Telling a Story

artemis typewriter tilt props pose Simon Q. Walden,, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography


I strongly favour what I call the "film direction" method of posing. That is I give the model a story and a scene and let them act into it. This lets the model use their face, expression and body language to build emotion and content into the image.

I had a very clear story for this set. The struggling author in the 1930's wakes in the middle of the night and has to get the story typed up while inspiration is there.

Now, it doesn't matter if that story is or is not apparent in the final image. What it does do is leave you with an image that the viewer can choose to interpret.

Also, by having the story it also tells you what props may or may not support the scene. In this case the cigarette in an old style coloured paper. If it were a modern setting it would be a coffee-chain disposable cup. The story makes so many decisions clear and self-supporting.


There is a tension in this image. Artemis' forward pose, hunched over the typewriter and her expression are a part of it. Then the camera angle giving a tilt to all of the background towards the left pushes that further.

The pose, framing and tilt all serve to give a dynamic thrust, almost as if the whole thing will tip over. This gives a strong impetus to the image.


By the nature of the props Artemis has to be posed fairly tight into the typewriter. The trick is then in working the camera position around, as Artemis acts through the scene, to ensure the angle is giving you the best composition.

Throughout this five minute shoot I was bouncing all over trying to find sight lines and angles that worked consistently. So for example, here you can see the typewriter keys, the cigarette is clear of distractions, Artemis' arms run between her breasts and pants leaving the negative space around the breasts.

artemis typewriter tilt props pose Simon Q. Walden,, sqw, FilmPhoto, photography

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