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This chapter is from the book

Applying the 3-Point Combinations

This chapter’s previous photos were chosen to demonstrate various concepts. The following photos come from actual photo shoots where I applied these techniques based on the energy I wanted to portray in my photographs. I hope that after reading this book you will pose with intent, instead of just guessing and throwing posing directions around in hope that one looks good. I do not want to sound harsh, but if you intend to use photography as a way of making a living, then you must photograph skillfully for the survival of your photography business.

After considering Laura’s clothing and hairstyle (Figure 4.8), I thought an aggressive and powerful pose would do the most justice to the overall styling. So I used the same technique as Figure 4.5, where none of the three points face the camera, and the collarbone and chin point in opposite directions. Although I label the points not facing the camera as weak, I’m referring to a weak personal connection with the viewer, not weak as in fragile. This distinction is important.

4.8

4.8

The fact that none of the three points face you makes this photo impersonal, so you connect with her more as a statute than as a friend. I placed her hair over her eyes to add to the mysterious nature of this pose. With her eyes hidden from the viewer, the photo leaves more of her personality to your imagination.

The beautiful bride in Figure 4.9 had one of the most unique wedding dresses I’d ever seen. There was no question in my mind that I needed a three-point combination to showcase the dress without it competing with her face. The answer was for her collarbone to be facing the camera and her chin and eyes facing away. This combination impels you to admire her dress without her eyes “demanding” that you look back at her. You can clearly see how turning her face away from the camera softens the connection with her eyes. I added a subtle head-tilt toward the higher shoulder to make the pose appear more feminine and elegant.

For the photo in Figure 4.10, I wanted the opposite effect of Figure 4.9. In this case, I still wanted to feature the dress, but I also wanted to keep a strong personal connection with the bride. The best three-point combination was easy to choose: All three points should face the camera.

4.10

4.10

This three-point combination in Figure 4.11 with the collarbone and the chin facing the camera and the eyes turned away is rarely used, but it can be very effective. It’s one of my favorite combinations when doing a boudoir photo shoot. The energy here is sensual yet personal. Her eyes are not connecting with you, but she can feel your presence and accepts it because her body and chin are directed toward you. To me, this is the perfect three-point combination to create a balanced mix of aloofness and warmth. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but that is the best way to describe the energy in this photo.

4.11

4.11

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