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Photographing Challenging Features

Lesson 9 of 39

Demo and Shoot: Distance from Subject

Lindsay Adler

Photographing Challenging Features

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

9. Demo and Shoot: Distance from Subject


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:05:49
2 Analyzing the Face Duration:14:48
3 Light and Skin Duration:10:34
4 Science of Light Duration:10:09
5 Direction of Light Duration:14:39
6 Fill Light Duration:12:19
10 Round Face Considerations Duration:09:55
11 Shoot: Round Face Duration:13:23
12 Double Chin Considerations Duration:06:51
13 Shoot: Double Chin Duration:07:07
14 Shoot: Big Forehead Duration:05:17
15 Big Forehead Considerations Duration:06:40
16 Pronounced Nose Considerations Duration:03:56
18 Uneven Features Considerations Duration:02:03
19 Shoot: Uneven Features Duration:01:20
20 Shoot: Large or Small Chin Duration:09:12
22 Shoot: Pronounced Wrinkles Duration:12:23
23 Shoot: Uneven Skin Duration:06:33
24 Oily Skin Considerations Duration:03:17
25 Shoot: Oily Skin Duration:04:41
26 No Curves Considerations Duration:05:18
27 Shoot: No Curves Duration:10:07
29 Shoot: Full Figured Subject Duration:04:29
30 Shoot: Glasses Duration:09:04
31 Balding Considerations Duration:02:27
32 Shoot: Balding Duration:07:10
33 Retouching: Wrinkles Duration:15:27
34 Retouching: Uneven Skin Duration:04:36
36 Retouching: Large Forehead Duration:04:24
37 Retouching: Round Face Duration:07:02
38 Retouching: Oily Skin Duration:02:53

Lesson Info

Demo and Shoot: Distance from Subject

We're going to talk about your next tools, which are going to be lens choice and camera angle. Because you will hear me, eight billion times, say this, and all of the other demo stuff is okay. What lens, what camera angle? All of that stuff. Alright, so what we're going to do, is we're going to talk about the fundamentals. If you're seen my posing classes. You'll go, "Oh yeah, I know what's coming." Okay? We're gonna talk about whatever's closest to the camera looks larger. Whatever's further looks smaller. So, Don, I don't care, for the sake of education, can you move this one back. Yeah. Just so people don't think it's on. Sorry. Alright, so, right now, what I'm doing, has nothing to do with lighting. Just for anyone who's curious, we're talking solely about lens choice and camera angle. And I'm gonna move you just this way, a little. So I can get more centered. Okay. Great. Now. If I... switching over in this case to my 24-105 lens, which I use all of the time for portraits, bec...

