Category Archives: Posing

First Shot

This is Lucy, blind since birth. She has no idea she’s blind.

Cat Portrait

A Lovely Young Couple


Now that the clock has been set back an hour, it’s nice to be able to get some shots in the really nice evening light and still be home before suppertime. Here are a few that I took the other day before my photo adventure at Dismal Falls.

The Top 10 things People Want Their Photographer to Fix Without Having To Ask, and How to Do It

This is a guide I put together for an upcoming Exposure Roanoke meetup entitled “Shooting Regular People”. Our group has done a few model shoots, and while they were fun, they lacked the challenges you face when you shoot regular people. You know, people like our friends and family. With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be a good time to get this workshop in, so when our friends ask us to get out our fancy cameras and take some good pictures while everyone is together, we’ll have something to go by. Enjoy!

The Top 10 things People Want Their Photographer to Fix Without Having To Ask, and How to Do It

As photographers, we are expected to make people look their very best. What does that mean, exactly, and where do you start?

We are all different, and come in different sizes and shapes. A person’s physical characteristics are not anything that a photographer can control, obviously. But by using different lighting and posing strategies, your subject’s unspoken problem areas can be dealt with, and your subject is sure to be pleased with the result, and might not even know why.

The following scenarios assume a standard 3 point studio lighting setup, with a main light and fill light at 45 degrees left and right of the camera and a hair or background light. These posing and lighting tips will work regardless if your are using studio lights, speedlights, or window light and a
reflector.

  1. That’s not a Forehead, that’s a Fivehead (Prominent Forehead)

    • Also works for the Follically-Challenged (Baldness). Have your subject tilt their chin upward. Use a lower camera angle. Flag the light source to reduce specular highlights on the dome. Do not use a hair light.
  1. The Cyrano de Bergerac (Large Nose)

    • Have your subject tilt their chin upward, with their face directly toward the camera. Use a lower camera angle, and lower the main light.
  1. The Bobe Hope (Crooked or Pointed Nose)

    • Have your subject face directly toward the camera, Place main light so the shadow area on the bridge of their nose is a straight line.
  1. More Chins Than a Shar-Pei (Double Chin)

    • Have your subject tilt their chin upward, with their body straight and leaning slightly forward. Raise the camera and shoot from an elevated position.
  1. The Ichabod Crane (Broad, Round Face)

    • Use the Short Lighting technique, moving the main light between 45 and 90 degrees to the subject so the shadow is on the camera side of the face. Have them turn their face toward the camera to a 3/4 position.
  1. More Character Lines Than a 3rd Grade Play (Wrinkled Face)

    • Feather the diffused soft light from a large shoot-thru umbrella or a softbox placed up close. Not the time for a big smile or having your subject say: “cheese”. Have them relax their face muscles. Raise the camera and shoot from an elevated position.
  1. The Teenie Bopper (Facial Blemishes)

    • Feather the diffused soft light from a large shoot-thru umbrella or a softbox placed up close. If possible, use broad or short lighting strategically to place problem areas on the shadow side of the face.
  1. The better to hear you with, my dear (Prominent Ears)

    • Use the Short Lighting technique, moving the main light between 45 and 90 degrees to the subject so the ear on the camera side of the face is in shadow. Position the subject at such an angle that the far ear is behind the head.
  1. The better to see you with, my dear (Large Eyes)

    • Use a lower camera angle, and lower the main light. Normally, you might have the iris of the eye in the corner, but in this case, that is too much white. Have the subject look in a direction such that the iris is centered in the eye.
  1. Four is better than two (Glasses Wearer)

    • Raise the earpiece above the ear so the lenses tilt downward. Have your subject tilt their chin upward, or lower it so the glare is minimized. If all else fails, you can have the subject hold their glasses near their face in a thoughtful pose.

 

You will notice I didn’t include weight in the Top 10. This is a topic so large that deserves its own page. Stay tuned for: “Does this picture make me look fat?”