CHAPTER 1: Breaking Down the Human Figure


Let’s look at the human body and break it down. At first glance, though we might each focus on different aspects, the average person tends to look at the body as one unit. But as photographers and artists, it’s essential for us to concentrate on the components that make, move, and create form within the human body. You need to think of yourself more as a sculptor or architect. From that perspective, for the purposes of posing, the primary parts of the human body on which you need to focus are the skeletal and muscular system. You must understand these elements and how they work or you will never master your craft. After understanding how the skeletal and muscular systems work together, next you need to focus on the joints and weight to learn how they work in conjunction with these two primary elements.

And here you thought that anatomy class would have nothing to do with photography!

You want to pose and move your models in specific ways to portray a certain attitude. To achieve this, you have to take into account that you are operating three major body components: bones, muscles, and joints. Posing isn’t just a about moving an arm or leg here or there—you need to understand why you want to move that arm or leg.

By following some fundamental rules of the human figure, in this chapter I will explain how and why we move specific parts ...

Get Dynamic Posing Guide: Modern Techniques for Digital Photographers now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.