I grew up on Top Model and gleaned a few tips from Tyra back in the day but since I started cosplaying I haven't really dug deep in the art of posing. Which may sounds surprising, but I tend to focus on the crafting process. What better way to learn than to get a hold of a book. So it's no surprise that my book review of Study of Pose will be coming from a cosplayer perspective.
If you don't know Coco Rocha then you are missing out on one of the most fascinating models to watch. Some models are known for their signature looks or struts on the catwalk, but Rocha is known her her infinite poses paired with her great expressions. Full disclosure I have a soft spot for Coco who is a Canadian modelling success story.
Dressed in a plain leotard, Coco does what she does best and strikes a collection of 1000 poses which the photographer, Steven Sebring, captures from a stationary spot. One pose flows into another from page to page with a change in body angle and expressions. The entire book is like seeing Rocha's process laid out step by step. The lighting is very strong with deep shadows so silhouette and shape are easy to take notice in the poses.
The goal was to learn some new poses and expand my posing vocabulary and I think it did the job. I found myself associating certain poses with certain costumes I have done recently or thinking about what kind of character would pose like that. It also reminded me to switch up my facial expression. Rocha is very expressive which adds extra life to the looks. For example, a hunched pose clearly isn't going to be paired with a smile.
Rocha is pretty flexible and some poses would be especially hard to recreate. Another thing to keep in mind is that you are limited by the mobility of the costume you are wearing. On the other hand, if you have a prop you just opened up another collection of possibilities. Props can be a crutch to lean on when posing, so I'm glad I have this book to use to "accessorize" my simpler costumes.
A few things to note:
The way I framed this purchase was almost as if I was getting a textbook to study. I wanted a resource that I could learn a few things from and that I could turn to in preparing for shoots and this does the trick. Is it the end all be all for posing? No, but then again no textbook is going to tell you everything you need to know about a given subject. It is called the study of pose not the Bible of Posing.
I would suggest this book to cosplayers who want to be inspired to diversify their poses but also have a passion of fashion and modelling in order to justify the $55CAD pricetag.
Right as I was about to wrap up this review, I did some additional research and I found that there is also an I0S app that has all the poses in 360 so that you can zoom in and examine them even closer and from different angle. This may be a be a better idea for most people to enjoy the work at a lower price point of $28CAD.
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