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  1. #1
    BradS's Avatar
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    Need model posing advice.

    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 BradS; 07-21-2009 at 02:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Higher camera position. My wife complains about this all the time.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    blansky's Avatar
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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
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #4
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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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. #5
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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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. #6
    argentic's Avatar
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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. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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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. #8
    blansky's Avatar
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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
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  9. #9
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    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

    B-I-N-G-O!!!!

  10. #10

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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.
    Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!

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