Taken from the title of a mid-1990s comedy film about a workaholic who clones himself to get more things done in a day, multiplicity pictures employ the magic of digital photography to create images full of duplicate subjects.
The setting was selected and framed up with the camera on a sturdy tripod.  One shot is taken of the setting without anyone in the frame to be sure composition and exposure are set to our liking.
This is important – to make the editing process as easy as possible and to increase the believability factor of the final image, the exposures of the individual shots must be identical. If you’re already used to shooting in manual mode, locking in the exposure, white balance and focus will be no problem.
Now that you’ve locked in your settings, direct your subject around the frame and shoot away.
Copy and paste the selection into the first image, then move it onto position, using the nudge feature to fine tune placement. When all of your clones are in place, flatten the image, make any necessary adjustments to the overall picture then save.
The goal…whether you shun typical posing or embrace it…is to have your portraits look as natural as possible and allow your viewers to see your subject without much thought given to the “pose”. Posing encompasses much more than just the positioning of your subjects body…it also involves the attitude that you want them to project and the facial expression that you want to capture. One of the main things that I strive for in posing my seniors is to convey movement and fluidity in the image. If you like a particular pose, try to change it up a bit by having your subject look a different direction…off to the side, down, up…all can give very different looks to the same pose.
Shooting at a slight downward angle, particularly for close-ups, helps to slim your subjects face. Be mindful of limbs…a slight bend at the elbows and knees in every pose will always make the image look more natural. Avoid shooting heavier people straight on…in fact, it’s typically not flattering even for thin people. For guys you want to help position them in order to make them look strong and confident in their images. Something to watch for with guys is the position of their hands when their arms are relaxed…you want to be mindful of hand positioning that appears feminine. One of the most helpful things you can do to improve your posing ideas is to create a posing journal for yourself.
Another thing that can be helpful as you start to build your own portfolio of shots that you love is to take advantage of your phone if you have image library capabilities on it. Inspiration is plentiful online…but, do be careful that you are being inspired to create and not inspired to copy.
Many of you have become subscribers to my blog since this series began…so I just wanted to say thank you and welcome! AND…a HUGE thank you to the spectacular Jodi Friedman for inviting me to do this series…it’s been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series which will cover more of the business side of working with seniors. Thank you so much…this is great stuff that I can use for more than just senior poses! I am a senior this year and i really want my senior pictures and your pictures really stood out to me many things i have wanted pics by that you have in these photos! I am reading these while on my way to a beach shoot of a family with three boys…only one of them is a teenager.


If you shoot on auto, you risk having the exposure change slightly as your subject moves about the frame. If you’re not one to venture beyond automatic, now’s a good time to learn how to set an exposure. If you’ve securely placed your camera on a tripod and locked in your exposure, the second subject will seamlessly blend into the first picture. Some photographers are naturally gifted at pulling this off and others have to study and learn techniques that will aid them in this, but posing and giving direction to our clients is a huge part of our job as professionals, whether we like it or not. This doesn’t have to be as technical as it sounds…but, it’s important to think ahead of time about what you want a particular image to feel like. That doesn’t mean that they need to look like they are in motion, but rather just convey that they are a living, breathing, moving person…not a static creature! Most people tend to slouch when they are comfortable…and while you want your subjects to look comfortable you don’t want them to look slouched. It helps to reduce or hide any double chins and is a very flattering angle for most everyone.
Also…in standing positions, direct your subjects to balance their weight more on one side that the other since that is the way that we naturally stand. Folding arms across chest, squatting in some variation of the catcher’s position, leaning forward with elbows on thighs in a sitting position, and hands in one or both pockets or belt loops are all standard ways of positioning a male senior in order to give that appearance. As long as you are steering away from static posing you can really do well with images that show a genuine part of who they are.
It will take time to build up a library of posing that appeals to you, but it can be an invaluable tool to you as you prepare for your sessions. You can upload some of your favorite shots to your phone and if you find yourself in a creative rut during your session just flip through your portfolio…you’re juices will be flowing again in no time! It’s so hard, particularly when you are starting out in this business, not to copy the work of photographers that you are inspired by. I like to have a lot of options so that I can choose my absolute favorite image in a series rather than have to settle for one where I’m not happy with the expression or attitude. I have just opened up registration to the fall FOCUS 2009 photography workshop in August of this year. When posing guys, you don’t need to focus as much on finding flattering angles like girls.   In this way, your job can be a lot easier! You want to show them exactly what to do – they need the same amount, if not more direction than girls.
My son is a senior and we have not been happy with his shots, this will be a tremendous help. If that happens, you’ll need to adjust each frame’s brightness to match the others while editing.
One method is to take a shot on automatic, then check the resulting image’s exposure information to see which settings the camera applied. For most photographers, posing seems to be one of those love it or hate it aspects of what we do.
Sometimes you can capture drastically different moods in the same pose just by a change of facial expression. We’ve all seen the chain store poses that are so stiff that the subjects almost don’t look like real people.


Position arms on hips, up against a wall or fence, overhead, in pockets…front or back…anything that shows movement.
Have one or both legs bent at the knees, at differing heights to show more fluidity in the pose. Just make sure that you don’t get stuck in the rut of always shooting from that angle when shooting close-ups. Some of the best images for your posing journal can be found in trendy catalogs and magazines. We all have those whose work we admire and when we see an image that resonates in us…we naturally desire to create the same thing that we see. So…on average, I shoot around 200 frames at a typical senior session…sometimes more if we are shooting at more than one location.
If you are interested in learning more about my shooting techniques and my post processing, as well as the ins and outs of running a successful photography business then please visit my blog for more information. The only time you’ll need to carefully select around a clone is when one clone appears behind another.
Whether you are a very traditional-posed-portrait type of photographer or all the way on the other end of the spectrum as a lifestyle photographer…you will always have to at least give direction to your clients as to how to situate themselves so that they will look as natural as possible. You want your viewers to engage with the subject of your images…and the first step to achieving that goal is for YOU to be engaging with your subject. Just cut out images that appeal to you and jot down what it is that you love about the images and refer to it often. It’s widely accepted that it’s hard to be unique in this business…especially now with the internet being a virtual showroom for every photographer’s work…but your unique style will develop as you convey your connection with your subjects and through your post processing methods.
I’ve subjected my poor clients to some pretty gross stuff all in the name of getting great shots!
Refer to your camera’s manual to learn how to set exposure, focus and white balance manually. There’s no need to carefully trace your subject because the background surrounding the subject will match that of the first picture. Your camera is an extension of your eyes…and if you are engaging with them and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera that will come across in your images. Even if a particular pose has been done before…and it most likely has…you can make it yours by not focusing so much on the posing itself, but more on connecting with your subject in a way that draws your viewers in…and makes them want to keep looking. Particularly in urban settings, which are obviously my favorite, you definitely have grunge to deal with. Apply a light feather to the selection – about 16 pixels will be enough to hide any sharp outlines. I happen to be a HUGE germaphobe…I can’t even begin to tell you how true that is…yet, somehow when I am shooting I can overlook a myriad of things that on a daily basis would make my skin crawl.
I’ve never had anyone complain and I do make the safety of my clients a huge priority, so I would not put them in a situation that would be dangerous…but, dirty…yes.



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