Need model posing advice.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by BradS, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I have asked a lovely young lady to pose for me - NOT nude. I am interested mainly in exploring flesh tones and textures around her face and eyes (in B&W). The problem is that she is terrribly self concious of the...oh, how do you call it? The skin below her chin. For example, if her head is positioned in a certain way, see attached photo, her face looks "pudgie" - which she is most decidedly not.

    Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Especially with out making it obvious that I'm trying to hide the "lower chin"?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2009
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Higher camera position. My wife complains about this all the time.
     
  3. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Part of the trick to posing overweight or "fleshy" people is if just doing head or face shots is to have them sitting with their arms on, say, a table. Then have them sit up straight then leaning slightly forwards which tightens the skin around their neck.

    Then you also have them lift their chins up slightly and that tightens the skin even more.

    The attached picture is shooting up her nose, so as David said make sure the camera angle is higher than that.

    MIchael
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    When I get together with a model for the first time, I run at least one test roll.

    I always get the model to sit (or stand) in one position, with a fairly neutral expression. I then start a series of shots at full profile and then take 7 frames working around to the other side profile. I do this at above head height, at head height, and, just below head height.

    Printing a set of contacts, then shows the model where the best and sometimes worst angles are, for their face. They can see that you are trying to help them get the best image of themselves and will help with discussions of where to go from there.

    With your situation I would agree 100% with David and Michael, but would add, perhaps a shallower depth of field, may also be benificial.

    In this situation, I go from my standard 85mm to the 105mm and maximum of f5.6, often f4. This is in 35mm format.

    Mick.
     
  5. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    You must have a higher camera position as DG said! Next use "short light" rather than "broad light". By having the side of the face nearest to the camera in shadow has the tendency to slim the face and neck areas. Raise the camera lens axis to a bit above her eyes. See Joe Zeltsmans site for "how to". He came from the same school I did!


    Charlie............
     
  6. argentic

    argentic Member

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    Raising the lights a little can diminish her chin by casting some shadow. But it can make the nose look larger too.
     
  7. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the help folks. Let's see if I get it...

    Higer camera angle/position, stretch the flesh and...lighting...well, I was hoping to shoot natual light. I'll have to make sure I'm careful with the reflectors. Perhaps, this is a good time to give the lonely Polaroid 545 a go. Thanks again.
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    In all kinds of photography designed to flatter people, there are tricks to learn to tighten flesh. Even your basic 18 year old Playboy model, is posed with her torso turned to tighten skin above her hip bones. Generally bodies have to be turned slightly in every "joint", meaning neck, waist etc.People also have to maintain good posture.

    In available light, concentrate on keeping the chin up and using a slightly higher camera angle.

    Often slightly "fleshy" people aren't great to use as models because they've seen themselves in photographs before and are self conscious and self censoring. However if you do a great job, on the initial pictures, she'll be better on the subsequent ones.


    Michael
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    B-I-N-G-O!!!!
     
  10. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    You could always put a black turtle neck sweater on and have it rolled up. shoot against black.
    What everyone else has offered. It is perfect advice. Try not during the session to make a big deal about it, in fact make changes in angle during general conversation. It is kind of funny that: we are all the same! but this uniqueness of appearance that seperates us as individuals we try to correct uniformly. But every person needs this and it is different with everyone. So the challenge here is to solve the problem without warning so that their stress about it does not show up in the images. It is very easy once you have the awareness to see it, to solve. So don't stress, have fun and solve gently.
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Thanks Thomas. Advice from the masters...man, I love this place!

    As an aside, it is quite strange to me...the way these beautiful, young women obsess about the most trivial things. I was drawn to this particular young lady's coloring - specifically her hair and eyes. She has very light red (stawberry blonde?) hair, almost golden-green eyes and very fair skin. Fascinating. I think it shows even in B&W.
     
  12. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Brad,
    You can use "Short Light" or any other lighting technique with available light.
    It is not necessary to bring in a bunch of light and reflectors, use what is available at the location!

    Charlie..........
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Charlie,
    There is so much to learn. I confess, I am a complete novice when it comes to lighting. I usually try to use shade or heavy overcast conditions when photographing people out-of-doors. Sometimes, I'll do the "north facing window with a reflector oposite" trick. I have hungrily read your descriptions of how to set up studio lighting in past posts (despite the fact that I have no studio and certainly have not a scrap of studio lighting). The trick with the string was a great idea - and apparently one that "every pro" knows but, it was a revelation to me all the same. Can you recommend a good book or other place to learn more about the art of lighting?
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hunter and Fuqua, Light: Science and Magic
     
  15. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Unlike most who have wieghed in, I am a complete amateur and pretty green:sad:. But one trick that has worked for me (although I realize it has many limitations) is to use the model's hands. Get her to rest her face on them, or pull a collar of a garment around her. I don't know if this will work for what you have envisioned, but I have had some pretty good results with this, especially with self-conscious people and people who are... uhm... on the heavier side.

    Peter.
     
  16. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    Just a side note: Charis Wilson was one of E. Weston's models (and wife).
    One of his more famous nude photos of her has been one of my own personal favorites and inspiration (I'm going to attempt to attach it here). In her autobiography she mentions her first reaction to seeing it was that it was awful because of the bobby pin showing in her hair. Something I (and I'm guessing many others) never even noticed.
     

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