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Shoot: Big Forehead

Lesson 14 from: Photographing Challenging Features

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

14. Shoot: Big Forehead

Lesson Info

Shoot: Big Forehead

Our next challenging feature is going to be for a larger forehead. So we're gonna go through all of these options, and I've got some lighting considerations for this as well, which you might not have thought of. So, alright first one, posing, what you want to avoid is, when you do their chin out, which probably do with most people, don't go chin out and down. Because when you bring it down too far, it's bringing the forehead closer to camera, making it larger. So, whatever's closest to the camera looks larger, you don't want it to get closer. The other thing is, keep the chin neutral, or, sometimes I've found with guys, if I'm doing a little bit of a standoffish look, it is actually okay to raise the chin up a little bit, like the, you know, like raise your chin. It can look okay. I don't really like that with women for the most part. It doesn't usually work. But yeah, a guy like this. It can look pretty decent, especially with a full length shot with a little bit of context. Next one,...

camera angle. So, if you are getting at a higher camera angle, it's putting the camera closer to the forehead, which is going to make it look larger. This is why you have to balance things, because let's say, later on we're going to talk about photographing fuller figure subjects, curvier subjects, and a lot of times you do get a higher camera angle. But then maybe not if there's a large forehead, so you've gotta, gotta problem solve. Anyway, so avoid your higher camera angle. Eye-level or maybe slightly lower, but usually, right around from eye-level to nose-level, something like that works great. For your lens choice, use a longer lens, for the most part. I'm not saying, don't go to 200 and 300 millimeters. We're not going that extreme. But, let's say I'm doing my problem solving and I'm like, you know what, I can say this to you 'cause you're not, okay, but let's say your fuller figure subject, I'm going to get up a little higher, because I want the hips and the waist to look smaller. Okay, then you've got a little bit of a larger forehead. If I'm using a wider angle lens, it's gonna exaggerate this. If I can back up and use a little bit longer compression, it won't exaggerate it. It doesn't exaggerate distances. So, usually something a little longer, just no wide and close, is the idea. That's the big no-no. The next thing is going to be lighting. This is one that I see most often with someone with a larger forehead, is when the light is too close to somebody. Like at this angle. Whatever's closest to the light's brightest, and if it's a big forehead, you just get a big shine, and it's just saying look right here. So you might actually benefit from backing the light up a little bit to give more even illumination, instead of it being bright to shadow. Just so you know, it has to do with inverse square loss, studio lighting 101, okay, it's a good one. (laughing) Also, you can block light off the forehead. It's something called flagging. So you can put something in between the light and the forehead and just tone down the light just a little bit, put it a little bit more in shadow, or if you're doing dramatic light, check out, I'm gonna plug in Chris. Check out He does really, really dramatic portraits. And he does something with close light and flagging. And a lot of times it's like just this much is lit. Or just this much is lit. For him, you'll see what I mean when you look, it'll be really, really narrow light. It could be, for someone with a wider face, it's stylistic, but it's a way around that, 'cause it doesn't look like you're trying to do that. Same thing, the narrow light, you only light part of the face, so you could do that with the forehead as well. For retouching, I actually, I do this all the time, I liquefy people's foreheads nonstop. I don't know why. I guess I just don't notice the size of people's foreheads in real life, but then in photos it translates. I think probably the reason why is a lot of times, I do get up at a higher angle, for a curve or something, and then I'm like, oh man, I made the forehead look big. So I just pull the hairline down a little bit. That was exaggerated, okay. (laughing) A little bit. I do it all the time. One of the things I do all the time is I lower the shoulders as well. Other classes. I also will contour. If somebody has a receding hairline here, something, I can liquefy it a little bit, but I can also just darken it down, because if it's light against dark hair, your eye gets drawn to there because it's contrast, right? So if it goes back here and it's light, you look at it. Just darken it down a little bit. It draws the eye away. Also other things that you can do, makeup artists, particularly with women, but guys as well, for theater and for movies, if you darken around the top of the forehead, it doesn't look as large. They just used darker foundation. So if you're working with a makeup artist, they will do that for someone with a larger forehead. And then of course, the last one is hat or hair to obscure, as appropriate with the individual.

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Ratings and 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

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