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Men's Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 26

Defining Male Features: Difficult Features

Jeff Rojas

Men's Portrait Photography

Jeff Rojas

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Lesson Info

5. Defining Male Features: Difficult Features

Lesson Info

Defining Male Features: Difficult Features

We'll talk about difficult features they don't show you guys the differences in skin tone versus using the color check they're not using color check it I'm doing that on set all time difficult features this way said you can't run away too far and you can't get mad at me either this is why I need to borrow you lorenzo thank you for being a sport bald men what do you do what do you do if you have ah man with beautiful beautiful luscious I'm halfway there look at this it's okay so what do you do you like what you guys looking for? You know it's difficult to see in here but if I'm looking at I'm gonna point and I'm not going you know but we have highlights that aren't has his funny because they say don't like most bold man like my dome and I'm like you can't say that on top of your head you get some highlights center up there those are things that you want avoid if your your subjects self conscious about their hair like you don't want to see those highlights because what it's doing is it's...

visually alluring to that specific area we don't want to see that highlight up there it's something that you want a boy so what can you do well a void here lights get the joke that perfect I'm teasing lorenzo since I know you just know that I'm teasing with me no hair likes you take photo of gm see? I went to go to my, uh my holster. It wasn't there happens perfect one too perfect. I should have it color correct. Theoretically speaking well, it was moving down a tiny but can I see the photo? I'm just gonna call him gnomes from now on. Digital gnomes. Okay, so while we're waiting for the newmans supposed to photo oh, gnomes are posting photos. I think that is a very good do I have any highlights it on his head that's the first thing no, right, because I moved my life. I'm gonna go ahead and show you guys a quick trick in a minute he's gonna be sweating on set. You guys gonna have sweaty bald head? What does that do? Shiny ones? If I raise my life, what is that going to do to my subject and his? I don't want to I move that light in how's it gonna start accentuating his head what am I starting to do it at the top? Now I'm starting to see a little highlight that's starting to come up here I'm starting to see a light little highlight up there what's happening my eyes are visually leading towards going to move to the side to make it a little easier myers is trying to visually move towards the top of his head and that's kind of what I want avoid I don't want highlight that's there I want something that's going to be flattering to my subject I don't want to showcase the showcase this thing's so we talked about this before men they're self conscious about their appearance you don't need to ask him if he's self conscious about it we talked about looking at selfies before and seeing if he had something he wears hats for that something that he puts on different different I don't want to pay but does he wear anything to cover up his bald head? Lindsey I don't think you care do you care? Hey looks great see, I like I like his but I've never asked him that like I know him as a person so I know I jokingly said what I said but he knows I'm kidding overall I know that he's a comfort with that but what happens if he had a little shiny of ahead? What happens if he was sweating? This is one you guys ever heard of blotting paper women have men haven't like this is man men are like what is that blotting paper little tiny strips that you can use just a wipe yeah blotting paper and in a pinch um you can use uh just small little rags you know, something that you can use to wipe away what they're going to do you mind if I touch? See? First thing I ask before I touch anybody is like what doing? Okay, I'm gonna show up to the camera again what do I have on their screen what's happening to the grease on his head it's reflecting any like that's on there it's it's catching all the light and it's bringing into his forehead just using a little bit of blinding paper helps me remove any shyness to the head that's a quick makeup artist for men's consider blotting paper on the head on his face if there's any significant brought highlights on his face generally people with darker skin tones tend to have like highlights in certain areas that lighter people don't. So I used that to kind of absorb any grease that you may see just to diminish those highlights you got lucky and it's nothing like jarod today so you have to do with any heat so you're ok since coming in about makeup for men and whether they need it and all that and it seems like this is actually a pretty good compromise to deal with one of those common issues that we see without giving them the self conscious effective having put makeup on because that is something that is foreign for most men at least in western culture and so it's it's but this blotting paper something where you could just like dad someone's head the cool thing is it doesn't it's not pink you're not looking at it, there's no, it it looks company like what are you doing? Okay, it's cool like that the group is gone. I don't use makeup from it. Even when the photoshoots that I showed you guys early in the first segment, I would say nine out of ten ships now don't use makeup artist anymore. A lot of that has to do with the way that a lot of makeup artists put too much makeup on the skin and we're so in tune as the audience where's viewers to look at a specific subject and start seeing gradations in women's form because you're more you're okay with those things like you're okay, okay she's wearing makeup, therefore that's why she hasn't there the second it's on a main and somebody's like a man's face looks a little darker or a little lighter compared to what it is you like prisons we make up and it's not the same thing, so I like to keep everything even try to do it within retouching well within certain things that I could do in cameras, there's a cool in camera solution to taken way highlights in certain areas so we can diminish the highlights that he has on his head that way it's a great makeup toe everything that I'm doing with the portrait photography and have a stylist on set I don't have a make up our sins that I have to guide people to tell them what to