Class Review - Posing w/ Petra, Beyond the Boudoir

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

On the afternoon of March 8th, twelve lucky creatives gathered at {Hive-Workshops} for a class taught by the one and only, Petra Herrmann, which focused on the art of posing for photography. As a family and lifestyle photographer, I was a bit nervous about a class taught by a photographer, who specializes in boudoir, but I brought an open mind and lots of questions for Petra, an internally award-winning boudoir photographer and owner of Bella Boudoir in Kansas City.

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann
hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann
hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann
hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

When we entered the awesome {Hive-Workshops} space, I immediately noticed the loft was organized differently than it had been for other workshops. Petra had full-length mirrors in front of chairs set up for each creative, which I later learned were to practice posing skills throughout the class. The workshop began with a definition of the ancient art of “contrapposto,” an Italian term that literally translates to counterpose. Contrapposto is defined as:

“...a representation of the human body in which the forms are organized on a varying or curving axis to provide an asymmetrical balance.”

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

As Petra showed images throughout history that used contrapposto alongside boudoir images of her own, I was immediately struck with the similarities. It’s such a simple concept, which has obviously been used for thousands of years by many different types of artists, including painters, photographers, and sculptors, but I had never used it in my own posing. I learned that posing a client using contrapposto gives the subject angles and interest, making them more dynamic and pleasing to the eye.

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hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

I was honestly a bit nervous when Petra announced that each creative would work with other class members to hone their posing ability. As a slightly introverted, awkward person, the thought of posing in front of a group of (mostly) strangers was mortifying! But the reward was beyond what I could have imagined. Not only did I see in real time how simple changes and movements could completely transform the feel and dynamic of an image, I also was able to identify with the feelings a client might be going through as they are being photographed. I know I can be guilty of forgetting how uncomfortable clients can feel in front of a camera, especially if they are naturally introverted or shy, like me! This experience gave me insight that can assist me to work with my clients and help them gain confidence as we work together during a session.

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann
hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann
hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

When asked how she gets uncomfortable subjects to relax at a photoshoot, I was so inspired by Petra’s words on why she enjoys boudoir as a medium. She spoke about how she feels the art of boudoir photography shows women their true beauty. “I’m allowing them to see themselves as others see them,” said Petra. “And they are beautiful, no matter the age, shape or size!”

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

One concern I had coming into this workshop was, I am not a photographer that is focused on boudoir, some of the information wouldn't relate to me and my work. I couldn't have been more wrong! Petra reminded students that while some poses may seem unique to boudoir, the skill and art of posing is valuable for all types of photography. Creatives in attendance included all types of photographers, such as those focused on wedding, family, lifestyle, newborn or seniors. Each one of us found ways to relate the posing techniques from the workshop to our own work.

 

I was extremely thankful for the Q&A sessions during the afternoon, which covered topics ranging from how Petra gets inspired to how she gets an uptight client to relax. She recommended studying poses from all over media outlets, not just from other photographers, which was such an “AHA!” moment for me. When I got home from the class, I immediately gathered up my stack of catalogs and fashion magazines to get inspired. Petra also recommended getting online and studying entertainers on the red carpet. “Look outside of this industry,” she said. “Pay attention to the outside world!”

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann floricolor

The evening after the workshop, I found myself endlessly looking at boudoir images online and talking with fellow photographers about how inspired I felt about this medium. One wise colleague suggested if I was feeling inspired, it might be worth trying it out! So I reached out and I’m excited to say I’ve booked my very first boudoir session next month! I plan to use this session as a learning experience, and I cannot wait to use the techniques we learned in class. Huge thanks to {Hive-Workshops} and to Petra for inspiring me to go for it!  Also a BIG thank you FloriColor for gifting every creative who attended a Touch Album from there new collection!!

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

All our beeautiful Creatives, striking their best pose  :)

hive workshops kansas city photography learn posing petra herrmann

Written by:  Megan Peters - {hive-workshops} Blogger extraordinaire 

Check out Megan's other really cool BLOG - Crazy Bananas 

CLICK HERE to see the other workshops that {hive} has coming up!!!

http://www.floricolorusa.com/touch-collection.html