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Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb
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shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Can anyone give some pointers on posing your bears (or whatever) for photographing?  I'm some what frustrated in this area.  I can NOT capture the sweetness on or otherwise.  I know I need to work on better lighting etc...but I also need to help with the simple art of posing them.  I think they get lost in and among all the other wonderful artist bears out there.


plushkinbear BEAR ME SHOOTKA
Vladivostok, RUSSIA
Posts: 2,139

Shantell, your bears are beautiful!
I make loads of photos and then choose the best one. Just playing around with bear's pose, take pictures
bear_grin   bear_wub

I love all your latest creations they looks wonderful!

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,653

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Be sure to have "eye contact" with the bear in the photo.... although your avatar bear seems to be doing that just fine!  But I do like an occasional "looking off to the side" shot like my avatar bear is doing bear_original

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I spend forever brushing and primping! One thing I look at is the ears.... do they look even for a picture? I don't know why I get stuck on ears but I do.

Sometimes a close up of the face and neck accessory like Laura's avatar is a good photo to use for your gallery shot on eBay. Browsers can make 'eye contact' right away and be drawn in.

Just like people often do, I think bears often have a 'good' side and a 'bad' side.... find which is the good side!

And endearing poses... arm lifted, eyes looking off to the side, bear sitting sideways but looking at the camera.... poses like that. Those are the more exciting poses and can show off the bear's personality.

The photo in your avatar is great.... so don't take this the wrong way... but sometimes that 'traditional', head on pose is used so much that it doesn't spark interest. (I really don't mean to offend anyone!! I use the pose a lot myself!!!)

Take a look thru the Bear for Sale forum or at artist websites or eBay..... make a note of the photos that really catch your eye then try similar poses with your own bears.

Sometimes the angle at which you take the picture can make a difference. Perhaps looking down on the bear would work better. Other times being head on is best. Still other times looking up at the bear works. A few inches up, down or sideways can make a lot of difference.

Keep experimenting!!!! Take tons of photos!!!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,483

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

If you have a digital camera, don't be reluctant to take MANY photos of your bears in different positions.  You can erase what you don't like and keep those that appeal to you.  Daphne has a good suggestion of looking through all the pages on the "For Sale" forum and taking note of the photos of bears you like.

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

ooh I cannot emphasise enough the slightly higher than the bear looking down on the face shot - Sue Ann's avatar perfectly describes what I mean.  I think it truly is a "money shot"; the.   bear is gazing soulfully at the buyer and is fair shouting "You neeeeeeeeed me!"

Go have a look on your favourite artists sites - what do they do that suckers YOU in.

bearsbybeesley bears by beesley TM
Tofield Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,818

Shantell that is absolutely not true. Look at your avatar! It is adorable! I probably take 60 pictures of a bear only to have maybe 4-6 that I am happy with. I have had bears that take great pictures and bears that simply dont! I don't know? I am a terrible photographer but I think your little guys have been looking great!

Many Hugs Louise

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

Taking the shot from slightly above your bear causes slight foreshortening which can be very appealing....also the bear looking up at the camera creates that sense of smallness and naive charm.

Often having the camera pointed at the bear on the same axis as the bear sits can create a bit of distortion, and can be unattractive...but not always.

I try to angle my bear in a way that you can still see everything, but he's not symmetrical in  the picture....but he's still looking at the camera.

As SueAnn says...take lots of pictures....because a millimetre shift left or right may produce a better shot...I take loads to get a decent picture...and with a digital it doesn't cost anything.

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

I find that different style of bears photograph better different way.  You need to play around to find the way your bears are best photographed.  I have sort of found a way to pose my bears, that's my signature photostyle - it shows off their big tummies perfectly.  So, I think you need to emphasize what makes your bears unique.

If your bears have a wobble joint , USE IT.  Many people find the head tilt, head on the side, so endearing, so you should use it to your best advantage.  You really want to pull at people's heart strings.

I'm really only starting to learn how to photograph my bears best - take a look at my early photos, they are so different to how I pose them now!  Just play around -- you'll soon learn what pose makes the most of your bears.


Gatehouse Bears Gatehouse Gallery
Lockwood, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 227

I try to do a photo shoot like a fashion photographer would...lots of different poses, body angles, looking down, up, head tilt(that's really good for grabbing hearts) but most of all eyes, eyes, eyes!  Always remember the eyes are the window to the soul and you've got to get that lookin into the eye shot. Don't be afraid to use the macro and get close people generally fall in love with a bear because the body or arms and legs 'speak' to them.....NO.....usually its the face.

Oops...I'll get off my soapbox now bear_grin  bear_grin  bear_grin

fredbear Fred-i-Bear
Posts: 2,243

Sometimes the legs and the arms sort of melt into the body and you get a distorted picture of your bear, so try and separate the limbs from the body, mmm in quilting if you had a green ,blue and pink square pattern block, and you put a green boder around, then you would not join any of the green squares next to the green border as the green squares would bleed into the green border and you would not see the green squares. So almost the same thing with the teddy bears, you would not want the tummy shape to be distorted because the arm was tucked right next to it. Not sure if I am explaining myself, it would be better if it was drawn.
Tilting the head to one side also gives the bear a better pose.
Digital cameras are great as you can experiment and make mistakes that you can learn from.
Also try different backgrounds, as they can change the whole effect of your bear.


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I am like everyone else here too.  Try lots of poses then choose the best one.

I like to go for the cocked head tilt, like you see in puupy and litten know, that perky little look when you have sparked the interest of you dog. bear_original

I also like to offset the angle of the body.  WHen you do a dead straight shot, you can lose some of the dimension.  If you angle the feet off to the side you can still turn the head so your bear is looking into the camera.  If you have extra pa details, you will want to show that off too with at least one of the paws.

Play and have fun...I think it is always a learning-in-progress "thing".

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Thanks...just what I needed.  I still NEED to buy a new digital camera as mine is just not adequate for bear's wonderful for just scenic photos of the farm etc.  So...I'm going to play around a bit with it and see what I come up with...I'll let you know.   bear_grin

BearBottoms 'Bear' Bottoms Originals
Ft. Bragg, NC
Posts: 2,465

Hey Shantall,

What I do is I pose the bear and then step back and look at him/her from exatly the angle that I am going to shoot from.  If I get that 'twang' in my heart, I know it's a good shot.  bear_grin   I do one from just about every angle, with the arms in between the legs, outside the legs, one in one out, so on and so forth...  I also like the bear standing at about 45 degree angle from the camera (like in the first pic, not necessarily looking down on the bear) head tilted and paws behind the back.  This has always been one of my favorite poses.  Looking down on the bear gives it that, "Oh, please pick me up...!" look


And this one


I didn't really help alot, but thought I'd chime in.

Kimberly W.

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