|Posing Hands With Flowers|
Flowers are not a baseball bat and should not be held at waist level like one.
Here is a very simple "by-the-numbers" approach from the Monte Zucker playbook for something which seems to perplex wedding photographers: how to pose the hands and hands holding flowers gracefully in a ways that don't distract from attention from the face.
Start All Poses With The Feet
Start the pose from the feet up. Turn the body away from the key light so the front of the dress in shadow facing the camera at 30-40 degrees. Turning the body away from the light will make the front of a wedding dress darker and less distracting and the cross lighting on it will reveal the intricate details. Next shift the weight to the back foot, which should be facing sideways and point the front foot directly at the camera. If wearing heels the front leg should bend naturally at the knee when the weight is shifted. If you see the bride is still standing flat footed with level shoulders ask again for the weight to be shifted to the back hip with the front heal raised off the ground so the front slightly. Why do all this for a head and shoulders shot? Because when the hips are shifted the shoulder line will slant with the front shoulder rising and the back one dropping. The head can be turned back into the key light and tipped to the high shoulder nearest the camera for a very graceful and feminine look. After you do this a few times you will see how just getting the feet positioned and the weight shifted to the back foot and hip makes everything above the waist fall into place.
Posing Hands For A Head and Shoulders View
For a head and shoulders crop start without the flowers and put the palms together in center with tips touching the underside of the chin (in a praying posture), sides of the hands facing camera. Next slide the hands sideways towards the key light so fingertips of one hand slide down into the palm of the other. Curve the fingers and cock the wrists slightly for a pleasing angle, taking care that the slim sides of hands are still facing the camera.
The hands should now be up near the shoulder on the key light side. Now simply insert the flowers between the gracefully posed hands. Most of the hands will be hidden by the flowers but the arms and parts of the hands which are visible will be look graceful and elegant. The flowers will be near the brides face. Putting them near the face unifies hands and face as a single center of interest eliminating the ping-pong eye movement which results when they are held lower in the photo far away from the face.
Posing Hands For A Full Length View
For full length shots the start with the palms together in the middle below the waist pointing down at the floor. Next slide the hands sideways towards the hip key light so fingertips of inside hand slide down into the palm of the other. Curve the fingers and cock the wrists slightly for a pleasing angle, taking care that the slim sides of hands are still facing the camera.
The hands should now be over the hip on the key light side. Now simply insert the flowers between the gracefully posed hands. the arms will be extended instead of with elbows at 90 degrees like chicken wings. The flowers will be far enough from the face in the full length view and will not be in the middle at the waist cutting the bride in half visually. Extending the arms and placing the flowers at the hip instead of the waist will make the bride look taller and thinner. Most of the hands will be hidden by the flowers but and parts of the hands which are visible will be look graceful and elegant.
Not Just For Brides
This is just one approach to posing hands and rather specific in application, but it has proven to be very simple to communicate, naturally graceful and very attractive. Working with it as an exercise and/or baseline might get you past your mental block on posing hands. It is also a very good "warm-up" exercise with an inexperienced model to give them some clues about what you are looking for in term of finger and wrist position and how to orient of the slimmer side of the hand towards the camera.
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