Saturday, December 27, 2014

Posing Children

Shooting costumes for a local church pageant would be a boring session if all that was needed was this: a beautiful child/actor standing still waiting for me to click the shutter.  The catalog, requested by the youth director, would also be really boring!  

I decided to try for some personality and character by asking the models who they were.  When I did ask I realized my mistake: “I’m Sue.  That’s my brother Billy over there.” 

I changed my question to “Who do you play?” or “What is your character?” and the results were much better. 

It was easy to ask the angels “And what does an angel do….?”.   That question revealed interesting triangles when this angel showed me how she would fly. 

We also shot the simple head-on for extra coverage of the wing details.

This child knew Zachariah got a bit of a shock from his wife
Elizabeth, and he knew how to show it (you’ll have to look it up in the Luke story). 

The same actor played Wiseman #1, and we quickly hit on the gift-giving theme but he didn’t have any good ideas of how to show that concept (we didn’t use props).  Then I remembered a common posing technique: MIRROR ME.

I held out my hand as if I had a gift for him and said “I am your mirror. Please do what I do.”  We had a few false starts but soon he understood and followed along.  Next I held out both hands, then I bent at the waist.  He followed in his own way. 

He was smiling so broadly I had to ask him to be reverent, and that broke the chain.  However he understood where we were going and after a short discussion we began the “MIRRORING” again.  

The final pose was his creation and he just held it until he heard me trip the shutter. 

His sister, Wiseman #2, got the same treatment. 

Wiseman #3 pointed to the star she was following.

Shepard #2 bent over to check out what the fuss in the manger was all about.  He was amazed at what he found.  (I figured I could embellish the narrative a little in my studio.)

Alas, not every child was able to follow the mirror pose quite as well as the wise men did (no pun!).  I must say I sometimes have trouble with mirroring also, but it works much better than

“Move to your right a bit.”

If you want to use mirroring be sure to practice.  A friend of mine claims he can get dogs to mirror.

Also remember that some folks are just naturals at posing.  I love the semi-tough-guy pose of this Joseph, and we just rolled with it.

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Greta Loeber said...

This is really great. I'm sure you had your hands full, but the price was worth it. Have a fabulous Christmas season. ghl

Gail Davis said...

Way to go, Bruce!

Jane Scott said...

These are wonderful, Bruce!