(vertical blind wands slide over) – What? ♪ Heard this beat ♪ ♪ in my dream. ♪ – What? – Good morning, everyone, from the Chateau Lake Louise. So, if you look out our window right now, we have some beautiful, freshly fallen snow, and it’s June in Alberta. This doesn’t happen. So, considering the light is pretty much perfect for portraits, we have a friend with us who is unreal at portraits, (camera snaps pictures) and he really understands body language, so that’s what we’re gonna talk about today on Chris’ Channel. – And we’re gonna eat some bagels. So, let’s go meet Jay, let’s go canoe out on the lake right now, because, one more time for this view. Let’s go. (taps on glass repeatedly) (groovy pop music) All right, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Jay R.
McDonald, what an official name. Dude, so official. – What’s up, guys? (Chris laughs) Morning, look at this! We’re gonna go out into the canoe right now. We’re gonna shoot some portrait stuff with Lizzie. I’m gonna walk you through what we’re doing as soon as we’re done with it, but, for the meantime, we’re just gonna enjoy this for a second, ’cause this is wild. – [Chris] All right Lizzie, be safe with Jay and get some good photos. – Okay, I’ll try. – Oh, she’s got the paddle action instinct! Natural, look at that! (groovy pop music) (camera snaps pictures) (camera snaps picture) – Got some good photos out here? – My dude, this is nuts.
Conditions are wild, your girl knows how to work a camera. Let’s get on land. (groovy pop music) – I’ll just find a quiet spot do to this tutorial right now. Jay, how’s this spot? – I’m about it, I like it. Hey guys, so these are my top three tips to change your body language to improve your portrait photography. So, number one, exposing vulnerable areas. So, whether that be the inside of your wrist, your neck, armpit, something like that, that tells the viewer (camera shutter closes) that you’re comfortable. It immerses them into the photo.
A lot of times we see a lot of discomfort. Something touching your suprasternal notch, like this. That’s the little indent right here. (camera snaps picture) Anybody gets uncomfortable, boom, hand goes right here, and it’s to ease tension. It’s a soothing motion. The second thing. When we’re using our body language, we need to look at feet. This is huge in a photo. So, if I’m standing here, and Lizzy is standing, she’s looking towards me. Lizzie and I have met, we’ve hung out before, so she’s comfortable. If her feet are pointing away from me, right? So, she’s got one foot pointing out like this in a strong position, that tells the viewer that she wants to get out of there. You see this often when you’re taking a portrait, but you’ve got a full body in frame. You can have, the subject can have their leg like this, and then it’s pointed out. I know it’s such a micro thing, but the second that that foot points towards me, that shows interest.
So, I’ll actually change my subject, I’ll have, Lizzie, I’m gonna point your foot towards me, yeah, and then put your weight on your front foot a little bit. Like that, seems minor, makes a huge difference. These are all things that are subconscious. You’re not thinking about them, but when you see a photo, you’re (snaps fingers) immediately making those instant judgments. The second thing is blocking. If we don’t like something, we do blocking. So whether that’s eye blocking, say somebody walks into a room, you don’t like them, you’ll immediately, like this. That’s eye blocking, what’s funny about that is that seems to be the smolder look. But what we’re gonna do is the opposite of that. We’re gonna have her open her eyes. With that, with pupil dilation, something that gets missed a lot, is that, when we see something that we’re attracted to, our pupils dilate, they open up and let more light in. Now, I’m gonna have you close your eyes, Lizzie. Yeah, and then when I say three, I’m gonna have you look right down the barrel.
One, two, three. (camera snaps picture) And I want to take that shot instantly. So when she opens her eyes, and her pupils go “pop!” and they try to see the light and figure out what’s going on, I get the wide, nice, beautiful color, pupils, everything in between. The next thing we’re gonna talk about is hand position. Something as simple as thumbs in your pocket shows extreme discomfort. Thumbs outside of your pocket shows that you’re more confident, you’re more comfortable. So, I’m gonna demonstrate for you guys the difference between discomfort and comfortable. Minor little things that you can change in your body language that make a huge difference in your photos. Say I’m on the tree here. I’m gonna fall in this water. (Chris laughs) I’m here, legs turned in, body’s closed off, right? I look like a little kid that has to pee or something like that.
Here we are, I am uncomfortable, I’m touching my buttons. So, everything I’m doing right now is uncomfortable. This seems ridiculous, but think about immediately, you get in front of a camera, everyone goes like this, right? So, now I’m going to point my foot towards you, like this. As a male, something that’s a little bit more comfortable than playing with my hair, even though I have long hair, is playing with the buttons on my shirt, right? This is like, Dwayne the Rock Johnson is infamous for this. So, I’m showing you the inside of my wrist, and I’m gonna lift my chin up, pop my chest a little bit.
If you look at the difference in my body language from before and after, this is welcoming you, I’m comfortable. If I’m holding something in my hand, it could be coffee, it could be a camera, anything you’re holding is gonna make you look more comfortable, and then we add that into the portrait work. Changing your body framing, huge for portraits, and it gets missed all the time. The best thing about incorporating body language into your portrait photography is that it changes the first impression of the viewer. So the first thing they see, they either like it or they don’t (snaps fingers) immediately. You know when you meet someone for the first time. The thing with portrait photography and body language is that body language is free.
You don’t need expensive gear. You don’t need insane training. You can go out there, you can learn about it and add these small, simple tips into your photos to increase the way that the viewer is involved and immersed in your image. So, three simple things, totally free. Absolutely change the way you shoot portraits. – Jay, you killed that. Can you believe that that’s his first time on camera? He should be doing YouTube. Comment below if you think Jay should start doing YouTube. In the meantime, if you guys want to check out his portraits, he has an Instagram page. I’ll link it below, it’s @jrmcdonald. How do you spell that out? – J-A-Y, the letter R, M-C-D-O-N-A-L-D. (Chris laughs) – He’s great, Jay’s super funny, too. So, if you want to learn things, you want to have a good time, laugh, all that stuff, give him a follow, he’s amazing.
If you guys like this video and you learned something, like I did and the rest of the group here that’s watching this tutorial, please press (clicks fingers) Like. It actually makes a difference. Subscribe, we’d love for you guys to join along. And hit the bell to be notified for future videos, and maybe we’ll see the boys here in Alberta in some future content. – A little peer pressure. – Did you learn something? – I did! I learned how to not look uncomfortable, and to look comfortable. (Chris laughs) – Peace, guys. (dreamy pop music).