bring what tow have I don't have the luxuries of my fashion shoots, so when it comes to this my kit my little styling kate, we'll talk about that a little later includes blotting paper includes just little clips too clamp clothes and we'll discuss styling a little bit later things that accentuates certain features on our specific subject so I wanted to show how the highlight highlight on your forehead we talked about blotting paper we talked about skin tone, our next subject you don't fit right now I'm sorry not that I'm judging, but our next subject is larger men how many of you have ever photographed a large man? All of you have been here all of you like that larger not just bigger, larger also taller you know different different physiques excuse me not taller, broader like broader shoulders like football player like I don't know what to do with this person because he can't move his arms like that's what it looks like but it's not true at all okay large german what do you do? You know what do you do on camera teo to make those people look their best? For example, if you have a larger man do you really want to use a wide angle lens in landscape probably not it's gonna make them look a little wider can use it in portrait yes because it's going to start hitting up my subject um russ may are you you temporary I'm gonna move this away someone I'm gonna do I have permission to take a bad photo of you do whatever you want with me jeff I am putting in your hands is that that is a song, isn't it so you witch with my body no one heard that and I'm glad again the whole only child thing hence the weirdness okay my mother better be watching this is me arguing not having extra children that's why I'm weird perfect so I'm gonna shoot him with a wide angle lens nice in clothes perfect how did you do that? Awesome I'm gonna take one more shot perfect nice and close this is actually what I go to lenses and we'll talk about that and a bit what am I doing or us winding him out? That's not probably the most efficient like effective use we talked about he's like yes was the first thing he does he covers himself he's like I'm a little uncomfortable but use this perfect we can start using and I'm going to move a little closer just so we can see a difference perfect little time to closer what is this really doing to russ mood way we were the last one seven seconds last when that populates so using a thirty five seven seconds perfect what am I doing? I can start thinning amount just using a different lens can you show me the before and after photo the first photo that we took with thea thank you gnomes of creative life how why does he look in those first photos compared to that last photo just switching lens choice that's extremely important when you're photographing people I'm going to take a thirty five off I'm gonna put something that is a little more let's see true he's a one fifty from pretty far away that's a little more true to form which is this is there's no lens distortion whatsoever like it's very very flat so we're going to see what russ actually looks like in person perfect it's a good way for you guys to get a judge on your subjects this is sure so what do you guys agree that this is what russ looks like in person regards to build would you say rusty mind turning over to our little audience here? Is this more or less what russ looks like in person in regards to physique so it can I have this photo in the photo before sorry guys thank you how much can we get him out just using a thirty five so if you have a subject that's that's worried about their weight and worried about with I haven't liquefied anything just lynch choice you know a lot of that is evidence we're tryingto evident when you try and photograph people with a wider lens that's something you can use don't use it landscape using portrait use it too long get their body I'm not seeing any distortion regards that image I can probably flattened out the center so it looks a little more true to form but the lens is working for me you know the ones isn't working against me thank you I really appreciate it yes question is for is you talk my broader me and what if you're getting to the point where you're shooting like athletes and body builders who are naturally going to be wide anyway? But I wouldn't think they would be self conscious about it, but but there's also a possibility that it could be so what would you do the same thing as far as using like a thirty five kind of slim him out a little bit or depends on your goal? So my goal is to make him look bigger because they want to look intimidating then I would probably use it thirty five landscape because they look more intimidating if I wanted to fend them out if they were running back and they wanted to look faster, you know then I would shoot something portrait it'll make him look you don't want generally running backs are supposed to be big, broad guys who wanted to look thin, sleek and fast. Rex that's the interpretation that's their athletes to the same way do I want my athlete to look bigger? Thinner? What am I trying to do it want let's say somebody who's into ballet, so I want them to elongate the body because even certain ballerinas male or female, we'll talk about mail as well. The form is thin, but they're still muscular legs but opposing everything that supposedly they're supposed be long, beautiful and and elongated. So what do I want to do should accentuate so I can lessen out like muscles? They aren't muscles by using the thirty five those things that you can do, so that goes back into what we mentioned before. How does lin choice effect what you're trying to photograph? Yes, it's one of those things where you're using something most people think of as a bad thing len's distortion is generally thought of as a bad thing, something to be avoided, but here you're using it for your own effect of the effect that you want, knowing the effect it has, you can choose to use one tool or the other and there's no bad things just intention there, just in fact, as long as you know the rules you can feel free to break them or using teo advantage like what are you trying to do with the lenses? I mean, the thirty five is kind of like don't any wide lens with any wider subject everyone strays away from the like no, but you can use it to your advantage and we're not talking about like a fish eye on somebody's my lord, if you don't want to do that, I'm saying wider lenses like a twenty for thirty five you can accentuate somebody's features a lot better then using fifty, eighty five seven, two hundred things that you can