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Posing for Curvy Women

Lesson 8 of 11

Posing and Lighting Demos

Lindsay Adler

Posing for Curvy Women

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

8. Posing and Lighting Demos

Lesson Info

Posing and Lighting Demos

(instructor) The next thing that I was gonna say is to discuss lighting. So I mentioned before that shadows are your friend. So, actually, could you bring it super, super flat on this one? Bring it way, way around front. Typically, I don't totally flat light my subjects. This is particularly true when they're wearing light colored outfits. 'Cause when you flat light them, the light picks it up, they're wearing a light colored outfit, it will light them from side to side, and it makes them look their widest. Same thing with the face. Flat lit: everything is illuminated. If you can bring the light off to the side, it uses some sculpting, some shadows on the side of the face, and the same thing, some shadows on the side of the body. So you're brain is perceiving everything as more narrow. So that's typically what I recommend doing. I don't usually light all flat in the middle. So let me... I'm gonna do a really boring pose for this. Turn a teeny bit to your right. Great. Hand on your wast...

e. Perfect. And may I move your hair? Yeah. Okay. Great. So people can see the side of your face. Alright, perfect. We'll do more posing in a minute. Alright. And look your chin straight on to me. Perfect. And put your chin up just a little. Right there! Great! Okay, so, taking a look here. Even though she's in a black outfit, so you can't tell as much, what you'll see, is there's a little bit of shadow to her face, but for the most part, everything is lit from side to side. So the rule with lighting is: the further you bring the light off to the side, the more shadows you create. The other way to create shadows, which is in the example I had, Is I had the light really high. The higher up you put that light, the more shadows it casts. So let's just do off to the side. Great. Thank you. Same exact pose, same exact everything. Great. And chin straight on to me. Great. Right there. Good. Same thing. Perfect. And just do one more. (lighting assistant) Further? (instructor) Yeah, let's keep going, let's keep going. Perfect. Now, I'll just have you turn your chin, just a little - right there. Great. Okay. So let's just take a look conceptually at what's going on in these three shots. Alright. So, like I said, because she's wearing black, you're not gonna notice it on the clothing as much, but let's take a look at the face. When I am shooting her here, her face appears its widest to our camera, because of the light. And also, I mean, I could turn her head, but I have her straight on, because you're seeing everything lit. And then we pop over to the next one and you cut off about a third, kind of all of this side of her face you don't see anymore, so it makes the face look narrower. And then if we go even further, it's the same thing. Now, her face appears much narrower, 'cause only, you know, a third - it ends up being like less than two thirds of it's lit. But, when you get over into this realm, it's just a different, moodier picture. If you don't like the shadows that dark, you can come in and you can add a reflector so that you're still not quite perceiving the face to be as wide, but you can open up the shadows a little bit if you don't want it quite as dark. I'm just gonna do a little bit though. Perfect. Let's do one more. I lied, that's a little far back. Let's try here. (audience laughs) Okay. Same thing. Great. And chin... right there. Good. And chin up, just a little. See if I filled it enough. Okay. That's better. So the white reflector, it just opens up the shadows compared to the last one. It's still narrowing her face, but it's not dark and it doesn't look like you didn't have control over the light. So that's just the general idea of it. How I've used this has been - I use this short light a lot, lighting from behind, when I have a very, very round faced man. A guy with a really round face I'll really light from behind so it's just such a narrow part of his face. For guys, sometimes you go in for more of that little bit of a serious shot - technique. Alright, so the next thing I'm gonna do is a little bit more on posing. Same thing. Okay, so here's what we're looking for. I'm gonna face you straight on and can we have this a little bit further up. Watch out for your mergers, especially if you have somebody wearing long sleeves, because if she just kinda puts her hands at her side - or even cross your hands like here. Yeah, move the hands towards this side a little bit. So maybe you're trying to make this a pose, okay? And then turn your body to this side just a little. Right there. Great. If you do this, what happens is you don't see the separation and it's just making your eye think her body is wider, 'cause you read the whole thing from left to right. Thankfully, she has a little bit of form because of the little bit of the gathering, but if let's say it was a high neck and you had the arms like that and no waste. No separation. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create separation with the arms and then I'm also gonna check posing her, 'cause straight on - she's a little bit turned, but straight on is going to be the widest. But I said, you don't wanna turn all the way to the side. So let's find our happy medium. So I am going to have you do a hand on the waste in this one. Great. Now relax your shoulders. She puts her hand on her waste and she kinda raises her shoulder up, which gets us to the no neck problem. So it's raise the shoulder and I say push the shoulder down, feel a little bit of a weight on it. That looks perfect, you're hand looks great. And then, hand goes where the eye is, so let's put it right here, okay. Great. And then, keep your head straight towards me. So so far I've added some negative space. Great. And so there's a little bit more definition, but let's do the balancing the frame. I'm going to try to bring the eye up even more, so we're gonna add a fan on this one. So I'm just gonna get the hair a little bit fuller. It's gonna bring your eye up to her face. So let me just fix your hair so it'll be nice and floofy. (model laughs) Alright, the fan that I use is - I use a floor dryer. Variable floor dryer. They're like 40-50 bucks from Home Depot or Lowes and they're really, really powerful, so even if someone has heavy hair. But of course, check to see if they're wearing like contacts or something. They get freaked out. Okay, so same thing: hand on the waste. Great. Lower that shoulder. Hand real soft right here. Perfect. And keep your head this way for me. Okay, great. Let's see what we can do with this hair blowiness. Ooh, good. Turn your chin towards me a little more. Good. Okay, that's good. So I just want to show the difference. See, just that little difference pulls you up, like brings your attention up there. So if you look at some Kim Kardashian pictures, okay, she's got her a lot of times pulled back real tight, and she's posing kinda like this. The reason is, she doesn't want