CHAPTER 2: Rules of Posing

Why do fashion photographers pose their models? If we stick to the definition of posing—to assume or hold a position, posture, and attitude for an artistic purpose—the answer is simple: we pose our models for the clothing. The clothing that the model is wearing is what tells the story, gives us our attitude, and tells us artistically why we are posing the model a certain way. If your model is wearing a wedding dress, for example, you will want a more formal pose to show off the features and details of the dress. If your model is wearing ripped jeans, a concert t-shirt, and a leather jacket, perhaps your pose would be more along the lines of, say, a rock star or a biker. Why and how we pose the way we do is directly correlated to the clothing the model is wearing. For fashion photography, we pose to make the model appear thinner and then to highlight the apparel. Remember, it’s our job to sell the clothes, shoes, and/or accessories that the models are wearing.


One of your goals as photographers is to thin your models as much as possible. Because photography is a two-dimensional medium, the way to accomplish this goal is to create depth and the perception of three dimensions in our pictures. This can be done by utilizing a posing technique known as the T-stance and a technique that hails back to the Art Deco era known as stacking. It is essential ...

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