Photographing Challenging Features


Lesson Info

Shoot: Double Chin

Perfect, so let's do bad first. Can I have the silver reflector? So we're doing bad lighting first. So I'm gonna have you sit back in your chair real comfortable. Oh, well okay, wow. (laughs) And then chin down and look at me. And then give me a little bit of silver reflection. So, the first problem... Do we have a smaller one? For the next shot? I'll go find one, yeah. As you're talking. I'll do it without first is fine. So as a note, most of the time in my studio my reflector that I use is about 30, 33 inches or for Pro Photo it's a size medium because it's like, if I wanna get closer, I can't, it's in the way. Do you have to do that? Or are they good? Got it, I've ordered one. You ordered one, good. Alright, so I'll do it without first for me. So, same thing, chin down just a little bit. (camera shutter clicks) Photographing straight on towards camera there's gonna be a huge difference between sitting back and sitting forward. So I'm gonna have you sit all the way forward. P...

erfect! And chin out just a little bit. And then chin down just a little bit. (camera shutter clicks) The difference between sitting back, sitting forward with chin out and down. 100% different, completely different. However, if you were shooting like this and you wanted to add a little bit of fill, let's try one. If you're like, oh, the shadows are too dark, this is not what you do. (audience laughs) (camera beeps) Because a big, giant silver reflector just flattens everything out. So notice how using shadow is beneficial to me. However, do you have the, perfect! Is it white on the other side or silver? White. Perfect, if you did wanna lessen the shadows a little bit, can you give me white really low for one? Really, really low, like hold it down here, yeah. So this is just a little... I mean, I still like it better with shadow, but if it's not quite as much. If you're just like, oh man, it's too dark, just don't brighten everything up. So far we've talked about position, sitting chin out and down, actually leaning forward towards camera. If you notice, this light is pretty high, but it's on purpose because I want shadow underneath. If I lower the light, everything's flattened. Do you mind doing one so I can just show? Let me do one before. So stick your chin down a little bit more, chin down a little more, great. Okay, now lower it for me, great, that's perfect. (camera shutter clicks) So, more shadow, that's not too bad. More shadow, yeah, not too bad, but it's definitely better with more. There's definitely, it's a little bit more obscured whereas the lower light is a little bit more illuminated. Can you raise it up just a tiny bit more. Yeah, like right there is good. Great, so the next thing that I can do, as I said, I can change my camera angle. What I don't wanna do, and honestly I don't even need to shoot this, but I don't wanna get low. Because what's happening is when I get low, everything looks larger. I'm gonna do one before and after higher and lower. Okay, great, you're perfect just where you are. Just want a little lower. (camera shutter clicks) And then one, and then look your eyes to me. (camera shutter clicks) Great. So low, versus higher. So it's just less attention. And now I'm gonna have you lean forward even more. We're gonna come out this way, great, perfect. And then chin down just a little bit, great. Perfect, right there. And I'm gonna have you rotate your body just to the right a little bit. Great, get a little higher. (camera beeps, shutter clicks) Good, looks good. Alright, so notice it's less and less attention. So the next thing is sometimes it's better if you do short light depending on how large the double chin is. Sometimes short lighting to the side because you're seeing more outline. So just real quick and then I'll move on. Alright, right there, perfect. Get up a little higher. And can you turn your body to the right just a little... And John can you go a little more short light? Yeah. Sorry, I moved. And lean way out this way. And chin down, perfect. And chin up a little. (camera beeps, shutter clicks) Alright, now lemme just switch so from our first shot. Too low of a camera angle, too much illumination, get rid of the fill underneath, higher angle. These are my suggestions, if you're going to fill, just not so much. And then if you wanted to, again, you could always do, you have great nails. Yeah, let's do one with the great nails. Perfect, and then can you just bring it around front. Perfect and chin back towards me. And can you put your hand here. Yeah, yeah, so this looks sassy, it looks good. So it doesn't look like I'm like, oh hey, right? And so it doesn't bother me at all. And then if I wanted to have more fill underneath 'cause I wanted a brighter picture, do you have one more fill? So I could make it really soft and really glowing, but I don't have to worry about it 'cause you can't see it anymore. Perfect. (camera beeps, clicks) Yeah, that's a good sassy face, I like it. Notice I'm problem solving. If I photographed a different person, my solutions would be different ones of those. But for her, these are the solutions that were most flattering. So if you've decided that's the best lighting, would you now shoot a whole bunch of shots, with different expressions, et cetera, or are you a one-shot person? (Instructor blows a raspberry) (audience laughs) I'm like, I know you've seen me shoot, so you know, you're always good with your good questions. So I'll find it and then I would try different hand positions and then I would try different expressions, and then I would try different camera angles 'cause especially sometimes with some person if I raise their chin up, with that one it's not as flattering with the shape of their face. So I'll shoot a whole bunch with little tweaks, but I'll get it close, then it's all in this little box.

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!