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Tips for Photographers (T4P) is a weekly feature where I talk about a cool tip that I think will benefit my fellow photographers. For more T4Ps, click here!

Today’s Tip for Photographers is going to be about posing inspiration. Posing is probably one of the hardest aspects of being a photographer, and in my opinion, one of the most important factors in what separates a good photographer from a so-so one. It also completely sets the tone for the photoshoot and your “style” as a photographer.

My primary source of inspiration for my posing is magazines. My poor boyfriend can attest that I buy every single Bridal magazine I can find, as well as several high-fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle, and I immediately run home and flip through every page, ripping out any poses that inspire me. I have a huge collection of tearsheets that I have collected over the past few years…

I used to paste these into a journal where I would make notes on each pose, what I liked about it, how to achieve it, what types of brides/dresses the poses worked best with…

Now I keep them organized into a binder, divided into categories such as “Poofy Dresses,” “Mermaid dresses,” “Bridesmaids,” “Bride and Groom,” “Groom alone,” “Details,” etc., so that I can easily find the tearsheet that apply to whatever it is I am shooting that day.

Before each session, I go through my binder and review the poses that apply to that particular day’s shoot, and I try to commit 2-3 of the poses to memory. I study them very carefully and try to burn the aspects of the pose that I like into my brain. Then, during the session, I will re-create those poses, but I will do something different to make them my own, such as changing the arm placement, lighting, angle of the body, or composition. After awhile, you will have a mental repertoire of images that you can work from during your sessions whenever you can’t think of something new or unique.

That’s it for this week. Hope you guys like the new feature! Let me know what you think :)


  1. Deborah said . . .

    Great great idea! My boyfriend is going to freak out though… lol

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  2. Amber Hughes said . . .

    You rock Stacy… You’re always so generous with your knowledge!

    This is something I started doing about a year ago myself, and it’s amazing how helpful it can be! My only problem now is my enormous stack of magazines waiting to be cut up… hehe ;)

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Elizabeth H. said . . .

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea! I am looking forward to many more of your tips!

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  4. Lizzy said . . .

    Thank you for not being stingy with your ideas. You are such a great photographer, and you are not afraid to give your secrets out. How wonderful! Thanks A LOT!

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Melissa E Earle said . . .

    Oh my gosh!!!
    I JUST LOVE this tip! Stacy!!! This rocks! I love it!!!
    -Melissa E Earle

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  6. Lisa said . . .

    Wow! How do you find the time?!?!?! But it is VERY much appreciated!

    Posted October 7, 2008 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  7. tunji sarumi said . . .

    Thanks for the superb tips. I’ve been trying to do this for a while know but I not too organized.

    Posted October 8, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink
  8. Sylwia Szuder said . . .

    I love your tip! Must start this on my own…
    And I love this new feature on your awesome blog, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us :)

    Posted October 8, 2008 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  9. Chrissy said . . .

    Just loved this post. I’ve heard you mention that before….now it’s time to put it to practice!!

    Posted October 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  10. Kirsten said . . .

    BRILLIANT idea!! I do something sort of similar but this is way better :-) AND – it really helps me understand why your posing is truly fantastic. You work hard at it!

    Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  11. Kim Kalyn said . . .

    Stacey you are amazing !! This is such a great tip. I have been doing the same thing with tear sheets, but you took it to the next level and I think it’s a great idea. I really appreciate your openness with the T4P. You ROCK !!

    Posted December 28, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  12. Joanne Hastie said . . .

    Hi Stacey

    I love your photos. Before I did my first wedding 2 weeks ago I went to my city’s bridal show and collected every bridal magazine and ripped them out and glued them in a scrap book just like you are showing. For my own wedding I didn’t open one magazine! My husband was lecturing me yesterday to clean up magazine pile. … I just read this post makes me feel less crazy!

    Thanks for posting for fellow photographers!

    Posted February 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Meredith Perdue said . . .

    Stacey- I love this idea! I primarily shoot dogs and this idea alone (i’m a giant magazine lover!) makes me want to go back to weddings. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted February 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  14. Brittney said . . .

    that is an awesome idea – thanks for sharing! I’m loving looking through your T4P archive :)

    Posted November 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  15. You are officially a rockstar photographer for being so generous with your knowledge. These tips and the photographer’s pricing guide are fantastic. Thanks Stacy :)!!

    Posted March 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

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