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Posing for Portrait Photography: A Head-to-Toe Guide Paperback – July 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Includes 100 photos that illustrate various portrait styles and posing techniques that will surely enhance the quality of your work."  —Shutterbug


"Smith . . . focuses on posing each area of the body so that it looks good individually and as an element of the overall image." —www.BookNews.com (October 2011)

About the Author

Jeff Smith is the author of Corrective Lighting and Posing Techniques for Portrait Photographers, Outdoor and Location Portrait Photography, Professional Digital Portrait Photography, and Success in Portrait Photography. He lives in Fresno, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media, Inc. (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584281340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584281344
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book is full of nuggets of insights.
Sam Kapoor
Similarly, the book is riddled with confusing terminology and incorrect wording (to say nothing of misspellings and grammatical errors).
joelaready
In this book, Jeff covers all aspects of posing from "head to toe".
Cheng S. Lo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to see if I could use it as a textbook with which to teach my students. I found it mildly informative for beginners, but the pictures often were very poor and the models looked uncomfortable with their head cocked to awkward angles.

One of the greatest flaws in this book was the lack of cohesion. A lot of concepts were given, but very little application, examples, or delving into more advanced techniques (especially lighting, which goes hand in hand). One of my students read this and said she constantly didn't know what to do next.

Again, the pictures, although many, were mostly poor, and there were no pictures of a typical studio setup. The book only tells you the purpose of straight line-sets and curved line-sets, but that's about it. It very vaguely tells you to consider your studio setup with the modeling.

In short, I do not recommend this book for anyone because of its lack of depth and lack of good examples. It would start off a beginner on the wrong foot and bore intermediate to advanced photographers.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Peter Zink on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to try to learn some useful poses for my subjects, and given most other people's ratings, I decided to give it a try. However, upon opening the book my first thought was, "these all look like high school yearbook photos", which is exacltly what they are. It seems that that's primarily what type of photography the author does and his book is geared almost exclusively to that market. His main concern, which he stresses throughout the book, is creating a "saleable picture", and he keeps emphasizing the importance of pleasing mom, since she's usually the one with final say over the pictures. A better title for this book would have been, "How To Take High School Senior Pictures".

Even then, most of the pictures are not very good, both in their original execution and in their print quality for this book. In addition, the poses are unnatural and awkward looking, and the book is filled with typos and grammatical errors.

To be fair, the author does suggest some useful basics of things to do and things not to do when posing a subject, but there is really very little useful information here.

So, if you're interested in learning how to take pictures that look like a Sears portrait, this may be the book for you. However, if you really want to learn some useful techniques for posing your subjects in a more natural or more artistic manner, I'd steer clear of this book.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sam Kapoor on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is full of nuggets of insights. Very first chapter; 'Six things you should never do' pays for the price of the book. I am not a professional photographer but insights in this book have helped me take better portraits.

I am surprised by a very negative review on this book. That reviewer must be confused about another book. There is no question posing is a difficult topic and it is wrong to expect one single book will make you master of portrait photography. Nonetheless, this book will help you avoid some basic mistakes. After reading this book, I looked at pictures I had taken before and I noticed several basic errors I made. Now I won't be making those errors anymore.

This book is well illustrated with excellent photographs and is presented in very logical order. Out of several books I bought on this topic, this is the one I keep referring to again and again and it never disappoints.

There are few drawbacks. There is limited information on lighting. Book focuses on mainly studio portraits and assumes you are a professional photographer with all the equipment; information on outdoor portraits is limited. Also this book focusses only on senior portraits.

Author Jeff Smith has other books on lighting and outdoor portraits.

Overall this is a good book on posing if you keep above limitations in mind.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are several things I really like about this book:

First, is the fact that the thinking is up to date. The traditional poses of GrandMa's pictures just won't do in today's market.

Second, he points out that the only reason for taking a portrait is to produce a picture that the customer likes, that's the only way you can make any money.

Third, is the understanding that there is nothing wrong with any pose if that's what the customer wants. That is, treat the customer with respect.

Finally there are some very interesting hints, in taking a picture of a girl on a motorcycle, he also took a picture of just her face. The comment is made that the girl wants the picture of the bike, but the picture of just her face appeals to older people such as her parents. That's an easy way to make additional money out of the same basic setting.

You may not like all the poses given her, but if the book gives you just one or two ideas for your next portrait shoot, it is well worth it's low cost and the time it takes to read it.
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Misiewicz on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have not had any formal training in photography, but read or watch anything I can get my hands (anything I can afford that is). I'll take notes on what ever it is I'm leaning. This is by far one of the best books on posing I've read. On just about ever page I leaned something new. Mr. Smith brings together all the small details of a good pose in a nice simple package. From expressions, deadly sins, legs, and more Mr. Smith does a great job in covering all the subjects.

I shoot weddings, and was easily able to apply all the information.
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