if we close them up, so go into close pose, guys. I want you to just look down and toward this side and then look down and toward her, all three points on both their bodies are closed, they're away from the camera now. This has a sense, a complete voyeuristic moment, right? Where, they're not, there's no camera present and now you're shooting this type of a shot. Now what can look odd is when you combine certain things. For example, putting them into a very closed pose like this, and then having them look into the camera, like straight on, for a wide angle portrait, because now we're shooting wide and they're closed up tight together and what we would imagine, especially if we have foreground elements. We see this done a lot of times where they'll put foreground elements, like there's cool leaves and stuff in the shot and then you take this wide shot, oh it looks so amazing and they're posed like this looking into the camera, that's weird. Because the sense that it creates for the viewer is that there was this voyeuristic moment and they caught the peeper. (laughing) I see you. Stop taking photographs of us. You know what I mean? So, like we close them off completely in those kind of moments so that we can create that voyeuristic moment basically. So, what we can do now is with the eyes, like remember these kind of things, I also like to consider eye lines. With eye lines, I love the eye lines to draw into each other, and that's why I often times, by the way, you wanna create awkwardness? Have a couple look at each other in the eyes from this distance, okay. We don't naturally do that, what naturally happens is that if Travis is making, let's say Travis is making eye contact with you, what are you typically gonna do? Look away a little bit, right? Maybe not away, but maybe you're looking down toward him, maybe you're doing something else. But, we don't look at each other from two inches apart, right? So, that's gonna feel strange. There are times to do it, when we wanna get a profile shot, often times, we're shooting wide, we just wanna get a profile because we're doing a silhouette, we're doing a wide shot that's just, profile their features, we'll do that kind of shot, but when we're close up trying to create these moments, we don't have them look directly into each other's eyes. Other than to say, look into each other's eyes, get closer, get closer, that's perfect, right there, okay. Now you can laugh at how awkward this is. Perfect. And then that's when we shoot the shot. Right when she laughed and turned away, that second, okay? Perfect, guys. You guys are amazing. So, my illustration of the three-point check, completely open to the camera, one single touch point, we get a very whimsical-looking shot. Closed off, or open with the chest, close of the eyes, you know it's the eye lines leading down and toward each other, it keeps the viewer's attention in the frame. If one person's looking out, it makes us wonder, hey, what's he looking toward, right? And then the shot completely closed up, now we're in the voyeuristic moment.

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