CHAPTER 4: Posing on the Ground


As mentioned in Chapter 3, when you to move a model’s body closer to the ground, you begin to encounter ever increasing problems in your efforts to thin and elongate. This is the most challenging when posing your subjects directly on the ground because their bodies are going to be mostly horizontal to the camera; thus, they will tend to look wider or fatter than they actually are. You simply have more parts of the body touching the surface and pressing the skin and muscles outward. I try to avoid posing on the ground, but if your model or art director insists on it, I’ve come up with some do’s and don’ts that can help you pull it off.

Common Techniques

If you are working outdoors on the ground with your model and you can’t elevate her by very much, there are some important tips to keep in mind. One thing I notice a lot of photographers doing is laying the model on the ground horizontally to the camera plane and then leaning her backward slightly onto her hand. There are many things that can go wrong with this pose, no matter how you do it.

If you put the model’s hand flat on the ground, this can create many unattractive results. It typically causes a rotation of the elbow, which produces an odd double-jointed look. It also flexes her deltoid muscle, which will protrude outward, thus making the arm look really fat. Additionally, it tends to push ...

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.