Photographing Challenging Features

Lesson 1 of 39

Class Introduction

 

Photographing Challenging Features

Lesson 1 of 39

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hey guys, well thank you all for joining me. One of my goals when I teach is to teach the things I wish existed for me. And that's kind of every time I try to think of a class, it's what did I struggle with? Because I've been shooting now for 16 plus years, and I always say I started when I was a teenager, so. Okay, just put it out there. But when I started photographing people, I had a portrait studio in upstate New York, and I would shoot everything. I would shoot maternity and babies and high school seniors and weddings and family portraits and everything, and all the tutorials that I would see, and P.S., when I started there weren't all these online tutorials, like that wasn't a thing. But when I would read books, or I would go see people demonstrate, they were always photographing women that were 18 years old, about five foot ten, they were perfect features, and like a size two. But then, that's not at all what my subjects were. My subjects were every different shape and size, dif...

ferent ages, different skin types, different body types, different everything. And so I didn't have any solutions for how to flatter them, 'cause I was taught one thing. So the point of this class today is going to be kind of your checklist, your reference, for how to photograph, what we decided to call, more challenging features. And the reason I call it this is, it has nothing to do, obviously, with the individual, but when I was starting my portrait business, it was the features that I couldn't quite figure out how to make it translate to the best in my photographs. And I'm sure you've run into it, too, where you're looking at somebody. They look great, and then you take a picture, and like, oh man, they actually look better in person. And you don't, like that's not usually what you're trying to do. You're trying to help them look their best in the images. So we're focusing on things like, people with more pronounced noses, or a larger forehead, or somebody with a double chin, or maybe somebody that's a little bit fuller figured, things like that, and so I make zero judgments, of course, about what traditional beauty is. But I'm going to talk about some of the things we do consider to be traditionally beautiful so you can figure out how to translate that into a photograph. Now, this presentation is covering a lot of different elements because we, as photographers, we actually have a lot of tools available to flatter somebody. So this is kind of my list of things. The lens choice that you have are specifically the focal lengths you choose. Changes how someone looks drastically. And I find that was one of the things that was often like, I'm looking at them, and they're not looking the same, it's 'cause I chose the wrong lens. 'Cause my eyes are seeing differently than my camera was seeing. So we're gonna talk about lens choice and how to figure out what lens is more appropriate for different features. But related to that is also camera angle. When you're with your eyes, you're automatically calibrating to camera angle. You're not thinking like, oh, your face changed when I was higher or lower, like that's not, that's not how we think. The camera, man, like a couple of inches, completely changes what somebody looks like in a photograph. But I didn't know that. And actually, oddly enough, I didn't figure that out for a really, really, really, really long time. I don't know, I feel like it wasn't spelled out for me. So it took me many years as a portrait photographer, working, getting paid as a professional, before I figured out how camera angle worked into this whole thing. The next part is going to be lighting. Lighting is one of those things that we do definitely have control over that I'm like, when you're looking at somebody in natural light, like I'm trying to find a bad one, but we have cross light. But, again, our brains aren't processing that. Like I'm not looking at you, well, I still sometimes do, now I am, like I can't help it, now I do see when there's bad light, but for the most part, the average person isn't processing bad light on your face. We know that when you change, like as a person moves around, you're processing all the different ways their face looks. But when it's captured in one still frame, and it's really bad light, that's all you see. And then you're processing that person's face as looking that way. So we're gonna talk about lighting. We'll talk about lighting for different skin types, we'll talk about lighting for different features, we'll also talk about for different face shapes, those types of things. Next thing is going to be posing. I'm gonna talk about things like, if somebody's really slender, how do you make them look curvier? Like that's something that I didn't, you don't think of as being a problem. But a lot of people, women that are really slender actually want to have some curves. Or someone who's fuller figured, they just don't want the camera to add 10 pounds. They want to represent themselves in the best way. I will touch briefly on clothing. This isn't going to be a clothing-centric class, but I'll make a comment about a couple things that might help. And then also retouching, so at the very end, I'm going to retouch a couple images that we shot during the day, and just show you a couple quick fixes. This is not meant to be a retouching-centric class, and the reason I have that at the very end is because it should be at the very end, like it shouldn't be something you're thinking about earlier on. Shouldn't be like, oh don't worry I'll retouch it. Like if you can get it right in camera, get it right in camera, especially since, what I love to do, is I love to shoot, and I get an image that flatters somebody, I love to show them. I love to show people so they can get excited, 'cause when they're like, oh yeah I do look good, they start getting into the shoot more, they relax, they let down their barriers. But if you know you gotta fix something in post, you can't really show them. Or it's like, hey, don't worry, I'll fix you. That's super awkward, so. Anyway, so we're going to have that be at the very end, because it should be at the very end, and the very last thing in your mind.

Class Description

Photographers are tasked with flattering every subject that steps in front of their lens. Typically, those subjects are everyday people, not professional models. This can mean working with some challenging features along with varying degrees of confidence. Canon Explorer of Light and well-known fashion photographer Lindsay Adler walks through understanding the face and body as well as the photographic tools available to you make your clients best side shine. These features could range from a pronounced nose, large forehead, glasses, asymmetrical features, or defined wrinkles. In this course Lindsay will walk you through: 

  • How to analyze a face and draw attention to the strengths within it 
  • Posing and lighting techniques for challenging facial features 
  • Posing and lighting techniques for the skin and body 
  • Retouching tips for skin, glasses or discolored teeth 
This course will cover many challenging features and show you how posing, camera angles, lens choice and lighting can work together to help you have confidence in every shoot.

Reviews

Sharma Shari
 

This class was amazing! It was great seeing a demo class with real people. As a wedding photographer that specializes in offbeat/non traditional couples, it is always good to see how I can enhance all my clients beautiful features, and make them feel their best and confident when I am taking their photos!

a Creativelive Student
 

I was so excited to get the chance to learn from Lindsay live, and this course did not disappoint! The techniques she shared were insightful and straightforward. I felt like seeing them on different subjects throughout the day really helped to cement the concepts and grow my photography tools to bring out the best in those I'm photographing. I'm not a studio photographer, but the ideas apply in natural light as well.

maria manolaros
 

Great class! Impressive amount of tips on posing, lighting and photoshop techniques , a real good no nonsense approach by superb teacher. Numerous amounts of thumbs ups