How Do I Pose My Figure Today?
I wrote this article originally on my blog and then in Bahasa for Jurnal Otaku Indonesia, but I thought I should also write this here as well, in case there's more figure photographer out there have same problem: figure photographer block where you're running out of idea what pose should you choose to your figure. Not that I consider myself a photographer since I basically have zero knowledge of photography technique >.<
Nowadays, manufacturers produce (action) figures with better engineering so they have better poseability, sturdier joints, more interesting accessories, and better gimmicks. So it's going to be a waste if we don't fully use all of it to make our figures do a better pose for the picture, right? And so, I have divided some themes of posing for figure photography. Let's move to the first theme already!
1. Signature Pose
The first theme is the most basic one: signature pose of the character. One of the reason you buy the character's figure is because you like the character, right? And most of the time you will do the signature pose of said character when you display it the first time, and/or at least take one shot of it. Usually, the signature pose(s) is used for promotional images so you can just copy the pose by using the promotional images on the box as reference. Or if the character have many signature poses, as a fan you probably already know it already as you are already familiar with it.
Even though it's the most basic theme, but some characters do have a bit difficult signature pose to reenact, because the joints of the figures can't perfectly execute the pose. Or on other case hard to make it look good on camera.
2. Original Pose(s)
Not all the figures you bought you're familiar with the character, am I correct? Sometimes you either bought the figure because you like the design, or the figures came with interesting accessories you want to use with another/your favorite figures, thus you're not familiar with the character and his/her signature pose. At that time, you usually came up with your own original pose, and/or use the accessories not in the way "it should".
This can also be applied for characters that didn't have specific/signature pose, most of the time it's characters from slice-of-life genre show.
3. Reenactment of Memorable Scene
This is almost the same with #1, for the fans of the show they will have some favorite memorable scenes and we can reenact it with the figures. Usually though, you need more than one figure but sometimes the figure came out with accessories you could use to reenact the solo scene if it's highly popular.
It comes without said that posing more than one figure is more difficult, but the result will be greater too. If it's a battle scene, you could use some effect parts to add more impact and/or use photo editor software/apps when you took picture of it for better result.
4. Out-of-Character Pose
From this point onward is the real thing. Bored with the usual poses? Then let's think outside the box.
One of the pose type I usually do is breaking the image of the character, making them do out-of-character pose. Make the heroic heroes to do wacky pose, the scary villains with silly pose, cute girls become crazy and abuse others, and so on. Your imagination is the limit! Just remember that when you took picture of it and post in on the internet, some hardcore fans will probably bash you <-- based on personal experience XP
5. Everyday Pose
You may think, "Meh, boring. Isn't this just the same with #2 anyway?" at first. Well my friend, you can't be more wrong.
If it's the characters that came from slice-of-life series that probably the case, but when you make, say... monster or superheroes do those normal, routine everyday poses the result can make the sides of those who saw it went to space. In fact, many of my post that got a lot of hits (on Tumblr, My Figure Collection, etc) are those of tokusatsu heroes doing everyday pose. Eating, cleaning, taking a bath, texting, playing music, selfie, and so on. Those pose you thought boring at first can become the bomb when you do it with particular figures. But you do need separately sold in-scale miniatures though if you only collect superheroes/supervillain characters.
This theme can be combined with above theme, but since I like this theme I quite a lot decide to make it stand on its own.
Some show sometime have characters paired romantically. On some cases they do end up together ever after, but there's also the case where they don't really have conclusion *coughharemanimecough* or even the pair you support don't end up together at all. That hole can be filled with your figures (this sounds kinda wrong, huh?) because you're free to make your own OTP have their own ending by posing your figures!
Do you find some similarity of the figures you have with certain tv shows, video games, movies, real-life person, or others that other people didn't notice? Let them know by making parody of it with your figs!
Editing skill with certain software on PC may come in handy but not necessary, since nowadays you can just install editing apps on your smart phone for simpler yet efficient editing.
8. Part-swapping or Kit-bashing
The figure line with part-swapping as its main gimmick is Nendoroid, you can easily swap most parts, especially the face part, to create your own original character, or just make your favorite character looks different and fresh with different outfit. But some other figure lines are also able to be part-swapped or kit-bashed even if it's from different figure lines and/or manufacturers, for example for 1/12 scale figures you can mashed up SHFiguarts, Revoltechs, and/or figma parts to each other.
Be careful though when you decide to remove certain parts, because some parts aren't suppose to be removed and you may break your figure doing it <-- again, based on personal experience ;_;
Another fun thing collecting figure is you can do the impossible crossover of your dream. Ever thought of Batman meeting Kamen Rider Kiva, Pacific Rim's Gipsy Danger confronts Godzilla, Pretty Cure team-up with Sailor senshi, and so on? Now you can! Make it comes true with your figures, camera, and imagination!
10. Interaction With Real-Life Things
This theme is one of, if not the best way to make your figures look alive. Have them interact with real life things. It can be food, tv, your pet, or even yourself!
11. Meme/Reaction Images
I'm sure most of you guys like collecting and posting meme/reaction images when posting on online boards, Facebook, or other sites. But when you're bored with all existing ones, then you can make something new or remake existing ones with your figures and surprise everyone with it. Some figures have hilarious facial expression that would be perfect for trolling people on the internet XP
12. Create a Comic
Have an idea for comic or 4koma but you can't draw so you gave up on it? Once again the answer is... do it with your figures!
There are tons of free or paid apps that can provide you with many comic templates, including text balloons and expression icons so you can make your own comic easily with your phone. Let your imagination go wild!
This is a theme that came up just recently after I installed "Mikuture" app. I find it really fun to combine figure photography with rhis AR/Augmented Reality app, even though it does take quite time to make it looks good since it doesn't have important feature like zoom-in, brightness adjustment, etc.
If you know more good AR apps like this for Android, do let me know :D
How about it? Do you find this article helpful to make you guys find new idea for posing your figure? I'll be happy if it does. Of course there are many more themes to explore out there, like maybe.... creating ecchi pic like this Monster Hunter no Kamasutra Hon perhaps, haha. Anyway, the important thing is to be creative as possible with your imagination and figures, and of course to have fun! =D