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Photographing Challenging Features

Lesson 26 of 39

No Curves Considerations

Lindsay Adler

Photographing Challenging Features

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

26. No Curves Considerations

Lesson Info

No Curves Considerations

Everything that we just did in the beginning was about shape of face or facial features and then we moved on to skin. And now we're moving on to body and then a couple of other ones. So what we're doing right now for the body is that people might be really slender or they might be really curvy or they might be a little bit more top heavy. Or they might be a little bit fuller... Nobody is the same. Which is why, it's actually really good because if you understand how your camera sees and perspective and camera angle, all of that, that's what goes into flattering somebody. So it's interesting, you don't really need to necessarily look at a person and figure out, what body type are you? But it's what do you want to showcase? And what do you want to draw attention to or away from? In this example, I'm going to do one that people don't think of as often, someone slender who wants to have curves. So for me, this would be somebody who maybe, we're not shooting this here, but, a boudoir sessio...

n where a girl is really skinny and she wants to have curves and she wants to look like she has a lot of shape. But that's just not her body type. So how do you bring that out through your posing? So let's jump over. So this is going to be, the challenging feature is, no curves when somebody wants to have some curves in a photo. Now there's a couple different things that I have considering in here. First one is, of course, pose. That's going to be the majority of it. And the line I always say is if you can bend it, bend it, if you can curve it, curve it. So finding ways to bend the body. I am not wearing an outfit that will be super-conducive for me demonstrating on myself but for example, let's say I wanted to look curvy, all right, wish me luck here. (laughing) Okay, all right, we're trying. So if I wanted to look curvy, this is straight, right? One of the things I can bend would be, I can bend, let's say, I'll bend a knee. So the curve that this introduces, it introduces this curve but also introduces this curve. So I'm bending it. But then I want this to look bigger. So I can curve this, right? Curving it. Now it looks a little bit curvier. Next thing that I can do for bend it, bend it, curve it, curve it, is if I want the butt to look bigger, I can put the hand there. Or if I want more attention to this, I put the hand there. But I'm bending and curving everything. It's the straight lines that do nothing. Then you have a lot more shape. So if you can bend it, bend it, if you can curve it, curve it. And then you're also, one of the things you can do if somebody doesn't have curves here, is kind of one of the things that I do with clothing. Clothing can help give illusion to having a little bit more curve. For example, if it is tucked in at the waist, kind of like mine is, but then it flares out here, it gives your eye a little bit of shape to do the hourglass, even if they have zero curve. It will do that. And depending on how it's cut. But similarly, another way that you could have a girl with no curve look like she has a little bit of a waist, could be to put the hand on the waist, because it just looks like there is something there. It just gives you a little bit of a cinch. So you're faking a waist. So it's just some of the posing things. For camera angle, you can be a higher angle, having your subject lean. So here's what I'm saying, back to this example of me, bending, curving, whatever. If someone had no curves, perfectly straight here, no curves, I added a lot of curve. Then if she kicks her chest towards camera, now this will look a little bit fuller. And so it will look a little bit curvier. Or my example for the boudoir shots where she wants to look like she has a little bit bigger booty, she's got to kick that towards the camera to make that look a little bit fuller. So it's your camera angle, your lens choice, whatever. And that's what I talked about in a bunch of my posing things including Posing 101, et cetera. So it's mostly posing and camera angle and then you can totally pump up curves in Liquefy if you want to. I try to make it look good in post. If you're subtle about it, they don't know you did it. If you're subtle about it, it's like wow, did you make me look so curvy. It's when you went to an extreme that they're like, ah, it's not me. So Liquefy is a really great tool. And then the other one that I do is contouring. Contouring is the painting of the highlights and shadows. And I use curves, adjustment layers, one lighter, one darker. So I basically paint part of it lighter, part of it darker. I can take someone's bust, no Liquefy, no Photoshop, in that way. But if I paint highlights on the top, and shadows underneath, it looks bigger and it looks curvier. So you can kind of cheat those things. Or I can change and paint highlights on the bottom to make it look a little bit fuller. So there are those things in Photoshop without you actually having to change the shape of their body. It just looks curvier because of how the light is falling on it. But you're really making the light do that.

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