Odd Body Angles are Perfect

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Odd Body Angles are Perfect

Rules of thumb are great guidelines. One I learned early was “if it bends, break it.” What they meant was any body part, knees, elbows, wrists, etc that can bend, break the line of the limb by bending it. It adds dynamics, interest, and composition to the image.

I still follow that advice unless I have a good compositional reason not to.

Of course, when you do break their limbs, do it gracefully. It should not be forced or unnatural, unless the image calls for it. Zombies can be bent unnaturally, beauty queen shots, less so.

Another trick that will improve your subject’s pose is to consider the planes of the body. Imagine a horizontal line between the eyes, across the shoulders, elbow to elbow, hips, knees, and ankles. When a person stands up straight, all the planes are horizontal. The end points of each line are an equal distance from the line above it.

Now, tilt the head, angle the shoulders, toss the hips, bend one knee, and raise that heel. Drawing the same line to each point you can see the shift of the images, the poses, dynamics. Angles show up, the image now has energy.

Put a center point in each line and connect the dots. If you refine the pose you will find these lines will make the classic S-shape curve for beauty composition, one of the most powerful compositional setups.

Posing is always a challenge. With this as a working guideline for you, it should be a lot easier to start. Rarely does a spontaneous pose work. Yet once your subject strikes their pose, these easy refinements will make it fluid and enjoyable.

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