Chances are if you are a portrait photographer you’ve seen or heard of Peter Hurley. If you haven’t seen his presentation at the Google + Photographers Conference, check it out on YouTube. We purchased his tutorial on headshots and someone asked me why we needed it. The truth is you can never stop learning, especially in the world of photography. Change is inevitable and if you don’t adapt then you’ll fall behind. Some people feel that this is disheartening but we love it. Change to us is learning new things, seeing new ways to see, and as a creative professional, we feel like that is required to be on top of our game.
Some of the tips he gives out are equally useful for any type of subject. For example he says to use intuition with celebrities and CEOs – listen to your intuition (know when you are done, and losing them) but of course this is critical with non-celebrity clients as well.
Some posing tips like pointing ears and forehead toward the camera help make almost anyone look better too and we like how he tells people to push their elbows back and not be wide. Asking subjects to loosen up and relax their shoulders more is a proven way to get people to look less nervous too.
Other tips to make people feel comfortable or relax that Hurley demonstrates include telling people to “look delighted,” or “make the face I’m making.” For smilers telling them to “stop smiling first, then do small smiles” is also effective.
In general the best takeaways may be to “watch what they are doing,” “keep shooting” and to know that trial and error is not a bad approach 🙂