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Posing Touch Points

Lesson 5 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

5. Posing Touch Points

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of this lesson is engagement photography and the importance of body language and touch points in creating romantic and whimsical shots. The instructor discusses the impact of touch points on the level of intimacy and romanticism in a photograph, as well as the significance of head angles in conveying closeness and comfort between subjects. The lesson also touches on the relationship between expressions and the overall mood of the photograph.


  1. What is the significance of touch points in engagement photography?

    Touch points contribute to the level of romance and intimacy in a photograph. The more touch points, the more romantic the shot becomes.

  2. What is the difference between a romantic shot and a whimsical shot?

    A romantic shot typically has more touch points and portrays a sense of closeness between the subjects. A whimsical shot, on the other hand, may have fewer touch points and leans towards a playful and less intimate vibe.

  3. How does head angle affect the overall feel of a photograph?

    Head angle plays a role in conveying closeness or lack thereof between subjects. When one person's head is turned away, it often signifies a lack of comfort or connection.

  4. What other factors besides touch points and head angle can impact the mood of a photograph?

    Expressions also have a significant impact on the overall mood of a photograph. Smiling and laughter can enhance the romantic or playful feel of a shot.

  5. Is it okay for subjects to look away from each other while laughing?

    Yes, when subjects are laughing, it is natural for them to look away from each other. This can actually create a more authentic and natural moment in the photograph.


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 Touch Points

Touchpoints, this is their body language. So basically, the more points of contact on the body, the more romantic a shot is getting, right? The less points of contact, I usually say whimsical, a shot gets very whimsical. You know, the shots where they're standing apart and they're holding hands in the center, or they might even be like standing apart looking at each other, those kind of things. It gets very whimsical, very kind of playful type stuff. Alright, so let me show you guys. So body language, more touchpoints, more romantic. Case in point. Aw, look at that. This is during our pre-shoot and I was like, hey guys, so more touch points means more romantic, and she's like, mmm. So look at this! (audience laughter) Boom, got got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Like, 20 something touch points. That's amazing, perfect. I used the word brilliant because he's English. Okay, you guys can take a break for one sec and I'll bring you guys back in just a minute. Let's go to this n...

ext one. So this is kind of a case in point. What they're doing here, if you think about what they're doing in your head, right? Here, they're kissing, which, would you not agree, that's a pretty intimate thing? I wouldn't go and kiss you, Steve, unless, you know, we were a little bit tighter that we are. Yeah. You know, that's just not... Yeah? Okay. So this is a kiss on the forehead, right? So which one is actually a more intimate action? Is not this one a more intimae action? Kissing on the lips is a more intimate action, but which one feels more romantic? That one, right? So when we analyze it, it's the touch points. So we only have two touch points here, versus this shot that has connections throughout the entire image. (audience member mumbling) What's that? I think their expressions too. That's definitely part of it too, definitely part of it. But honestly, if you imagine if she was looking into the camera, which I have that shot too, it's still gonna feel very romantic. If she was smiling and laughing when he was holding onto her that tight, it's still gonna feel very romantic. But expression does have a definite impact. So we did this head angle a second ago. There's head angle... I wanted to use my high school prom shot for this but they told me no, 'cause me and my date, you can see all the people posed are like, ahh, ahh, their heads close together, and then me and my date were like (honk), we're like... Yeah, it wasn't a good thing, but head angle in means it has a symbol of closeness, okay? So when you put two people together, and we're gonna demonstrate it in just a second, but when you have two people together and one of their heads are going away, it's generally not a good thing. It generally is gonna mean a lack of closeness there or... Oftentimes it's a lack of comfort with each other, right? Case in point. Here it's like, bros? This is my... I'm gonna do this a lot throughout this entire course. The people that are in the the slides, I'm gonna mention their names. They're incredible photographers, all of them, Check them out, they're really great. Is this John? That's John, right? Uh, yes. Yeah, John Curotto. This is Matt Roberts. Okay, so that's bros, head angle's kinda far apart, okay, but this one is bros, you know what I mean? And that's Trevor Dayley and Steven Fusella. I love his last name, Fusella. Okay. Head angle, people. I'm gonna leave it up there. If anybody wants to take a picture, screenshot, if you're at home right now, yeah, get the phone out. It's awesome. Okay. My wife will appreciate that. I figured that. Okay, so in reality... Now, this shot right here, what's happening is that our minds might go, hey, I kind of like this photograph a little bit better, and there's two things that might make you think that way, but you might not know it, okay? Well, the obvious thing is that his expression right here doesn't quite match what her expression is doing there, but the second thing is that the head angle, it doesn't match the body language, do you know what I'm saying? She's hugging into him with her head going away. So these are the whys that I want you guys to know, because when you look at that at first you go, there's something off about it. I want, at the end of this course, for you to go whether it's the lighting, whether it's the posing, whether it's whatever. I want you to identify what it is that makes it that way so you can fix it. So with the head angle in, the body body languages match and we get a really great shot, and we had him smile for that. Now, there's kind of a thing with head angle and laughing, by the way. Do you guys notice that if you put a couple together... Let me do this for a second. Lemme have you guys come in close together and I'm gonna have you just hug onto his arm, and then Travis, open up to the audience. Perfect, just like that. Now Travis, you're looking towards her, and if you were to laugh, what is your natural reaction when you laugh? (laughter) Okay. Your general natural reaction is not when you're... When you're laughing, you don't really look into each other's eyes. You usually laugh and the person looks away, okay? That is the one time where head angle and this kind of stuff doesn't really apply. If you capture in a good laugh and she's kind of going with her head away, it's totally fine. That's how it should look. If you were to say, okay, laugh but look at each other. (laughter) Well, that might actually work 'cause they're professionals. That was actually pretty good, but you get what I'm saying. Alright, thanks guys.

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