Skip to main content

Men's Portrait Photography

Lesson 9 of 26

Shoot: Contouring with Light

Jeff Rojas

Men's Portrait Photography

Jeff Rojas

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

9. Shoot: Contouring with Light

Lesson Info

Shoot: Contouring with Light

We're gonna learn how to analyse face ships looking at different people, figuring out their face ships and how to best shoot them in the differences of light so you'll visually get to see everything that we just discussed. Okay? So with that being said, john, if I could have a reflector just a small white reflector thank you, sir. That was smooth. If you want to leave it there or put it on here, I'm probably won't need it at first, but okay, and then the diagram, the next image I'm gonna go, mike, I got you this complicated thing like, what do I do? But we're gonna go through it when I'm gonna go through it with each of you guys, okay, study. The first person borrows you just to make it a little easier for everybody to see. Since we've already worked together, I can kind of go that way. Okay, first things first, so camera to my back I'll try not to cover you so you can visually see everything susan photographing stoney first thing I want to do is I'm gonna sit kind of rembrandt positio...

n, old school, just honest face there and that's it and pull forward with, like, a tiny bit so features of men and I'm gonna kind of walk you guess what I'm thinking as well I'm looking at stony and I know I know what has drawn line looks like I wanted to find a strong it's the first thing I'm thinking about the next thing I want to do is still defined his brow I'm trying to see him as a person regardless of what direction I'm shooting right now we're just looking at what I see what I'm trying to showcase best about that person okay, I know that he has very very strong features around the edges I know that he has very, very pronounced neck do I want a photograph that to make it look skinnier wider those those considerations have traps so I want to photograph traps go with that okay uh, next thing john I'm gonna borrow let me see the black the flats if we could just have him to the side just temporarily so I'm gonna take this image we're going to do with the forty five sorry the one signal one fifty we'll start off with that just so we can kind of just keep the same lighting consistent throughout wait actually get it already perfect work on your smile sonny don't smile you look like a creeper come on I got sony's first smile ever awesome that's actually the first mile I think I've ever seen that's a real smile we'll talk about that and a bit fake smile and last one was real smile okay I got to see that we talked about this. Awesome. Okay, so what am I saying? Just using the zeppelin. I'm getting fall off here how's that fall off helping out what we're trying to do well, it's contouring his cheekbone is giving me a little bit of definition a draw but what happens if I'm going to go? What a photographer's generally you should bounce like try to get us much light in there as possible. I hope everything goes well and try to throw light on there. John, if I can have you help me just bounce back light under fish chin with this white car thank you. You have to do another fake smile. Perfect. Awesome! Awesome! Perfect that's what that looks like it's close enough. Perfect. Thank you. So what is it doing? It's? Helping me add light to these areas. But how wide this tony's face look, you know we talked about that. This is natural on camera. I'm shooting with one fifty don't have compression as as my thirty five out of twenty four sev seventy would I'm getting kind of true compressions what's happening there we talk about sonny's face being as wide a little bit sorry a little bit longer than it is wide, so if I look at the sizing difference there's quite a there's. Very little change regards to length toe with, which is what makes him different with a square. So how why does he look in that image? Because I'm getting so much light on the image itself quite wide because everything that's there so I'm gonna start doing. Came bar one v flat on one side and one on the other. Perfect. We'll start off with the with one v flat. Yep. Thank you. Grab that one on his right. Thank you. And I would try to even get a little bit closer. I'm gonna turn it this way. You're gonna hide him inside here like that. Perfect. Another fake smile for me. So we starting to dio as I'm bringing in that reflector we're starting to pull away light from that side of the face my eyes showing to navigate towards the center, right? I'm not not looking at it as why? The closer I'm gonna move that b flat and john, do you mind moving into the flat? I would say within a foot of his face or his closest feasibly can't say feasibly impossibly stunning, awesome, perfect what's that starting to do closer. Start moving that dark of that cheek bones starting to get and the more my aunt my focus is on his face but now his face is getting a little darker so what can I do? A concert bumping up the light there I can open up apertura my my camera but I know that that the flat is starting to help me kind of generate interest in the centre his face the other thing is making sure that everything is color correct? Because as we're introducing lights and