Most photographers would love to photograph the perfect model. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the case in most photographic situations. Whether you photograph high school seniors, families, engagement portraits, model head shots, business portraits and weddings, you will run into situations when the people you photograph are heavy or think that they are. This is when it’s good to know a few skills that will help them look really great and absolutely love their photographs..
If you lack this ability in making the people you photograph, especially heavy people, look their best, then it’s time to learn a few basic skills. Yes, we can use photoshop to some degree so it looks natural and still looks like them. But, there are also a few things one can learn using proper posing and lighting to naturally make them look good. And the best part is that it’s FREE. It won’t cost you any more money since there is nothing you have to buy. It doesn’t even take anymore time. In fact, it may take more or just as much time posing badly than it does using the correct methods to make the people you photograph look great. The only effort on your part is taking the time to learn a few skills used by the professionals.
When I got my start in photography it was a lot more difficult finding information and learning photography. I would buy any good books I could find that would help me learn what I was looking for, whether it was lighting, posing or about the business of photography.
I would also attend many seminars and workshops in addition to attending school programs offered by the Triangle Institute of Professional Photography in Pittsburgh, PA. It is one of the finest ways of getting a photographic education whether you are just starting or a seasoned pro looking to further your education or just looking to refresh some old skills and rubbing shoulders with fellow photographers. Getting a good foundation in the basics of photography is more important than equipment. For it is this knowledge that you will build on and rely on when doing your photography.
Today it is so easy to pick up information. On-line searches can pull up most anything you are looking for. You Tube is also an excellent resource for finding great information. Yes, you may have to weed out some of the junk but there are a lot of people offering really good information.
Learn the Magic
When photographing heavy couples or individuals, some of the key posing rules still apply but before we set the appointment to start photographing, we talk about clothing.
Clothing makes such a big difference whether you are doing a family, children or engagement portrait. For instance, when doing an engagement portrait in a park, I recommend dark colors which will help them look thinner. I also prefer solid colors over heavy patterns. And especially with an engagement or family portrait, I try to get them to wear clothing that matches and compliments each other rather than distract. Of course when doing beach portraits or slim subjects, then different clothing choices are appropriate such as light or pastel colors. I may also suggest they bring along another outfit or two. Most of the times I’m happy with what they wear or bring along, but if not I have to make the best of the situation.
Once we get the proper clothing then we concentrate on what we can do to make them look thinner. Here are some suggestions:
1. Turn the body slightly away from the camera not directly toward the camera.
2. Lean the body slightly forward at the waist bringing the face in front of the body.
3. Stretch their chin forward. This tightens up the chin making it look slimmer.
4. When doing head and shoulder portraits bring the camera height slightly higher than usual. This will bring the emphasis on the face instead of the body. This works great for head shots and business portraits.
5. Turn their body directly toward the light. This flattens out the contours.
6. Crop in close to the face.
7. Cover up heavy spots with the hands, arms or another person. Use the bouquet when photographing the bride.
8. Keep the posture more erect and try arching their back. Never let them slouch.
Unless you are in the business of photographing super models only, many people you photograph can be made to look better when using some of the principals mentioned above, or at least that has been my personal experience. I have also found when you make the average person look beautiful and fantastic, they immediately put their trust in you and you may have a client for life not to mention quite a few referrals. And believe it or not, they will spend good money on your photography services.
To Learn How to Look Thinner In Photographs See Video Below: