Was Lewis Hine’s photograph “Icarus – Sky Boy” posed?

Someone asked me the other day whether, in my professional opinion, Lewis Hine’s photograph from the top of the Empire State Building “Icarus” (c. 1931) was posed. Below is my answer:

Posed. Hmmm. Hine did ask some of his work portrait subjects to pose (especially “Powerhouse Mechanic”; I mention it in Lewis Hine as Social Critic), and according to Willard Morgan, Hine’s friend and husband of Barbara Morgan—best known for photographing Martha Graham—Hine asked some of his ESB skyboys to “dangle,” but posed is a strong word for this picture.

“Icarus” was present where the camera recorded him, and we can infer certain things from that fact and through knowing Lewis Hine’s motives.