visual balance. There's some place that you're trying to get the attention. So you don't have to have every subject with their hair down and the wind blowing. Just know, that brings my eye up more when it is. Hair pulled back would bring my eye more to chest and midsection, so use it as you will. I'll just put it this way: some of my clients, they let me know where they want the attention. And then I use my tools appropriately. Okay, so let's go back, continuing using prospective. I'm gonna do the same thing. Hand on the waste, but let's - I'm gonna turn you to the side. Keep going all the way to the side. So the way that this dress falls, she can actually turn all the way to the side, 'cause what happens is, the way the dress is, is it falls straight, so I don't see anything because of the way it falls. Most people, if they're wearing a form-fitted dress and turn to the side, then it's going to be a problem. So let me just show you real quick. And pop your elbow back just a little. Great. Perfect. Hand to your chest. Great. And I'm gonna move your hair just a little bit here. And pop your elbow back just a little bit more. Great. Okay. Alright so my point is she can get away with it usually. Turning to the side you can't. So there's a balance. So let's do the last perspective thing. Hand on your waste. Turn a little bit towards me. Put your weight on your back leg. Perfect. Sometimes you really gotta do the - show people what to do. She did great. Okay, now chest towards me. Great. Beautiful. Hand real soft. John, can I have wind one more time? And I'm gonna put it all together. Great. Hold on, I'm gonna bring this hair out, so I can have it a little fuller. Hold on John. I'm gonna back up. Ready? Okay! Here we go! Yeah! Alright, now let me get my higher angle. And I'm ready. And chin towards me, just a little. And chest towards me, just a little. Great. Okay, cool. Perfect. Great. So you saw all of those pieces. The very last thing I wanna do is talk about my clamps. Okay, so these are, you know, any of these are fine. I would get the ones that have the rubber on the end, 'cause then if you hook it in their clothes, it doesn't ruin it, 'cause I've done that before and - drama. Okay, so let's say I wanted to do a shot with her where I made everything as super curvy as possible. What this shot is good for is if I do a full-length shot and floof the dress. That'll look nice. But it's really hard to do a curvy shot, so I'd have to clap things in place to get that shot. So I'm gonna do one full length and then we're gonna clamp and I'm gonna work with her form for some super curves. So John, will you be my dress floofer? He's a good dress floofer. Okay. (audience laughs) Alright now, remember how I said I get at a higher angle to bring attention to the eyes and face? That doesn't work for full length, 'cause she'll look really, really short. So if I do this, if I do my wide angle from here - so this is the same angle, same rough - she looks very - it just doesn't work. But, if I get at a low angle, it'll make her tall, but whatever's closest to the camera will look largest, which is gonna be her midsection. So what I do for photographing curvier subjects, is I back up and zoom in and get down. So here's why. If I'm here, stomach's closest towards the camera. It'll look the largest. But as I back up, at this point, 'cause I've backed up, her stomach's not really any closer than her face. It has to do with relative distances. Because I've backed up, they're relatively the same. But when I'm this close, the distances are much more exaggerated, right? Did I scare you? (laughs) She looked a little freaked out. Sorry, John. Okay, so let me just show you that. So I will back up and get down lower to make the person look taller, but I'm gonna back up and zoom in. Basically the gist of it. So let's do that whole pose thing. Exaggerate or lean towards me, like whoa. Chest towards me just a little bit. Bring your chin back up. Great. And then put your hand back to your chest. I would do wind, you know, but we're gonna do a little bit of a - Ready, John? Go ahead. Let's see. And chin up for me just a little bit. Great. And then, try to make it bigger John. One, two, three! Okay. So, I mean, we would do more floofs and find a good floof, okay? But it looks cool and dramatic and I like it. So it's all that. But let's do the form fitted one to wrap this up. Okay. Alright, I'm gonna get in your areas, okay? Sorry. So we're gonna clamp and fit and everything. Does someone have an extra hair tie on their wrist? 'Cause that would be easier. Yeah! Look, see I knew. Ladies: always have their hair ties. Thank you! (audience laughs) You're hair tie is making a CreativeLive cameo. Okay good. Alright, I'm clipping up in this area. Okay, letting you know. And as long as the camera can't see it, then fine. So I'm making it for fitted if I wanna do a super curvy shot. So this should be fine. Lemme take a look. Good. So it'll give me a lot more to work with. I might need more clipping, but we'll test it. Alright, so what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna try two different things. First thing is can you - can I have the mini-box? Great. So lemme know if this makes you fall, before you fall. Okay. Like the pre-falling. Okay. I'm gonna have you put your left foot on it. And you'll feel the dress move: its' fine. Just stretch however you need. Okay, which means I may need to retighten. Okay, so here's why. If I want everything to look curvy - when she's flat-footed - like, I wanna see this curve, okay? But flat-footed, it's less? So she brings her knee up. Now that curve's introduced. But if she's got a long dress, you don't see anything. So you gotta introduce the curve and tighten the dress. All of it. Okay, so I have to redo your thing, sorry. Sorry again. And this looks silly. This is what I'm doing my whole shoot. I do it all the time. Alright, let's try this. Okay, great! Perfect. Perfect. Okay, great. So what I'm gonna have you do is lean your chest forward this way. Great. I'm gonna lower this. Good. Perfect. Wonderful. And now, I'm gonna have you put your hand on your bum. Yeah, a little lower. Good. So what I'm getting is I'm gonna see that curve. And I'm gonna see her chest. Perfect. And, give me that neck. So here - and chin up a little bit. Can you lower this light just a little for me? And chin just a tiny bit this way. And soft. Great. And then John can you do one more wind blow 'cause I like it? But watch the bottom curve on this. See that bottom curve? Because I've tightened everything, but I've given it a curve. Alright, so let's get - oh lemme move the hair back. We're going super curvy. This is gonna be the final shot, okay? Okay. Alright. Alright here we go. Uh-oh. I didn't get the hair out of the face. There you go. Good. Lean your chest as hard as you can. Great! Perfect. Pull that elbow back just a little more. Great. And chin towards me. Great. Okay. Perfect. Thank you! So you guys get the idea. I would probably pull the dress down a little bit, but I've got all that curve and then in post I'd just - eeh - like the tiniest bit. I don't need to do a lot. Just smooth out that line a tiny bit.

