When I first started out with photography, I focused on 2 things: learning the manual settings on my camera and posing. Learning how to manually use my camera was something unchanging and tangible that I could master. The session, location, and subjects didn’t affect my knowledge of how to manipulate the shutter, aperture, or ISO. However, what was constantly changing was posing! It was different for each couple, in each location, and with varying light!
I struggled with posing and remember desperately wanting help! I would stalk my favorite photographer’s blogs and either Pin or create “posing cheat sheets” of my favorite poses. I read books, watched webinars, and even went to workshops hoping that there was this magic formula for how to pose couples. But it seemed like no one had the answer and I kept struggling.
In early 2015, I started the rebranding journey. I spent months trying to figure out what I wanted my photography brand to look like and how I wanted my work to reflect that. After A LOT of praying and soul searching, I chose 2 words to define my brand: inviting & lovely. Those 2 words for me were a starting point not only for my visual brand, but also began a journey to understanding why I photograph clients and what my end goal is for them. I thought about how I wanted to incorporate “inviting and lovely” into my work all the way from the settings to the posing. With that in mind, I was able to narrow my focus and posing became easier! I had a vision for my brand; I had a vision for what I wanted to capture for my couples. Posing became less of “how many unique poses I can walk my couple into” and became more “I’m going to encourage my couples to interact and make minor adjustments.” It was then when I stopped trying to copy other photographers and learned how to truly be Karyn Johnson Photography!
While I still have a TON of learning to do and will always improve, I finally don’t feel lost and overwhelmed. I have a unique vision to offer. I have a style and eye that sees the world differently than anyone else, and that’s what makes me Karyn Johnson Photography.
Let me put in a quick disclaimer here: do I still look to other photographers for posing ideas? Of course! But I just don’t feel the need to copy them anymore. I now see them as ideas that I can incorporate into my own posing rhythm rather than trying to pose like them.
So if you are a photographer and feel you are struggling with posing, I highly recommend taking some time to think about your brand, to think about why you are taking photos, and think about what exactly you are trying to capture. It really helps!