February 2021 // The Post-Production Edition

Shooting for a Signature Shot: Posing. Lighting. Expression. Composition. | Sal Cincotta

Creating great images is so much more than just pointing your camera at a pretty scene and placing your subject in front of it. Any experienced photographer knows this in their bones. The danger for new photographers is to underestimate the details that go into creating a truly epic shot for your clients. In this article, I want to point out and discuss the subtle details that go into creating a better portrait. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Getting better as a photographer and artist? The next time you are on a shoot, I want you to pay attention to these details. I promise you, it will change the way you work. “Fix it in post” is one of the most ridiculous things you could say or plan for. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that must be done in post, but the bones of the image must be solid or in the end you are just polishing a turd.

So, let’s focus on how we can make the bones of the image solid.


This is so important. I see this over and over again from photographers when I review their portfolios. Posing is often “awkward” and “contrived” to be blunt. This is probably the one area almost every photographer struggles with. I know when I was starting out this would strike fear into me before every shoot. To make matters worse, your clients—real people, not models—don’t know or understand how to pose their bodies to look their best. So, how do you get better? Analysis and practice. Something I would do after every shoot was go through my sequences and look for what could be better. That’s the key: Look for what’s wrong vs. celebrating what’s right.

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