Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shawl We or Shawl We Not?

Shawls seem to be difficult to pose in photos.  Maybe it's because the shawl itself is an awkward accessory for modern times.

Don't get me wrong-- I like shawls, in theory.  I have a folder full of patterns that struck my fancy, and I fully intend to crochet at least one shawl for myself, one of these days.  However, even I have to wonder whether I'll ever get a chance to wear my shawl.  (You know, in public.  Where people will see the shawl.  And preferably not stare, point, or stifle giggles at my expense.)  I'm not a dress-up kinda gal.  Like so many other women, I tend to dress casually, and I question the usefulness of those gauzy confections of laceweight. 

Perhaps some of my reservations regarding shawls stem from the aforesaid awkwardly posed photos.  I mean, if a model-- someone who is paid to make clothes look good-- can't pull it off, what chance do I have? 

There are certain poses that photographers appear to rely on rather heavily, when photographing shawls.

There's the "grasp the shawl in your hand and extend your arm at shoulder-height, even though you probably hardly ever hold this position this in real life (outside of maybe a gym), because this is the best way to show off the detailed pattern":

Then there's the "(almost) raise the roof dance" pose, again with the shawl's corners carefully grasped in the hands. 

I have never seen anyone do this "in real life".  (Of course, I don't know if I've ever seen anyone wearing a lacy shawl, period, in my real life. . .)

This pose is almost always done with the model's back to the camera, as shown above, but occasionally you get someone really daring who shows you the other side:

(This is generally best avoided, especially when your model insists on wearing a smileless, dead-eyed expression likely to inspire fear and dread in the hearts of her audience.)

Some photographers try somewhat more realistic posing. 

For example, here we have the be-shawled young woman in a street setting, straddling some type of railing (???) and looking a bit miffed.  (Whether this is because she's straddling some railing on the side of a road or due to some other circumstances, I cannot say.) 

I should point out that, despite the increased realism, the poor model is still forced to put her hand on her hip, jutting her elbow out to put the exquisite crochet detailing on display.

(When I get around to making my crochet lace shawl, will I be expected to keep one elbow bent at all times, the better to show off my handiwork?  Will I look [even more] ridiculous if I walk around in non-bent-elbow comfort?  These are the kinds of things that keep one up at all hours of the night. . .)

On the other side of the spectrum (way, way, way across from the "attempt at realism" side), we have this pose, which I like to call "the Count Dracula":

(Please note:  The Count Dracula should not be attempted by amateurs.)

So, I'm left with yet another dilemma:  Assuming I ever do crochet myself a shawl, how am I going to pose it for the "big reveal" photos?

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