Photographing Challenging Features

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: No Curves

Eleanor, would you be my lovely subject? Hey girl how are you? Nice to see you. Come stand in the middle. So I will say, I'm gonna face you around, we just have her in a tee shirt and pants. We just have a really, really slender subject. I want to make interesting shapes. So when I say a subject with no curves, it doesn't mean that I have to make voluptuous shape. That's not what I'm saying. It's just you want more interesting shapes to photograph. Let me, for example, let's try two shapes here. I'm gonna have you take a seat. Great. I'll have you turn towards the light. Perfect. I'm going to have you put up your back knee on this apple box. Back foot. Well, foot, but bend your knee up. That's what I mean. (laughing) Put it up just a little bit more. Perfect. I'm gonna have you lean forward on it. Good. Now pull up a little bit taller. Great. Then cross your hand over just a little bit more. Perfect. Then look at me. Great. Perfect. (camera click and beep) Okay. Oh, dark. Can you b...

ring this this way for me? Yeah-- Hold on. You want me to power this up? It's at 16. No, it's just shadowed. Too shadowed. Don't pay attention yet. (laughing) A little bit more John, even this way just a tiny bit? Then I can open up a a bit. Okay All right, good. (camera click and beep) Perfect. So the idea is here. Even though I'm not making her look curvy, because I bent her knee and I bent her arms, you've got some shape to follow in the form. Compared to, can you sit up straight and face me straight on? Great. And then just sit there. Comfortably. (camera click and beep) Versus not having as much shape, there's no flow to this shot. So I'm bending things and curving things to give my eyes some interest. Can you put that knee back up one more time? Can you lean, the whole thing, and I'm gonna have you cross the other arm over. Good. And put it way out, and then bend it just a little bit. It's super awkward but it won't be. Good. (camera click and beep) Okay. Let's say that she's leaning out onto something, so it would give her a little more shape, a little bit more interest to follow. Let's try a full-length shot. Maybe stand up. Great. Now we're gonna talk about making a little bit more curve. Still gonna use the box? Yeah, I'm just gonna pull her back a little bit 'cause it's a little too contrasting. Let's put it right here. I'm gonna build step by step for creating curve. Let's switch lens. So I'm not doing close-ups. I'm gonna switch over to my 24 to 105. Is there another apple box lying around? Yes, right back here. Cool. Okay. Stand real flat and bored. That looks good. I believe it. Looks good. If you take a look here. Don't judge my backgrounds; they're all crazy. (camera click and beep) She's very tall, very slender. Right? I wanna create curves. So let's do what I was saying. I'm gonna have you turn to your right, and put your left foot up on that box. Okay? So far I'm gonna do step by step. (camera click and beep) Give myself ... one shape. So the knee's bent, got a little bit of curve there. What I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you put your hand here, and I'm gonna have you arch your lower back. Perfect. So she'll arch her lower back, which is a classy way of saying stick your butt out. (laughing) It's the same thing. A little bit. She's like, "Great." Can you lean your chest forward? So I'm leaning her forward because she leans her chest forward it emphasizes this. 'Cause here you don't see it, but here you will. So keep leaning, keep leaning, keep leaning. Good. Perfect. Turn your chest towards me just a little bit. Great. I'm gonna have you put your hand up here in the back. Okay, good. And a little taller like that. Perfect. Okay so I start to get-- keep leaning, keep leaning and arch. Make your back hurt. Yeah. Good. Good. (camera click and beep) Thank you. Yeah, perfect. I'm gonna switch 'cause her knee is too high. Too high. In my posing class I talk about this. Right angles don't encourage curve. There's structure, but they kind of stop you abruptly. If you want your eye to kind of flow, you don't want that much. Okay. Good. So curve, curve, curve. Yeah. So I've created a little bit more curve, (camera click and beep) Okay. But I can enhance this even more if I get up taller, I'm gonna make even more curve. Okay, so lean your chest towards me. Everything painful. Good. Chin down. (laughing) (camera click and beep) Good. All right, good. What I get for my eye is I get curve that's like voom, voom, voom. Like right? I'm kind of following things around. That is kind of how I put that together. I'm gonna do one more thing. Stand flat foot. Okay. Face me straight on. Okay. One more way to make curve, I'm making you uncomfortable. I'm sorry, ready? (laughing) Do this. Knee over as far as possible. I'm gonna have you do like this. Yeah, okay. Now turn your chest back towards me. Okay. Bring your foot back just a little. Yeah, okay. What this does I talked about with my other classes is it narrows here so what happens is I'll see I'm gonna create some curve here, curve here, and then it narrows. So what it does instead of you standing flat foot, and you crop above the knees, like here. It's two vertical lines, and it's very square, like it's a rectangular lower part of my body. But if I cut it over, you're like, oh look, that hip curves in. It gives you a little bit more line to follow compared to this. So this is called the narrowing point. It also for curvier people gives the mind the impression that somebody gets narrower or they're more slender, curvier than they actually are. Because you exit the frame if I crop here at a part where they did narrow. So you picture the rest of them as narrow. It's a good mind trick thing. Put your hand here. Put it on your bumm that way. A little lower. Good. Real tall. Arch your back. Pain, lots of pain. Good. (laughter) Okay, real tall. Then lean this way. Good. Perfect. Great. This light's gonna be terrible. Hold on. (camera click and beep) Can I shift-- Yeah. It's not like the worst, but it, you know. Want her facing the other way? Yeah, can you turn the other way? All right. Face him, and then pop up the other knee. There. Now come face back towards me. Okay, good. Yeah that's good, that's good. Just like that. And then bring your elbow back out, like this. No, like ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. Good. Perfect. Great. (camera click and beep) Okay, good. The point is, if you look it's the fact that knees are at the bottom of the frame versus stand flat foot. Do the same thing, hand on your hip. Put your feet apart just a little bit. Now look. (camera click and beep) This is the bad. That's not curve, it's just kind of square at the bottom versus if we narrow, now there's a little bit more flow to the shot. Okay? So you mention 90 degrees on not being ideal. Is that something you want the men to do a little bit more than getting them more curvy? Yeah, generally 90-degree angles are more masculine, and they're a little bit more aggressive, and they're more structured. Most of the time you pose men like that, or, if a woman is supposed to be in a particular image, strong, or supposed to be more aggressive. So a fashion image, here's my example. A fashion image with a woman that's meant to be strong. It would be like right angles with the arms and legs. But if she's meant to be curvy, it would be longer, more obtuse angles, or more acute angles. It's just different things. But with guys, you almost always try to do right angles 'cause it doesn't look good otherwise. So still flat feet? I still do not flat feet with guys, just not ... not that kind of thing. (Laughter) My whole point of this whole thing is I have a bunch of other classes on posing, but if you can bend it, bend it If you can curve it, curve it, which was bend the knee, arch the lower back, bend the arm, bend the wrist, lean the chest forward, higher camera angle. I'm doin' things to make it not straight up and down. The body, straight up and down cause that's what it is. So we're breakin' and bendin' things.

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.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • 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!