Tuesday, June 12, 2018

500 Poses for Photographing Women: A Visual Sourcebook for Portrait Photographers Paperback by Michelle Perkins (Amherst Media)

First, I am a fairly experienced model photographer, mostly shooting fashion. I have plenty of source material (Harpers, W Magazine, posing books by Pegram, Gomez, and others) but thought it would be nice to have a single compendium of images to refer to on my iPad, especially when sitting down to come up with ideas with a new model. Although I read the negative reviews, I also read the positive ones that claimed it was a good visual sourcebook, so took a chance on the Kindle version. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed in the content. The book is divided into head/shoulder, waist-up, and 3/4 and full-length reclining, sitting, and standing poses. Yes, there are 500 images, but it seemed like almost half of them were headshots and waist up -- not a whole lot of posing involved there. Second, the images in the Kindle version are very small; on the iPad, many of them are hardly an inch tall (this may be more a Kindle issue than a book issue but it's annoying nonetheless). Third, and probably the biggest problem for me, is that this book doesn't seem to know where to focus; there are a mix of fashion (Pegram), glamour (Gomez), senior (Smith and Schooler), and regular portrait ... if you have no idea where to start, then maybe having such a wide mix of styles will help you, but if you are wanting to focus on a particular style, it's actually a disadvantage. For example, senior portrait poses are totally useless for fashion or glamour.

I have a number of Amherst books, and this one is probably the worst. It's almost like someone decided, "hey, what if we took a bunch of of images from all the books we have and created a new one?". My recommendation would be to skip this book and look for one that specializes in the particular style you want to shoot (Posing Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios, if you are interested in model photography, is excellent)

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