utilize but again don't ask the client we'll talk again about their weight that's not politically correct or appropriate you khun judge based on how they feel what they do impose and we'll talk about non verbal communication and a little communication tips that they excuse me little cues that they have that you kind of learn if they're uncomfortable. I know when russ was up there what's the first thing russ does what does that mean it's uncomfortable like he's not feeling comfortable and I can kind of lead with I know he's not comfortable I know what he's trying to hide I don't need to ask him I can see that and it's apparent for myself, so what can I do to make him look better so consider that go here trigger somebody had a question about older men before you know what do you do with older men? You know what do you want to see? I don't have many older men on set today but when it comes to older men I love personally seen texture of their skin I love seeing crow's feet I love seeing you age it shows that the persons lived before they've done something what themselves like it's beautiful to see different textures and different in different people skin skin tones I love aside from people are gonna have like acne scarring and just general tidbits and nuances of their face but I love seeing wrinkles I love seeing ages you shows wisdom like that's what generally we see when we see photos like that somebody's lived in a beautiful life if they've done something any questions on older men before I go somebody asked about what was the turkey turkey neck turkey neck god turkey neck I can't even say that without laughing because it's like politically incorrect um I would generally underexposed that area if that's a concern that the client has again not asking the client you khun you could have stick their neck out a tiny bit so it doesn't hang as much we talked about before I'm going to have a turkey neck this is gonna happen see this right here? What if I ever make it to eighty that's happening so I know when I take my photos I need to stick my neck out just doing that kind of start taking away any extra skin that's underneath even leaning forward a tiny bit we'll start elongating neck those considerations to have when you're supposing anybody that has anything to do with any neck areas of problem areas or double chin areas next I don't want pointing pointing this thing at him does anybody want a photo of me? I'm joking taller men I'm six foot three and people don't realise I'm actually relatively told it's holler man, what is your goal? We talked about athletes if I want them to look intimidating, what should I do? Should I pose my camera at a lower angle to make them look taller, broader and bigger and more intimidating? Do I think they are? They worried about their height should worry about shooting them higher level so they look more proportionate to everyone else. What am I trying to show cass? Taller men can be difficult to photograph in smaller environments, so I generally do things on location because imagine something like this where you're trying to send me out right and I'm tall what can you d'oh shooting a thirty five? I'm still gonna get somewhere out there I think I need to photograph something so I can either eh I could move towards away from my background to help figure out what the thirty five needs to be if I move away, what am I getting in? Getting the background? I could move my subject relative close to the background or into them on location. Relatives. Other things. Russ, can we get a quick shot of russ? This is a perfect example. Ross's talk. I consider estelle just sitting there. Francine from if it's relative to the small desk that he has. How tall daisy look, it's huge. He looks like he's, like nine feet tall compared to that small desk relative positioning toe. Other things can make you look extremely tall, extremely short or normal size. So something like that, if you want to make him look normal size do you can have something that is appropriate to his his structures. So just positioning different things. That's a perfect example of we should get you a bigger desk for us because you with a star on it that says, russ, of course, short of men, we talked about positioning about finding ways to enhance people's height, which is being tall weapons if they're too short. What happens there very, very short. What happens if they're so self conscious about their height? I have one uncle, this is gonna be funny, some sixty three he's, five feet tall probably about four foot eleven how do you photograph us together how do you like what do you do like he's here you know this is like his head right here to make and how do you pose us together should one subject so if I have to mind if I borrow you momentarily so if we're about this if she is pretend she's my uncle if you were going to move towards that camera if it's do you mind moving forward tiny but if I was structuring imposing closer she is to that camera further I'm away that more even we are toe one another so there's the considerations to have it's all perspective you guys thank you very, very much but she's like yeah um if you guys ever watch lord of the rings that's a great way to do forced perspective taking a larger person making sorry taking one person making them look large and frame compared to others without having to do anything in postproduction just posing people in certain instances so I do the same thing with short of people I don't want them to look too short should I pose in next to a tall land or it's whole post or something that we normally attribute to being large I probably don't want to post them next to I want something that looks relatively even even to their height even let's say a large car something like that guys love their cars but if you have a nineteen foot, I used to have a classic car that's, nineteen feet long, it's. Funny, because I look normal next to it, that my uncle who's, like four foot eleven, sends next to it, it's, like nineteen feet long and he's he's like this little person next to it. So do I want posing next to that, or she could post next to smaller car like relatives, opposition. Can I move him away from the car itself towards the camera, so the car looks smaller in the background, so I don't want him to look like he's, a little tiny person, that area, those all things that you do with smaller people, you looked like you had a question. That's always here, isn't it? Even with that, they're still things that you can do to enhance people's body shapes taller, larger, broader, older doesn't matter.

