Monday, July 26, 2010

8. Varying the pose

As I had my home studio set up for the images in exercise 6, I carried on and completed the photographs for Exercise 8, varying the pose.  Heidi wanted a red (pink) background, so I draped a red mesh sheet over the existing white background.  I cannot say I was very thrilled with the background, however, having this very monotone background meant that we could focus on the subject.

Lights, were 4 monoblocks, set up with a main, fill, background and hair light.  Other equipment was my full frame Canon 5D2 and 24-70mm lens.  As this was going to be full body I wanted to ensure that I had good depth of field and so set the lights to deliver f/11 at 1/125s.  I have a flash meter and remote triggers so this is a fairly straightforward process.

The rest is posing and props.  We had been taking shots for a couple of hours at this stage and so modeling fatigue was beginning to set in, therefore we tried to have some fun and I think it shows in the images.  As there were quite a few I have created contact sheets in the sequence that I took the photo's.

We started the session with Heidi standing and me asking her to shift from foot to foot and slowly rotate.  The first image is the best in this sequence and is the only one in which we strictly followed the guide for standing in a photo - weight on back foot, body angled to the camera, head looking slightly over the shoulder, with the shoulder closest to the camera slightly raised.  Seems that the traditional poses are still the best.

The next step was to introduce a chair to act as a prop, the colour of the chair being one reason for the red background.  Leaning against the chair made the pose more dynamic and allowed Heidi to feel more comfortable, the best image again being one of the first where her legs are crossed and her body is more upright.  As she leaned forwards the pose became more casual, but less open or friendly.

Next step was to use the chair for its intended purpose and to ask Heidi to take a seated position.  In the first 6 images I asked her to do different things with her hands but otherwise sit comfortably -it is clear in one that she got a little exasperated with me, however, this created the best image in this sequence!

Finally, we moved the chair around and worked with a more casual relaxed pose that allowed her to lean her head on her hands, which I personally find attractive and interesting.

There are an infinite variety of poses and I found it difficult to suggest what would work or not.  The method that worked was to use the chair as a prop and explore different ways of posing with it and then allow Heidi to be creative.  The key was to have fun and ensure that we laughed while doing this to create a relaxed body language.  Clearly, relaxed is not always going to be the correct pose, but for us this time this worked.

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