How to photograph fit models for posture assessment

When selecting a fit model you want to pay attention to his/her posture and sideways curvature. Small bust size of a model can be changed by adding padding to a bra but ‘bad’ posture is very difficult to change for one, and in the end it will bring more trouble than fitting on a real person is worth. So, make photos, edit and analyse.

Front view: The model stands relaxed in a natural posture with his or her weight spread evenly over two feet. When she/he wears a bikini or swim pants is in fact better for editing than wearing tights and a singlet. The feet are about 20 – 25cm (8 – 10 inches) away from each other; feet may spread, just as long as this is the most natural posture. Arms fall down along the sides, hands are relaxed. The model looks straight ahead. Long hair is tied up, away from the neck. Feet are bare, no shoes with heels.

Side view: Repeat the position of the front view but the model turns 90 degrees.

Back view: Repeat the above position but now you photograph the back.

Camera position: For taking these standard photos the camera can best be placed on a tripod which does not move or change height. The photo’s should be taken:

  • always at the same distance
  • level to the floor
  • in front of a door so the doorposts are visible too
  • at midriff or navel height
  • include the whole body.

After having taken these photos you may edit them as follows:

20150506 WOMAN BALANCE TOTAL WITH LINES

Front view: place a vertical line going through the navel, see how skewed the body is. Place horizontal lines at several points to determine ‘high shoulder’ and ‘high hip’ etc. Please be aware that literally nobody is a 100% balanced. Putting in these lines will inform you how unbalanced the person is, which might be handy when you need to compare people. Also, when you proceed with a model you know upfront what imbalances you need to be aware of.

Side view: place a vertical line from the mid of the ankle up. This line ‘should’ cut the body in half, however…. this is not a perfect world. And perfectly straight posture is rare. If you find a person with perfect posture HANG ON TO THEM!!! It will make your fitting life so much easier. Having said that: you might want to consider that, if perfect posture is so rare, it is very possible that your customers do not have it either. Specifically when your customer base is above the age of 60.

Please note: in the ideal world the circles which are now drawn in the visual middle of the ear, shoulder, body at waist height, knee and ankle will be in one 1 line which is perpendicular to the floor. That is a perfect upright position.

In the photo you see a red line too, this runs from what would be the center of the shoulder head to the middle of the elbow. Ideally this line runs perpendicular to the floor too. Check out my post on shoulder position to read more about his.

Back view: not shown. On the back you might even more clearly see skewness.

Please note: it is not my purpose to make anybody feel bad about their body or looks. It is however in the profession of fashion important to make choices and choosing for a balanced fit model is choosing an average fit which suits most people. Making the right choices comes with judging what type of fit model is helpful for the company and what type not.

Basic tip 3: anybody working in fashion should do this excercise on themselves in order to gain insight in your own body and realise that being skewed and / or out of balance is actually very common.

Hope you enjoyed, you are welcome to leave questions or comments below.

Best regards, Martine

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3 thoughts on “How to photograph fit models for posture assessment

  1. It was very interesting to read about posture from a photographic perspective as it relates to models and their work. As a physician, posture was about biomechanics and the relationship to diminishing health. The bottom line is… POSTURE IS VERY IMPORTANT! I enjoyed the article and the way you laid it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Glad you enjoyed,
      Posture is one of the most important things in fitting clothing. I will be doing a post on the effect of balance on clothing in the future so stay tuned if this is of interest to you. 🙂
      Also, if you find that I did not use English terms correctly or seem to be unaware of medical terms I would gladly be enlightened.
      Hope to see you around!
      Regards, Martine

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Balance assignment | Zwijnenberg Training & Consultancy

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