ause it's- not tight headshot portraits. Mid-length, full-length portraits, because it's super versatile. I don't need to change my lens all the time, and I'm a very hyper isn't what I would call it. But I'm a very active shooter, like I'm bouncin' around, I'm gettin' in close, I'm backin' up, I'm gettin' a wide shot, I'm changing my angle. And so if you notice, I don't shoot on a tripod. It's fine to shoot on a tripod. My friend, Joel Grimes, shoots on a tripod. We shoot exactly opposite of how we both do, but I think we're both okay. So it's style, okay? But anyway. So, I'm gonna shoot with the 24-105. Alright, here's- just so you know, these pictures will be messy, like you'll see stuff in the background. We're provin' points here. Okay, so, I'm gonna have you put your hand right here. Okay? Great. (shutter clicks) I always take a quick test. Alright, now what I'm gonna have you do is still the hand straight out towards the camera. Great. (shutter clicks) Alright. So if you take a look here, okay? She sticks her hand straight towards the camera. Hand looks like it got bigger. Obviously it did not. That's the very basics of it. However, we can apply this to the body. So what you can do is, anytime you want something to appear bigger, you bring it closer. Which might be the eyes. You're like, "What do you want to appear bigger?" Eyes. Or, the chest, for example. Sometimes for somebody, I will have them, just lean in towards the camera a little bit with their chest. Let me see a side angle for the camera back there. Okay? (laughter) Anyway. That's super awkward, but okay. So, whatever you want bigger, bring closer. Whatever you want smaller, pull away. The example that is used most often- Can I have you turn towards your right? Great. And I'm gonna have you just comfortably put your hand on your hip. Whatever's comfortable. And turn your body towards me just a little bit more. Great. So she's standing flat footed, okay? If anyone can see. She's totally flatfooted. In the first example here. Flat foot. (shutter clicks) Okay now, can you kick your weight and your hips towards me? Like just pop out your hip, yeah. (shutter clicks) Okay, so can you push 'em as far away as possible? Okay, so let's take a look at this. Thank you very much. So if you take a look. Here's her flatfooted. Most people do that, like especially when they're nervous, they just kinda stand flatfooted. They're kinda just lockin' out their knees. It's fine, it's not looking particularly bad, maybe sticking out her stomach a little bit, but for the most part, when she does this, she's pushing her hips and her waist closer to the camera. Now, it makes her look a little bit wider here, however let's say that somebody really like this part of themselves. It actually is not wrong to do this. It's just gonna make your butt look bigger. Big deal. However, if I kick her hips away, as in this next shot, watch the lower half of her body get narrower. Pretty significantly. Like it's pretty significantly narrower at the lower part of her body when she kicks her weight away. Okay? So. And also, yeah, you were making the point, in this one, she raises her shoulder up, so you can't really see her neck. And the next one, it's a little bit lower, I would get into this, like I would do more negative space, that's my posing class, slash, the posing book I have coming out. How to actually make that all work and come together. But anyway. So you're going to use that to your advantage as well. So when you're photographing somebody, if you want their chest to look bigger, you bring it closer to the camera. If you want the eyes to look bigger, you bring it closer to the camera. Sometimes people will say, "Press your forehead towards the camera." Is actually a way to bring the eyes to look a little bit bigger. But, the flip side of this is it can be on you, to actually change your camera angle. For example, I'm going to have you go back and do that same thing. Okay, so just stand flatfooted, okay? In the first example, sorry I'm gonna use this box. In the first example, I'm gonna stay down here. (shutter clicks) Okay? Great. So my camera angle, is about her waist. About her waist level is where I was, and so her waist and her hips and her midsection are little bit closer to the camera. However, if I get up a little bit higher, they're a little bit further, (shutter clicks) Okay. Well this doesn't do any good because it's against black, but, you can't tell. Maybe I'll fill in the shadows. Well you guys can tell, I'm not sure if people online can tell. But, here, her face looks further away, but her hips look larger. Here her face looks larger, and closer to the camera, but not large in a bad way, I mean, like, connected to camera. And then the bottom half of her body looks narrower. So, my point is, there's two ways you can make something look bigger or smaller. Either by them moving it closer or further away, or you moving closer or further away. And the same thing is true if somebody's reclining on their side. It's not a height up and down thing, at that point it's a side to side, 'cause basically am I getting closer to their face? Or am I getting closer to their stomach? Or their feet? But it's the same thing, just tilted on the side. So you have that capability as well. So, that is going to be one way that you can affect the body. And the last part is going to be close up with face. If I get up higher, forehead and eyes look bigger. If the forehead is average size, it's fine. If you have a large forehead, you're not gonna wanna do that. If you get up high, and they have a small chin, chin is smaller. It'll make it look even smaller, because it's further from camera. Flip it the other way, if I get down low, big chin, gonna look real big. Eye's will look smaller. But, a little bit lower will help with a really big forehead. So these are kind of all your checklists that you are going through. So, that is pretty much the sake of this introduction, 'cause we'll actually go through, we cast, and we have individual people to show different challenging features. So, that is going to be our next sections we have throughout the day, and next checklists. So, do you guys have any questions on the foundations before we go beyond that? Yeah, I noticed that you're doing what Peter Hurley does, which is generally use a horizontal format. Is there a reason for that? Is that what you do when you're paid? This is a really good question. Twofold. Thing number one, most of the time for headshots or closeups, I do shoot horizontally. It lets me get in a little bit closer to the subject, and I don't really care about the top of the head. I feel like I'm connected here more, and they command their space. Whereas when vertical, I'm getting a little bit of the chest, and the top of the head, that's pulling me away from the eyes. Whereas negative space isn't pulling me away from the eyes. If that makes sense. There's other things distracting me. Also, when I was photographing Mike, he has thinning hair, I don't need to show it, right? I might as well just crop in. I don't know as he's necessarily thinking like, "Oh look, she's cropping out the top of my head." Or if he's thinking, "Thank God, she's cropping out the top of my head." Like, I don't know. I'm not sure which one he's doing. I know that's how I would photograph him, turning him a little bit to the side, I would probably, for him, I'd use a little bit shorter light, just for a little bit of shaping, head turned to the side because of the asymmetry, and I'd crop off the top of the head and do horizontal.

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.


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