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Progressive Posing - Full Length

By Rick Ferro | December 20, 2012

In my last article Progressive Posing, I covered the Two-Thirds view and the Profile view.  Referring back to that article, once you have achieved positioning the couple you are now able to easily change lens and create a full length image at ease anytime and anyplace.  This is why I call it Progressive Posing.  Now, for this month's steps & tips for full length wedding and portrait Progressive Posing.


This post used with permission from Rick Ferro and


The guidelines for posing are formalized and steeped in tradition.  The rules have been refined over and over again throughout time.  Posing has been accepted as a standard means to render three-dimensional images.

The rules of posing and composition need not be followed to the letter, but should be understood.  They offer specific ways to show subjects even when you are photographing uncooperative subjects…like kids.  Always good head and shoulder positioning is important.

Here are the steps for a great Progressive Pose that you can use: 

Tip:  Angle of view, is extremely important it gives impact, drama and power.  Lower the camera below the flowers or bouquet and try to use a long lens for shallow dept of field.

Pose: I positioned the couple in a double Profile.

One:  Turn the couple in a double Profile position.

Two:  Have them spread their legs apart.  I love using the expression “put dance in your image”.

Three:  Drop the flowers off to the side and make sure her arm is bent; I am not a big fan of an arm dangling strait up and down.

Four:  I positioned the foreheads to touch each other and have them close their eyes, too.

Five:  To finish off this dramatic pose it is extremely important you connect the couple by carefully by placing their hands softly.

All of these steps give the image relationship and connection and purpose.

Now let’s look at the wrong way!   Looking at this image you can now see how boring and unattractive it really is. 

Here are the problems with this image:

One:  The bodies are to strait and don’t look comfortable.

Two:  Her arm that is holding the bouquet is bent too much.

Three:  Their faces have no expression at all.

Four:  His hand is just dangling and lifeless.

Five:  There is no connection in their faces; to me it’s just two people looking at each other.

Now, for another good pose.  I wanted you to see how her foot was pointing to the camera also tilting their heads together.

Here is why this pose is good: 

One:  I like this pose especially when I have a bride that is full size.  Between her flowers and having her slide her arm inside his helps minimize her weight.
Two:  For the groom, I prefer the gentleman slightly bring his hand behind his body {camera right}.

This image reminds me of the Ma and Pa Kettle holding the pitch folks.

Here are the problems with this image:

One:  Starting with the groom, his hands are in a fig leave position. 

Two:  I made him look larger because I did not angle him enough. 

Three:  Her face is turned too much so the shadow area on her face is to deep and not soft. 

If you are still posing this way it is time to get serious about your craft.


  • Canon: Mark II
  • Lens: Canon 70 to 200 f2.8
  • ISO 100
  • Lighting: Strobe
  • One hair light behind the subjects, one main light camera right, and one fill next to the main.
  • Meter to the light
  • My exposure was F5.6 at 1/60

Throughout my next few articles I will continue write to write about Progressive Posing.  All you have to do is practice, practice.

I would be more than happy if you want me to critique one or two of your images. Send them to my email 4x6@72dpi. Thank for all your positive response and happy posing.

Happy Progressive Posing!
Rick Ferro


This post used with permission from Rick Ferro and

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Nathaniel Johnston: | December, 21, 2012

Nice write up. Telling the reader to “get serious about their craft” at the end is a little condescending, but the the tips are good and definitely makes me think a little deeper into how I pose my subjects.

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