Photographing Challenging Features


Lesson Info

Pronounced Nose Considerations

So a more pronounced or longer nose, I've found this to be... Foreheads and noses are ones that people have complexes about that, like, you look at and you're like, "what are you talking about?", most of the time. But if they're concerned about it you still have to address it either way. So this is a longer one. There's lots of things that you can do. Alright, so for posing... When somebody has a, I'm saying a longer or more pronounced nose, there's different shapes of noses so we're kind of going generic here. But, for the first pose thing, typically, you don't want them to pose too far to the side if it's a longer nose because it shows the length of it. And there's actually a very specific point that you're looking for. It's the point where the nose overlaps the cheek line. Because it sticks out a little bit and you see that nub and then it's like an arrow pointing to it because it's contrast. So usually you want somebody to be facing a little bit more straight on, and then chin more...

neutral, because if someone has a very long nose, and they stick their chin out and down, you'll actually see intersect with the lip. You don't want the nose to intersect with the line of the lip. Which means, if you have someone stick their chin out and down, and you get a higher camera angle and they have a larger nose, it's exaggerating it but in this direction, okay? So would be your posing, so that's why is said camera angle usually about eye level, you know, right around this mid-level is usually what's appropriate, depends. Lens choice... Long lenses, or, wider angle focal lengths exaggerate distance. So if I'm using a wider angel lens, the tip of the nose to the face looks further, so in general, with longer noses, more pronounced noses, I uses longer focal lengths. So more in the 135 or the 105 range than in a 70 range. So it's a little bit longer. When you're lighting, be cautions of rim lights. This is, this is a huge one. So let's say you've got your light all set up and you've lit them from the front and there's a rim light illuminating the hair, and then they turn a little bit, and now it's a nose light, (audience chuckles) not a hair light. This is one, there's some photos that I've taken that I love, but I messed up and I did that and I look at it and I'm like, "Ah man I should have moved my..." So you can use a rim light but you've have to adjust if they move. Just be cautious if you're using a rim light there. Also, watch out or too long of shadows. When you're doing dramatic light, let's say you raise the light up and now the shadow from the nose oversects the mouth, intersects the mouth. And it would look quite long. I'll show you what that looks like. For retouching... Be careful... Because it's the shape of their nose. So they'll be able to tell, "Maybe that's what they changed... (giggles) "I don't know, something's not right in my photo." Yeah, it mean it can me subtle, but I would generally, I generally stay away from it. The thing I would watch out for is if there's a bright highlight in the middle, because it's closer to the light, so it would get more highlight, I would tone down the highlight on the top of the nose. But I don't know if I would really change the shape, I would be really careful of that one. Other things, makeup can actually change the shape of the way the nose looks. It can make it look narrower, or wider. Also darkening down that tip, again, if it's bright you can tell it was closer to camera. So, makeup can help you out. And then the very last one that I have there is sometimes if you're posing somebody and they pose to the side and raise their chin up, from your camera angle their nose actually blocks their eye, watch out for it. You'll see, we're gonna demo.

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.



  • 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!
  • 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.
  • More than great, you are awesome teacher, thanks a lot!