For the director involved in glamour model photography, arms pose no problems...if he remembers the following points:
1. All final instruction must come from you, the director, who can see what the camera is doing to the arms.
2. Keep the model's arms and hands from reaching toward or away from the camera
to any great degree.
3. Tapered positions of the hand add length to the arm and bold positions shorten it.
4. Both arms do not have to show in every picture. In fact, in most positions, placing one arm behind the body often gives clean delineation to the body's outline. But if the forearm does not show, it is best not to let the hand pop out of the outline unexpectedly. It is quite distracting to a viewer to see a hand appearing from nowhere at the waistline or to notice a strange bump in a pocket.
5. Sharp angles at the elbow can be softened, if desired, by moving the elbow slightly toward or away from the camera and a right angle (from the camera's viewpoint) can be made obtuse by the same action.
6. An arm can always be made to appear more slender by diverting the wide inner elbow and flat forearm away from the camera. There is a popular misconception that the full width of the elbow cannot be turned away from the camera without turning the hand also. Nevertheless, it is possible and most models can do it naturally or with a little practice ... whether the hand is supporting the body or not.
7. Keep the elbow away from the waistline. If the arms must cross a standing figure, they should do so above or below the waist line. An elbow at the waistline makes the body appear thick, heavy and masculine unless an air space or contrast of tone prevents the arms from attaching themselves to the silhouette and adding weight and bulk to the outline.
8. Soft flesh is distorted by pressure. When the soft part of the arm presses into a harder surface it may lose its smooth outline. Pressure can be eased by leaning lightly, or when possible, carrying most of the weight on the hard parts of the arm such as the shoulder bone, elbow, wrist or hand.
9. An arm supporting the weight of the body, should not reveal too much rigidity or tension. Strain can be eased by better weight distribution or a momentary shift to ease it just before the picture is taken.
10. When thought is put into the proper location of the elbow, no additional adjustment of the upper arm is necessary. Also, with the capricious forearm secure at one end, all creative effort can be concentrated on the location of the other end of the forearm and the position of the hand.
When involved in glamour model photography have you ever had the perfect picture -except that the arms didn't look like mates? One was too thick while the other was too thin? Did you ever have a hand look like a stump? If you did, distortion and foreshortening are not new to you. You know the havoc they can play with important pictures. But HOW can you communicate this to your model without going into complicated or technical detail?
It's simple if we take a tip from stage directors and chalk guide lines right on the floor. Make two lines parallel to each other and at right angles to your lens. Place your model between them and explain that she is standing between two imaginary large panes of glass that have been set upon those lines.
(The space between the glass depends upon the distance from which you are shooting and shouldn't be more than 14 or 16 inches apart if you are working fairly close.) Show her that the glass will limit her movements to positions acceptable to the camera.
Help her adapt the idea by letting her move her arms between the imaginary boundaries. Stop her when she strays out of bounds! A few minutes of experimenting will give her confidence.
Glamour model photography can be very satisfying and rewarding work. Work with your model and you will be rewarded with great pictures!