First thing, I was so, so upset by that class that I took where the guy said hide the body. However, sometimes you can draw attention away from some problem areas. In this example, she wanted to do a lingerie shot. She saw the shot, but she didn't really love her stomach in it and I'm like okay, well just bring your hand over and then it's hidden. It's not like I'm changing what she looks like, I'm just drawing attention away from something she's not thrilled with. I do this a lot when subjects are sitting. 'cause a lot of curvier subjects, and I'm gonna talk about sitting, there's some very specific things I do for posing, but a lot of curvier subjects, no matter how you pose them, when they sit you're gonna see the mid-section. So you'll see a lot where I kinda do elbow up, hand over, where they meet here. 'cause then it's just hiding it, it's not a big deal, not just trying to conceal what they look like, but there's a little problem area they want less attention to. So I will place...
the hand selectively. It would be the same thing for a lingerie shot. If I have them on their stomach and there's a roll in the back that they don't love, I just slink the arm up so it just hides it a little bit. So you can place hands or do things to just kinda conceal a problem area. So if there's a problem area, first thing I try to do is figure out if the pose can change it. A lot of times what I'll do, this is hard to demo, but if I had someone posing and they had a weird wrinkle. I would say oh, lift your butt up, put it down, stretch out, I'll move stuff around to see if anything fixes it. Sometimes it's just stretching and moving things. And if that doesn't work, I'm like all right, so can I change my perspective? Maybe I can come around to the front and it hides it now 'cause the hair will be in the way. Or something. And then I'll be like okay, but can I just put an arm there and hide it? Like those would be the things. Or maybe it's really not a problem and I just think it's a problem and it's really not a big deal. Most of the time it's probably that. Next one is avoid mergers. This one you'll see especially when I said with Sherri's outfit with the long sleeves, is if she has black long sleeves and poses like this and each of the arms are three, four inches wide, let's say four inches wide, I've added eight inches to her waist. Probably not a good idea. 'cause your eyes can't see the difference. So it's that little bit of space or whatever that will get rid of the problem. Another solution, really what you're trying to do is don't add width to the body unnecessarily. That's really what this means. So you're trying to avoid mergers. The one thing you could do is the negative space, but you could also cross in front as long as you're not making them wider. With much fuller figure subjects, the crossing in the front becomes more difficult. Especially with a fuller chest, which is why I'm saying it can be applicable to pose in front and I've got a shot where her arms are in front, but a lot of times the chest gets in the way. So I do negative space more often. So picture on the left, she obviously looks much wider 'cause your eyes can't tell where her body ends and begins. Elongate. So I mentioned this in the beginning, pull up to the top of the head, elongate. It stretches everything out. Elongating doesn't mean you have to be straight up. You can elongate and lean forward. And jump and whatever. It's more just stretching the body out, but it's also true with sitting. And so you see this here. What was really cool about her, her job is she's Oprah's body double. That is one of the thing's she does. So she has so many amazing photo shoots of her, because she stands in for Oprah for the lighting and then they switch Oprah in. That was a really cool job. Buy anyways, As I have her sitting here, if you look the way she sits everything looks really boxy. I want her to look elongated, I don't want a lot of attention drawn to the mid-section. So the next two things are good examples. Again, the one on the left is where we started. But here when she sticks a leg out, see how everything gets longer? And then she puts the elbow out, it's a nice, long diagonal line. So you're not seeing her boxy and compressed, your eye follows that line. And notice the stomach, everything's kinda stretched out now and smoother. But if it weren't, look, I can cross that arm over and draw less attention to it. So lots of examples. Next tip is to create visual balance. So you control where the eye goes. So if you've got a much fuller subject, let's say a fuller subject and the outfit they have on, you're eye just keeps getting stuck at the mid-section. Over and over and over again. You really want the attention to their face and you really want attention to the torso. Couple things you could do is you can create visual balance by adding a necklace or adding some kind of detail 'cause that's gonna bring the eye back up. Or posing with the hands up. Wherever. Just pose hands up, it balances out and brings the eye up. Or in this example, blowing the hair out. It puts more up top so it looks more balanced than having more at the bottom. She's relatively slender, but bringing the eye back up to the face. So a good example is, this is the same girl, did hair and makeup with her in the second shot, but the difference is okay, her hair is big. So your eye looks up. Her hands are up, so your eye looks up. We defined the waist, you're looking everything up and I'm a higher angle with a wider angle lens so the lower part of her body looks much smaller. So everything brings your attention up. So I call that visual balance. Figure out in your picture when you look at it, where's my eye going? Can I do something to get it back where it's supposed to be or drawn attention away from where it's looking? Another tip and this is a tip for everybody, is stick the chin out. Watch out 'cause you saw even with Maggie when I'd say pull up and then she'd lean forward, you'd get a little bit of underneath the chin. So it's chin out and down. And what the chin out and down does is it tightens everything and it defines the jaw more and it gets rid of any extra skin underneath. So it's just constantly chin out and down. Some people do it too much and you can see the stress. Sometimes it works better to say press your forehead towards the camera. Like that sometimes works a little bit better for people, but really what that's doing is it's bringing the eyes closer to the camera so all of that works. I know a lot of times when I take selfies with photographers after classes, they've heard me say chin out and down so you see women doing this and I'll be like oh just relax. So we're going for relaxed. But here's another example. Same thing. So it's not like she has a particularly defined double chin or anything, but just when I have her stick her chin out and down, see how it's more defined? So it's sharpening it up. In some of my classes I talk about the things we think are beautiful. We like necks and we like jaw lines, those are some of the things we try to achieve. There's no right or wrong way to light a curvy subject and I don't particularly think about it any differently per se. There's a couple tips that I'll give you, but one of them is that shadows slenderize 'cause your brain is really just reading what is lit. So the easiest way for me to show you this is to take a look at her thigh here. The line on the right is actually how wide her thigh is. So the one on the right is actually how wide her thigh is, but the line on the left is how much you think her thigh is because the shadow makes it look narrower. And then I don't need to liquify, I'm slenderizing, but through lighting and through posing. So for me, I tend to not flat light curvy subjects. I don't put the light front and center. I put it off to the side a little bit, because if you see in this example, picture on the left when she's lit more flat, you read the entire width of the face. When you use more shadow, it cuts it down two-thirds, maybe even half because of that shadow. Now in the old days, saying that loosely, but way back when I was learning photography, we learned about something called short light. So short light means find the model, the light's coming from a behind angle, the shadows fall towards the camera. That really does make someone look significantly more slender in their face and their body. The problem is it changes the mood. Like now the mood is really dark and dramatic. So yeah you could use that, but I'm not saying yeah make a moody dramatic shot for every curvy subject. No, you don't need to do that at all. But know that that's a tool. More shadow often makes someone look more slender, but I might not want shadow. So then don't use it, use your posing instead to flatter them and the clothing and your camera angle. So you kinda pick and choose based on the shot you want, which will be most appropriate.