The great thing about using fabrics is that your client does not need to be nude. She can unbutton a blouse, take off her top, keep her underwear on or go fully nude. There is no “one size fits all” and it is entirely down to choice and taste. Some people really like the idea, others do not and so it’s best to discuss what your client may like before getting to the shooting stage. By using fabrics and not having to go nude or even remove any clothing, an element of comfort and feeling of safety is kept. It is not your job to convince her that she should remove any clothing to achieve any images with fabric, it is totally her choice.
Should any clothing be removed it is important to consider a few things. Firstly privacy. She should be able to remove any clothing away from the camera or if that is not possible, away from you. You may need to leave the room whilst she does this. Secondly her clothing should be kept safe, secure and dry! Thirdly think about the temperature of the room or location, if she is removing clothing she is going to get colder than you and goose bumps and a grumpy cold client rarely makes a good image.
By using both the Cradle and Fashion pose a whole range of different images can already be achieved by using fabrics and as always these range of poses are a great fall back should be stuck for ideas or inspiration.
The fabric wrap is a great pose to use and it is easy to set up. It allows your client to choose how much of her body she wishes to show and it gives you control by choosing the opacity of the fabric and wrapping it a number of times to increase or lower how see through the fabric is. By wrapping the fabric around her, you will see her pregnant form.
The pose as always must start from the feet and when creating a fabric wrap it is important to get your client standing in position already as she is not going to be able to walk! Get the feet and leg parts of the pose set before starting the wrap otherwise any movement may cause it to become loose. A classic fashion or cradle pose works well with the wrap.
Start the wrap under the far armpit from the camera, an assistant here is very useful! Wrap the fabric fairly tightly around your client (not too tight however that she cannot breathe) pulling the fabric to form around her bump and breasts. We are not trying to see every detail however it is important that the shape can still be seen.
Once the fabric is fully wrapped around her, it can be tucked in behind your client or a clip can be used. What the camera cannot see does not exist!
The opposite of a fabric wrap is an unwrap! Again this can be done clothed, semi-nude of fully nude, it is entirely up to your client! This is a little more adventurous and can be used to show her form in a more feminine and sensual way. The opacity of the fabric can be changed according to your taste and her needs but also by holding certain fabrics further away from the body, the outline that can be seen becomes even more diffused.
In this image a Fashion Position Two is used with lots of back lighting from an open window behind her. The fabric is held in place with her hands and diffusion can be adjusted by moving the outward hand, closer or further away from her body. The fabric could have been doubled up to further increase the diffusion and lower the amount of her body that can be seen.
In the final progression of using fabric, we allow it to hang much looser over her using a fashion pose. The hand farthest away holds the centre length of the fabric and allows it to hand in between her breasts. A larger fistful of fabric can pass over her breasts to show more or less of her nipple and pass over her side to her bottom where it is held in place on the floor or by using her foot to stand on it. There should only be a single thickness of fabric passing over her bump to ensure that the maximum amount of shape can be seen. If the fabric is left to hang much more freely without you passing it over her body and tucking it over her bump you run the risk of hiding her form altogether and making her look much wider than she actually is.
The fashion poses suit the use of fabrics to a greater extent as they remove the hands away from her bump and allow a greater amount of her form to be seen. How much detail that can be seen through fabric is a matter of choice of fabric, lighting, how many wraps and clothing.
The Next Stage
Posing with fabrics is a good option for mums-to-be who do not wish to pose semi-nude or fully nude. It is also a great way to build comfort and confidence levels between you and your client should she wish to pose with less clothing on.
Next Step - Posing Nude
Did you know that The Art and Technique of Pregnancy Photography eBook contains 9 "Posing with Fabric" pose guide illustrations and 9 high quality portrait images? Find out more..
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