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Photographing Challenging Features

Lesson 21 of 39

Pronounced Wrinkles Considerations

Lindsay Adler

Photographing Challenging Features

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

21. Pronounced Wrinkles Considerations

Lesson Info

Pronounced Wrinkles Considerations

This is just going to be for wrinkles in general. It could be whether somebody's a little bit older or maybe there's just a couple defined lines. For the most part, I will say that if there's stylistically something that I want to achieve that shows more wrinkles, I'm going to do it stylistically and then I'll just soften it in post so know that there's a balance because there are very specific things of what in camera draws attention away from and softens up wrinkles, but then that's kinda just one or two looks. Here we go, posing, camera angle, lens choice, makes no difference, so don't even worry about it. None of that's going to affect that. We're going to go to lighting. What is going to make, in camera, wrinkles look best is going to be large, soft, diffused light sources. This can be whether you're on location, whether you're in the studio. For example, in the studio, a good light modifier would be that large umbrella with diffusion, for example, because the larger the light sou...

rce is compared to the subject, the softer the light so if I take that light source, huge, bring it in real close, it is so soft and it fills in the shadows and it softens the transitions on those wrinkles. That's going to be a nice, easy solution. The next thing you can do is when you're on location, that's when you're looking for your big bounce light, your natural reflector, so it's going to be if you had a big white wall with the sun hitting it, huge light source, you put your subject opposite it, really nice, soft light. Another solution that you can do, let's say that you're at, you're photographing a wedding and you need to do a quick portrait at reception and you've been shooting with your little speed light and you don't really have a modifier on it. All of a sudden, skin on grandma's portrait is looking not nice. What you can do is you can actually make your own natural reflector. You can take that speed light and point it into a white wall. When it hits the wall, instead of being the size of the front of a speed light, the wall becomes the light source so now you just treat that like the light source and face your subject towards that. It's a big, soft light source that you're making with a speed light. There's just some of your considerations. For lighting, avoid hard light. In general, avoid light that's either too high or too off to the side. Those show different types of wrinkles. For example, when your raise it up, it's gonna show anything here in the forehead but if you move it to the side, it's these and it's these because it's the direction of the wrinkles. It kinda depends on what the person has. You kinda have to analyze that, but just softer and more centered and more diffused is going to draw less attention to them. For retouching, the big thing is, especially if it's somebody who's older, you reduce or soften, not eliminate. Oh man, like yeah, just a little less noticeable but you get it right in camera because then when your subjects see it, they're not going to be motivated to buy the images or be interested in seeing them retouched if their first instinct is "oh god I look so old." If at least it looks good and then you can improve it subtly that's a much better direction to go. I'm going to show you some of these later. You can use frequency separation, you can localized burning and dodging, and you can use clone stamp on the blend mode of lighten. I have several CreativeLive tutorials that talk about each of these different tools, but those are some of your options for wrinkles. The next part that's kind of lighting related as well, is if you have light that defines wrinkles, adding a little bit of fill just to cut the edge off of it, just to fill in those shadows just a little bit but still maintain the overall direction and quality of light, just not quite as dark and defined.

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