Tips for Portrait Photography

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Date Submitted: 09/20/2012 07:32 AM

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Dealing with People Issues

Model Issue Resolution

Round or Fat Face Pose model 3/4 to the camera

Use short lighting

Raise camera angle slightly

Thin Face Pose model facing the camera

Wrinkly Face, Deep Lines Use softer, frontal lighting

Blemishes or Scars Shadow problem areas, or reposition

Big Nose Raise chin slightly

Pose nose straight into lens

Small nose Pose nose at an angle to camera

Square jaw 3/4 pose, higher camera angle

Multiple chins Stretch neck, lean head toward camera

Different sized eyes Largest eye close to camera, other in shadow

Largest eye away creates evening effect

Deep set eyes Light into eyes

Blinkers Time shot after subject blinks

Large Ears 3/4 pose

Only show one ear

Shadow second ear

Eye Glass Wearers Shoot with empty frames

Position glasses away from lights

Bring lights in from very high, or bounce off ceiling

People with Dark Hair Check to make sure that background doesn't show through hair, restyle if necessary.

Basic Positioning Tips

Position body and head facing different directions.

Masculine pose: tilt top of head toward far shoulder.

Feminine pose: tilt top of head toward near shoulder. Note: Women can typically pull off either of these two poses.

Hand Posing Tips

Don't show flat surfaces of hands, show finger edges.

Fingers should not be facing into the lens.

Bend fingers at all joints.

Male hands should be more closed, female should be more open.

Use opposing diagonals: ie head resting on arm; each pointing in opposite directions.

Fingers should not be intertwined.

Never rest a head on a fist.

Stuff you should have available for your models

Fresh combs

A mirror

Hair spray

Hair clips

Session Plan

Start with head shots.

Move to head on hands, let the model pose naturally.

Finish with 3/4 and full length.

Shooting Groups of People

As a rule, the image should express a tone that all in the group are unified; either touching each other physically, or...