Class Description

Learn the art of posing men in Men's Portrait Photography. Jeff Rojas will show you how to direct men so they look natural, masculine, and confident in front of the camera.

In this class you'll learn posing, lighting, shooting, and editing techniques that will compliment all shapes and sizes of men. Jeff will demonstrate your options for lighting men for portraits, fashion, and commercial images.

You’ll learn the 10 main reasons men don't feel comfortable having their picture take and how to make them feel at ease in front of the camera – which will lead to better, more natural images. Jeff will teach:

  • How to help men pick proper attire
  • Flattering male features
  • Workflow and retouching

Don’t let men’s portrait photography intimidate you. Learn the skills you need to get bold, flattering shots of your male subjects every time.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Photographer's Style Guide for Men

Men's Posing Guid

Photoshop Black and White Presets

Adorama Gear Guid

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


caroline ross

I watched this class for free and am saving up to buy it. First of all confirmed! Sigma lens are nothing to be ashamed of and since I love my one main lens, Sigma I immediately felt a rapport. Then listening to the fascinating insights about men and their feelings when confronted by a lens and...what to do with folks who have shaved heads or a little large. Some of the tips were great! Adding a decoration on suit front like a flower or handkerchief, and how to get the suits looking FIT! and well, I plunged into man world and it was a super education. By day two I was amazed by Jeff's generosity. Basically all his experience, all his favorite lighting techniques and painstaking attention to detail. I would have to watch Day two zillions of times to actually be able to absorb all the scenarios and effects. Im going to buy some suit clips Jeff and clip a bunch of suits in back and front to gorgeous my male subjects out. Thank you again for a wonderful, wonderful class.

Lee Crow

I've taken a lot of photography training in the last couple of years. Jeff is outstanding. I didn't realize that this content would have such an impact on me. The lighting sections were the best I've seen and the psychological impact of us men having good photos is a wonderful subject to bring to light. The class is great. Jeff is great. CL is great.


this course was worth every penny. Full of practical information and excellent demonstrations. Jeff needs to quit with the crotch comments though was like ...really AGAIN? why are you so obsessed with saying crotch crotch crotch good God. Apart from THAT (which I think was just silly nerves) I really do recommend this class. Jeff is actually very very good. I admire his work. Thanks Jeff I learned a lot!!