Photographic Poseur Modelling Stools
By Clemency Hitchings, 13th July, 2011
A challenging and integral part of any photo-shoot is creating a suitable environment in which to take the perfect picture. A balance needs to be found between orientating the model for optimal photographs, whilst ensuring they remain comfortable for the entirety of the shoot. Used as either a posing accessory or a prop, the advantages of choosing a modelling stool as opposed to a chair are endless.
For portrait photography the emphasis is on close up images of the face and upper torso, with high-key shots against a bright white background favoured for their professional look. As the main part of the body is not included for these images the model can be sat down, which often makes for a more natural and relaxed looking photo than when they’re stood up straight. With this in mind, it’s extremely important the right form of seating is chosen. If the photographer gets it right, not only will they have a happy model, but attaining the ultimate imagery will be a painless task.
Great for all ages, backless bar stools make the must have posing accessory for photographic shoots. Compact in shape, they’re popular with photographers as when photographing from the torso up, they won’t appear in the shot. As exemplified by designs like the Oracle, they allow more flexibility in manoeuvring the subject into different positions.
Yet whilst backless designs give more freedom, some may opt for a stool with a small, mid-height backrest like the Mimi. Allowing the model to lean back into it, they offer greater levels of comfort and support. However this can sometimes restrict how much of the torso you can include in the shot, as it’s not only the height of the backrest that needs to be considered, but the width too.
As well as getting great photos your aim should be to make your model as comfortable as possible, as this will no doubt lead to greater productivity. A padded seat with ample cushioning will mean they’ll sit for longer, meaning you’re able to take the maximum number of shots needed.
Many photographers prefer central column stools with round or square bases over four-legged frames, for three key reasons. Firstly, they allow for 360 swivel. This is an excellent bonus for a photographer, as without re-positioning the stool or making the model get up and move, the seat can be swivelled to any angle. Providing ultimate ease of use, it gives the photographer swift, hassle-free access to all angles of their subject. In addition, it makes possible a more experimental style of images where adjusted shutter speeds are adopted to create more dramatic and atmospheric shots.
Secondly, central columns include a gas lift mechanism for adjustable height. Providing ultimate adaptability, it enables the photographer to adjust to seat for each model in turn, depending on their height. It also allows them to shoot from low, high and varying perspectives with ease. Another plus is that make location shoots incredibly easy. All you have to do is reduce the stools to their lowest height and they’ll fit snugly inside a car boot or backseat, still leaving plenty of space for photographic equipment.
Last but not least, a round base is favoured as it is designed to distribute the weight of the stool evenly across the whole of the base. This, coupled with a circular rubber ring surrounding the circumference of the underside, encourages a secure and stable seat that does not leave indented marks on your studio flooring or backdrop. By far one of our bestselling products, the Gloss Coco is a fabulously low cost design that boasts all three of these traits.
Alternatively stools with a wheeled base, pictured, offer enhanced mobility. Allowing fluid, effortless movement, they enable the photographer to manoeuvre the model around the studio with ease. Particularly robust designs are also preferable, as they need to be able to support clients of all ages and builds. Not always sat upon in the most conventional of ways, it’s key they can withstand the different poses required.
Stools as Props
As above, these are sat on by the model during the photo-shoot, but in this case the stool is purposely included in the shot too. Chosen for their look as well as their practicality, they allow for a wider range of shots, such as a full body portrait. Adding a dynamic quality to the image, they make for a much more interesting image than simply someone stood facing the camera.
Satin or wooden frame finishes are typically preferred over highly reflective polished chrome, as you don’t have to worry about the surface mirroring the surrounding studio or photographer. With a muted matte sheen, fixed height bar stools like the Oslo are popular.
Low stools or poufs are ideal for photographing children on. Whilst a standard modelling stool is a little high for most kids, the low height and compact size of designs like the Bullet Stool ensure they’re safe and secure. Plus if the seat is cushioned for comfort, they’re likely to stay seated for longer.
Inspired to buy some photographic modelling stools for your studio? Here are some of our bestsellers:
Or why not use the button below to browse our full range of bar stools and discover for yourself the spectrum of different styles we have on offer?
Hobby Craft Stools
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What Are Gas Lift Bar Stools?
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Adjustable Dining Chairs
Flexible models offer simple solutions to the trickiest of seating problems..
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