Learning to sculpt the body is about playing with angles and curves, and how to accentuate them to provide a compelling outline of the body. For women, this usually means an hour glass shape. So sculpting is about accentuating or adding curves rather than straight lines. And of course making people look good – so no double chins or rolls. (Traditionally you photograph women from slightly above to avoid double chins, and men from slightly underneath to give a strong jaw).
One way to accentuate curves is through distributing the weight back, which you can do by getting the model to push their bum back and arch their back and have most of their weight on their BACK foot, so the front of the their body appears sprightly and light and it can turn towards or away from the camera with ease. Also important to try and show space between body parts – such as the arms and body – so it doesn’t all merge into one mass. This later bit is actually much easier with a short sleeved top or vest.
Most important though, is NATURAL HANDS. They need to flow and not look forced or the photo will look like a set up and feel “off”. Note – the shot we did with her hands on her waist is a bit different – but we did this several times to make sure the tension of the hands wasn’t too much and they were “resting” on rather than contorting the waist.
This shoot with ruth was an interesting experiment – she found these poses seemingly very extreme to hold, but the results look pretty natural and unforced I think 🙂 She said she had never seen such elegant photos of herself which was encouraging to hear as a starting point. Apart from the first one against a pink sheet these were shot after the sun went down, so in my lounge with lights on – so the colour balance is not ideal.