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I bring the "sack" out at many of my workshops and the initial reaction is always the same mix of WTF and giggles at what it is.

A simple soft cloth made into a tube. Looks so unexciting yet in reality gives loads of different posing possibilities. A dress, a scarf, a wrap, a hood, a hooded dress, a sack, a prison, a nun's habit....

To keep this shoot in the fashion style I have lit with a softbox to far right, giving quite hard edged shadows and contrast.

In our first image I've directed Kirsty to look soft and delicate and maybe shy or concerned, the pose with hunched shoulders and the face partially obscured helps convey all those emotions.

I use this style of posing often, rather than say "hunch, look down, scrunch up" I will give the model a feeling or story "you are feeling sad and vulnerable". In this way the model can use their whole body - and body language - to reflect and create the emotion you are looking for.

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The second image is an absolute classic strong fashion power pose: upright woman, loose arms, slightly crossed legs (as though walking). The chin is up, the look is disdain.

Now our simple wrap has become a fashion item.

It can be adjusted to cover the breasts or reveal, pulled round to make a hoop over the bust, or turned into a cleavage revealing dress.

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Our final image goes somewhere else - that of trying to break free. Again it is important that the whole body (and even Kirsty's face within the sack) is expressing that desperation to escape.

Crucially, by hiding the face the image stops being anything close to a portrait but now becomes allegorical. Any viewer can imagine either themselves, or another person in that same position of trying to escape, trying to break free.


key points

Simple props can create exciting possibilities.

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You can learn how to develop your own lighting, posing and directing skills with our extensive and intensive range of video programs available on DVD or download.

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