When taking photographs of people, we must address the issues of posing. Aspiring and professional models must know or learn how to pose.
Regardless of a model’s posing abilities, only the photographer has the camera’s eye view of things.
While models must learn to pose, clients and models both must be confidently and capably directed into effective poses by the photographer.
This is why the newly back in print paperback of Shepard and Meyer’s classic posing guide from the sixties is a must read for aspiring models and photographers.
Posing can be overwhelming and confusing for both models and photographers. Even if we know the necessary elements of what a good pose is, it is also necessary to be able to translate our knowledge and to present camera and poses properly for timely shutter clicks.
How do we break down and learn these elements of pose?
For us to be “can do” models and photographers, we need the “know how” to reliably merge together these necessary elements smoothly, professionally and in largely planned fashions.
Written with both photographers and models in mind, “Posing for the Camera,” is just such an invaluable posing guide.
The current version is available in paper back from Amazon (click here).
Interestingly, the front cover contains the book’s one and only photograph.
“Posing for the Camera,” breaks down the task of analyzing, creating and varying poses by treating the subject as strictly a two dimensional issue.
It justifies this two dimensional approach primarily in two ways:
- Photographs themselves are frozen in time two dimensional representations only
- If the model moves outside of fairly small sandwich slice depth of space, it create perspective distortions
The book is heavily and fairly effectively illustrated with black and white silhouette figure drawings, most displaying only the outlines of models. The few variances from this standard are when some white lines are used to show body lines, fish net cross hatch patterns are used to different legs, shading is used on faces, etc.
These silhouettes surprised me with their lucidity and expressiveness.
By breaking down the real life four dimensions of depth, width, height and time to only two of height and width, and by further simplifying by looking at block silhouettes, the subject becomes far more simple, and an amazing clarity sets in.
The ways in which the body joints articulate are studied in depth. Practices are given. Emotions, variations of various postures are explored.
It’s in short a fabulous book and a fairly easy read.
The shortcomings are primarily in three areas.
- Typos and layout issues, its got em and plenty
- The limiting of poses to only 2 dimensions
The typos and layout could have been addressed and brought up to date. In my opinion, this is the book’s weakest area.
That said, I found the book is very worth while.
I learned a great deal in a tiny bit of time and feel so can you.
While my photos use a lot of perspective distortion to good artistic effect, this was not so popular at the time the book was written. Still, the basics provided for two dimensions give me plenty of room to build forward.
I highly recommend “Posing for the Camera” for all models and photographers, pretty much regardless of experience, but definitely for the newbies among us.
For a listing of Books Reviewed on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.