Class Description

Photographers are hired to capture portraits that accentuate the best features of their subjects. Lindsay Adler will share techniques on how to photograph your full figured and curvier clients by accentuating their lines and creating beautiful silhouettes. She’ll show you how to highlight curves and use the right camera angles to flatter the shape of any woman. Lindsay will lay down a solid foundation of posing and styling so that you can make your clients feel comfortable in front of the camera. 
This class will cover: 

  • Styling suggestions for full figured women including a bridal session 
  • Camera angles and posing techniques for the most flattering images 
  • Photoshop techniques to help highlight your curvy subject
Whether your photography focus is a wedding, portrait or intimate boudoir, you’ll be able to represent your clients as the unique, beautiful women they are.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

Posing for Curvy Women - eBook Free Preview

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I’m only on Lesson 4 and I’ve already learned so much! Lindsay explains everything she’s doing and gives you the why’s and how’s of posing curvy women. This is a must-watch course for anyone who is faced with the challenge of making a curvy woman look her best. These women are so beautiful and they deserve to have the opportunity to work with a photographer who knows how to make them look their best! Thank you Lindsay for such a great course!

Peggy Nugent

This class is so amazing. Lindsay packs a ton of information in, clearly and efficiently. The best part is that she explains the reasons behind every concept, so now instead of setting up my clients in a few memorized poses, I can customize each look for the individual. As Lindsay dramatically demonstrates in this class, over and over, implementing her concepts makes a huge difference in how a woman looks, no matter what her size and shape. And Lindsay does it all with her usual charm and effervescence. This class is worth every penny, and much more.


Quite possibly Lindsay Adler's best class yet on Creative Live!! I own several of her classes - all are informative and helpful, but she is especially helpful in this one, providing LOTS of specific, non-fluff type of tips and quality instruction. The material is well-organized, and I really like that there is so much actionable information provided. Looking forward to putting the tips into practice!!!