shadows, we need to make sure that everything's relevant there open that for me. Thank you. Yes, terrifying kind of simplify it a little bit basically using the black thing sucks light out of the image. Exactly just creates a little bit of depth on that side because there's not much light coming in. Absolutely. And that's something. There were questions about how and where to get the flats you could make them. You can buy them in a lot of like art supply type places or you could just use anything that big and dark. Well, what I what I was doing in my studio I have black flats, you don't need them. You can use black poster board like that uh what you can find any craft store you could buy black flags, the little flags that you can hold in your hands there's a bunch of different options if you don't have an assistant and john isn't beautiful john isn't here to help you you can use the flats in that capacity and the great thing is I used the flats is my background as well that's just a black site available to so absolutely I think photo flex has a couple of those black perfect awesome see I have a feeling you're like hiding I mean smiling under there he's like yep awesome one more time and if you could bring the color checking sorry thank you look so angry perfect so angry another thing for posing and for trying to make people smile I joke around on set like a lot I also know stony and I know some of the personalities are upset but I try my best at least converse with them and just joke with them but there are certain like if I said you look like a bank robber trying to hide behind there it could be funny to some people like him but other people it could be offensive so you just want to be careful what you say perfect so again if you don't have ah black b flat we're going to use this as another alternative solution I think joanne's fabrics and a bunch of different places carry this um if you could bring that equal distance to the side here perfect you just look so angry man so angry awesome perfect ok we're starting to see shadows on the side of his face I'm illuminating the face the actual sound of the face and I'm cutting out shadows out the other side I'm sucking out like layman's terms we're just second out like different areas from sucking out too much light under his chin so what could I do? I can show through a reflector underneath and just bring light back in so that's the next thing I wind up doing some contouring his face but I also want a gentlemen is that white car despots is fine. We'll use a b flat since there's not, uh many assistants on set on one side and then the b flat right back in his face I sincerely appreciate thank you very, very, very much. Yes, of course. Why am I not helping, huh? Being a beaver, I'm being a diva. Awesome. This is, uh this is a version of my man closet. This is where I hide men way talked about this before. Thank you. We talked about this before. Awesome. Perfect. I know. Would you like to come a man closet so I can shoot you? Awesome that's there, just just out of curiosity at off, ted is working out perfect, so what are we doing? I'm starting to shape his face and starting to see the center his face now, when I want to do is introduce just a highlight underneath, I want I want to bring some of the shadows way john's looking for a reflector for us, but meanwhile, I might get a little creative is the word and just use a note pad. By the way, if you guys don't have a reflector on set and you have, you have what's called kitchen that pens that you could buy for, like three dollars at the dollar store to go bake the baking pants. You can use that as well, which also helps. Thank you, sir, and pizza boxes don't have any colors on them. You're ok? That's happened before don't want to discuss that way we'll get start somewhere perfect one too three and see, I'm getting him to smile now, finally, perfect. I'm getting real smiles out of you for the first time ever, and all it took was to put you in a man cause it you feel safe. Some sort of brings it some color under his chin there I'm starting to find his features more or less where they need to be. What happens if he had he had a little problem if he was bald, he was scared about your not scared, but self conscious about the top of his head, what can we do just during a negative film, like try to pull out as much information as possible? So we just focus on space, amusing lights and shadows in contrast to photos to photograph what I'm trying to photograph there. Thank you. Okay, top definitely do that. I would probably flagged top off, so I don't have any highlights up there because the more highlights they are, the more attraction there is to the top of the head, so I would just tryto use contouring or lights and shadows to help me accentuate that parts that I want a visual interest to bay and I do the same thing full body, so if I'm trying to draw attention away from subjects like center, if I'm just trying to focus on the person's face, that's what I would go ahead and do we focus on certain aspects of lighting that okay, I'm gonna pull that one away, and I'm gonna I'm gonna strike the set, thank you very much. We'll take this way, thank you very, very much.

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.


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!!