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Powerful Portraits using Body Language and Lighting

via CreativeLive


Over fifty-five percent of communication is done through non-verbal gestures. It’s essential for photographers to understand the fundamentals of body language in order to better communicate with their clients. In this class, award-winning photographer Stacy Pearsall teaches how to make solid first impressions with your subject through the use of body language.

With her honest and straightforward teaching style, you will learn how to:

  • Observe and decipher non-verbal cues
  • Use light and shadow to convey emotion and create a mood
  • Utilize appropriate lighting for specific personalities
  • Use body language techniques to capture authentic expressions from your subject

During live photo shoots, Stacy will explain and demonstrate from start to finish how to connect with subjects through positive body language, maintain connection by touch and energy, and capture their true likeness with gesture and light. By the end of this class, you will have the tools and confidence to photograph your clients to show their authentic personalities.


  • Class Introduction
  • Dissecting Non-Verbal Communication
  • Body Posture & Angles
  • Demo: Body Posture & Angles
  • Dissecting Gestures in Body Language
  • Legs Speak The Loudest
  • Arms Admit or Refuse Access
  • Pay Attention to Hands
  • Pay Attention to Body Position
  • The Head Position
  • Eye Direction
  • Facial Expression
  • Micro Gesture
  • First Impressions - The Fundamentals of Subject Interaction
  • Personal Space
  • High & Low Energy
  • Ability to Emphasize
  • Shoot: Learn to Read and Decipher Your Subjects
  • Take Control: Learn to Orchestrate, Not Dominate, the Studio
  • Organic Posing: Embracing the Subject’s Presence
  • Shoot: Demo Start to Finish
  • Images From Shoot Review
  • Lighting Overview
  • Demo: Emotion of Light
  • The Tone of Light
  • The Foundations of Light
  • Shoot: Determine Lighting
  • Shoot: Identify Your Own Preconceptions
  • Accents & Filler Light
  • Demo: Accents & Filler Light
  • Tailer Your Light
  • Matching Light for the Subject
  • Shoot: Matching Light for the Subject
  • Body Language Refresher
  • Shoot: Body Language & Light
  • Shoot: Break Down Barriers With Your Subject
  • Shoot: Give Your Subject Space
  • Shoot: Use Movement to Create Comfortability
  • Instructor Summary

Taught by

Stacy Pearsall

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